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Utah Jazz Media Day 2014: Quin Snyder, Dennis Lindsey, Randy Rigby and Greg Miller

October 1, 2014

** How much of a challenge is it to get players to buy into a team concept in a superstar-driven league?
Absolutely, it’s a challenge, you know, to put yourself in front, or put yourself, to subordinate yourself to the group…That said, it’s unbelievably rewarding. And for this group, hopefully they’ll feel that commitment to the group early and feel how good it feels, and continue to do it. Get a taste of that. And the best teams do. You know, right, in any sport, the best teams are the ones that guys have figured it out.
** The Jazz were the worst defensive team in the league last year. How do you change that?
Well, it’s obviously a priority…You have to not let them have numbers, first of all, where you’re not playing, you know, three against two, four against three, two against one. Which means, guys gotta get back right away. You probably sacrifice some of the offensive glass, but that doesn’t mean our bigs can’t still offensive rebound. So think guards, instead of watching the ball, they gotta, soon as that ball goes up, they have to anticipate and get back. And if it, again, if we’re last in the league in offensive rebounding–I shouldn’t say that. Hopefully, our bigs can be effective offensive rebounders. We have a few that are, and they can continue to do that. We’re not asking them to leave before the possession happens, but we want our guards out…There still may be times where that’s, you know, opportunistic boards, but you know, we’re sacrificing a little bit of that to get back. And the bigs gotta run back and show a crowd. Form a wall, let those guys bring the ball up, see the body so they don’t see the rim.

10691800_742165552522133_1386003051_nvia @utahjazz

** Can you build a defensive foundation in Enes Kanter?
Enes has to want that, and we have to help him want that, and we have to hold him accountable for that. And I think he’s embraced, you know, that part, just being a complete player playing on both ends. He’s certainly a talented offensive player, and he needs to hold himself to that standard as well…There’s gotta be a focus and there’s gotta be a discipline, and that’s something we have to train him into, but it starts with his willingness.
** Why did you tell Rodney Hood to stop pump faking?
First, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the pump fake. But for him, if he’s open, I want him to recognize he’s open before he gets the ball, so he [can] shoot it. And secondly, if he’s not open to shoot, you know, is he open to drive? Can he make that decision before he gets the basketball? If he can do that, the ball doesn’t have to be in his hands very long at all. The other thing he can do, in addition to driving, is passing. So, it’s, hopefully his decision-making process is instantaneous, and that allows us to play with pace. So, I’d like to see him shot-clock, shot-fake at the end of the clock with someone flying at him, and take a little side dribble and make a three. But as far as just kinda playing one-on-one and the ball stopping, I don’t want that.
** What gauges will you use to define success?
The ultimate success is winning an NBA championship. You know, one team does that, but does that mean every other team has had an unsuccessful year? You know, I would argue no. I think in our case, you know, successes, over time, you know, put you in a position to have more success, and our focus has gotta be process-oriented. When we have those small successes, whether it’s in practice, it’s individual, it’s in a game, sometimes it may not equate to the result that we want, but it will equate to a growth process that will ultimately give us that result.

**What is the organization’s reaction to the release of Trey Burke’s nude photos?
Yeah, so, we were made, of the situation this morning. We’ve collected a lot of the facts. We still have a few things to collect, and a couple people to visit with. It’s safe to say Trey will address this. He addressed basketball operations [and] his teammates a few hours ago. It’s safe to say that we are disappointed in what we’ve learned so far, but we’re going to move forward. And really at this point in time, we’re just collecting facts, and then we’re going to reserve some final judgment for a later date…We still have a few more facts to find and some more research to do…Is this a setback [for Trey as a leader]? We’ll determine that as we go forward.
** On the importance of communication
Quin is, one of his natural gifts is communication. And he was just addressing the team this afternoon on just the bare essentials of communication, and the level of respect and consistency that you have to have, and communicating at just basic levels. …
[Quin] really works hard at using verbals. We’ve tried to use humor. For example, we were trying to think of some French words that we could use that our players, that Rudy [Gobert] can say, “Hey, they’re thinking about me.” And I don’t know if we’ll get “Oi Oi Oi” and get some Aussie terms, but we were looking at some Turkish terms for Enes [Kanter]. So, there’re a lotta cute things that you can do, but you want your verbals to be strong, have strong connotations. You want, sometimes you want a one-syllable word. Sometimes you want two-syllable words. You want the verbals to fit together, if you will. So, there’s a l–I could talk about this the whole show, frankly.*

