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Bits from Dean Cooper Interview, 8/14

August 26, 2014
tags: ,

coopervia @idahostampede

Take us through the timeline of chatting with Dennis Lindsey and accepting the Idaho Stampede coaching job.
Well, I chatted with Dennis Lindsey 15 years ago…I was with Dennis eight years in Houston, so we’ve been, you know, very good friends, and, for a long time. So, I think our first, actually, my first conversation wasn’t with Dennis.

I, you know, [it was] with Justin Zanik, and going through that process–’cause Justin was gonna have, had the NBDL process–probably was, oh, I don’t know, a little over a month or so ago? Five weeks ago? And then, in contact with my agent and then going, getting set up for an interview and then interviewing with coach [Quin] Snyder, I guess three weeks or so ago?

And then got, I think it’s been about two weeks since we came to agreement on the job. So, it was a good process. Very timely.

Talk about what the Stampede’s exclusivity with the Jazz means to the team and to you as well.
Yeah, well, I think it’s great on a lotta levels for a lotta people and for a lotta reasons. …

I think for the people of Boise, it’s really a very positive thing because they’re gonna, I want them, like I said earlier today, you know, I want the people of Boise to be excited about the Idaho Stampede and the Utah Jazz, because, I, the players are gonna be coming back and forth.

We’re gonna play the same way that coach Snyder teams play. We’re gonna use the same terminology. We’re gonna make it as seamless as we can for our players.

And so, I want, it’s my job is, I’m kind of in a unique position, sort of coach Snyder’s assistant coach, and I’m the head coach of the Idaho Stampede, which is a great opportunity. And I think it’s great for the fans.

Is your top priority player development or winning games?
Well, I think we’re gon–you know, we’re gonna try to do both. We’re gonna, you know, our job is to develop our players, obviously. But inside of developing players is learning how to win.

And you know, I think the, my first and foremost task relative, I wanna create a culture, I, in standards and an environment, that has standards where we believe in work, and we believe in getting players better, and players believe in getting themselves better, and the winning in all that will be a by-product of the more detailed things that we’re doing.

What have you taken from working with coaches like Rudy Tomjanovich, Jeff Van Gundy and Kevin McHale?
I’ve taken a lot, not just a little, I’ve taken a lot from each of those guys…

I just had this conversation with Rudy a couple days ago, is, I can’t coach like any of them. I can’t be any of them. I have to be Dean Cooper and just use the tools that they’ve given me. But I gotta be me.

You will be marrying Quin Snyder’s philosophy, correct?
That’s right. You know, we’ve been in the think tank the last few days in Salt Lake, and you know, getting everything, you know, I gotta learn, you know, how, coach Snyder’s terminology, how his mind works, what he thinks is important, how he prioritizes things.

And obviously, I mean, there’s always, like, tweaks because you don’t have the exact same players that have the exact same skillsets. But the pillars of what we’re doing are gonna be the same. …

This is about the players, and we need to make it as seamless as possible for when they get allocated to us in Boise, getting ’em ready to go back to Utah to be, to produce and be at their best. And the way to do that is to have clear, consistent messages, terminology, style of play, etc., etc. (1280)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2014 9:59 pm

    I like all the guys the Jazz have hired lately, but I have a growing concern that Dennis Lindsey’s been doing due diligence on all of the job candidates and just happening to pick a lot of his buddies. I think it’s great for an organization to have institutional philosophies on a lot of things, but it’s also important to avoid group-think and having a bunch of yes men in place.

    Hopefully it’s not an issue, but I’d be lying if it hasn’t been in the back of mind with all of these new hires.

    • August 27, 2014 4:33 pm

      Can’t say same thought hasn’t crossed my mind, but hopefully it’s just that he met and crossed paths with a lot of quality basketball professionals in San Antonio (and Houston).


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