Independently it’s flattering for a guy that I have that much respect for to be complementary. —Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder on Kobe Bryant saying he should win NBA Coach of the Year
PORTLAND, Ore. — From the infamous air balls as a rookie to a 60-point sendoff in the final game of his 20-year career, Kobe Bryant has his fair share of history against the Utah Jazz.
Now the retired superstar is jumping headfirst into the media industry with his new ESPN basketball analysis show titled “Detail.”
Bryant’s show will premiere on April 12, but as a buildup to it, Bryant participated in a media conference call Wednesday and several interviews where he shared his thoughts on various topics around the league, including the Jazz.
The five-time NBA champion said Jazz coach Quin Snyder has his vote for Coach of the Year after Utah’s miraculous turnaround from starting 19-28 to becoming the third seed in the Western Conference.
“I've got to talk about my man Quin Snyder,” Bryant told USA TODAY Sports. “The job he has done is freaking insane. It is insane. I love Quin. I always have.
“I've been a big Q guy forever and the job that he has done seems like it's going under the radar, which, why, I have no idea,” he added. “But if there was ever even a doubt as to who should be Coach of the Year, the people who are second-guessing that need to have their voting credentials removed.”
Snyder first developed a relationship with Bryant as a Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach under Mike Brown during the 2011-12 season. They still remain close and Bryant told USA TODAY Sports that he feels “Q has got to start getting the respect that he deserves as being one of the best coaches in the league — period.”
“Independently it’s flattering for a guy that I have that much respect for to be complementary,” Snyder said. “As far as any awards, there’s so many guys in this league that do an unbelievable job more than anything you’re just flattered to be thrown in that group of coaches and obviously for Kobe to say that it’s something that makes you feel pretty good.”
ANOTHER ONE: For the second night in a row, Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell arrived at the arena in a custom Adidas hoodie, taking a shot at Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons for “100 percent” declaring himself as the Rookie of the Year. Wednesday in Portland, Mitchell wore a red hoodie with “ROOKIE?” stamped across the chest just one night after wearing a black one in Utah against Golden State, which stated the definition of a rookie in white letters. Simmons is technically a redshirt rooking after missing his entire first season with a foot injury.
GOING STRONG: Veteran forward Derrick Favors became the 12th player in franchise history to play in at least 500 games for the Jazz in Portland on Wednesday. Favors will be a free agent at the end of the season but is the longest-tenured current Jazzman.