PSA for those who need it: He is a child. 😂😂😂
** Shawn Long (Louisiana-Lafayette / Forward): [He] played ok. I think he could’ve played better. I think the altitude got h–to him a little bit…I don’t think he shot it extremely well.
** Bryn Forbes (Michigan State / Guard): He really competed. He fought through fatigue. He shot the ball like we know he can shoot it. Shot it extremely well. Talked. Tried to play defense, so. He had a good workout…[He and Ian Clark] are about the same size. They shoot it about the same. I think Bryn could’ve g–probably shot a little bit better than Ian could, off the dribble.
** Michael Gbinije: (Syracuse / Forward): I thought Michael did a very good job [on defense]. He fought well getting over screens.
** Malachi Richardson (Syracuse / Guard): I think Malachi’s got the ability to be a good defender…I think his [NBA] skill’s gonna be shooting, although his numbers don’t dictate that from what he showed last year. But he was a pretty good shooter going into Syracuse, so I think that’s gonna be his NBA skill…
He tried to [create off the dribble some] at Syracuse, and I think he struggled a little bit in terms of trying to finish. So, you know, if we, if he’s on our team, our coaches would work with him extensively with trying to help him finish a little bit better, try to shoot a little bit better off the dribble.
** Dejounte Murray (Washington / Guard): He did a lot of stuff by himself in this workout…He looked pretty good today. Probably shot it better than I thought he would. Picked up a lot of the drills quickly, so I mean, he looked real good today…Probably could play — he might be able to, because of his length, he might be able to guard a couple of positions [in the NBA], might be able to play, maybe a little bit off-ball, but he’s really a point guard…
I think [shooting]’s the main thing he’s gonna have to work on. I think he’s gonna have to work on — he’s such a downhill player. I think he’s gonna have to work on probably decision-making a little bit also, in terms of when to go to the basket and when to incorporate his teammates…I think [he and Dante Exum] can play together. I think they, I mean, those two guys could really shut down people defensively, I think.
** Brandon Taylor (Utah / Guard) and Chase Fischer (BYU / Guard): They both can shoot the ball. They both know how to score. Chase shot it pretty well today. I think Brandon struggled a little bit with the threes, but they both know how to score the ball…Size is gonna be a concern, especially with, well, both of them because of the position that they’re probably gonna play at the next level. So yeah, size is gonna be a factor.
** Brandon Taylor (Utah / Guard): [At the next level], at his size, he’s gonna have to be an elite defender. He needs to really be a pest defend–defensively. Offensively, he’s gotta be able to knock down open shots, be able to create and help his teammates become better players.
** Denzel Valentine (Michigan State / Guard): I thought he shot it well. Handled it pretty well. I think he’s gotta tighten it up a little bit more, but he showed the ability to put it on the floor and create a shot for himself…
I think he would fit with our team structure, from how we play and how he plays. I think he would help us a little bit in terms of, he is a pretty good shooter, and I think he’s gonna become better. He does pass the ball extremely well, which Quin [Snyder] likes. And I think he would fit into Salt Lake City…[His defense] is a work in progress…
He’s a gym rat. I mean, he’ll get in the gym without the coaches to work on what he needs to work on to be successful. So yeah, I have no qualms about his work ethic.
** Gary Payton II (Oregon State / Guard): Gary showed us what we know he can do. I mean, he showed really good ability to react defensively. I thought he, in terms of his shooting, I know everybody’s concerned a little bit about that, but I thought his standstill shot was good.
I think he’s, needs to work on putting the ball on the floor and getting his jump shot off, but he had, I thought he had a pretty good workout…He’s not a bad passer, I don’t think, but I think the defense is what can get him on the court probably next year, moreso than anything else.
** Kyle Collinsworth (BYU / Guard): Size helps, ’cause he can look over smaller players. Ability to pass the ball helps. He’s not overly long as a, as tall as he is. I think he said 6-6. I think we measured him at somewhere in that neighborhood, 6-5 and a half. So, that will translate to the NBA, but again, you know, he’s gotta be able to knock down open shots. The ability on our level to space the floor a lot better than at the collegiate level will help him, because he can put it on the floor and get by people and then find teammates.
** Alpha Kaba (France / Forward-Center): He’s gotta make the decision whether or not he wants to stay in the draft…I saw very good athleticism, whid–which we’d kinda seen before. I’ve seen him play over in Europe. He’s got a ways to go offensively, but he could be a rim protector, rebounder, rim runner-type player.
On the state of professional sports, and the Utah Jazz
Professional sports [has] a lack of loyalty on behalf of the com–of the team to the community, the demands they make on these communities, and also the prices of the tickets. You know, it’s a partnership.
