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Qualtrics CEO and Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)
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Jazz Players React To Team Being Sold To Ryan Smith

Qualtrics CEO and Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A shockwave was sent across the Wasatch Front when news broke that the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies was selling the Utah Jazz to Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith. Just as fans expressed their feelings about the sale on social media, so too did the Jazz players who call Utah home.

On Instagram, third-year Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell thanked the Miller family for their role in his development as the team’s franchise player.

“First of all I wanna say thank you for everything you guys have done for me and the entire organization,” Mitchell wrote. “Thank you for giving me an opportunity to reach a childhood dream in playing in the NBA! I know I speak not just for myself but for the entire Jazz organization in saying thank you.”

Rudy Gobert took to Twitter to share his feelings about the sale. Gobert was drafted by the Jazz in 2013 and has been molded into one of the best defensive centers in NBA history.

The All-Star big man welcomed Ryan Smith as he takes over as owner of the Jazz while extending his gratitude towards the Miller family.

“Excited to have @RyanQualtrics part of the family!” Gobert tweeted. “I know that he is completely dedicated to make this organization the best it can be and to continue the great work he’s been doing for our communities. Also Very grateful for the Miller family and the amazing organization that they have built over the years! It’s a new chapter for the Jazz but they will forever be a big part of this team and none of this would be possible without them.”

Guard Joe Ingles thanked the Miller family for the role they have played in his development in the NBA and the life they’ve allowed him to build for his family.

“Thank you to Gail & the entire Miller family for everything you have done for the @utahjazz,” Ingles tweeted. “You risked everything to buy the team & keep it here in Utah. My family feels incredibly lucky to be a part of this organization!! You will always be a huge part of the @utahjazz success!”

Finally, forward Georges Niang expressed his excitement about the team’s big news while thanking the Miller family.

“Thank you Miller family!” Niang tweeted. “You guys have been first class in every category! @RyanQualtrics excited for the future!!”

Local Leaders React

The Jazz have been a staple Utah’s community for 40 years. As a result, close ties have been built between the Miller family and the state’s many leaders.

Governor Gary Herbert extended his well-wishes to both the Miller’s and Smith on Twitter.

“Congratulations to the Miller family. They have developed a terrific franchise in the @utahjazz — and congratulations to @RyanQualtrics for investing in the Jazz and in Utah,” Herbert tweeted. “I wish all involved great success, and thank them for all they’ve done to make Utah the state of sport.”

Meanwhile, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenall shared her thoughts on the dramatic move and the impact of the Miller family.

“The Miller Family gave Utah a generation of camaraderie, fandom, and joy when they brought us the @utahjazz,” Mendenhall tweeted. “Thank you, Miller Family, for the many seasons of competition and excitement you gifted our city and state. Welcome @RyanQualtrics! ”

Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox also took to Twitter to extend his thanks to the Millers.

“Thank you to Gail and the Miller family for their incredible stewardship of this franchise always on behalf of Utah,” Cox tweeted. “And congratulations to @RyanQualtrics. —a friend who will preserve and build on this enduring legacy!”

The final sale of the team must be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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