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Is Tyrone Corbin gone? Utah Jazz, coach's agent say no decision made yet

Published: Saturday, April 19 2014 12:22 p.m. MDT

Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin directs his team against the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver on Saturday, April 12, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

David Zalubowski, AP

SALT LAKE CITY — It is possible, perhaps even probable, that the Utah Jazz will soon part ways with Tyrone Corbin, the organization’s head coach for the past three-plus years.

However, the final decision on Corbin’s fate has not yet been made by Jazz ownership and management despite what the New York Daily News reported, according to multiple people closely involved with the situation.

The day after general manager Dennis Lindsey said Utah brass and Corbin would “take a short decompression period to reflect on the season” before meeting to determine the coach’s future, NBA writer Mitch Lawrence reported that a decision has been made.

From his Twitter account, Lawrence wrote that a Jazz executive confirmed that the organization is “ready to pull the plug on Tyrone Corbin and go for a new coach.” He didn’t name any potential replacements.

The Jazz and Corbin’s camp vehemently denied the validity of Lawrence’s report.

“Not accurate. No discussion,” Jazz President Randy Rigby wrote in a text to the Deseret News while in New York for the NBA Board of Governors’ meeting.

Corbin’s agent, attorney Steve Kauffman, still has not heard from the Jazz about his client’s job situation.

“I’m not going to react to anything released by Mitch Lawrence based on my experience over the years,” Kauffman told the Deseret News. "As far as I know, there has been no decision made.”

That final verdict won’t be rendered until after the Miller family meets with Lindsey, Rigby and other members of management to determine whether to re-up Corbin’s contract or to go a different direction.

At Thursday’s locker clean-out, Lindsey said Corbin’s camp agreed to a process (details not given to media) that the team would complete throughout the regular season and that the evaluation would happen after the year ended.

“When we spoke to Ty and his representation during the year, we laid out (that) we wanted to take the full season,” Lindsey said. “We want to take a small period for all of us, Ty included, to decompress, so we’re not making a decision based upon the last possession, the last game and make an emotional decision. … And then in short order, we’ll come together with Ty and talk it out.”

On Thursday, Corbin said he preferred to reflect back on only this season — not his entire tenure since replacing Jerry Sloan after the Hall of Famer’s resignation in February 2011, nor what the future might hold.

Asked if he feels in his heart of hearts that he’ll be back in Utah next season, Corbin simply responded: “I always feel like I’m going to be where I am. Always.”

Corbin responded with fire in his eyes when asked about all of the negativity, including fans and media members calling for his job and blasting his decisions, that has swirled around Jazzland this season.

“You know what? Misery loves company, man. There are some miserable people. And they love talking about what somebody else is doing and not doing," Corbin said. "I think if you (they) focus more on what they are doing, they may have a chance to do something well. People like to criticize. That’s what it is. People like to read it. I don’t give a lot of energy to it myself.”

Corbin coached the Jazz to a record of 112-146 through two full seasons, one lockout-shortened campaign and the final 28 games of 2010-11 after Sloan’s departure. The Jazz ended his first partial season 8-20, unexpectedly made the playoffs in 2012, challenged for the final postseason spot in 2013 and then slogged and stumbled through a 25-57 youth development project this past year.

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