Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 1/8
On the Utah Jazz
As we said at the very beginning of the season, this is a year that we wanted to build a, and give our young players to build, and grow. And now, I’ll say this. I think the start of our season, we were a little worse than what we anticipated we would be.
I think injuries had a big effect on that now that Trey has been able to come back, and get Marvin back as well, and get Jeremy Evans, has been a contributor. Getting our team all back and all healthy, and we’re now playing, and you know, of course we’re 11-11 in the last 22 games.
We’re seeing some signs of us being, and playing very well. And I think that’s a tribute to, also, our coaching staff is working very hard, working with our team. But our goal is to see that we develop this young core of players, and to see us make them become as good as we can make them.
Does Enes Kanter need to play more?
I think [his injury] played a little bit of mind games to him. And then Enes has gone through some, I think some personal, kind of, adjustments in his car–in his basketball career. I think in the last couple of games you’ve noticed, he’s been working through those. And I’ve seen a different energy, a different life. We’ve had some good conversations.
I had a good conversation with Karl Malone, who also told me that he’s had some various, recently, conversations with Enes. And I think Enes is now responding and has made some adjustments to his game and to some of his workouts, that we’re seeing the results now.
And I think those results are going to entitle, I, not entitle, are gonna earn him the right to be able to see more playing time, and we’ll see some more results. I thought his energy and his activity and his aggressiveness on the court last night was very positive.
How much does character matter when it comes to personnel?
We’ve always stood for being an organization that believes in having very strong character. When we analyze a coaching change, when we look at coaches, when we look at players, we really spend a lot of time in analyzing and finding out what makes that player tick, what kind of individual they are off the court as well as on the court. And that’s very important for us. …
We expect a high-quality and we expect high character. And I, ’cause I think it bleeds into the results not only on the floor, but also in their lives, it can come back and then bite you. And when it bites, it bites not you, but bites them, and you. And it bites, then, the team.
The obvious follow-up question of how Sidney Lowe has bitten the Jazz was not asked.
On Gordon Hayward’s contract situation
We jointly, as we went through the process during the off-season, that, we didn’t come to an agreement. And it became apparent for both of us that, okay, let’s take a season, and let’s see, it, what, if, in fact, those numbers could come closer together for both of us, of what, where his performance and numbers reflect what, then, the dollars should be, in the contract. …
In the last three games, Gordon has performed extremely well. We’ve all joked that he should’ve maybe gotten engaged a long time ago,* to, if that’s was going to be the result of seeing these kind of numbers. So, which, by the way, we’re happy and excited for the announcement for Gordon, with his engagement.
But you know, I think over this season, and it’s gonna be very interesting, to see over this seadon, season, if, how his numbers can hold up, and, it, based on what happens then, we will, we’ll make the appropriate decisions. …
When I visited with his father, you know, I told him, “Hey, our goal is to see us be involved with Gordon and Gordon be involved with the Jazz hopefully his whole career.” And so we’ll, but we’ll make sure that it’s right. We’re not gonna make wrong decisions, and bad decisions. But we’re gonna do the best, because our goal is to build a championship-caliber team.
And to do it, you have to manage your payroll properly. And you can’t overpay, to, and put too much pressure on one player, and then it hurts what your ability to do. And it also overly over-pressures them to over-perform of, to their abilities.
Um…if Hayward had gotten engaged any earlier he would be engaged to a minor.
ZOMG So awful Andrei Kirilenko was on the books when the economy took a dive in 2008
That’s a classic example. And sometimes people don’t realize is, what’s, sometimes Andrei’s money, that, what it was doing, at putting us, and then there was some interesting timing, and that’s where you never know and that’s why you gotta be careful on these things.
His payroll, that, the pay that we had to do with him, and then at the same time, when all of a sudden the economy took the dive that it did in 2008 and 2009, and players were opting in because teams were not being as aggressive as they were, had been in the past. And so, you had [Carlos] Boozer opting in, [Mehmet Okur] opting in, [Kyle] Korver opting in, and then you had Andrei’s contract still there.
Those, the com–the combination of all those things happening, and then you have a great player like Wes Matthews, that all of a sudden is wanting a little more money, and is offered it from Portland. We couldn’t, because of where, putting it, as over into that luxury tax area, any dollars you’re putting are offering him a $5 million contract really meant a $10 million tax impact on us.
Unfortunately, that, because of Andrei’s contract, it put us in a bad situation, that we couldn’t offer what we wanted to with Wes Matthews. (1280)