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Scott Layden: Changing of the Guard

Why wouldn't we want  Scott Layden of the Utah Jazz, he is credited with helping to discover Stockton and Malone!
Why wouldn't we want Scott Layden of the Utah Jazz, he is credited with helping to discover Stockton and Malone!

Jody Genessy of the Deseret News was the first to report that Scott Layden, assistant coach of the Utah Jazz had an interview yesterday with the San Antonio Spurs for their opening as assistant GM (left open when Dennis Lindsey joined the Utah Jazz as GM).

Jazz assistant coach Scott Layden has accepted an invitation by Spurs management to interview for the organization's assistant general manager vacancy, according to a source.

In his first extended stint with the Jazz, the younger Layden was credited for helping the franchise discover overlooked mid-first-round Hall-of-Fame gems John Stockton and Karl Malone.

In 1995, Layden finished second behind the Lakers' Jerry West for The Sporting News' NBA Executive of the Year award after the Jazz's 60-22 season.

Layden has quite the resume yet he was not asked (according to the media) to interview for the Jazz's vacant GM spot when Kevin O'Connor stepped down last month from his GM duties.

Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune tweeted when Dennis Lindsey was hired that if Jerry was still around he thinks Scott would have been given the position of GM.

Some tweeps said that was silly, that Layden is very happy being assistant coach, that his executive days were behind him. I guess Luhm knew more than those fans.

Here is Luhm's tweet from last night:


So what does it mean that Scott Layden didn't get the Jazz GM job, yet is interested in the Spurs vacancy?

Change in organization values:

Could it be that Greg wants to do things differently than how his father and Jerry ran the Jazz? If Scott Layden was hired as a GM, things would continue to be ran in the same way. Layden was very much a part of the Jazz in the 80s and 90s he represents Jerry and Larry's culture.

Changes in the system:

Kevin O' Connor and Scott Layden were great at finding "Jerry Sloan type players" . Yes their #1 rule was what they call the 'Michael Jordan' rule. (Drafting talent above need) but lets face it over the years we knew what kind of players would excel with the Jazz .

Nearly every player move in the last 20 years whether it was the draft, free agency or trades, were made to honor and support Jerry's system.

Players such as Matt Harpring, Jarron Collins, Adam Keefe, Antoine Carr maybe didn't really fit with other teams (yes young Harpring and Carr did) but they had a role on the Jazz and they knew that role and were successful because of it.

Now we have been acquiring high lottery players, we collectively have more talent instead of the blue collar Paul Millsap type players.

Is a system change needed?

Did the Jazz feel if Layden was given the job of GM it would be harder to change the system?

What is the new system:

If a change is wanted or needed, what is the new system. I don't think we saw it last year, if we did its a pretty boring system. I don't think we will be a strictly isolation heavy offense, or at least I hope we don't become that team.

Ty is a young coach, do we trust him with the franchise? Does Ty have a system?

Also if Layden leaves who will fill his role as an assistant coach? So far it doesn't seem like we have hired assistant coach as needs but more as Ty's buddies.

If the Jazz don't know their system yet, is it more difficult to hire an assistant coach according to need?


The Jazz have made things exciting the last few years and it feels like they aren't done yet. Stability and consistency have been trademarks of the Utah Jazz since Larry Miller bought the team. I imagine those are still the values the Jazz want to have but maybe they are going about it in a different way.