EXIT INTERVIEWS 2021: Utah Jazz roster, front office will take time to process end of season
The day after an abrupt end-of-season loss to the Clippers in Game 6 of the NBA Playoffs, Utah Jazz team members and front office personnel jumped on Zoom calls with the local media to discuss the season, the end of play, and looking forward to the next year.
Mike Conley—a free agent—talked about the disappointing loss to the Clippers and what his offseason holds.
“It’s something I have to sit back and consider with my family and when that time comes I have to make the decision that is best for us.”
Conley said he’s most proud of all that the team was able to accomplish in a remarkable season whose end was marred by injury for him personally as he missed the first five games of the Clippers series with a strained hamstring.
Three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert echoed his disappointment when he sat down with the media. As some look for a target for blame, Gobert was quick to remind people that it’s a team game.
“It’s all of us,” Gobert said. “Once again it’s a team game. You don’t lose by yourself, you don’t win by yourself.”
“To win a championship, it takes everybody.”
Veteran swingman Joe Ingles expects to have a brief time off with the season now wrapped before he reports for duty with the Australian National Team ahead of the 2021 Summer Olympic games. Ingles’ main goal is winning the Boomers their first men’s basketball medal in his country’s Olympic history.
In addition, Ingles said having Mike Conley re-sign with the Jazz is a priority that he’ll do whatever he needs to help ensure, joking in part because Conley’s son is a classmate of Joe’s daughter.
“My daughter will be upset if Miles isn’t in her class.”
As far as improving this offseason, it’s no secret that he and the team are disappointed to be sent home after Round 2.
“I guess at the end of the day, the ultimate question or answer—if you’re not the last team standing, you’ve got to find things to improve and get better.”
Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey and General Manager Justin Zanik spoke together about their reflection on where the team ultimately came up short and didn’t shy away from the unlucky rash of injuries that hit an otherwise healthy Utah Jazz team right at the wrong time.
It was clear in the interview that Mike Conley will be a priority going forward into the offseason.
“The speed, skill, experience, intelligence, character, poise that he adds to the group, we just pinch ourselves,” Lindsey said. “It’s an honor to have him part of the program.”
Coach Quin Snyder, likewise, remarked on the impact Conley has had on and off the court over the last two seasons.
“The appreciation that I have for him not only is he a great player, but he’s one of the best human beings that I’ve ever had an opportunity to be with on a daily basis,” Snyder said.
Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson were not available in today’s non-mandatory interview availability.
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