Jazz Hopeful Path To 2020 NBA Finals Began When Quin Snyder Was Hired

Oct 3, 2019, 1:21 PM | Updated: 1:27 pm
Head coach Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz sits with his team during a time out in their game against ...
Head coach Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz sits with his team during a time out in their game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center on January 17, 2018 in Sacramento, California.(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The 2019 offseason was one of the biggest in Utah Jazz history. It is clear the team made moves to put the team back in the NBA Finals, but according to the Jazz VP Dennis Lindsey to process began when they hired head coach Quin Snyder.

From trading for Mike Conley to signing free agents Bojan Bogdanovic, Jeff Green, Ed Davis and Emmanuel Mudiay, the Jazz have proven they are willing to go all in.

Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Lindsey said there were plenty of moves that led to this moment including the improved facilities, the organization’s development staff and first and foremost – hiring Snyder.

“Hiring Quin (Snyder) 5-years ago,” said Lindsey.

The reputation of the Jazz’s head coach seems to be spreading around the league. Snyder is honest, tough, fair, and is all about teamwork.

“I always thought he was a great coach,” Conley said on Jazz media day. “He’s really intense. He really knows his stuff. When he tells you he’s going to talk to you for 5-minutes it might be like an hour…but it’s great. He’s constantly thinking of ways to improve the team and himself as a coach.”

Long talks aside, coach Snyder’s humility and his willingness to understand his players might be two of the main reasons his players are drawn to him.

“You have to be careful not to make assumptions,” Snyder said of the new guys coming in. “I’m a different coach today than I was 2 or 3 years ago…I think players change and mature over time. And sometimes players have ideas about how they want to improve. Even veteran players…we want to maximize the group and help them get better.”

Snyder has praised his new players, calling Conley an elite point guard and saying there is plenty to like about backup center Ed Davis’ game. The new players probably like the fact he doesn’t want them to defer to anyone, but to play in concert with their new Jazz teammates.

It doesn’t hurt that he gives his players a lot of freedom.

“As intense as coach is, he let’s us play as well,” said veteran swingman Joe Ingles. “I think that’s part of the reason the (new) guys that are here are here. It’s because they can make plays and let us play a little bit as well.”

Emmanuel Mudiay wasn’t focused on freedom when he thought about signing with Utah. The 7th overall pick of the 2015 NBA draft had been labeled as a lottery bust and was tired of losing. Mudiay liked that the Jazz had been in the postseason and heard nothing but good things about the coaching staff – especially Snyder.

“(Coach Snyder) is really close to (former NBA and college coach) Larry Brown, who is one of my guys. And (Brown) told me about the opportunity here and how it could be. And I talked to Coach Snyder on the phone for like an hour and a half. And when he started breaking stuff down I started respecting him right away. And I saw an opportunity here to get better,” said Mudiay.

Snyder sounds like quite the salesman to convince a former lottery pick to take a role on a team in which Mudiay may not see a lot of minutes with Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell and other guards in front of him.

Or maybe Snyder just cares deeply about each of the guys on his team no matter their role.

“I think it will be good for me to have a guy like that who’s just looking at me and trying to make me a better person and player every day,” said Conley. “I know he does that for the rest of the team.”

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Jazz Hopeful Path To 2020 NBA Finals Began When Quin Snyder Was Hired