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Report: Utah Jazz VP of Basketball Operations Kevin O'Connor Moving Into Consulting Role

According to a report by KUTV news and David James, Kevin O'Connor is stepping down as the VP of Basketball Ops of the Utah Jazz.

We don't have a photo of KOC on file, so here's new head man Dennis Lindsey.
We don't have a photo of KOC on file, so here's new head man Dennis Lindsey.
Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

We've got some conflicting reports, but David James is an excellent reporter, and KUTV news is the #1 news team in Utah, so... I tend to think it's worth considering enough to post. The tweets tell the story:

Update: Story has been posted on the KUTV website. Some choice quotes:

Insiders say the decision is driven by Kevin’s intensity. In August of 2009, his wife, Linda, told the Salt Lake Tribune, "When Kevin is watching an away game the dog gets a little scared sometimes. She runs upstairs and hides … For Kevin, it’s pretty much basketball all the time."

Kevin and his wife Linda sold their Utah home April 17th and sources close to them say they are preparing to relocate to the Carolina’s—where Kevin went to college and where they have been vacationing each summer.

Under this arrangement, Dennis Lindsey (pictured) becomes the head decision maker for the Utah Jazz.

Update 2: This morning, the Jazz are denying this report. Greg Miller tweeted this:

and Jazz President Randy Rigby released a statement:

Media reports of Kevin O’Connor’s departure are inaccurate and he is not stepping down. He is fully engaged in Jazz preparations for draft season. The working relationship between Kevin and Dennis Lindsey is unchanged as both individuals provide valuable expertise, knowledge and perspective toward building a championship-caliber team. Kevin will be a member of the Jazz family for a long time. No further comment is needed.

David James and KUTV have yet to comment, so it will be interesting to see if they stick by the story or backpedal. The Jazz have a history of wanting to release news on their terms, so this could be a "bad-timing" denial:

Or it could be an inaccurate report, making David James into the new Lionel Bienvenu. That would be a bummer.

Update 3: Thanks to @Clintonite33, who relayed this on to me. The Jazz are sticking with the story that the "working relationship remains unchanged", however, David James is sticking with his side of the story as well, albeit with new verbiage. KUTV News has changed their post to indicated that Kevin O'Connor is "transitioning into a consulting role", but still lead with

Jazz’s vice president of basketball operations, Kevin O’ Connor, has been the primary voice and architect of jazz personnel moves for 14 years, but this summer he will give all those responsibilities to General Manager Dennis Lindsey.

In short, we're still in the dark as to who the decision maker is. The Jazz say KOC is the "working relationship is unchanged", but KUTV News says that he will no longer be the "primary voice and architect" with a timeframe of "this summer". I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Update 4: Okay! 1280 The Zone, the radio station owned by the Utah Jazz, had a chance to interview David James on the radio this afternoon, which played about 4 PM and was just uploaded to the 1280 site. It's about a 15 minute interview, and is extremely informative. Here's the link.

In particular, David James stands by 100% of his story, even after the Jazz denial.

He does, however, object to the use of the phrase "stepping down", which is the phrase I used to title this post. However, I did not invent this verbiage, "stepping down" was used as the title of the original KUTV article breaking the news. The term was also used in the original David James report on television. But, given that this term is apparently causing problems, I've changed the title of this post to reflect the fact that we're starting to get a better idea of what's going on.

*As a side note, though, I don't think "stepping down" is incredibly different than "decided to transition into a consulting role and move away". That being said, to be fair to the parties involved, I have changed the title to better reflect the situation.