Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 4/9
What did you learn about the Jazz this year, that you didn’t previously know?
Well, I think we’ve learned a number of things. Number one, that this, we have young players, which we knew we’ve have young players. But we’ve also, I think, the young players, our coaching staff, our front office have recognized that they have, still, a lot of deficiencies, that they have a lot of things that still, they still need to learn, and really need to improve on during this off-season.
I think we’ve also learned that this team still has some additional pieces that we need to our puzzle, to continue to help us in our pathway towards being an NBA championship-caliber team.
And, but what is exciting for me, is the fires are burning very strong with our owners, with our front office, with all of us in that commitment, in going forward, and we feel, still, I think we’ve learned that we’re in a very good place, also, financially; strategically, with our picks, with our cap room, with our positioning that we’re at with players and selection process, to be able to continue with the moves that we know we need to make, to continue to be better.
Why should fans buy tickets for the remaining two home games?
Number one, you’re still coming to watch the best of the best. You’re watching NBA basketball. It doesn’t get any better, and so, come, if you love sports and you love competition, come out and watch, because Portland is positioning themselves as they’re trying to get, really, positioning for, and ready for the playoffs.
And you got one of the best point guards who, actually, a lot of people was able to enjoy Damian Lillard up at Weber State. So, you got a young man that played here, and now is gonna be back here, and his game is quite, very impressive.
People enjoyed Wes Matthews in here, and so, there’s some pretty good players that we’re playing against with Portland, and come out and see how they’re improving and how their game is developing. And then see how our guys respond to the final two home games of the season, and show ’em your support. And show ’em, and our pricing, of our tickets, continue to be very attractive, because of how the season’s been. But come out and enjoy the game.
Do you feel you have players on the roster that will be among the best in the league in a few years?
I’ll say this. It would be interesting for all of us to have been able to have watched, if John Stockton would’ve had to step into the same shoes that Trey [Burke] has had to in his very first year, coming out. And now, even i–John, John was gonna be w–came out as a senior, and so we’re asking, you know, a 19-, 20-year-old to really step in after one year of college, and play at the level of the NBA.
And so we, I think we’ve really seen that Trey has, still, a very steep learning curve, but I am encouraged. His passion, his drive is there. Historically, all of our research has shown that this is a young man who, in facing challenges in his past, in being, coming out of AAU, to high school, to college, he has seemed to really thrive on those kind of challenges, and has performed to continue to improve.
So, we’re expecting, and we th–feel that he is going to, we’re gonna continue to see that kind of growth. And I think he has the potential for us, to get where w–he needs to get. He’s still got a lot of hard work in front of him, but we’re expecting that.
On the guy that hit a halfcourt shot and won $2,500 during the Mavericks game
The interesting part is, my son is sitting next to me, and he said, “Man, only $2,500? That oughta be a lot more. That’s a tough shot.”*
And all of a sudden, the guy shot the shot, and all of a sudden, my son Nathan and I, we hugged each other and we were just screaming loud, and, like everyone else was, and to see the guy all of a sudden nail that shot and make $2,500 for he and his wife, was really kinda fun. (1280)
* Per @chang_max, a guy in Sacramento hit a halfcourt shot on the same night and won a car. A guy in Phoenix hit one last week and won $77,000.