Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 5/2
Where is the coaching search at right now?
We’re just, you know, right in the middle of a bunch of internal due diligence. You know, we’re getting to know a lot of different types of coaching candidates, but you know, we haven’t reached out to anybody.
Again, we want to have a good idea of, you know, our own criteria. We’re, you know, talking that out as we speak, and you know, all the while, doing very significant and in-depth intelligence on the people that could be available to us, you know, in the coming weeks.
And we’re very comfortable with the process. We’re very comfortable that there’s a wide set of alternatives that will allow us to look, and you know, really think about us and think about what’s available, and you know, what the right fit and marriage, you know, will be going forward.
Is the list of candidates growing or diminishing at this point in the process?
I think we’re still in information-gathering stage, so I think by definition, it’s growing. You know, I, it, we start, we’re starting out with a very wide list, and it’s not like we’re adding guys per day, but we’re adding a different level of information to each guy every day.
And again, it’s amazing what you can pick up, you know, with just searches, you know, on coaches, that, prior to getting a job, once they had the job, you know, once they left the job, for whatever reason.
And then, you know, the great thing about the Jazz is, is we just have so much experience at the managerial level that all of our people have significant contacts. So, you know, we’re just in the middle, again, of getting and organizing as much information as possible.
How important should analytics be to your future coach?
A few things that we’re doing is just, you know, we’re using history to understand the coaching position. So you know, the whole analytics thing, look, it’s just levels of information.
You know, in regards to players and coaches and scout and management–people that we hire–you have intel, which, you know, carries a certain weight. You know, that intel can be one man’s opinion at a particular time. So while it’s good to know, certainly context can change that information, and that’s where your gut comes through.
And then, you have, you know, just real historical data: pace that a coach, teams have played at; their offensive rating; their defensive rating; their win-loss percentage; their win-loss percentage relative to the team that they inherited. So, if you inherit a club like ours that’s, you know, in the beginning stages of a rebuild, you wanna control for that.
So, you know, we’re, you don’t need, not only do coaching, analytics and the math of the game, if you will, for strategy or player procurement. You do it for, you know, coaches and assistant coaches and even scouts. So, you know, it’s not the end-all, be-all. It’s just one piece of information, and surely you’ll want to have someone that has been privy to the type of data that we’re looking at.
But you know, there’s a, there’s also a good balance of, you know, we did this in Houston and invested very heavily in data and software, in consulting fees, and personnel relative to analytics. But many times, we wanted coaches, scouts, management people that came from a very traditional background, a background that’s a little bit closer to mine.
You know, I consider myself more of a traditionalist, that’s just very open to the math of the game. Well, many times you want a real traditional opinion to balance the numbers, and let’s not all line up, you know, and pull a paint-by-numbers. So, we’ll put it in its appropriate place moving forward.
How do you balance wanting to make a hire with candidates that aren’t available yet due to the playoffs? Don’t you get a little itchy?
Well, you know, look, you know…We’re interviewing guys right now. We’re just not talking to anybody.*
And I think what we want to do is organize ourself first so we have a real coherent message to, you know, the one or, you know, multiple coaching prospects that we approach.
I think if you go into the interview process with a scattershot approach…I think coaches can sniff through nonsense and see it very clearly.
So, again, that’s part of our process. We want to make sure we have all of our ducks in a row, make sure we’re really organized, asking the best questions, to get, you know, to the bottom line of who would be the best fit and best coach for the Utah Jazz.
* Can someone decipher this?
When do the pre-draft workouts start, and who will run them?
We’ll announce our draft workouts prior to, but we have a few coming shortly here…We’ve kinda changed the approach with the pre-draft workouts. In times past, we didn’t have as many.
You know, I’m in, of the philosophy that you should have as many workouts as possible, if the talent dictates that. And I think the talent this year is very significant. I think there’s going to be players that make the league and contribute in the league that don’t get drafted, a la Wesley Matthews.
And it’s our job to get to know those guys, and you know, start, continuing to put our book together on guys who are, who might, may not even get drafted. And so, with that said, we’ll work really hard and hopefully smart, you know, in those draft workouts. We’ll have coaches in place that will do the workouts. (1280)