You got the owners, who are making an investment and run the risk of losing it, though it’s not likely anymore. If your team is not drawing, not making money, you certainly can sell the team and redeem more than your losses. You know, when a team like the Clippers sell for, what, $3 billion or something? Come on. You know, you can buy a battleship for that.
So, you know, it’s, it worries me that the second rung of the partnership is the players, and they deserve that. They’re the entertainers. We need th–very few of them put people in their place, though. I mean, I would pay to see [Stephen] Curry. You know, I’d like to go see him, but I’d also pay a lot of money to go see the play “Hamilton,” you know, or “The Book of Mormon.”…
But you only have to see it once. You know, [with baseball], you gotta go through, you know, whatever they play, 180 games. You know, and they would play more — they’d be like the Harlem Globetrotters if they league didn’t have a, the players didn’t have a union. But anyway, you got the players, who are making a lot of money. A lot of money, all right? They’re part of the 1 percent.
And then of course, you have the fans. And the fans are hungry for happiness. They’re happy for hope. You know, I went out with some Jazz officials yesterday, and I said to them, “What you’re selling is not basketball games. You’re selling hope.” …
I think it’s important that you go [to games] and you have a good time, but we’re buying hope and we don’t want to spend more money, all right, if we’re gonna pay the coaches millions of dollars, and that is gonna come back to me and how much money I have to spend to see the Jazz or see the Utes or whatever it is.
I want results. I buy hope, and that’s what they’re selling. They’re selling hope. How about the Jazz? It’s not like the Jazz — are we happy to make the playoffs? We fired that, what’s his name, a couple of years ago. Tyrone [Corbin] — and we haven’t moved up. We’re in the same spot. You know, it’s unbelievable, you know?
On players thinking they know better than their coaches, and Pat Riley
[Magic Johnson] got rid of the coach they had. Paul Westhead. I don’t — and it happened here, by the way. Did you ever know that? It was after one of our games.
But I don’t know if he got — I think he liked the idea of Pat Riley because Pat Riley was “dumb.” He hadn’t coached before, so he could put him over here. And he didn’t know Pat Riley was a very good student and he studied the game.
I remember being at a dinner in Long Beach — Santa Barbara, and Pat Riley coming to me afterwards and saying, “How did you get that technique of speaking?” I was the main speaker.
And I said, “I don’t know. I just did it through the years and what have you.”
And he said, “I–” and you know what he did? He went to USC and he took public speaking. He went back to school. He admitted that he didn’t know how to stand in front of people and speak. Now he gets $50,000 a shot…
He admitted he had a problem. He even said to Hubie Brown — he flew Hubie Brown in to spend time with him. He said, “I’ve never coached in my life. Tell me about coaching.” And Hubie Brown — with Dick Motta and [Jack] Ramsey and Jerry Sloan are probably one of the great coaches of all time; Hall of Famer — and worked with him.
And [Riley] was a quick study, and he became a good coach. And when he did, what happened? Magic Johnson became a better player.
On the player he would’ve loved to have coached, and what the Jazz are missing
I would’ve loved to had Dr. J[ulius Erving]. I tried to get him. I brought him here. We had dinner at Larry [H. Miller]’s house. We offered him a big contract, when he was right near the end.
I convinced Larry — I said, “Listen. This is not the Dr. J that they saw in the ABA. He’s at the, he’s probably, maybe he’s done already, but he will have an influence on our team that will be very, very important. And I want to have him. I think we’re on the brink now of just becoming pretty good, and if this guy brings his work ethic to us…”
I’ll never forget this. How many players do this? Dr. J used to call ahead and say, “How can I help you sell tickets? You have a luncheon I can go to or do something like that?” Yeah, the guy, so smart, and I would’ve loved to have a chance to coach him and have him on our team.
I think — and I’m not, maybe — I’m a fan, so I have a right to do the thing. I don’t get free tickets; I don’t ask for free tickets. But I think this is what’s missing from the Jazz. There’s no older heads there.
There’s no Billy Paultzes. Billy Paultz, huh? People — was he that good? Eighteen years in the league, 18 playoff teams. You know, he never was on a team that wasn’t in the playoffs. And so, you know, Rich Kelley, you know, coming off the bench. You know, I think they need some older players who can balance [the team]…
I think that besides having balance in who your players are — you can’t have all forwards; you can’t have all guards; you can’t have all centers — but you can’t have all youth, either. You can’t have [all] young players, because they may all grow old together. What you have to have is balance.
