Court in session: New Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder delivers convincing first argument
The Jazz coach search had advanced to the point where four finalists were invited to Greg Miller’s home for three-on-one interviews with the organization’s highest-ranking members when Snyder said something that impressed the team’s CEO.
“When a team plays defense together well, it’s an indication that they trust each other,” Snyder told Miller. “And when a team trusts each other, amazing things can happen.”
When a coach makes that kind of convincing sales pitch, he can get an amazing job opportunity, too.
“That,” Miller said, “really resonated with me.”
Snyder touched on that topic again Saturday, which makes sense considering the Jazz finished last in the NBA in team defense this past season.
“We'd like to have a defensive identity,” he said. “I think that that's an area where we can try to take a stand. It involves habits. It involves energy, effort, focus. But that's obviously something that we want to do.”
Snyder said he and Lindsey need to sit down and discuss who they’ll add to his coaching staff. He also has the task of getting to know his players on a personal and professional level, of getting caught up on draft preparations, and integrating himself into a new job and community while commuting back and forth from Atlanta, all while continuing to heal from a recent hip replacement surgery.
Snyder’s ready to embrace all of the incoming challenges.
“I love this game. It's been good to me. I've got a passion for it,” he said. “To get to do it for a living is a great opportunity.”
Like her son, Jazz owner Gail Miller said she was impressed with Snyder in the interview process. After welcoming him to the “Jazz family,” Miller pointed out that she appreciated his humility, his intelligence (academic and basketball-wise) and his desire to be the head coach that leads Utah to a championship.
“So, that’s what we’re looking for,” she said, smiling. “No pressure, Quin.”
In a soul-bearing moment later in the press conference, Snyder admitted he’s feeling some butterflies with his new position.
“I’m a little nervous, to be honest with you. And I think that’s OK,” Snyder said. “It’s OK because it’s that important to me and I’m just really happy to be here and be your coach.”
The feeling is obviously mutual.
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