The selection committee for the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award is made up of Rick Carlisle, Billy Cunningham, Pat Riley, Gregg Popovich, Donnie Walsh, Bernie Bickerstaff, Lenny Wilkens and Phil Jackson.
NBA Coaches Association President Rick Carlisle: Jerry, you know, is a guy that, all the guys coming up in my generation — you know, Jeff Van Gundy’s here. You know, Mark Jackson* is a guy that, you know, really respects the history of the game. There’s nobody looked up to, you know, more than Jerry Sloan and what he stood for. You know, he was all about keeping it simple and doing it hard, and he wasn’t into a lot of the fluff. So you know, it’s a great honor to be here tonight.
Jerry Sloan: I’m not one that like to be in the [limelight] of what goes on in this business sometimes, but I’m really honored by the fact that I would be thought of at this stage of my life, to receive an award. I always thought awards should go to the team and not to me…The MVP award, it should be the people that go play and do the hard work. Assistant coaches, I think, deserve to be recognized m–as much or more than the head coaches. The head coaches get to be talked to every day. I want to thank the Coaches Association for having me here, and I’m very fortunate that Tammy could be with me.
* Ugh. How does Carlisle not know? And then the camera had to go and pan to Jackass sitting there like a lumpy, cancerous potato,** no doubt wondering why the selection committee didn’t choose him for the award.
* Apologies to potatoes. And lumps.
One. Dennis Lindsey on Justin Zanik’s departure for Milwaukee: On a personal level, he’s a friend and someone that I care deeply about. And he just did an excellent job for us…
You know, we’re very happy our program — our ownership is very happy that we’ve been able to help him, in a small way, you know, achieve his goals. It’s a little bit of a tip of the hat to the program…It makes me feel good on a personal level to be able to help somebody. Been able to do that at a few different stops now…
I’ve tried to remove myself from [the new assistant GM search], and I just want to make a good decision for the Jazz. While Justin and I were friendly, it wasn’t like we were confidants when I hired him. I just felt like he had a lot of traits that I was looking for.
Two. Lindsey on sharing information on draft decisions with other teams: As a young executive in Houston, I really got into talking to other teams, and you know, contrast and compare and doing a mock draft, if you will.
I, as I got through it, I didn’t find it that helpful. I felt like my time was better spent concentrating on the video and the diligence that we had built up…I lean on other people to network with other teams, unless teams have something specific that they need to talk to me about.
* Items No. 3-9 proudly sponsored by the off-season.
Three. Which came first, the post to Jeff Withey’s Instagram (since deleted; H/T @bjcseven)…
Four. …or the tweet (since deleted)?
Five. The IG post also auto-posted to Withey’s Facebook (since deleted; via The Big Lead):
Six. And just to make sure more people saw it, Kennedy Summers then reposted her post to Withey’s IG on her own IG (since deleted; via The Big Lead):
Seven. Withey responds on IG (since deleted, but auto post still up on Facebook):
Public service announcement for the next two items: As a general rule of
thumb life, it’s never a good idea to read the comment section of any online post. Do not try this at home.
Eight. And the online community weighs in, Part 1 (since deleted):
Nine. And the online community weighs in, Part 2 (since deleted):
Ten. Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine of the Week (UDQM)
Dennis Lindsey on integrating coaching and scouting and management ahead of the draft: This week, we’ve gone hard for two days, and it’s been really exciting on a number of different things, because I did think there were a few guys getting to know Quin [Snyder] better after two years, that coach would be excited about. And sure enough, those guys that I thought would be intriguing to him, in fact are.
** Jordan Loveridge (Utah / Forward): He shot the ball pretty well from the three, which I kind of, after looking at him early and watching him during the year, I thought he might struggle a little bit more than he did today, with the NBA three.
I think he’s gotta, first and foremost, he’s gotta probably get in better shape, and I’ve told his coaches that. I don’t think he’s in great shape for a kid from Salt Lake, or from anywhere in Utah, ’cause of the altitude. So, he’s gotta get his body in great shape.
He’s gotta, I think, improve his shooting. I know he’s gotta improve his shooting, especially with the NBA three, ’cause he’s a little flat right now. But he did shoot high 50s out of 100, which was one of the better ones here.
