He has a unique ability and you see it with the way he coaches his team. —Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder on Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder knows Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown far too well. They share a lot of memories.
“I don’t know if I want to go into too much detail,” Snyder said, smiling.
Snyder’s career timeline has a laundry list of stops before taking over in Utah as head coach in 2014, but one of them was in Austin, Texas.
He coached for the San Antonio Spurs’ D-League affiliate, Austin Toros, from 2007-10, where he built a bond with Brown — who worked closely under Spurs coach Gregg Popovich as an assistant.
“Being in Austin and coming down and being able to spend training camp and spend time in the postseason, he has a unique ability and you see it with the way he coaches his team,” Snyder said of Brown. “The connection that he’s able to make with his players, and he did that for me, whether it was ‘Hey, come sit here on the bus’ or just going across the gym going out of his way to see me and speak to make me feel comfortable.”
Snyder and Brown also spent a ton of time talking basketball.
What started off as player development conversations, blossomed into a full-blown brotherhood between the opposing coaches. Brown also said that he shares the same respect and admiration for Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey and their ability to steer the franchise in a positive direction even after the departure of Gordon Hayward.
“This is an elite program, led by two basketball minds, and I think that Quin is a real student of the game,” Brown said. “He’s very clever coming out of timeouts. He genuinely cares.”
On Tuesday, that familiarity didn’t benefit the Jazz as Philly ended its nine-game losing streak against Utah, 104-97, and won in Salt Lake City for the first time since Jan. 5, 2005. Utah shot just 30.3 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from 3.
“We had an abysmal night shooting the ball,” Snyder said.
LEAGUE LEADERS: The Jazz entered Tuesday’s game at the top of the NBA in free-throw percentage. Through 10 games, Utah was shooting 83.1 percent from the charity stripe. Point guard Ricky Rubio held the best average of 92 percent.
PHILLY LEGEND DIES: The sports community is shocked behind the tragic death of two-time Cy Young Award winning pitcher Roy Halladay. The 40-year-old former MLB star died Tuesday in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico. Halladay spent most of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays, but played with the Philadelphia Phillies from 2010-13. He was an eight-time All-Star.
“Our organization would like to share our sadness with the Roy Halladay death today,” said 76ers coach Brett Brown. “Our thoughts go out to his family and one of Philadelphia’s great sportsmen, a future Hall of Famer, a Cy Young winner, recognized as a fierce competitor, an incredible worker, and our organization respects the legacy he has left behind.”
PLAYING THROUGH PAIN: During Tuesday’s shootaround, Jazz forward Ekpe Udoh was listed probable for the Philadelphia game with right lower leg soreness, but he did play and finished with eight points, three steals and two rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench. He went 2-for-2 from the field and hit all four of his free throw attempts as one of the few bright spots.