In the business of the NBA, analyzing rumors from all possible angles simply comes with the territory for the numerous media coverage dedicated to every facet of the game.
Trades get leaked. Front office and head coaching changes are reported days – sometimes months — in advance. Heck, some reporters and columnists actually never have to even set foot in an NBA arena during the regular season to get their story. They simply pick up the phone and call a trusted contact in the know or that works within a respective organization and bam: the story is out and all of Twitterland is debating the latest scuttlebutt.
It is the way of the NBA.
That is unless you are the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz do not play that game. Never have. Never will. And they are better off for remaining tight-lipped about in-house biz both big and small.
Sure the beat writers who have to cover the team are hating it, but the Jazz garnish much respect around the league — and overseas as well — for releasing information on a need-to-know basis. And their mantra apparently has always been, there are just some things we don’t “need-to-know”.
“It’s just the way we’ve always operated,” says Kevin O’Connor, the Jazz’s senior vice president of basketball operations, in an interview with Doug Robinson of the Deseret News. “It was that way before I got here, and it certainly has been that way since I got here. We don’t like to air our business in public.”
In the feature story, Robinson goes on to explain how the team plays their cards close to the vest on everything from player movement, to the draft, to alterations to the coaching staff. And in this information hungry world that is the NBA — media circus and all — the Jazz should be commended.
“There are teams that certainly air their business through the media and sometimes place stories and leak things — to what end, I’m not always sure,” says Jazz publicist Jonathan Rinehart. “But that’s not the Jazz.”
When you think of the Utah Jazz, there is a good chance soon after you picture “Stockton to Malone”, you imagine words like “plain”, “boring”, or even “old school” thanks to the extended tenure of the Jerry Sloan era since inherited by Ty Corbin. But you also have to throw in another title: “trendsetter”.
Because while every other club around the league may have a similar policy to Utah, no one executes it better than the Jazz.
It is as innocent and pure as a “Stockton to Malone” pick-and-roll.