Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 8/6
In light of what happened with Paul George, how does it make you feel that Gordon Hayward is on that roster?
Well, it continues, that, you know, in sports, in life, unfortunately, you have to take the good, the bad with the good, and there’s a lotta good that comes from USA Basketball. And for Gordon to really have an opportunity to play with that caliber of ath–of basketball player and athletes, and to cut, to work on and be motivated to take his game up is a, really, a positive thing.*
The negative part of it is the potential impact that you could have in accidents like, unfortunately, it happened to Paul George. I mean, it just, a, that’s a tragic thing and you know, there’s insurance that’s taken out that helps those things, but still, you don’t replace a player like Paul George on your roster. It will have a direct impact on Indiana and their team, and it’s too bad, but you know, we hope that, you deal with those.
You know that it c–it’s a possibility, but you don’t also want to deprive your athletes with an opportunity for them to excel and to have an experience, a personal experience, to grow, and to compete on the international level like this. So you know, we have to plan for it and deal with it.
* Guess the Jazz aren’t worried about Hayward making friends with other players on Team USA and then wanting to play with his new friends after he’s gotten all of the Jazz’s money.
NBA franchises are the ones taking the risk when players play for their national teams…
They really are. I mean, the teams are the ones that take the ultimate risk on this, and it’s something I think that we will continue to talk about in the Board of Governors meetings, on how do you try to at least mitigate some of those risks, and create a little more of fairness and balance in that very process. …
If [Hayward]’s worked hard, if he’s earned that spot, and has played, has present, prepared himself to that degree, he deserves the opportunity to go and be a part of that team. Now, it doesn’t say that, not, we’re not going to, as [Mark] Cuban is doing, is trying to say, “Let’s talk about, then, how we correct it in the future.”
Which activities are players contractually barred from taking part in?
Well, there’s some definite, per contract, in, that’s written into their contract, those things, and you can only, almost imagine some of ’em. Anything that’s, could be perceived as a high-risk type of activity.
Just, parachuting. Hang gliding. Scuba diving. You know, getting in race cars and high-speed racing.* Anything that increases their odds and chances of, you know, and of course, anyone could be walking down the street and be hit by a car, or in a car accident.
But those things that have higher probabilities of accidents, and the impact of those accidents in, meaning, serious injury to their lifes** if not the life they’re threatening as well, are things that are put into the contract so that, again, we are putting in such a high investment into these players. Not only the team, but the community, the investment they’re all putting in. And so, we really try to manage that, and protect ourselve,** as much as possible.
* Unless the owner of the team is driving the race car and he invites you to get into the race car. From “Driven,” Larry H. Miller’s autobiography:
Larry and Karl reminisced during their daily visits [at the hospital after LHM’s heart attack]. They recalled the time Miller took Malone for a ride in one of his Cobras. Miller placed a $100 bill on the dashboard and told Malone it was his if he could pick it up. Every time Malone reached for the money, Miller accelerated, slamming Malone back into his seat. “Never did get that money,” says Malone. “He knew what he was doing. Everytime [sic] he accelerated, I was hanging onto that grab bar he had in there. I had white knuckles. We were going 100 miles per hour on a one-lane road. The more he saw me cringe, the faster he drove. He loved it. He had this smile on his face. He always wanted to one-up me. It was as if he were saying, ‘Now you know I’m better than you at driving.’ He loved this Cobras.”
** Not typos.
Have you ever had to scold any of your players on this front?
It’s really communicating with our players, and making sure they understand our goals and objectives. That helps and starts the process. We also are careful of the players that we select, so that, again, that they think and act much like we do. And those steps help to try to really prevent, prevention is as much an important part of it.
The other thing that we’re doing, which I’m really excited about, with, the work that’s going on, is our coaching staff, under Quin [Snyder]’s direction, is we’ve literally got a schedule put together, and our coaching staff is out visiting every one of our players under contract. During the month of August, we’re gonna have an open gym in September, but in July and August, they’ve been out visiting these players, observing their workouts.
And if a player is really spending the time, that, during the off-season, and building and improving his game, he really has very little time to do things that could be perceived as a little bit stupid.
Which areas of the roster do you still need to address?
Well, I think one of the areas, I think that, also, as, is obvious, is that, you know, we have two good point guards between Dante [Exum] and Trey [Burke]. And I think we’ll still look at that area. That’s gonna be an area that I think Dennis [Lindsey and] Justin [Zanik] have had discussions and mentioned to me on.
We talked to Greg [Miller] as well about it a little this week, in saying that we’ll continue to assess that, and at some point we may look at what we’re doing to just fortify that and bring in maybe a third point guard. (1280)