The Jazz have been given the green light to talk to several well-regarded current assistant coaches about their head coaching vacancy, per Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
Several of the names Woj and MacMahon mention had been floated as possibilities in reports earlier this week, but Celtics assistant coach Joe Mazzulla joins an expanding list of assistant coaches under consideration by Jazz brass.
As Jared Weiss of The Athletic tweets, Mazzulla worked as an assistant coach under both Brad Stevens and now Ime Udoka in Boston, and has assumed a more significant role while on Udoka’s bench this season. Mazzulla interviewed for the head coaching position with Boston in 2021 after Stevens moved into a front office role with the franchise and will get an opportunity to meet with the Jazz this spring.
Woj and MacMahon indicate that Utah is also set to interview current Jazz assistant Alex Jensen, who served on the staff of departed head coach Quin Snyder, along with former Blazers coach Terry Stotts, Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant, Celtics assistant Will Hardy, and Bucks assistant coach Charles Lee. These five candidates had been included on the team’s preliminary list.
Suns assistant coach Kevin Young and Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin were previously cited as possible candidates, but they weren’t mentioned in today’s ESPN report.
The other key piece of new information from Wojnarowski and MacMahon is that the coaching search is anticipated to expand further to include both assistants and recent NBA head coaches. According to ESPN’s duo, the team will cast a wide net and move gradually in its search.
In eight seasons with Snyder at the helm, Utah never advanced beyond the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. This year, the Jazz finished with a 49-33 regular season record and lost 4-2 in the first round to the Mavericks.
10 thoughts on “Latest On Jazz’s Head Coaching Search”
Is this the same Joe Mazzulla that ended the Boogie/Wall era at UK by dominating the paint (at 5’9) in Bobby Huggins 1-3-1 defense? If so that would be smooth. He always seemed like he’d be a good coach. But why not just hire Huggins?
Yep same Joe Mazzulla. This was 1 of the most interesting basketball games I ever seen & that’s saying alot… link to m.youtube.com
The liquor? There’s a lot of college coaches who did not make the jump for whatever reason.
If this is about Huggins he def would not be the 1st heavy drinker to coach in the league. Budenholzer started his head coaching career off w/ a DUI & is currently sitting on 2 COYs & a title. I def think Huggins (or Majerus or Chaney) woulda been a good nba coach tho
Just the name Budenholzer matches that profile :D… The king of beers lol
I was a Bearcat fan in the 90s and felt Huggins sabotaged the quality UC teams’ chances in the tourney. I could be wrong, you know, coach is a bum, etc. He was great with JC transfers and fullcourt presses.
Alex Jenson did well in Cleveland, moved prob bc being a Mormon. Established a winning culture quickly for the new Canton Charge of the GL. He was their first coach and won the RS in their second & third year
I’ve always felt Alex Jensen would make a great head coach. He has a calm demeanor, is very intelligent, 6’10”?, which means players would naturally feel like he’s one of them. He seems very friendly and approachable.
My only question is how good is he at strategy and developing players? I get the impression he’s great at both.
How good is he at reading people? That is hard to say from afar, but he does seem thoughtful and sincere. Just look at his eyes and how he interacts with people. He always appears focused and interested in what people are saying.
Probably the only other hard question would be:. How good is at making tough decisions? Can he be strong against opposition? Against star player egos? Or does he just kindness?
I don’t know enough about the other guys , nor have I seen enough of their interactions to get an impression. I’ll have to check out interviews, etc.
Jensen’s former teammate Andre Miller would be an even better choice for a lot of the same reasons you just said.
Ben: Jenson 6-7, started on Utah’s finals team ’98 under Majerus.
Well something has held Jenson back, I thought he must have left for Europe… He used to be mentioned more prominently as a HC prospect. Teams often want blacks now, but I doubt that’s it. Sometimes young ambitious coaches can be headstrong, just sayin’.
Huggins is 68. Believe it or not, most HCs that are part of the college coaching royalty (like him) have little to no interest in coaching in the NBA. In large part because they don’t consider it real coaching, or believe that the coaching element is too subordinate to too many other things. Also, because of lifestyle, theirs will immediately change, from icon to mercenary.
Basically, if an NBA wants to entice a successful (proven) college HC to make the switch to the NBA, you have to get them at an inflection point in their career, and yet while they are still young enough to adapt or course reverse.