* Can we get this podcast?

** Have you talked with the players about Quin Snyder? Are they excited about his system?
I think [Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward] have already seen his level of commitment, his acumen, his intelligence, his enthusiasm, his ability to communicate and bring a group together…Yesterday, we were here just organizing the Media Day, if you will, and I was taking some of my old-man laps and getting my steps in. And Quin and the coaches were out here two, two and a half hours just organizing their thoughts and their actions for the first day of practice. So the level of commitment and communication’s there. I think our players already see that.

** On Derrick Favors and leadership
Quin’s really taken a lead, since he joined the organization, on communications with all players, but in particular Derrick. Derrick’s a foundational piece. He’s someone that we wanna build our defense around. He improved his offense, his finishing specifically, last year. We made a big push to have Derrick agree to, understanding it to be, to lead this group he’s gotta be part of the community. Derrick’s committed to Salt Lake, committed to summer league. He’s committed to open gym. So I’m just thrilled with, frankly, the summer that he’s had. He’s taken all the messages and challenge, and he’s scored an A+ so far.
** On Alec Burks and Enes Kanter’s contract extensions
We have engaged in conversation…They’re both valued members, and we’re really proud of where they are at, as people and as players. And we’ll see if it dictates that we can get something done early or if we go into the July period, but we anticipate both of ’em being with the Jazz for a long time.
** Dante Exum does not have a driver’s license at present time.

** Can you address the release of Trey Burke’s nude photos?
We’re well aware of it. We have, we’ve had discussions about it. Ownership is well aware of it, and of course, this falls into Dennis’ area, and so Dennis is gonna be coming up next.* And Dennis will address the issue with all of you.

* Phrasing, Randy!

** What is your biggest worry this year?
Well, I’m, I think the thing that I’m worried about is over-ex — over-positioning and over-expectations from some of our fans of wanting to see us immediately, with the changes we’ve made, expecting that we should be immediately a playoff- or a championship-caliber team…So, my biggest concern is, is that some of our fans not have enough patience. Now, having said that, I don’t want our fan base to think that we’re content to not d–to not be winning and not to be really be out there competing. We’re going to literally prepare every game as, and we’re gonna go into it planning to win it.
** On the youth movement
Yeah, we’ve kinda burned the, we’ve had to burn the ships behind us…These players have earned, to me, the time f–this is their time now. And I think they’re, they will prove up that they’re worthy of the merit.
** This is not a knock on Tyrone Corbin–he has his ways–but talk about how this team is going to look extremely different under Quin Snyder.
What we’ll see different is, it’s a difference in just philosophy and style. And neither one is can be right or wrong. But I think the time, as we’ve heard and seen what Quin’s philosophy and proposal is, that it’s the right time for Jazz basketball to move to this style. I think it’s gonna be, it is conducive to, also, I think, the players that we have in this system.
** What does Quin Snyder bring to the Jazz?
Number one, he brings passion. Quin is, loves the game of basketball. He is a student of the game of basketball. He’s played the game of basketball. And he’s been, he’s coached, and he’s coached it from many different levels, from the D-League, to professionally, to the collegiate side. And I’ll tell you, as I’ve watched him during this off-season, in preparing and preparing his coaching staff, he is passionate about working and preparing, and being really prepared for what we’re trying to teach our players, and what our style that we’re doing, and also in the development and the individual care about our players and working with them and helping them to become the best that they can be…I think he fits very well.

