Utah Jazz Announce Affiliation with Idado Stampede
Note: Diana Allen covered the press conference and wrote about it here. Worth the read.
Only nine NBA teams have a hybrid affiliation with a D-League team, so it doesn’t happen with any level of frequency…
It’s really a, you know, we think we’re cutting edge on taking advantage of this opportunity. And I have to say this. I think it’s gonna be a great relationship between the Idaho Stampede and ourselves, and we’re excited about the possibilities of what it means.
And you know what? And not only what it means to the development of our players, but it’s an opportunity for us, also, look at it as opportunity to develop, also, our coaching staff. Also, in other po–potential possibilities as well in our front office.
How valuable and how needed is this affiliation?
I’ll tell ya, I really think that we are in the early development, that, I’ve, we’ve had the privilege, you know, for a long time having the relationship in Major League Baseball between the Angels and the Salt Lake Bees, and seeing how the programs can really work in the development of its prog–of its players, and its system.
And the league is starting to really take advantage of those things, and we’ve had the opportunity of having some of those players that, you know, were, that’ve been called up and, because of their development from the D-League.
And I think we’re gonna see much a–much more concentrated efforts from teams in utilizing the Development League and the development programs, in really, helping teams in building around, and building in a rosters. And so, I think we’re hopefully being part of that cutting edge. (1280)
Why did the Jazz decide to go ahead with this hybrid affiliation?
I know [Stampede managing investor] Bill Illet and [Stampede president] Steve [Brandes] have approached us on various times…
As we’ve looked at things, as we’ve considered what we want to do in the development of, really, our young team, we felt this was a natural time, and with Boi–with Portland stepping away from the affiliation, we had really serious conversations, then, with Bill and his ownership group, and felt it was a perfect time for us, then, to jump in and say, “We want to have a program exclusively for the Utah Jazz that we can really look at developing of our program, and also assessing those people that we may want to develop, and then determine whether they’re worth the while.”
The short answer to this question is, “Dennis Lindsey.” Under the previous regime, the Jazz’s stance towards utilizing the D-League can only be described as “jackpotting around.”
From the Stampede side, the Trail Blazers didn’t use the Stampede enough. They didn’t send a lot of players down or get much experience with the Stampede. Sounds like the Jazz are really excited about using this resource for player development.
Well, Dennis Lindsey, our general manager, really, was very affil–associated with the Austin Toros and also, then, San Antonio Spurs, for a long time. Dennis really has a vision and an understanding how you utilize a development progra–how to build a development program.
How to use, then a development team to really, as a key component in the growth and development of an NBA franchise. And so, that helped give us a lot of direction and a lot of confidence, that we’re gonna know how to, really, maximize on this opportunity. (KTIK)
Why this? Why now? Why Idaho Stampede?
The potential is really beyond description. They’re sister cities, and cross-markets, and the Miller family has several business interests here in Boise…
We believe in the D-League. We believe in this market. The Miller family, on so many different levels, have interests in Idaho, and Boise. The relationship with the ownership here, with the Idaho Stampede, is one that we took our time to understand, and feel very comfortable with.
And so we look forward to developing coaches, players, trainers, management people that can hopefully matriculate to Salt Lake in time.
What will be the staffing timeline and goals for the Stampede?
We want to really look at this critically, and hire [a coach] that we could see on our staff with the Jazz in a few years, and grow [Snyder]’s successor underneath, under a best-case scenario.
That always doesn’t happen, but relative to timing, again, we want to have the highest priority and first thing’s first, and that’s the right person and the right coach that’s going to build the team, the culture that we wanna have here in Boise.
From there, there are many different management structures [and] communication structures. We’re gonna focus a lot on how we’re communicating with the Idaho ownership. I think there, if you really work at relationships, there’s a lot more win-wins than there are win-loses. And so we wanna focus on what makes it work for them and this community, and be sensitive to those things, and really try to be present. …
So, we wanna be invested, and the only way you can really be invested is be present. I don’t believe in, you know, management from afar. I think absentee leadership is a oxymoron. So, we wanna be really present with the relationship here. (KTIK)
Kevin Murphy, affiliation poster boy