Bits from Randy Rigby Interviews, 5/19
What are your thoughts on draft lottery reform?
I like the system that we have, and I think it works well. It has functioned well for the draft and for teams, and right now I’d like to see us continue to just stay with it until we really, as we look at other issues as it relates to the draft, I think before we adopt something else, we oughta really make sure that it has the test of time and has the test of being able to avoid any potential bigger issues that could cause more problems than maybe some of the minor ones that we’re dealing when it’s with the draft right now…
You know, I think it’s, most, I think a lot of [the calls for draft reform] is misunderstanding from not only the fans, and also the media. As we looked at the issues, over, some of the last presentations that the NBA actually provided for us, it really helped cement, a lot of us went into that, I mean, a little bit skeptical, but as we really saw the facts and the information, it really cemented that we have a really pretty good system that has w–is working well and doing exactly what, as an organization, we would like to see it do. And so, I think a lot of it needs to be better understanding and better education for our fan base.
On his intimate relations with Kevin O’Connor and Dennis Lindsey
We were a small organization [in 1986]. I think, like, we started when we literally had 12 players, three coaches, and a trainer and an assistant trainer, and then with 12 in our front office. So, it was always a very intimate group.
But to really be involved in the [draft] process really took place when I became the president, which was eight years ago. And really, getting much closer to, then, Kevin [O’Connor] and the process that was involved then, and very intimately involved now over the last four years with Dennis [Lindsey], and the processes that we’re, we continue to improve on and work on.
On the Jazz’s database of players
That information becomes very valuable for us to cont–to have it, and to continue to update it, so that we can, again, continue to assess the pool of talent.
If all of a sudden you can find those ri–those little gems, that all of a sudden — an Elijah Millsap, that has been hanging around in the D-League, and being around, and understanding his style, his family, that, you know, personal information as well as their talent information, is very valuable for us in helping us make good decisions, that may be the little nuggets and differences, that make you, from just a decent team, to a good team, to maybe a championship-caliber team. And so, that information is critical for us.
Have you had any response or feedback that the Jazz are a rising team and this is therefore an attractive situation for free agents?
Well, I’ll tell you. Dennis’ phone, and Justin [Zanik]’s phone stay very active. And we are an organization and we’re a team that, you know, and as I’ve visited with a lot of other team presidents, team executives, executives in the NBA, it’s constantly is commented back, “Boy, I’m impressed with what’s going on in Utah. I’m impressed with how you guys ended your season. I’m impressed with some of these young players you have.”
I–what it’s telling me, in people’s mind, they see where we’re going. They see what we have. And when that happens, then people are wanting to talk to you and they’re looking at — we’re in the minds of individuals, in how they want to negotiate with us. And that’s a positive position to be in.
On the return of the summer league
We felt slighted and frustrated that, in a lot of ways, [the Rocky Mountain Revue] was taken out from underneath us when they kind of developed Las Vegas. And the league didn’t do that purposefully, but it happened.
We worked very hard, both Kevin O’Connor, myself; then Dennis, myself. Greg Miller helped us in dealing with the commissioner, and we’re really happy that we’re able to get the summer league back…
For $8, you literally can go to two games each day, for $8. Or if you buy it for the three-day pass, $15 for five double-headers a day, you get to watch two NBA s–basketball games. It’s a remarkable deal. (KTIK, 1280)