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Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 4/2

April 3, 2014
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On the top prize of this year’s Leapin’ Leaners auction
This year, I’ve added a new component to [the auction] as well, and I’ve enjoyed being able to go out pheasant hunting with Jerry Sloan. And so, I was able to get the pheasant-hunting company to donate an opportunity to go out pheasant hunting with the president of the Jazz [i.e. Rigby], and the legendary coach, Jerry Sloan.

Now, on top of that, I was able to also, since, when we retired Jerry’s number, we gave him, for his home, a jersey with “1223” “Sloan” on the back. I had one other one made, and we’re gonna take that one and have it autographed by Jerry, with also the John Deere hat that was, a limited number we gave away.

You’re gonna be able to auctio–buy, if you are the top bidder, be able to get that hunting trip with also those autographed items from Jerry Sloan. I mean, sump’n really special, so.

Click here for a fantastic Jerry Sloan hunting story.

hunt auction

Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony are the two best scorers in the game. What lessons can you learn from playing them back-to-back?
Well, I know that, one of the things that Ty[rone Corbin] is constantly saying to our players in there is, is that, “You’re here. We’re doing everything we can to help you learn and to help you compete in this league. And you oughta be watching what these other teams do to be able to not only play, but at a certain point, step up their games.”

And we’ve seen that at New York. We saw, all of a sudden, that team, and veteran players, how veteran players can play at a level, but when they know they need to, and as they prepare for the playoffs, they’re working to step up their game.

And that, we’re trying to teach our players, “You know what, guys? You need to learn how to do the same thing.”…We’ve gotta continue to improve and be in that same level.

Tyrone Corbin plans to individually talk to all the young players
I had an opportunity yesterday to also talk with Ty a little bit, and you know, he told me, that, you know, one of the things he’s gonna be doing is sitting down with the, our players, our younger players, and really, even though we’ll have exit interviews, we know that’s pretty short, those exit interviews.

He wanted to take opportunity to also be wor–talking to them one on one in the next couple weeks about their game and about what they’re doing, at, with, when he has a, since he still has a little more time, about how they need to work. And I appreciate what Ty said to me.

And this is not, in any indication at all. But he says, you know, and, “I don’t know where this season ends up necessarily, where we’re gonna finish up, as it relates to my own career. But this is the right thing I need to do for the good of their careers.”

And I think that speaks to who Ty Corbin is, of the character he is, of caring about these players, and doing his job that he committed to, all the way through the 82 games.

How fluid is your draft board right now?
We have to be ready at all times, to really be looking at every player, or every scenario, and you know, when we put together that list, we’re literally looking at our top 60 players. And not only 60 players, ’cause you’re drafting 60, right? There’s 60 potential. But you’ve also got that list of those that you’re gonna be inviting to your camp.

So, we’re looking at that whole list of potential, that we anticipate could be potential, and then those that end up being the, actually those that are available for the draft. And measuring, and where we’ve made, ranked them, on a list, and our guys are working feverishly, in really putting that list together, analyzing it.

Every time I walk into our, we have a theater room, that we, it’s kinda our draft central, that Dennis [Lindsey], Justin [Zanik], and I know we have a lot of our interns and support, that are in there. They’re in there, breaking down film constantly.

And then they’re going out on the road and looking at this, of getting ready, and making sure that we’ve done all the necessary homework, and prepared for every scenario in case a player comes off that, or something happens, that we’re ready for any potential that we have to change.

Has this season been what you expected?
It’s been as tough as I had anticipated, but every bit as t–as difficult, as we anticipated with it. And there’ve been some stretches that have been hard. There’ve been, thank goodness, a few wins that have made it very satisfying, and our fans, we all needed those wins when we needed them.

Because it’s tough. No one likes to lose. This is a, you’re competing and you’re wanting to be able to win, and you take it personal, you know, when your team loses, I think. And so it, there’s been moments where it’s been hard, but you know what, I’ve been very gratified that our fans have stayed with us, have been very supportive.

They’ve seen it. They’ve been supportive of the plan. I think the plan is very much alive and well. It’s working well. I think we’re excited about the potential of what this draft means for us and what we can do. We’re excited about the development we’ve seen with our players…

And we’re in, financially, a very good place, to continue to be better, and to put the pieces together to see this team continue to make nice strides to be where we want it to be. (1280)

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