Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 8/23
What are you most excited about and most concerned about for the upcoming season?
I think, I’ll start with the concerns. Certainly, you know, what Kevin [O’Connor] and I and the group decided to move, you know, the team in a direction that’s, you know, very youthful, and that’s not a great predictor of success.
So in many ways we’ve, we, you know, we’ve put Ty[rone Corbin] and the coaches in a tough position, from an experience standpoint. And you know, ownership and management, you know, specifically, need to understand that. And I think we do.
I think we’ve had mature, deep conversations all along the way to understand the challenges, and look, if, you know, the team, you know, performs well, we know this group can, we can start building, you know, in a serious way.
If we struggle a little bit, we think that the experience will give our guys a good platform to build on, and then we’ll, you know, receive some good picks and have quite a bit of flexibility to continue to add to the group.* So I think we’re ready for either alternative.
But you know, certainly the experience factor is one that we went in with eyes wide open towards the challenges. I think, you know, youthful athleticism, ability to build a defensive foundation by having athletes at each position, and guys who are really committed.
Again, I’ve said this before, I think even though you can be inexperienced, I think you can be mature towards your job. That, those are our expectations, is, you know, team-wide, to start to build a really serious defensive foundation that, you know, would be beginnings of, you know, a championship contender.
* This scenario, in which the Jazz play the young guys, lose some games, and get good picks was depicted as the end of the world by KOC (the young guys would never learn how to win, have an excuse for failure, develop a losing culture, only care about getting their numbers even if the team loses, etc.) less than a year ago. How times have changed.
On new Jazz Assistant GM Justin Zanik
Yeah, so it is official now; at least, an agreement in principle. Justin will start after Labor Day…
We think that Justin is the right fit, you know, ni–you know, he is very, you guys will soon find out, you know, very intelligent, but yet humble. I think he’ll come in with the right attitude and understand and respect the experience that he’s joining in the front office.
And we’re glad to have he and Jean and their kids, and we think that he’ll add some international network to us. He’s someone that has delved in international scene, you know. He’s got very good contacts in Russia, China, Italy, Spain.
And we think he’ll help us as well, you know, as we deal with players and agents in the future. Clearly, he, you know, he has been working, you know, and, on that, in that area, and we think that it will, it be a nice complement to our current staff.
Why is it important for teams to have an international network?
Well, I think, you know, all teams would be wise to understand that it’s, basketball is a worldwide sport, and it’s great, you know? It’s one of the great storylines, in my opinion, in the last 20 years: the emergence of the international player. And the interest of basketball around the world, you know, keeps all of us employed. …
There are good players everywhere, and we need to know about the person, the player, the contract information, their habits and so, you know, Justin’s a person, for example, that has 30-40 overseas clients in addition to his NBA clients.
And so, you know, he can pick up a phone and probably get a level of information on players, if not first-person, second- or third-person, you know? So you know, we feel like, you know, timely information can provide advantages at certain points of time, and we think he’ll help in that endeavor. (1280)