Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 5/23
Coaching search update (5/20)
We have our destiny in our own hands. We have many, very qualified, high-character individuals who are extremely interested in our position. We dug down deep with a deep dive into internal diligence. We’re now starting to quietly reach out…We’re very optimistic that we’re gonna come up with the right alternative for us.
** Spencer Checketts to Gordon Monson, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine: Be nice, dude. This is hard enough. I’m doing my best.
How do you balance need and best player available with the fifth pick?
Yeah, it will, it’ll be tricky, ’cause no matter who we select, they’re coming behind a very significant young veteran, if you will. So, I think that’s good news. And again, we’re trying to send the message during the interview process that, you know, the right steps and what it means to be a member of the Jazz and delaying gratification.
And you know, [Gregg] Pop[ovich] has a great term, helping, you know, players get over themselves to realize that they’re part of a team, and frankly that’s really tough for young guys coming in the draft. They’ve been so pursued. So many of these guys are prodigies and have been well-known since the seventh and eighth grade.
And so, there’s, in my opinion, a real systematic, sophisticated, de-cru–de-recruitment process that goes along with that. And so, we’ll try to give ’em a dose of honesty, you know, relative to their position in the draft, relative to what it would mean to join the Jazz.
And you’d be surprised what you learn along with that, but I do think everybody understands the dynamic young players that we currently have on the roster. The new Jazz, if you will. And I think several players are–not I think; I know–several players have expressed, you know, interest in joining the club for a lot of different reasons.
Update on the coaching search
Yeah, so, there are a really good group and set of talented coaches that we’ve studied from afar. Some, right now we’re getting to know better, up close in face-to-face sit-downs. We’ve defined a real specific process that we’ve outlined to the coaching candidate. I think they’re comfortable, you know, tr–it truly is a marriage. …
I think the candidates that we’ve already spoken to are really excited about the baseline level of talent that we have, of the flexibility that we have.
I think all the coaches are aware of the pick, but they probably haven’t spent a lot of time studying the college prospects, international prospects just yet. But I think there’s a good set of coaches that would be highly motivated to be the head coach of the Utah Jazz.
Do the Jazz need a franchise player to become contenders?
I would say this. Look, clearly, if you study the history of the league, you, it’s best to have a Hall of Fame-quality player on your team and surround them with at least one, if not two, All-Star-quality players.
I’m not so sure that a year ago, maybe even two years ago, with the Indiana Pacers if you will, that they checked those boxes initially. But you know, relative to the East, they’ve built a consistent contender. You know, you can debate whether they would be in the West, you know, a first seed and how far they would go.
But you know, things change. Players develop. The swing and balances of divisions and league can change, and so really what we do is, we’re just trying to make as many good decisions as we can, and line those up. And you know, I’m still hopeful that [a franchise player] can come within our group.
Certainly the fifth pick will hopefully, you know, add to that mix moving forward, you know, just an overall baseline talent. And never underestimate great chemistry, great coaching, what that can mean, and if we have to do it without the first pick in the draft, our charge is still the same.
It’s to put a consistent contender out there on the court. You just may have to do it, you know, using and d–having a different model. And I, so I think, you know, at this current time, certainly the Indiana Pacers, how they’re constituted, some other teams that you can draw from in the past, where, you know, it’s a very balanced team, would be something that we would appropriately lean on until we can aggregate all of our picks and trade it for a star, or trade it for someone in the draft that we think could be a star.
Do you see a guy at the fifth pick with some weaknesses that devalue him a little bit, but has that kind of star potential?
I would say this, you know, to the question. There are several players, again, that, at five and past five, that have the bodies that you’re looking for. Now, are they absent certain skill to be, are they just too immature in, at this stage of their career, in going forward in year one and year two, to make a huge impact, but still, you know, as they develop to year three and four, move to a higher level of designation as a player?
I think there’s quite a few of those type of prospects…I think we’ll have a bunch of interesting prospects to look at, and even more very intriguing conversations.
What does Dennis Lindsey look for in the answers and eyes of prospects during interviews?
You have to be a really active listener, ’cause there’s something in that interview, it’s been my experience, more times than not, there’s something in that interview that they’re telling you that you better pay attention to. Good, bad, good or bad, and you need to have them expound on it. You need clarity for your sake…
So, you learn a lot about the personality. Certainly, you learn a lot about how the players express themselves. How they’re going to deal with you guys in particular, you can pick up on in a 30-minute interview very quick. Some guys find words very easy. Some guys are shy. Some guys have great vocabularies. Some guys are going to be understated.
So, I do think how they project themselves towards the fans and media is really, you know, immediately known during the interview process. And you know, I don’t wanna overweight and overstate what the interviews mean. It’s part of a process. I don’t think you select from an interview, but I think there are several interviews when you confirm some information. You can certainly de-select and eliminate from an interview. (1280)