** Thomas Walkup (Stephen F. Austin / Forward): One of the few guys I haven’t seen. I don’t know for sure yet [what is his NBA position], so I need to see more tape on him, see where he plays on our level. As one of our staff members says, he’s just a player at, [who] may not have a position right now but plays multiple positions, so.
** Ryan Anderson (Arizona / Forward): It’s something we, that I noticed as I watched him play. He showed he really knows how to play the game. He’s got a good understanding and a good feel on how to play.
He showed the ability, and I kept re–I don’t think he shot extremely well from the Jazz thre–or 100, but he showed in a game situation he can knock down the three.
** Jared Uthoff (Iowa / Forward): Jared shows he knows how to play. He was good in as–some aspects of the workout and he needs to work on some other things, naturally. His shooting of the Jazz 100 was…upper 50s…I think he needs to become a better ball-handler that are, being b–able to probably make plays off the dribble a little bit more.
** Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova / Guard): He’s a tough-nosed kid, smart, plays well, plays hard. Competes on both ends of the court. Knows how to get shots in the paint because of, he knows how to use his fee–footwork, pivots. So I mean, he had a good workout.
** Retin Obasohan (Alabama / Guard): It’s the first time I’ve seen him. I didn’t get a chance to see him at Alabama, so. I mean, he’s just a great athlete. Built like a football player…
He’s, again, s–just such a great athlete. It was a pleasure for me to see. He’s, does a very good job of getting into the lane and finishing strong at the basket. Again, he’s one that really competes hard, so it was nice to get him in here, and especially nice for me to see him play.
** Thon Maker (Australia / Forward-Center): If we’re gonna say he can’t play until his body gets ready, that’s probably gonna be three years…You know, again, I’ve seen him play, and that’s better than watching him in the workouts…He’s gotten a l–I think a lot stronger in terms of how to play. I thought he shot it a little bit better than when I saw him two years ago, also…
Because of his body size, you know, he’s gonna have a tough time posting up people. And he is a good shooter, so you probably look at him more as a face-up player than, moreso than a back-to-the-basket player…
I think for his size, he’s a very good athlete from baseline to baseline. I think, again, for his size, as a vertical athlete, probably about average, just to, just a little bit above average. Baseline to baseline, he’s really good for his size…He’s got a ways to go to improve his body…
His rebounding numbers, again, at, players in his age group, were pretty good. In terms of being a defender, again, with his body size, he could have problems with a power player inside. Can he guard out on the perimeter? I think with his length, he probably could be able to keep guys in front of him…
He’s a very smart player, ’cause he picks up things fairly easily. Has he had the greatest of coaching in the last four years? Probably not. But he’s one that’s willing to learn. He’s gonna work at it…He’s an extremely well-spoken, smart guy.
** Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame / Guard): [He looked] good, strong. He’s able to get to the basket pretty well. Shot it, I know he shot it well during drills. I think his 3-point shooting was, probably a little bit above average. Played pretty well…
Like all college guys, [his defense] has a ways to go. [He may be short, but] he’s so strong, though. I mean, I think that’s gonna help him at his position. And he’s, you know, pretty quick.
** Marcus Paige (North Carolina – Guard): I think, you know, Marcus is really a smart basketball player. It’s a little bit, I mean, at North Carolina, because of what they had on their team and what they needed, they needed Marcus to play off-guard and be a shooter. Marcus was a point guard coming out of high school, so it’s not like he doesn’t know how to play the point guard spot. He does, so.
He can be a coach on the court for you. A very smart player. He can knock down big shots for you. So, he can, there’s a few things he can do to help a team pla–help a team win.
** Andrew Andrews (Washington – Guard): He competed. I think he’s one of the guys that kind of struggled with his shooting a bit at times, and, but he did compete. He played as hard as he could, and he tried to play as a point guard.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of Draft Workouts (UDQM)
** Walt Perrin on draft workouts: I think it’s gonna be a struggle getting some of the guys we want in that’s gonna be in our range, let alone people who are above us, because of the nature of our team. So, I will work it. I will see if I can get them in. But I’m not overly optimistic I will be able to get them in.