And I think it’s always good to have a couple of guys on the bench who have been there, who know what it’s like to be in the playoffs, that know what it’s like to — you know, I mean, if we look at, say, for instance, the Jazz staff, all right?
Same thing: inexperience. They’re growing, and the team’s growing. I think they should have a nice 60-year-old assistant coach there. Look at [Gregg] Popovich. You know who his assistant coach is? The guy from Italy, sits next to him. He’s known as the Johnny Wooden of Italy…I think there’s nothing like old heads…I remember me. I always felt good, because I had Jerry Sloan.
Where Are They Now: David Stern
David Stern and I were not only professionally linked, but we consider ourselves good friends. I’ll tell you how good. He called me up about six months before he announced his retirement, and he said, “Frank, I’m retiring, and I know you retired. You seem to be very happy. What advice can you give me?”
You know, and here’s a guy who, you know, he’s on the board of directors, the trustees at Columbia University, you know? I have Columbia insurance. So anyway, he’s, you know, he is a very smart guy, and I told him, I said, “You gotta have a game plan. You gotta ha–you can’t play golf every day.” You know, and, well, he plays tennis. “You can’t play tennis every day. You’re thinking at first you can, but then you’ll look for other things.”
I said, “Put down what you want to do. You’re, you know, whatever it is, travel, and see, share it with your wife.”
You know, and he’s, he took it very serious, and a year later, he said, “I found what I have to do.” And this is interesting. He lives up in Greenwich, Connecticut. He said, “I went down into Manhattan.” He said, “I found an office. I hired my old secretary from the NBA back,” he said, “and I opened a business.”
He said, “I miss getting up in the morning, getting dressed, and taking the train down to New York, or taking a limo down to New York.” He said, “And so, I’ve opened a consulting business.” He said, “I work as long as I want. I own the business. I don’t answer to anyone,” he said, “but this is what I want to do.”
On the scam he and Hubie Brown used to run in the dorm
We were roommates in college, and we were always arguing, arguing about baseball. And we used to run a little scam, all right? Probably the NCAA would arrest us if we do it now.
But we used — during the World Series, we used to go around, particularly to where the seniors were, and go to the dorms, and collect money, all right, from them. And what you did was, if you had bet a dollar — it was a dollar bet, ok? If you bet five dollars, you could win six dollars, and this is what you had to do. Think about this.
You had to pick three players who would get six hits in the World Ser–in any game. We do it game by game, and you could take any player on either of the teams. You’d say, “Yeah, that sounds pretty easy, huh?” I mean, yeah. Three players that get six hits…
[You get low-percentage hitters who light it up], or you get guys who, you know, are great hitters but don’t hit in the World Ser–or they hit, oh, they’re out. You know, one guy gets 2-4. The other guy gets 1-3. The other guy gets 1-4. You know, so you end up with four hits instead of six. Six is hard to get. So, Hubie and I made a little money doing that.
What one suggestion would you give to Adam Silver to make the game better?
The game’s too long, all right? But they want to sell beer. So they play for three hours, four hours if they could, all right?
The game’s too long. The season’s too long. I think [the season should be] two halves with a break in the middle to let the players pull themselves together.
Part of the, of this [Finals] series that we have right now is, we are looking at two fatigued teams who were in the playoffs last year, played all the way into June, you know? Then they make personal appearances and every–they come back into the season…
I would suggest that they shorten the season and maybe even shorten the games. I don’t know. I think the fans would get better. The year that we had the shortened season, the quality of play went up and the cost to the fans was a lot less…
Pat Riley and I had a suggestion about [making up the difference in revenues with a shortened season]. We said, let’s have a season that starts, and we play 30 games, all right, until the middle of December.
Then, we take the top teams in the East, all right, and we take — we take eight of the, eight teams in the East, or six, all right, and we take six or eight teams in the West, and we have — to make up this money, because Christmastime is the downtime in the NBA, all right? They try to build it up with the Christmas Day games and every–people are spending their money in other places…
And then what I’d do is, during that time, play a tournament. A Christmas tournament between the East and the West, eight teams on–or six teams on each side; if you want six or eight, it doesn’t matter. Have good prizes, like Mercedes Benzes to the winning team. You know, to each player. That would be nothing. You know, give each player a Mercedes Benz who wins the championship.
And then, the other teams could practice, and train, and scrimmage with each other, and get themselves better, and then start a second half — little minor leagues used to do that — and start the second half of the season. Thirty games; Christmas tournament; 30 more games, all right, and it would shorten the season, and there’s, when the NCAA Final Four, basketball fever, March Madness ends, the playoffs start the next day. (KALL)
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.