Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 4/22
How nice is it to know you have the right coach and the right GM?
Well, we’ve always taken the approach that we’re very cautious in making change. And when we’ve done it, we’ve always been very methodical, and very strategic. And we feel very good about the approaches and the decisions that have been made, and they’ve proved up. And they’ve been, deserved now, that confidence that we have as an organization.
And I know, speaking for the Millers, from our front office, we’ve had great support as well, I kn–we’ve made, with, Steve Starks is now our president of Miller Sports Properties. Very supportive of the direction that we’re going, and we’re really excited about moving forward.
And we’ll, Dennis [Lindsey], and Quin [Snyder], myself, Justin Zanik, we haven’t let any grass grow under our feet. We’ve really been si–we immediately sat, been sitting down, and moving forward with the plans.
Is it a good thing or bad thing that Quin Snyder came in eighth in Coach of the Year voting?
I think Quin, well deserved for Quin to be recognized top eight. That’s, and when you look at that group of eight coaches, that’s a pretty impressive group to be affiliated with, and I thought some of the compliments that some of the writers and people gave towards Quin and what he was able to accomplish the back half of the season, to me what we’ve been able to accomplish from where we started out defensively, as an organization, to where we ended up, is nothing short of remarkable. I think, very impressive.
And those things just don’t happen when you’re playing NBA-caliber ball…And so, I think it was well, it was very well deserved from Quin.
What goes through your mind when you see the Hawks-Nets series and you see Paul Millsap, Deron Williams, Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll playing in the postseason?
Well, I’m, you know what, number one, I’m happy for them…I still talk with Kyle, and Paul, and DeMarre, as they’re coming* — and Deron, le–I will add, on that. And they have fond memories of being involved with the Utah Jazz. …
Now, we made some decisions in, for the good of us, and really f–they had decisions as well for the good of their career, that we parted company. But they’ve worked hard to be where they’re at now. I’m excited for ’em.
The ascent to the playoffs is tougher in the West, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, isn’t it?
Well, you know what, if you wanna be the best, you’re gonna eventually have to go through all of ’em anyway, and then, you know what, it’s kinda like that refining fire, and that is, is that the harder it burns, then, early on, maybe it’s gonna make us better, you know, and make that steel a little tougher. And that’s what we have to look at it.
And in a lot of ways, you say, “Hey, we think we can be there, but boy, what of those eight teams in the West, now, are you gonna be beating out?” But some of these teams are getting a little bit older. Injuries always comes into play on it.
We are a good, very good young team; a very good, disciplined team, and I think as we add improvement and we add some maturity to it, it’s going to only help us to be, I think, able to compete even better.
How many games will the Jazz win next year?
I’m not gonna put that on Quin Snyder. But I’m, I’ll say this. We will all be disappointed, and, that, we want to take that, we want, as we’ve said a year ago, and we’ve been saying, is we aren’t gonna skip steps, but we’re gonna keep growing and taking the next steps.
And I th–and we’ve been doing that. And I expect us to continue to be doing that. And we’ve seen that we have the capabilities, and I really know that we have the team that can do that. So, let’s see where that goes.
Rajon Rondo is a jerk and Rick Carlisle is one of the nicest guys and best coaches. Talk about team-building.
Well, you know, to that point, one of the things that we really have been t–instilling in, Jerry [Sloan?] talked about this. Quin has been, really, a disciple of, and I think the foundation to me, of team-building.
The, one of the most critical foundational points of team-building is communication. And I’ve seen it impact teams. I’ve seen it impact relationships inside teams. I’ve seen it impacting coaches and players inside that. And that’s where it starts unraveling.
And I would say communication and selfishness, and that, when all of a sudden, you have individual players that are more concerned about their own stats, their own contracts, and their own future than the good of the team, and then you have a lack of communication, or sometimes over-communicating your selfish attitudes inside the locker room, that creates, that starts that whole unraveling, and the negative attitude that can be in a locker room…
So you’re constantly trying to communicate those type of principles, communicating the principles of teamwork and pass and working together. You gotta constantly be driving that into these players because if you don’t, they’re gonna go to the lowest grade, and that is their own selfish desires and attitudes. And that’s when teams start unraveling.
What is Steve Starks’ role and background?
Well, let me clarify as well, ’cause really, Greg [Miller] was the CEO of Miller Management Corp. Now, and Greg also had the hat of being our member of the [NBA’s] Board of Governors. He was our governor for the NBA. Greg will continue to remain as the governor for the NBA…
Clark Whitworth has been, now, given the role from Gail Miller, and the Miller family, to be the president of Miller Management Corp. In that, there are actually seven divisions and organizations. The automotive. We have a finance division that’s, has, a part of it. The real estate division.
Then we have a retail and Miller Motor — Miller Retail, and also Miller Sports Properties. Steve Starks is now the president of Miller Sports Properties and Miller Retail, which are the Fanzz stores, the theaters, and also, then, the entities underneath that.
Steve, I work with now, directly with Steve, and we work, then, directly with the Miller family on decisions that are made. And we also include Clark Whitworth, who is overseeing, then, and working overall at Miller Management Corp.
So, that’s the new structure of the reporting and Steve has been with the organization for eight years. Has a great relationship — he was mentored by Larry Miller early on when he was a part of, if you remember, the governor’s kind of “kitchen cabinet.” It was a lot of business owners. He was kinda the executive secretary of that group of businessmen.
Has a very bright business mind, and Steve does a marvelous job. Understands exactly, and well connect–and well connected with the Miller family in meeting with Gail and Greg, Steve [Miller], all of the family, in making sure they’re in the loop while we’re also making our decisions. So, in, from that area, we’ll continue to work directly with Steve and the Miller family…From a fan’s perstepective,* there’s no real difference. (1280)
* Not a typo.