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Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 8/13

August 22, 2014


** Randy Rigby on the Jazz’s schedule to start the season, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine: Does it feel like one wave after the other, after the other?

Rigby, unintentionally(?) revealing how he thinks the season will go
There’s some great ga–there’s some great basketball that’s going to be coming to Salt Lake City, and our young players, they’re gonna have to be ready for it. And they’re not, we’re not gonna feel sorry for ourself. As soon as we’re done with one game, we’ve gotta pick ourselves up, depending on the outcome, and be ready for the next night.

How much control do teams have over the schedule?
We really have no, you know, in fairness to the league, to keep parity, and to keep a balance, it, that is handled by [NBA Senior Vice President of Scheduling and Game Operations] Matt Winick, who has done it for, it feels like 100 years. It probably does for him as well, but he’s been doing it for, ever since I’ve been in the league, so it’s been over 28 years. Does a great job of it.

Now, you can appreciate trying to deal with the schedules of those 30 teams and all of those buildings they’re dealing with. At, they try to really give fair, a real fairness to it. Our only input that we get to have is, is we sit down–[Miller Sports Properties Chief Operating Officer] Jim Olson, myself, [Vice President of Events] Mark Powell’s now involved in it, Dennis Lindsey–and we have an opportunity to actually identify certain times that, night, games that we definitely want to have a game at our building.

And there’s a computated formula that goes with how many dates that you can, you want to set, but then how many dates that we, are left open, and, so that we can give them the flexibility of, then, scheduling those games. And then it’s a matter of, you know, I know they sit down and look at the TV–meet with the TV people, they’re, comes into play on certain big games, where and when, and to put that whole schedule together.

Does it bother you that the Jazz only have one ESPN game and two NBA TV games?
I have to tell you, this morning when I looked at that schedule and went through those number of games, that did bother me.

And you know what? It’s bothered me to the point that I’ve said, “Okay. Fine. Everyone knows that this is a young, starting team. I, a growing team. You know what? Now’s our time, we gotta start really proving some people and earning our right to be seen more nationally, on both ESPN, NBA TV, and really, and TNT and ABC, eventually.”

But we’re, you know what, that’s still, that’s part of this rebuilding process, that, you know what, it’s, I don’t, angered me enough that, you know what, it’s got my juices going that, you know what, we’re gonna st–I’m gonna prove them, that they should be having the Jazz on more national games, because these guys are gonna be very fun and exciting young players. So I think not only locally, but nationally, people are gonna wanna start watching them.

* Personally speaking, if the Jazz never have another national appearance (i.e. late games), I’d be ecstatic.

How do you feel about the longer All-Star break?
I do, I will say this. We’ve done a lot of work recently, and doing, starting doing even more. And there’s been work done on analytics, on literally looking at the impact of a long, arduous schedule has on the body of these players.

And I think there’s something to be said of truly giving our players, all of the players, but particularly those that are asked to be participating at All-Star Weekend, giving the body a chance to get in a little rest, and you know, repair and getting ready for the next, then, big, final stretch going down the back half of the season.

So, I actually am in favor of seeing a little bit more of a break during that All-Star Weekend. There, I think we’re looking at it as well, of potentially some future opportunities that we maybe can tie in with those little longer breaks. That’s something that Adam Silver is looking at. So, I think there’s more to be seen as we, in the future as well, on that issue.

Will the Jazz continue to have a pre-Christmas road trip or will that change under Quin Snyder?
Well, that’s, I, as we have explained, you know, as Dennis came on board, and Kevin [O’Connor] and I sat down and explained the logic and thinking behind it, Dennis sat and has been very supportive of it.

And we’ve done that for a reason, not only just team-wise, we felt that it’s a very good move for our team, to not be distracted by, as we move into the ear–Christmas, you know, those last couple weeks before Christmas, for ’em to really stay focused, to then be able to get home, and be able to be home for Christmas, and then after Christmas.

