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Former Jazz Executive Joins Jazz Notes To Talk About Utah’s Glory Days

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah Jazz executive Mike Snarr joined KSL Sports’ Cleon Wall to discuss some of the best stories from his days working with the NBA franchise.

Snarr, who worked in corporate sales for the Jazz for 20 years, had a number of interesting anecdotes on a number of Jazz figures, including legendary head coaches Jerry Sloan and Frank Layden.

Back when attendance was low in the early days of the Jazz, Layden himself used to answer phones for the team, recalled Snarr. Often times when asked what time the game was, Layden would respond with a signature tongue-in-cheek remark.

“We drew about 6,000 people or 5,000 people to the first game,” remembered Snarr. “People would call and say ‘what time is the game,’ he would say ‘what time can you be here?’”

Later in his career, after Layden had stepped down as the head coach, Snarr worked alongside the legendary Jerry Sloan. Snarr stated that Sloan’s hospitality was vital to his work as he build a corporate sponsorship base for the team.

Often Snarr would bring clients to watch Jazz practices and shootarounds. It wasn’t uncommon at the time for Sloan to hang around afterwards and answer questions and interact with Snarr’s clients. Sloan was often quite humorous and fun on such occasions, recalled Snarr.

Although, there was and always has been a separation of sorts between the team of coaches and players and the front office at the Jazz, Snarr said the the players were always great at recognizing the importance of synergy between departments. While he jokingly referred to the front office staff as “the suits,” John Stockton was great when working with the corporate sponsors, as was Karl Malone, according to Snarr.

Snarr has published a book on his time with the team, titled Long Shots and Layups: Memories and Stories from the Golden Era of the Utah Jazz. More info on the book is available here.

Jazz Notes is a part of the KSL Sports Podcast Network. Episodes can be heard on podcasting platforms and on KSLSports.com.