** Andy Larsen to Perrin: If it’s a North Carolina guy, does Quin go extra hard on him?
** Perrin on finding late first round steals: We think there could — again, history will show you that there’s somebody down there that becomes very good, and we just gotta figure out who it might be and if we wanna pursue it.
** Perrin on the 12th pick: We’re gonna try to get in guys above us. We’ll get guys in below us.
** Thon Maker on film study: [When] somebody would explain to me something that I’m doing wrong, I would ask somebody to tape it so I can see it. You know, how I did the footwork, what I did wrong, what I could improve, how I can make it faster, how I can slow it down, you know, to get a better shot.
On the Dominique Wilkins trade and how the Jazz survived
I was up at Jeremy Ranch and I got a phone call on a Saturday afternoon. A guy came out and said, “Hey, you’re wanted on the phone. It’s very important. It’s Mr. [Sam] Battistone.”
I rushed back in my car — I didn’t know whether it was an accident or something was wrong, but he told me that we couldn’t make the payroll on Monday, and that we had to come up with somewhere in the area of about a million dollars. And he was wondering — he was asking me could I think of a way to do it.
And the only thing I thought, the greatest asset we had was the No. 1 pick, and, in the draft. And I said, “Well” — I was already having discussions with the agent for Dominique Wilkins. And so I said, “Well, w–maybe, I don’t know. Maybe Atlanta would come up.”
And so, I called Ted Turner, and believe it or not, he was home. And I told him, I said, “Mr. Turner, I’m looking for a million dollars in cash. I gotta have it Monday, and it’s for the rights to Dominique Wilkins. There’s not any guarantee you’re gonna sign him. They, he doesn’t want to sign with us. He told his agents that he absolutely would not play in Salt Lake City.*”
So anyway, as it turned out, I got a call back from Stan Kasten, who now is the fellow that runs the Dodgers, and he said, “We can come up with a million bucks. But you have to take tw–couple players off our hands,” he said, “that are making a lot of money.”
One was Freeman Williams, who was a great All-American but didn’t cut it in the pros; had some problems, personal problems. And of course, the other one was Deuces — was John Drew…
When we got the money, we got a million and a half. Ted Turner told me, he says, “Son, whenever you ever need money and you’re desperate, never ask for exactly what you need.” He says, “Always ask for more,” and he sent a million and a half dollars.
* Dominique Wilkins: the original Derek Harper. Fitting that his career started with the Jazz and was ended by young hotshot and future Jazzman Matt Harpring.
On Jerry Sloan
Jerry brought [the Jazz] up a level. He raised the standards, you know? He made us much better than I thought we ever would really be…He was demanding. He was driving. He was never allowing guys to just say, “It’s good enough. I just wanna get by.”
And I’ll tell you [what], we got guys in the Hall of Fame right now, and I know they would feel the same way as I’m saying it right now, is they know that he got them there. He made them play up to the best they could be, and people out of a small market like this, took them right to the heights. …
Jerry’s very s–generous. I mean, if you go back to his hometown, McLeansboro, all right, you see the Sloans are all over the place. It’s a park. It’s a tree. It’s a, you know, part of the school. It’s, you know, he has given back more than enough, and you kn–I’ll tell you what, he tips, it’s 100 percent.
You know, I mean, you know, he’s that type of guy. No, he’s not a type that in any way is smug about his success. If anything, he’s humble about it, and he is one of the most generous men I know.
You know, every time the staff used to go out, Jerry would take everybody out to dinner after a game. We’d be on the road. He always picked up the tab. You know, and the other guys got their per diem and everything else, but Jerry insisted that, “Hey, listen, I know I make more money than everybody else here.” And he always [paid].
The other thing about Jerry, he wasn’t an excuse-maker. He didn’t blame no refs. He didn’t blame injuries. He didn’t blame people. You know, he said, “This is the cards we were dealt. We gave it everything we got. That’s all we can ask.” And I think that’s the way athletics should be played, should be coached, and the way we should accept it as fans.
Kenny Mauer once said Jerry is “one of the toughest, meanest guys that you’ll ever see. But he is fair.”
