Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 5/28
Where are you with the coaching search?
Well, we’re well into the project, and we’re having some very good dialogue with some very good candidates. I will say this. What is very rewarding as well is, as you talk to individuals, the reputation that coaches and well-seasoned individuals who have been in this game of basketball for a long time, the respect they have for the Utah Jazz and our ownership is very rewarding. It’s been a lot of gra–very gratifying for me, as you talk to individuals, to have those kind of sentiments expressed to us.
So, what stage are you at in the coaching search?
Well, it’s, you know, I think we’re better off in just saying that the process includes qualities that we’re looking at. Looking at a full breadth of, list of potential candidates. Of those that we feel match it. Of then, also, having dialogue with them, and others. Of whether there’s then, based on their abilities, if, their availability as well, and then having dialogue with that. So, there isn’t just a right or wrong answer there. There’s a variety there.
Have there been any surprises in the process?
Right now, I’ll just say that we’ve been very pleased in the process we’re at. There, we ha–we feel very pleased about candidates, and we’re very pleased at the reception that we’re getting from the candidates, with th–that again, speaks to the Utah Jazz and the quality this franchise, and how proud I am to be a part of this franchise.
The Utah Jazz coaching job is very highly thought of…
Well, I think, you know, your record, you can say a lot of things. You can talk the talk, but do you walk the walk? And I think the Utah Jazz and the Miller family have been great examples of, really, putting their, you know, we put our reputation out there and prove it, with, over time.
And we have been very loyal, and we will continue to be loyal. It’s very important. One of our founding principles i–we feel is, is that we believe in supporting and sustaining our coach and at no point do we ever allow the inmates to run the asylum.*
* Except for that one time in 2011.
Which members of the front office are involved in the coaching interview process?
We have a system that we’re, you know, and again, unfortunately, we’ve, again, I wanna be careful and respectful of what we’re doing, respectful of who we’re talking to, and really about our system per se. But we have multiple discussions that are going on, and interviewing that is going on.
At the right time, also ownership will be involved in that process. We will check every box and make sure that we have every opportunity from all fronts to really do the proper weighing in. And then we’ll all weigh in together on, also, the decision that is made.
Which is a greater priority, the coach or the system a coach runs?
I think the specifics of talking about specific offenses that we run, we’re not, we don’t wanna talk about that at this time. I will say that there’s certain fundamental things that we are talking about. The importance of the development of a young team. We are talking about the importance of a defensive mindset, that is very important.
And then we’ll have offsetting conversations with that. When you talked about the o–the defense that you want to maybe, and the defensive positioning you’re gonna do, it may dictate to a certain degree some of our offensive structures as well…
Like we’ve always said, this is all about making this team better and the commitment to make them better, and to hold them accountable. And we’ll do that. And I think you’ll see, also, a real commitment that we’ll, we, we’re expecting as well, from coaches who are also very progressive in their attitude in, at addressing the progressiveness that this league is in.
And by the way, I’m not saying that Ty Corbin didn’t have those. But that’s, I think, a very important quality for coaches to have.
On the No. 5 pick and the draft
Well, we’re, we are really excited about the prospects. You think about it. We are one of the top, I should say, we’re excited to be, now, a No. 5 draft pick. We have a top five draft pick, that we have right now, in front of us. And that is, with this deep draft, a great, great asset to have.
And there’s some very exciting candidates. As we’re looking at ’em, as I’m talking to Dennis [Lindsey] and Justin [Zanik], and Walt [Perrin] and Dave Fredman about those candidates, there’s some very exciting candidates I think that we’re looking at there…I think there’s gonna be some exciting candidates at [No.] 23 and 35. This is a very interesting draft, and I’m really excited to see us go through this process.
Where are you with Gordon Hayward?
Well, we’re, you know what, we’re ha–we’ll have very good conversations f–in July with Gordon and his agent. By the way, we’re excited and congratulations to Gordon and Robyn. Last week, I think you know, he just got married. And I think that’s gonna be good for Gordon, to, now, I think it’ll add some more, another level of stability and maturity in Gordon’s life.*
And we think Gordon has, is a very good, has had very good development. He’s learned a lot more about who Gordon Hayward is, for good. And I think there’s some things he realizes that he needs to improve on in his game, as we have.
But we have been very impressed with Gordon. We have invested a lot in Gordon Hayward. And because of that, I think we will make sure that we treat that investment in the right way to, for the good of the Utah Jazz.
* Anyone else just flash back to Larry H. Miller’s comments about Dee Brown not being a good influence on Deron Williams due to Williams’ marital status?
On bringing back the Rocky Mountain Revue
A big part of what we want to do is see the Rocky Mountain Revue come back…As I talked with Jeff Hornacek at one of our last home games here, and I went and to say hi to Jeff and wish him well, Jeff said, “Hey, why’s the Revue not coming back yet? You and I’ve talked about this.” And he says, “I wanna come, I wanna bring our team here.”
And so, that was good to hear. I think we’ve got some other teams that sound like, now, they’re maybe not as happy with Las Vegas as we thought. And so, we’re putting a full-court press on to bring the Revue back, hopefully by next season. …
[NBA] Commissioner [Adam] Silver [told us], “I have no commitment to Las Vegas. In fact, you know, I would be supportive of you guys. I will do what I can do to, also, endorse and help you endorse and look at a revue going forward.”
The Jazz are playing in the Vegas Summer League for the first time this year. What led to this decision?
Well, I’ll tell you one of the things that led us there, is, and one of the things we’re excited about, and I can tell everyone this, that we’re going to have, we felt it’s very important for the fans in this community, who are so much behind the team, and so excited about the draft, and we get this draft, we get a great No. 5 draft pick, and potentially a [No.] 23 and a [No.] 35, and we have these young, also, players, that, Trey Burke, Rudy Gobert, that are, we hope are working very hard in the off-season.
And summer league’s your first chance to see how these players are actually in a basketball setting and a game setting doing. So they’re gonna be back as well. And if we whisk ’em away and go to Orlando on the whole other side of the continent, people don’t get to see it, or be close to it.*
* What about the last six years? Or the real reason is that Dennis Lindsey is having none of the FO’s “The Vegas Summer League killed the Rocky Mountain Revue, so out of revenge we are gong out of our way to Orlando even though it makes no sense” mentality.
The Jazz are holding an “open” scrimmage on July 10
We’re going to have this year, on July 10, particularly for our good sponsors, also our season ticket holders–another plug, by the way, of why you should be a season ticket holder–we’re gonna have for them, to be able to come out and see this young team in an open scrimmage practice, that is going to be hopefully a prequel to, then, the Rocky Mountain Revue next year.
But we’re gonna have them on July 10. We’re gonna do this scrimmage, that we will then have a great festival and some fun…We want our community* here to have the first taste and the first touches with this exciting young team.
* “Community” = “community of sponsors and season ticket holders.”
** Did y’all get that? Touching is allowed! What a great way to overshadow #photoshoppedyearbookphotogate!