And we’ve had great reception from our fan base, of coming in and seeing games between kinda that Christmas and New Year time period. So it’s worked out for us from a business standpoint, as well as from a team standpoint.

And you know, as we’ve explained things to Quin, I think he has seen that wisdom in that. Now, once he goes through that, we’re going to, you know, invite him to give a better weigh-in on his impressions on it as well. But right now, it continues to make sense for us.

How good is it for the Jazz that the Clippers just sold for US$2 billion?
Steve Ballmer is no idiot. This man has made a lotta money, not just by chance. He’s a very smart businessman, a very wise individual, and I think for him to see the value of not only that franchise, but the NBA, I think it speaks to him of the upside of where this league is going, not only nationally, but internationally.

And the, and we feel that same upside, all of us, as, that we’re excited about what the future is looking like for this league. And so, and the numbers reflect that, you know, as the n–those time the numbers come in.

Does the Dean Cooper hire as the coach of the Idaho Stampede mean more now to the Jazz than it would have 10 years ago?
You know what? It does, in two fronts. Number one, Dean is a very accomplished individual and had been very engaged in the NBA. And for him to want to be involved with the Utah Jazz, and with our coaching staff, I think speaks volumes, that he believes in this system, believes in, in wanting to be with us and grow with us, in wanting to take a role–I, you know, you’re seeing more and more pl–coaches in this league who have, their roots, have been deeply entrenched with D-League programs.

We have on our own staff, three of our coaches with Alex [Jensen], with Brad [Jones], and with Quin now, all D-League coaches, or with D-League experience.

And I think you’re going to see more and more, the role that the D-League is playing in the development of your, not only your players, and potential players, or, helping yourself to identify those players that unfortunately we realize don’t have NBA capabilities. It’s gonna be a great tool for that.

So we’re using it, also, in the development of our coaching staff, and how we, and looking at what we start, in considering, in implementing in the NBA, as our team, but using the D-League as a way that we can explore and test certain philosophies, certain approaches, and try it up there, and see if it’s worth its merit to, then, bring them down and incorporate ’em in, and then, our style with the Utah Jazz.

On Paul George’s injury
You know, I think those things we need to continue to analyze, and study, and minimize the risks, and identify what could’ve potentially caused those things, and make sure we’re helping to protect these athletes, and minimize those problems, so that this comes with, you know, unfortunately their bodies.

Some of it could be just y–timing thing and just a unlucky luck of the draw. You can’t stop living, and we can’t stop playing this game, and we can’t stop letting and wanting our players to excel and be on the top opportunities in the national and international game of basketball.

On Gordon Hayward’s participation in the USA Basketball program
I still see this as a real opportunity for Gordon Hayward. We’ve wanted Gordon to continue to develop. There’s an opportunity here, playing with that caliber of team, and playing against other teams, that’s gonna give him more of that experience that we hope will help increase his basketball skills and his maturity as an NBA player. And I think that’s a very valuable tool and benefit for us, for Gordon to have that.

I’m hoping that he’ll see how other players are using that and how they are leading, and their attitude about leading their teams, and I’m hoping that Gordon comes and wants to be more of a leader on our team as well, and develop more of his leadership skills.

You have rural roots. How do you fence $12,000’s worth of bees?
Wow. $12,000, of bees? … I have never heard of that much bees, and like you say, that’s, someone’s gonna pay for that one, I think. (1280)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2014 10:27 pm

    Ditto on national TV games. Whenever the Jazz are on one, they’re the 2nd game, and most of the first quarter isn’t televised so the viewers can watch the end of Boston blowing out the Knicks, followed by an interview with whoever the most famous guy on the team is at the moment. So I’m stuck not being able to start watching the same until 10:40 Indiana time, which ain’t great for anybody that has a job with normal business hours.

    • August 22, 2014 10:55 pm

      Exactly!! On everything you said from “2nd game” to “end of Boston blowing out the Knicks” to “job with normal business hours.”


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