Questions would come up in league meetings about more pay for the refs, more, getting more refs so that they didn’t have to work so many games. Jerry was always in their corner, and I think that the referees respected him for that.
His fellow coaches — you know, a lot of them are, “Jerry’s mean. Jerry’s tough. Jerry’s that.” But I never saw any — I’ve never met a coach who said Jerry isn’t the best, you know, and they wouldn’t like to be like him, and have his standards. …
He’s gonna fight now, too, by the way. This game he’s in now isn’t over. I’ve been out with him, and he — Jerry’s gonna be fine, and we just gotta love him more, that’s all. (KSL)
One. This is a piece about Jerry Sloan written by his long-time hunting buddy, Tony Abbott. Read it. Read it now.
Two. Dante Exum on being in the sunshine in LA right now: It’s good. Obviously, it kind of sucks, you know, having to play during winter, but definitely being injured and having to stay kind of in the cold, but I, you know, it’s good to kind of get out of Utah and trying to get back in the flow of things. …
It is the off-season, so as much as I am focusing on rehab and stuff, you know, being able to go down to the beach and, you know, just kind of relax and you know, take some time off from being in Utah, just kind of reenergize before I have to head back.
Exum on where he is in his rehab: I’m pretty much in that, kind of that last bit of my rehab. I’m just, you know, I’m, I got an appointment on the 26th to kind of just sort of clear me for everything.
But I’ve been pretty much doing a lot of the, you know, normal stuff, day-to-day stuff, except for playing. That’s the biggest thing that I haven’t kind of picked up yet…So May 26, I’ll start to play one-on-one, two-on-two, and stuff like that.
Three. From the Steve Starks deleted tweets files, in which he rescinds an invitation:
Four. Lest anyone is getting any fanciful ideas that the Jazz, led by Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors (both going into their seventh seasons) can no longer be called a young team, let’s nip such nonsense in the bud right now.
** Dennis Lindsey, Apr. 22: We have an extremely young team, especially when you do a winted–a weighted minute average for who’s actually playing and who’s scoring for us. I think we’re second in the league in points under 25 years old.
** Steve Starks, May 17: People forget how young we still are, and, in terms of minutes played and age.
** Quin Snyder, May 19: I mentioned the fact that we were young a lot [during the season], and I mentioned it ’cause it was true. At some point, that can begin to sound like an explanation or an excuse or whatnot, and it’s really not. It’s just the reality, and hopefully the reality next year is we’re a little older, and those young guys get better.
Five. Will this be the first time in history this line works on an NBA player? Stay tuned this summer to find out!
Fournier did not publicly reply to Rudy, “You go live in Utah,” so I mean, that’s a good sign.
Six. Did y’all catch Barack Obama consorting with a known felon?
Seven. Quin Snyder on what he’s been up to this summer: You know, I live up by the Capitol(?) area…so I’ve been doing some hiking, which is always good to kinda, clears your head. I’m gonna try to get out and do some mountain hiking. I want to get my hip feeling real good.
Things are, you know, I’m enjoying my family, really. I’ve got these little ones that are wrestling with me all the time, which is fun…Kinda trying to get to know everything, and know the area, so it’s, that’s been great…
I’m not gonna go into the very beach book literature that I’m grinding out to get my mind a break from basketball, but I’m trying to get away from it as best I can, and you know, hopefully as the summer progresses, I’m able to do that some more.
I think it’ll probably make me a better coach if I can have some balance, you know? But, I’ll work at it…I’m trying to not think about our team as much as I can for the next two weeks.
Eight. You just keep doing you, Booz (via @mrcbooz).
(Guess it’s true what they say about time healing all wounds. As a Jazzman, he frustrated me to no end. Now, he just makes me laugh.)
Nine. If the Jazz must roll out sleeved jerseys, and apparently they must, this is probably as good as it gets (via @utahjazz).
Now let’s bring the purple back to the court.
Ten. Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Week (UDQM)
** Dennis Lindsey on vertical alignment within the organization: Things aren’t always going to be perfect. Quin’s gonna bang me around. I’m gonna bang him around. Millers are gonna bang both of us, around.
** Quin Snyder on the draft: The level of detail and how deep we dig into potential picks and, is on a level with anybody.
