The Utah Jazz and the San Antonio Spurs are both small market teams from the old Midwest Division. Their histories involve Hall of Fame bigmen and grey haired coaches who aren't afraid to raise their voices. There are a number of similarities between these two franchises, except, well, one has a whole handful of NBA Championship rings, and the other is in their second or third rebuild since John Stockton and Karl Malone hung it up.
Utah is making a quiet comeback, and it has been orchestrated by former San Antonio Spurs exec Dennis Lindsey. This off-season Lindsey hired a former Spurs coaching tree standout in Quin Snyder. For years the Jazz were ahead of the Spurs. But now the Jazz are playing catch up. Thankfully, they are putting the right people in charge to make it happen.
The Spurs are champs, and they have a championship level blog here at SB Nation in Pounding the Rock. These are a group of smart basketball fans who have only ever known playing basketball the right way, and generations have grown up watching excellence. PtR's main man is J.R. Wilco and when I took the mantle up for the Jazz he took me under his wing. It's kind of how the Spurs execs are slowly taking over the Jazz.
Together we wrote OVER 3,000 WORDS on the Spurs / Jazz relationship. What did the Spurs learn from their slow climb to the top, how they faced challenges of sustained growth in a small market. How to build, how to grow, and how to improve despite specific limitations (limitations that our franchise share). Of course, it ends up being a digression of Game of Thrones, and the House of Spurs to some extent. But we do get back on track and talk about Dennis Lindsey, Quin Snyder, and how former Spurs assistants usually perform. Of course, yes, we also talk about how a team gets the most from their young players and continues to win . . . and the forgotten word in Utah the last few seasons: defense.
We used the ReplyAll.me platform to get this done, and you may have seen some of it in action before. Here's the full dialog, and I hope you enjoy it.
Thanks again to J.R. for everything over the years, and hopefully in the future our teams will continue to prosper -- and sorry about Karl Malone elbowing David Robinson all those years ago.