Monday, August 8, 2022

Associated Press Source: Celtics’ Hardy accepts offer to become Jazz coach

Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy has accepted an offer to coach the Utah Jazz, a person with knowledge of the talks said Tuesday.

According to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, Hardy and the Jazz were in the process of finalizing contract language because neither side had publicly announced the deal.

Hardy will become the head coach of the NBA for the first time. He will replace Quinn Snyder, who decided to leave Jazz earlier this month after eight seasons.

ESPN and The Athletic first reported the deal between Hardy and the Jazz.

Hardy spent one season in Boston, helping the Celtics reach the NBA Finals. His last 11 seasons were spent with the San Antonio Spurs, starting out as a basketball operations intern, moving into the video room and eventually becoming an assistant under all-time winning leader and five-time NBA champion Greg Popovich.

Hardy also assisted Popovich during USA Basketball appearances at the 2019 Basketball World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Hardy left San Antonio for Boston to work for another former Spurs assistant, Ime Udoka, who took the Celtics to the finals in his first season as head coach.

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And given the success of the Popovich coaching tree in the NBA, it’s no surprise that the Jazz decided Hardy was the right hire.

Consider the roster of current NBA and WNBA coaches who have worked under Popovich, worked for, or some combination thereof.

Golden State’s Steve Kerr won his fourth title as coach – defeating Udoka, Hardy and the Celtics in that series – and ninth championship overall. Milwaukee’s Mike Buddenholzer led the Bucks to the 2021 NBA title. Phoenix’s Monty Williams guided the Sons to the NBA’s best record this season and made it to the finals last year. Memphis’ Taylor Jenkins led the Grizzlies to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference this season. Philadelphia’s Doc Rivers won the NBA title, Sacramento’s Mike Brown went to the NBA Finals in his second season as head coach at Cleveland, and Becky Hyman made her best start in the WNBA in her first season to the Las Vegas Aces debut. Had it.

Obviously, those who learn from Popovich know how to win.

And Hardy was not labeled coaching for a while.

“It’s always been about being selfless,” Hardy said while attending a Rising Coach seminar last year. “Coach Pop says all the time: ‘Keep yourself over. It’s not about you.'”

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Utah was the only team in the NBA with a coaching vacancy and became the fourth team to complete recruitment since the regular season ended. Sacramento hired the Browns, the Los Angeles Lakers hired Darwin Hamm, Charlotte brought back Steve Clifford for a second stint, and now the Jazz are turning their team to 34-year-old Hardy, one of the few players in the NBA. smaller than.

Hardy has also inherited a roster that is capable of winning.

The Jazz is one of three teams to have made the playoffs in each of the last six seasons; Boston (with eight) and Milwaukee (with six) are the others. Utah won 49 games this season and Snyder went 372-264 with the Jazz.

But he decided he needed a change, and Utah set out on his own process. The Jazz spoke to several assistants throughout the NBA before selecting Hardy, who would become only the fourth Utah coach in a span of 33 years—after Jerry Sloan, Tyrone Corbin, and Snyder.

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More Associated Press NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Nation World News Desk
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