** Lindsey on enjoying debate with his staff: If you do it the right way — we do try to have fun with it. And I do try to keep it loose and give guys the business, and vice versa.
On Quin Snyder’s extension
We’ve very pleased to extend Quin. We rolled out some initiatives prior to hiring him, relative to our defense and building that foundational piece for us. And he’s done truly well there with our young players…
We have many young players that needed to be developed, and that’s really hard to do on a simultaneous basis, and he’s done that extremely well. We wanted to have a disciplined approach. How we, you know, just raised our young players inside of [the system], so how we work, how we travel, what we do, and Quin’s done well with our coach as in support staff in that area as well.
You wonder how high DL’s standards are for a coach working with young guys though. From three summers ago:
On keeping his distance from Quin Snyder’s contract talks
If you want a true partnership, the way to ruin a partnership is to get in the way of a coach and his wife’s money. I think it’s just common sense…
I just think it’s a real simple best practice that, if Quin and I can have the best possible relationship going forward, there are just times where he’s gonna have to recuse himself from certain things, and I’m gonna have to recuse myself…
I recommended that Steve [Starks] handle it.* Steve and Quin are both gentlemen, and very bright guys, and they were able to say a few words to each other that, now I have a new team president and a relatively new team head coach that has gate–great chemistry where they need it, and I was able to stay away from the fray where, you know, I don’t think it would’ve been personal, but certainly the potential for it to get personal was there if you handle too many of the details and the particulars.
On American Jazz players playing for the national team this summer (Rodney Hood getting selected to the USA Select Team)
We couldn’t be happier for him. This is a good step for him and it’s a huge honor for him. It’s good for his progression and we feel like he deserves the opportunity to allow the men’s team to prepare for the Olympics. (Trib)
On foreign Jazz players playing for their national teams this summer
The positives are a young player can develop. The negatives are, as Mark Cuban has most notably stated is, you’re, the NBA, the NBA team specifically, the owners, are in effect acting as an insurance agency and indemnifying the player, because when you lose a player, even though there’s ins–there’s an insurance process, there’s not an insurance process if you get a player who comes back tired at one level, or comes back and misses just a few games because of an injury that he may have played in — or had in summer competition.
And then, of course, there’s the catastrophic injury that you had, w–that we had relative to Dante [Exum] and missing a full season because of an ACL, or even worse, an injury that ends a player’s career. And so, it’s complex and I’m gonna beg off a lot of commentary a–besides what I’ve already given.
Transactions that were not to be
** There were two that, frankly, when I was trying to, and what I should say, when we were trying to make a decision on whether it was the right for the team, thing for the team or not, there was no question in the short term it was the right thing to do.
But it did give us pause that in a year or two, not having a first round pick, or let’s just say it would’ve, one deal would have cost us a first and a second and a very significant part of our salary cap this year. And then if we were to want to resign the player going forward, the following season, and what can we do with those picks, with that room, I don’t know.
And while it could’ve been the right deal to help us make a push and feel a little bit better about our record in the second season [playoffs] and as it relates to ’15-’16, you can make an argument it would not be as good, especially if we weren’t able to s–resign this player, who’s on a one-year deal going forward.
** Last year, and a little bit like this season as well, I’d love to find a trade for the right veteran, right? I think we’re moving in the right direction and I don’t think wo–speeding it up with the right vet would be tricking it up. So, but will that become available to us? Is that player a one-year deal where it’s a one-off versus slowly grinding with a four-year player?*
I–loo–one of the proudest things — I can give you this information and I think it’ll be interesting to our listeners. We, early on in the season, we had a team approach us on Trey Lyles. They were like us. They liked him during the [draft] process.
Trey wasn’t playing a whole bunch at the time and wasn’t playing as well as he did the latter part of the year, wasn’t banging shots and driving by people, and he was a little overwhelmed defensively, and so a play–a veteran became available and Trey wouldn’t–would’ve been the primary piece inside of this with the team that approached us.
So, being collaborative, you know, we brought it to Quin and the coaches, and they evaluated it, and this was even before, again, that Trey emerged. They just said, “Look, we think we have something unique with Trey, and he’s smart and committed, and you know, the results on his shooting when we’re working on him are, may be better than what he’s shown in the games.”
