If you were betting on who will be the next Utah Jazz coach, the smart money goes on Spurs assistant coach Jim Boylen (a former University of Utah coach). He comes from an environment that’s about building a culture, which is what they do in San Antonio. Plus Boylen has a very good relationship with Utah GM Dennis Lindsey.
But he’s not the only guy the Utah Jazz will speak to in finding a replacement for Tyrone Corbin, whose contract expired and he didn’t get a new one.
Which has led to some interesting names popping up in the conversation. Marc Stein of ESPN took to twitter to throw a European coaching legend’s name into the mix.
Messina spent one season as a Lakers assistant coach, that’s his only NBA experience. He’s an old-school, hard driving coach who loves to practice and drill his players. Can he adjust to the NBA where during the long grind of the season practices are often cancelled? (Doc Rivers is the king of canceling practice, with considerable success.)
Would the conservative and patient Jazz organization take that kind of risk? It seems unlikely but not impossible.
The Salt Lake Tribune also threw out some bigger names — Lionel Hollins and Steve Kerr. Hollins certainly built a culture and developed players in helping make Memphis a threat in the West. Kerr would be learning on the job but he has interest in staying out West and Utah is closer to San Diego than New York (although I still bet he ends up with the Knicks, the two sides are talking behind the scenes reports Jeff Zillgett at the USA Today, although nothing is settled).
However both of them are long shots.
Another assistant coach name to watch according to the Tribune: Mike Longabardi. He was an assistant with the Suns this season after being with Doc Rivers for years in Boston.