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Will Hardy is not messing around

The Utah Jazz head coach sent a message to his team, and it came across loud and clear

NBA: NOV 06 Jazz at Bulls Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After back-to-back blowout losses last week, Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy was fed up. He was explicitly frustrated with the lack of effort and with the selfishness that his team was playing with. Hardy didn’t pull any punches in his media availability. He dropped bomb after metaphorical bomb in his responses to media questions, including saying, “If you’re gonna wear a Utah Jazz jersey, you have to give a s*** about the Utah Jazz.”

Coach Hardy made it clear that low effort and unwillingness to pass would result in a loss of playing time. “We are eight going to dig in and learn or we’re going to have to make some real changes with who’s playing in the games”, Hardy said. That type of talk from the head coach will always turn heads.

Hardy stood by his word.

When news came that Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson would be missing the next game due to injury and illness, lineup changes were inevitable. That said, nobody expected the changes that came. Rather than replacing the missing starters with the players who typically got the most minutes at the available positions, Coach Hardy inserted Omer Yurtseven, Simone Fontecchio, and Kris Dunn. All three players have regularly sat out entire games by Coach’s decision. When they got playing time, they worked as hard as possible. They played with effort and passion. Hardy’s quotes weren’t empty threats. He went through with playing the guys that he knew would play hard and pass.

Message sent.

The new lineup wasn’t perfect. There were ugly times. They didn’t score very well. But they won. That rotation put in the work. They defended, rebounded, shared the ball, and held on to a win.

Message received.