So, and this was a good veteran player on a solid contract that was moving forward. And look, would have this veteran allowed us to win a few more games initially and maybe even arguably at the end of the year? Maybe. And did that cost us? You know, certainly gotta question that in the overall process.
But the go-forward, the arc of improvement, the things that he allowed us to do differently the last 40 games once he did emerge was so unique…Even though we could’ve sped up or improved our experience level, we still think we made that the right long-term decision for the Utah Jazz.
On Quin Snyder not getting technical fouls
If coach is over there acting foolish or going off on every play, then it, that’s gonna disseminate to the players, and it leads to chaos…It’s intentional…
Is there ever a time that you lost your poise and acted like a fool that you’re really proud of?…His poise and respect of officials…to me, is remarkable.
On the Jazz being on the wrong end of more wrong calls than any other team in the NBA based on L2M reports
We do not — it’s very important for the Miller family, just talking about our values-based M.O., it’s very important to us to be a, the right partner with the league. And that’s really Miller family-driven. So, we do not want to be the squeaky wheel…
We don’t want to be the team that’s Chicken Little: “The sky’s falling, the sky’s falling.” … The one thing that’s really interesting is that in some ways, these L2M reports that are coming out — the Jeremy Lin thing between Charlotte and Miami — it’s driving hits on YouTube, on blogs, on sports radio conversations. So in a weird way, I think we’re all having pretty mature conversations, and it makes the league more relevant.
Basketball should be fun
I’m scared to death, all right, of people who can’t smile, can’t laugh, and can’t have fun. And it took a while, by the way, for me to have that reach Larry Miller. He used to say, “What’s with all this kidding around? What’s all this fun? W–you know, what are you doing?”
And I used to say, “Hey, listen. This is supposed to be fun.”
(in high-pitched, agitated voice) “Well, losing’s not fun!” You know, he was so uptight he didn’t know how to have fun, and that’s not right.
Let me say one thing. If right now I was to take over the Jazz, all right, if I was back as president of the Jazz, you know what I would do? I would go to the front of the building. I’d tear down those pictures of those guys all scowling, and I’d put up pictures of a team that was smiling and laughing and having a good time.
I mean, what is this? Wha–you tell me the next time you see a picture anywhere, on these posts out here where they put up the picture of the players, or all around this building, and find one player we c–that smiles, or laughs.
Listen, I mean it. I mean, I, you know, what the heck, I, is this grim? I thought I was coming to a basketball game, you know?…It has to be fun, you know? I think the players will do whatever you allow them to do.
And I used to…when we took the team picture, as soon as everybody was lined up and the camera was ready, I’d say, “Hold it” — and this is the truth. I’d walk out, walk in front and say, “Anybody who’s not smiling can get the hell out of this picture. You gotta be happy around the Jazz.” And then I’d go back and get in position.
Here’s the Jazz’s team photo this year.
Players that can get the hell out of the picture: Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, Jeff Withey, Trevor Booker, Joe Ingles, Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Rodney Hood and Dante Exum. The training staff is pretty much all good, but Mike Wells, Igor Kokoskov, Quin Snyder and Brad Jones are also in trouble.
On Scott Layden winning a ring with the Spurs
So now Scott goes with the Spurs. And it was, you know, he would, he was discouraged. He thought, you know, “I’d always be with the Jazz” and what have you.
And the w–and I often think, I mean, when I look at what’s happened recently, I always say, “Would Scott have made a difference in two games?” Who knows, you know? He might have. But anyway, with the idea that he went with that team, I said this is a great learning experience.
So, every time we’re there, and I, you know, I see R.C. [Buford] and I see, you know, the coach [Gregg] Popovich, Pop, they remind me, “Don’t forget, we modeled this after you. We modeled this after the Jazz.”
And they have made no secret about it. They’ll say, “Oh, we liked the way the Jazz did things. You know, we equated ourselves with the Jazz in size, buildings, philosophy, stuff like that. And the way they played the game.” …
So when Scott, at the end of that year, when he got the ring — and Scott is not, you know, he doesn’t, those kind of things aren’t important to him, really, you know? When he got the ring…I was very proud.
