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Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 10/8

October 9, 2014
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rigby

How J.P. Gibson’s one-day contract came about
Richard Smith, in our basketball operations, is connected with a group that is involved in baseball, and, in, locally, and he wa–became familiar with a friend who was a friend of the mother, Megan, and was aware of this story that they were actually trying to do, of kind of giving him a snapshot of kind of some sports dreams.

And they had asked, he’d talked with them about maybe them coming over and doing a little autographing, or kind of a signing of a contract, being part of the Jazz team; doing something very simple.

As we then, as Richard then brought it to our basketball operations people, and then also to our PR group, they started saying we can do a little more. And this little more became one step to another step to another, and all of a sudden the team wanted to get involved in it, and what they could do to help, and as you watched how the team interacted with him, and we decided let’s do a little bit of a press conference.

You know what? Maybe since this is just an inter-squad scrimmage, let’s maybe let him come in and be a part of it. And it just kind of, this ballooned.

What did you like in the first preseason game?
Our guys have worked very hard. They’ve come, volunteering, to our open gym the early part of September, and did some things on their own, and in some things in conjunction with our coaches…

To me, our players looked in better shape and with better energy level than the Portland Trail Blazers. And I attribute that to them, number one, working hard in the off-season; number two, the open gym. And then, they’ve worked really hard in training camp. We had good energy. I was very happy to see that.

I thought our offense, of Quin [Snyder]’s desire, of, you know, let’s play with the pass, and you saw a lot more passing and moving. And I liked seeing Quin, as there were issues, as guys were coming off, he would take time to walk over and talk to them and really coach them from the sideline and working with our players.

I thought we had some really good moments there against their starting lineup, where our guys really held their own. And we’ve got some work to do, on the offensive side, I think. But I was very encouraged.

I thought our defense was much more active and much more aggressive at getting back and defending against that transition defense, and agit, against, actually, you hear Quin talk about “form a wall.” Stop ’em from being able to get inside the paint, and that’s very important for us, and so we’re making good progress.

When Jerry Sloan’s teams won, he talked about the things the team did well but tried to temper expectations. When they lost, he took the blame on himself. Is there some of that in Quin Snyder?
It is much like Jerry. I mean, Jerry tries to keep it at an evil, even keel, and I know that’s the one thing that our coaching staff has talked about here, is, “Hey guys. Let’s not get o–our expectations too high. This is, was one game.”

And he’s done a very good job of, I think, of keeping a balance in this, and, ’cause this is, this game, and a season, is a long, it’s not a sprint. It is a marathon, in, really, those 82 games.

And so, you want to temper these g–what you’re trying to accomplish, and they, and I think it’s natural for coaches to also recognize a lot of the things they do wrong. Ca–you know, they’re living with it everyday, and realizing we’ve got a lot of room for improvement, and that’s a good thing, but to also give ’em some kudos along the way. And I saw both things happening with coach Snyder and the whole coaching staff, with the team, in tho–in both sides.

Gordon Hayward was asked to do far too much last year. Will Quin Snyder’s system take the pressure off him this year?
Well, one of the things I know that Quin and Dennis [Lindsey] has talked about is, that, they’ve talked about this new offense, and Gordon and his abilities. And one of the things was to play more into Gordon’s style, and his, and Gordon Hayward’s strengths.

And Gordon has grown and developed, and I think this is going to, I think, play very well into who Gordon Hayward is. In my conversations with Gordon, he is very happy. Happy to be here, happy to have the issues of a contract away, and focusing on, really, making himself a better basketball player and a better leader in, on our ball club.

And he’s really excited. He’s excited about the coaching staff and how things are coming together. So, I see a Gordon Hayward who is starting to really blossom…

A little fun side note, by the way, is, you know, i–you went in the locker room, Gordon used to have a seat that was pretty much to the very, to kind of the side, in a little more of an obscure area. And Gordon’s locker is front and center in the middle of the locker room [now], and I’m happy to see it there, and happy that, ’cause Gordon needs, that’s where Gordon needs to be in the mind of, also, his teammates, to be more a leader.

Will Alec Burks have the freedom to utilize his strengths in Quin Snyder’s pass-first system? Was he going rogue last night, or was that part of what Snyder finds acceptable?
I think he went rogue. I think you’ll see more that he’s going to be, let’s play this offensive system that we have. Now, if all of a sudden you’re down to four seconds and we’ve gotta make a shot, that’s one thing. But I think the discipline, as soon as you have players that start kind of doing their own thing, it starts breaking down and now everyone’s just gonna stand around.

And Quin is very strong-willed in saying, “We are playing with the pass. We’re playing as a team.” Now, I think they’ll find ways to help Alec find his little, maybe, moves that will, he can finish to,* but I think it’s very important that we believe in a system. We play the system together as a team, and we’re not altering, this isn’t the Alec Burks offense.

This is the Utah Jazz offense, and we’re gonna play together with that offense as a team, and we’ll, they’ll find ways to adjust it, to tweak it a little bit to play into Alec, but Alec’s got to buy into the system.

* UDQM.

With regards to the NBA’s new $24 billion TV deal, what do you say to people predicting or expecting a lockout in 2017?
That is a wonderful deal, and it sends a message. It should send a message to everyone, of the strength of the NBA, of this being an international game, and the power that it means, in the fans, and into the communities, and the population’s mind, of the importance of this game.

Not only internationally, but locally and nationally.

And so, that’s a real positive. The positive thing the l–the players need to understand: We have a great CBA, that they get 50 percent. So as the pie gets bigger, they’re getting their bigger piece of the pie. It’s a great formula. It is making everyone successful.

They are, there is a good CBA, and I think sometimes players don’t understand the math enough to realize, hey, as this gets bigger, that who–that, the growth doesn’t just go to the pl–owners, and the teams. That growth goes to every–they’re getting their 50 percent part, and it’s going to be a great benefit to them. (1280)

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