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Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 6/12

June 14, 2014
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Random observation: As some of you are aware, Dennis Lindsey previously dropped “you knows” in interviews like he was getting paid by the “you know.” For whatever reason, he’s gone cold turkey. The change coincides with the (re-)introduction of Quin Snyder into Lindsey’s life. Not that this is definitive in any way, but here’s a cursory look at this Lindsey-nomenon:

Locker room cleanout this year (Apr. 18):

418 locker room cleanout

Interview on May 2:

502 interview

Interview on May 29 (after his first interview with Snyder):

529 interview

The day after Snyder was announced as the Jazz’s new coach (June 9):

609 interview

What sold you on Quin Snyder before you’d even had a chance to get to some candidates?
I think there were quite a few things relative to Quin that we felt would be good for our group. His level of experience as a head coach; the ties to certain philosophies, where there just was a seamless view that not only fit Randy Rigby and the Millers and me, but more importantly, frankly, the players and our playing group as we evaluated him. So there, many things that struck a chord.

I think his passion, consistent passion way back to early Duke days of player development, that is a key piece. We have a team of very young players, and still impressionable, and so if we can individually get those guys be–or even without adding to the group in an aggregate, you would think that we could be significantly better…

A big piece for me was, is when we started doing debriefs and exit meetings with players, really, A through Z in his three years at the Austin Toros. They just mentioned, consistently, “Hey, you’ve got, have something different and special in Quin. He really has spent more time working to help me get better.” And these weren’t, not necessarily guys that were the most, or the highest-level prospect to reach the league.

And so we just really appreciated that overall diligence, and, towards his job, and the passion towards development, and clearly the great communicator.

Update on Ante Tomic and Raul Neto
So, Ante is playing terrific. He’s really improved. He’s showing some motivation to come over. Quin knows him very well. CSKA Moscow, where Quin was an assistant two years ago with Ettore Messina, was in the Euroleague with Barcelona.

That’s, those are two of the five to seven international clubs that operate at NBA level. So, they’re just terrific clubs. So Quin knows him very well, and likes him. We’ll see where that takes us. There’s always buyouts and contractual things.

There’re teams that have interest in Ante, so I think we have to just take a look at it, and participate as best we can to understand what he wants and what he’s looking for. Does it fit with us? Could it fit with someone else? If it does fit with someone else, what are they willing to give us? So again, there’s a ton of interesting conversations to be had there.

Raul had a good year. He’s someone that’s really clever, that plays with good imagination and pace. This market likes players who can pass and play as pure points…There’s some things that we hope to touch him up close and work on, but he’s a really interesting young player. He’s a really sincere kid.

Comes from a basketball family; his dad was a basketball instructor, so I think he’s learned the game the right way. Is it the right thing to bring him over now, or push it out and stagger he and Trey [Burke]’s contracts*? Again, we have to debate that, but it’s a, it’s, those are the type of debates that you wanna have, ’cause you have a set of good options.

* Asked last July about bringing Neto over, Lindsey’s reason for not bringing him over was “With where we’re at, with Trey and the rest of the group, you know, it would’ve been hard to put, you know, Ty[rone Corbin] in the position to try to develop and play two point guards simultaneous.”

Are guys like Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green products of the Spurs organization, or would they have the same success on any other team?
I was always amazed, when I walked through the walls,* the level of character that was in the walls,** the people that you worked with, proficiency and skillset, and I’m not just talking about players. The motivation, the open environment where nothing was sacred. There was no bad question, so it was really an unbelievable place to learn from.

And so, when you get, and when you can build a culture like that, with the right people in the right seats, amazing things can happen and one of the things we decided w–in San Antonio years ago, we were really going to invest in player development. And just, whatever that percentage is out there that you can improve a player, let’s do everything possible to get every player to that point.

It may be .5 percent for an aged veteran. It may be, you know, 3.6 percent for Kawhi Leonard here, but what you, you start adding those small wins up, it’s amazing the synergy that you can create.

So, I had to take, those two players clearly are NBA players. Would they have developed differently elsewhere? Who’s to say, but they did develop very well there. They came into the organization in much different circumstances, but it’s a credit to the program, really, from A to Z. (KALL)

* Is Dennis Lindsey a ghost?
** Are they all ghosts in San Antonio?



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