I was very proud, and I said, “Wow, that was hard, wasn’t it, for the Laydens to get a ring?” My gosh, you know, it was that hard just trying to get a college ring. And then to get an engagement ring. And I mean, there was a lot of suffer-ring.
But yeah, I was very proud of him. And what always makes me feel good…when I go to San Antonio and people say, “Wow. Hey, thanks a lot. Scott’s great. He’s really helping us.” You know, that makes me feel very, very good.
** Frank Layden never had a written contract with Larry Miller. There was only a handshake agreement in place and they never negotiated.
On the game then vs. the game today
When I came in the league — let’s go back to that — it was, Hubie Brown hired me because we were roommates and close friends back in college. But anyway, I went with him in Atlanta.
You know, at that time, it wasn’t unusual for several coaches in the league, including Red Auerbach and Red Holzman, to be by themselves. They didn’t even have one assistant, all right? It always amazes me…When I was coaching a team and a guy needed help with his shooting, I worked with him. You know, did I need another guy to do that? We only had 12 players…
I don’t quite understand why you call a timeout, and the staff — you know, five, six guys — meet away from the bench to discuss what you’re gonna talk about on the timeout. I used to ha–I used to think, I already know what I’m gonna talk about. That’s why I called timeout. I mean, I, yeah, but you know, this is the way they do it.
I’ll say this. The athletes today are bigger, better, stronger, faster. There’s not a doubt in the world about that. I’m not sure the game is better. Maybe we don’t give enough freedom to the players to exercise their skills and let them innovate themselves.
But who knows? I’m not gonna say it’s right, it’s wrong. I, it would confuse me. I’m not smart enough to look around and have 10 assistants. And somewhere along those assistants, all right, just like Jesus, you know, he had the Apostles, and they used to see him do miracles and doing, do all sorts of things. And yet, one betrayed him. Another doubted him.
I, you know, there’s too many guys. It’s too many guys to control. It’s enough to control the 12 players or 15 players, let alone 10 more coaches.
On the Golden State Warriors
One thing we overlook about that team, the Warriors, and why they can win even without [Steph] Curry, is that they know how to defend. They have a defensive scheme. It works.
[Steve Kerr] knows how to use his bench, all right? He does a good job of putting combinations together to attack the opposition. I just think he has a good feel for the game, and of course, you know, that for instance, Mark Jackson didn’t have. Mark Jackson had the same players and even said they were great shooters and great that.
It isn’t just being able to shoot. It isn’t, you know, you’ve gotta combine ball-handling, you’ve gotta combine positioning, you’ve gotta combine the pick and roll, the utilization of your big men, and knowing where to get the ball. (1280)
Yes, I transcribed that last bit just for the Mark Jackson part.
2010: Kevin O’Connor
2011: Kevin O’Connor
2013: Randy Rigby
2014: Bryan Miller
2015: Dennis Lindsey
2016: Steve Starks
2010/2011: Kevin O’Connor
2013: Randy Rigby
So my fly fishing guy says, “I’ve got just what you need.” And he gave me his lucky grasshopper, that he uses to catch a lot of fly fishing, a lot of fish, on the Green River.
One of the most interesting stories is, it had been heard on the radio, and one of our season ticket holders called. And her father was a veteran of World War II. And she says, “My father was on Pearl Harbor the day that the Japanese attacked. He was on one of the main ships there, right, in the middle of the harbor. And his ship had not been hit nor had he in any way been injured, and so I want you to take back with you my father’s dog tags from World War II.” And so I’ve also got his dog tags.
2014: Bryan Miller
9 was the number my dad wore when he played softball. I had a number 9 jersey made with “Miller” on the back that I’ll be wearing today in his honor.
My mom said he never washed his uniform as long as he was winning. I haven’t washed this baby yet.
2015: Dennis Lindsey brought pictures of his family, “the ultimate good luck charm”; and a lucky watch his brother-in-law gave him.
Randy Rigby, meanwhile, brought his lucky shirt, his lucky pair of Jazz socks, and Dennis Lindsey.
2016: Steve Starks brought a lucky quarter his wife gave him.