** What was it like meeting Quin Snyder?
When Quin walked in, one of the things that struck me right away was his presence. And he’s a leader; you can tell just from being next to him. And of course, he looked great. He had a nice suit, and a pressed shirt, and great hair so on. And it was just, it was a little bit of formality, as you’d expect in that situation…but it became a very comfortable situation very quickly. And we all had our questions prepared and kind of just rapid-fired them at Quin. And he fielded ’em, and explained himself very well on every one of them, and obviously did a good enough job conveying his philosophies to us that here he is today in front of us.

** You talked the other day about your passion, the passion that burns deep and burns pretty hot. What’s your relationship with Quin Snyder? How often do you talk?
I wouldn’t say I communicate with him on a–maybe it’s a regular basis, but not a frequent basis. And there’s a couple of reasons for that. One is that my schedule’s been crazy and I just haven’t been around that much this summer. But I think more than that, it’s that my role is to set my expectations for the team through Dennis and through Quin…My job is now to step back and let Dennis and Quin do their job. In this case, we’re talking about Quin. And I believe that he needs to have the autonomy to implement his policies and to hold his guys accountable and to be himself, and not have the threat of me meddling or you know, even worse, having the players think that, “Well, if don’t–” If they don’t like what Quin says, they can just come running to me.* That would be the worst possible thing I could do to Quin. So, I’d like to, I keep my distance a little bit for those reasons. But I’m happy to spend as much time with Quin as he would like, and I’m actually hoping that I’m gonna be able to join the team on a road trip or two this season and hopefully we’ll get a little time together when we’re on the road.

*cough* Deron *cough*

** I [Spencer Checketts] am not saying one is right and one is wrong and I’m not asking you to knock on Tyrone Corbin, but how different will this team look under Quin Snyder?
Well, I think the big way is the level of execution, because I just–and as I said last week, I love Tyrone Corbin. He’s a great man, a great gentleman. I consider him a friend–but [Quin] has taken the accountability to a whole new level. And I think that the players already understand, will continue to have it reinforced that if they don’t do what he asks them to do, it may cost them playing time. So I expect the level of execution to be much higher, and o–you know, obviously that’s gonna be a good thing if it comes to pass.

Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Night (UDQM)
** Dennis Lindsey on Trey Burke’s return from injury last year: I was surprised that he came out of the gate as quick as he came, uh, out of the gate.
** Spencer Checketts: We’ll have Randy Rigby right now. And yeah, Quin’s two-minute warning, it’s up. It is totally up.
** Randy Rigby on Quin Snyder’s passion for the game: I don’t think I realized the depth of the passion that rea–it, at, that’s burning there from him, and watching how much, and how hard of workee* he really is, in really preparing, and working, and pushing. As much pushing the players as we’ve been doing some open gyms and some things, it’s been fun to also watch him push himself and his coaching staff.
* Not a typo.
** Quin Snyder on whether he’s used to being called “Jazz coach Quin Snyder”: It’s getting there, yeah. If not, it will be pretty quick.
** Snyder on Trey Burke’s nude photo situation: You know, right now, you know, we’ve handled that, internally. And Trey’s handled it with his teammates, and we’ve handled it as an organization.
** Snyder on Gordon Hayward as a leader: We don’t need Gordon to play it safe. We need him to let it out.
** David Locke to Snyder on talking to the media: This is gonna be your tug, pull and tug for your whole year. I can see it already.
** Locke: My goal is to never shoot.
Snyder: Your coach put you in a bad position.
** Checketts to Snyder and Greg Miller: Honestly, what was that like when you two came face-to-face?
Miller: Well, it was a long process.
Snyder: There was a point where it was very natural. And I was nervous…but the nerves melted away as we got into the meat (of what we were discussing).
** Checketts to Miller: When we had you on last week, I asked you when you were sold on Quin as the head coach, and you told that story about having him in your home.

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