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Utah Jazz promote more of their brain trust

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It’s almost like Calvin and Hobbes now

Atlanta Hawks v Phoenix Suns

Yesterday we got a chance to see the Utah Jazz making meaningful moves by promoting three of their assistant coaches. Today we’re seeing more from their back benchers, as Richard Smith, Bart Taylor, and Nixon Dorvilien all got new titles and greater responsibilities.

From their press release at NBA.com:

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has promoted Richard Smith to executive director of international scouting and Bart Taylor to Jazz director of scouting/Salt Lake City Stars vice president of basketball operations. Additionally, the team announced the hiring of Nixon Dorvilien as director of rehabilitation. Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not announced.

Smith is promoted to executive director of international scouting and will now head the Jazz’s global scouting efforts. He is entering his 22nd year with the organization having worked in a variety of capacities within basketball operations. For the past three seasons he served as the Jazz executive director of player services, following prior stints as director of basketball operations, director of scouting services, video coordinator and advance scout. A native of Norwich, Conn., “Smitty” earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Central Connecticut State College.

The Utah Jazz, NBA.com, September 2016

Smitty is absolutely the best. You hear that from a lot of people making passing statements about other people, but in this case it’s absolutely justified to say that Smith is the best. I got to meet him and chat with him a few years back when I was covering the Predaft Combine back in 2014. Others who have met him at Utah Jazz events (like Andy B Larsen and Diana Allen did years ago at a season ticket holder meet and greet) echo those sentiments. He knows so much and it’s absolutely important to me as a ‘fan’ to know that there are some good guys working for the team that I love. I’m a big fan of his, and know that he’ll do great as the directory of international scouting -- which has become an increasingly important job for the team’s continued success (foreign players: Joel Bolomboy (Ukraine), Boris Diaw (France), Dante Exum (Australia), Rudy Gobert (France), Joe Ingles (Australia), Trey Lyles (Canada)). We can assume that Smitty is now the boss of Rigas Dardalis, Vjeran Bosnjak, Walter Roese, and Babacar Sy. (Yeah, I do my homework ladies and gentleman.)

The Jazz continue to make good decisions here with the second hat for Bart Taylor:

As Jazz director of scouting/ [Salt Lake City] Stars vice president of basketball operations, Taylor will serve the dual role of coordinating the Jazz’s scouting efforts while also directing all basketball-related decisions for the Jazz-owned NBA Development League team, which is set to begin its inaugural season in Utah in November. Now in his fifth season with the Jazz, Taylor had most recently served as the Jazz coordinator of scouting. Born and raised in San Antonio, Taylor served basketball operations internships with both his hometown Spurs and their NBA D-League affiliate the (then) Austin Toros after attending Trinity University in San Antonio, where he played basketball for three years and earned a degree in mathematics.

The Utah Jazz, NBA.com, September 2016

He’s a “Spurs DNA” guy while Smitty is a “Jazz DNA” guy from the Jerry Sloan years. I think a mix is needed. But let’s not forget entirely new blood. And that’s where Nix comes in. He also has Spurs DNA, but is coming from another team altogether here — and not the Jazz.

In his newly created role, Dorvilien will work closely with the Jazz’s medical and sports science staffs on injury prevention, athlete recovery and return to optimal performance after injury.

Dorvilien comes to the Jazz after spending the previous two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks (2014-16), the first as assistant athletic trainer before being promoted to head athletic trainer for his second season. He also spent time with the Brooklyn Nets (2012-14) as assistant athletic trainer. Dorvilien started his career with the San Antonio Spurs in 2005 as the team’s equipment manager and assistant athletic trainer. He spent six seasons with the Spurs organization, including the team’s NBA Championship campaign in 2006-07. During his time in San Antonio, Dorvilien also served as the head athletic trainer and strength coach for the Austin Toros (now Austin Spurs) during their 2011-12 D-League Championship season.

A native of the Bahamas, Nixon received a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Park University before earning his master’s degree from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 2004. After completing his education, Dorvilien served one year as the Red Raiders’ athletic trainer for track and field, winning the men’s Big 12 championship, before joining the Spurs.

The Utah Jazz, NBA.com, September 2016

Cool stuff! I’m excited to see how it all comes together for the team!