2011: As told by Randy Rigby
Chris Baum, my senior vice president of broadcasting…last evening was taking his family to a Chinese restaurant, and he said he opened his fortune cookie literally ten minutes before the lottery began…and the fortune said, “Your lucky number is 3.” So it started right there.
I have no information on whether Kevin O’Connor, Randy Rigby, Bryan Miller and Dennis Lindsey got their makeup did before the draft lottery.
2016: Steve Starks
What are you up to?
I’ve been with the Milwaukee Bucks for the past two years as an assistant coach on Jason Kidd’s staff. You know, prior to that I was with Philadelphia for a year with Brett Brown, so he gave me my start. So yeah, up here in Milwaukee having a good ol’ time.
On John Stockton
There’s a big misconception with John when it comes to [his scoring ability]. I mean, I, if you ever had the opportunity to watch him play summer ball, or if you’re just playing, basically playing street ball, the, I think the misconception comes with, you know, everybody thought he needed the pick and roll. He needed the system.
I’ve seen him annihilate guys just playing pickup ball. Getting to the basket; handling the ball; no real pick and roll; playing one on one. So yeah, I’ve seen him do that, so I always knew, but you know, when it came time, came down to execution and winning basketball games, you know, he was selfless in that way.
What do you remember most fondly about your time in Salt Lake?
Well, there’s no doubt that, you know, my time in Salt Lake City was, were the best years of my career. You know, I had a home finally after bouncing around. You know, I felt like I belonged somewhere, so that was big for me. And, you know, we’ve got a lot of great friends. We just met so many wonderful people out there that we know to this day and we stay in touch with.
So, you know, the camaraderie of the team, the discipline of the team, and then being able to, you know, get the chance to take that next step. Even though we came up short in winning a world championship, you know, we played the right way, we played hard, and I think we all had fun doing it.
So, you know, I still, when I run into those guys, you know, like Howard [Eisley] and Bryon [Russell] and you know, Karl [Malone], you know, we all have fond memories, laugh about those successful years that we had.
On Jerry Sloan
He used to say that, when I would give him a hard time, that is, that someday when you guys are gonna be coaches, you’re gonna be dealing with guys just like yourself. So I always used to get a chuckle out of that, and I’ve never forgotten that.
You know, he was a tough-nosed guy. He was a disciplinarian. We butted heads quite a bit, but at the end of the day, he was the kind of guy that you could have a beer with after the fact and it was all over. And you came back to work the next day, and you guys had a common goal.
So, was he the easiest guy to play for? No. But he got the m–absolutely most out of me, and in hindsight and looking back, I really don’t, I don’t try to do it any differently. Even though kids today in the NBA are a little different — you know, you’ve gotta be creative in how you motivate them and how demonstrative you can be, which can be frustrating from a coaching perspective at times, but it is what it is.
But I have a lot of respect for Jerry Sloan, who, we did some special things together.
What could have happened differently in the Finals years that would have led to a different outcome?
Well, you know, I mean, [the Bulls] were pretty good. You know, I think the first year we might’ve been just excited to get there. But that second year, you know, we really tried to go ahead and win that thing.
I think a couple plays here and there — you know, the one that comes to my mind obviously is when [Michael] Jordan double-backed on Karl and was able to get that steal. And there were some free throws that we missed, you know, that could’ve probably, you know, turned the momentum in our favor and maybe got us one.
But hey, you know, again, there were some great runs. No crying over it, and just some wonderful memories from those years. (KALL)
** On his diagnosis: It’s kinda a tough situation ’cause you’re getting away from something you’ve always loved to do. I haven’t heard anybody say it’s gonna be easy, so my whole saying is take your lumps and go on.
** What’s the toughest part of all this? Not knowing…I’m not scared. I’m just scared of the shaking all over, days on days. If I could get that stopped, I’d be in pretty good shape. You gotta take advantage of every day you can, ’cause it might be a rough road ahead of you.
** On the future: We were always taught to fight our way out. I’ve been lucky so far. This may be the end, though…The bottom line is, you try to enjoy the day and see what tomorrow brings. That’s the way I’m looking at it. It’s the only way I know.