In the lockerroom cleanout today for the Utah Jazz there were some interesting quotes from various members of the Jazz, although some of the most interesting things from cleanout were probably the lack of interviews with certain players and front office people.
This year local media only heard from Justin Zanik because Danny Ainge sees that as a day-to-day responsibility for the general manager.
Here’s what I’ve heard on why Danny Ainge isn’t speaking:— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) April 29, 2022
Ainge signed on to be the franchise’s high-level decision maker on the condition that he didn’t have to deal with the “day-to-day shit” that makes the job exhausting.
The media is considered DTDS. https://t.co/YAVeTHlSsl
It’s an interesting departure from years past when Dennis Lindsey would typically speak with the media afterward. Whether it’s a necessity or not probably depends on who you ask.
The other interesting thing is that cleanup took place really quickly, like, right after the loss quickly. And only certain players spoke to the media.
That's it. We're not going to hear from any other Jazz players, tonight or tomorrow.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) April 29, 2022
No end-of-season media interviews from Rudy Gay, Hassan Whiteside, Danuel House, Jared Butler, Trent Forrest, Juancho Hernangomez, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and so on.
The reason appears that players did not want to meet tomorrow.
Should note that it's not mandatory for players to do these interviews. But it is unusual: Jazz have typically had every player talk.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) April 29, 2022
I truly think Jazz PR is trying their best on this one, but the players didn't want to meet tomorrow. Execs aren't holding exit interviews.
It may not be the intention but it does give the impression certain players had their feet out the door at the end of the season.
From what we did hear, these are some of the most interesting quotes. Probably the most important question was to Donovan Mitchell and if he wants to be in Utah.
I asked Donovan Mitchell, Do you want to be in Utah?— Sarah Todd (@NBASarah) April 29, 2022
"Yes...this hurts Sarah, I'm not gonna lie. But yeah, I do."
There were other competing quotes but it was because he was asked the question multiple times that appeared to contradict each other. It seems sufficient to put the clearest and most concise answer for now. If you take Donovan Mitchell at face value then the Jazz have an answer to the question of what Donovan Mitchell wants, at the very least in the short term. Knowing he wants to stay means they have a stronger impression of what they do this offseason, or at least have more viable options. The biggest question now is whether Mitchell is a cornerstone piece for a championship. If the Jazz believe he’s that, then they can look at making moves this offseason that build around Mitchell.
The Jazz spoke with Justin Zanik and he had a quote about all the adversity this season. It’s a good question because there was an incredible amount of drama that surrounded the team all year long, again. Here was his response.
Justin Zanik: "There wasn't internal adversity. It was a struggle for us to find some continuity this year in terms of inconsistency in the way we played... With COVID, with interrupted breaks, small breaks, it just made everything a lot harder."— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) April 29, 2022
According to Zanik, there wasn’t internal adversity, just inconsistencies that came with COVID and breaks. This may be true, but from an outside perspective, it’s hard to believe. The body language with this team was terrible far too often. To say that there was no adversity and it was just caused by interruptions from breaks and COVID brings up questions about the mental toughness of this group of players. Regardless of whether there was internal, or external, adversity, it’s clear that the mental toughness of this team was nowhere close to what it needed to be.
One of the decisions for the Jazz to make this offseason is what to do with Quin Snyder. Snyder has been linked to jobs at the Spurs and Lakers. Here’s what Zanik said when asked about Snyder.
Zanik, on Quin Snyder's future: He's one of the best coaches in the league and there's no one I'd rather partner with.— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) April 29, 2022
According to that quote, Zanik is big on Quin Snyder. The question now is what happens. Is Snyder, or his agent, the one that the rumors are originating from? Is it from the front office looking at some sort of coach trade? Are they completely made up? In a short amount of time, we’ll find out.