Sunday, August 7, 2022

Deal done: Celtics’ Hardy takes over as Jazz’s new coach

As the Utah Jazz spent time talking to candidates to become their next coach, Will Hardy quickly rose to the top of their list. and remained there.

Hardy was named the new Jazz coach on Tuesday, a day after the two sides reached an in-principle agreement. He will be the head coach in the NBA for the first time and at the age of 34 is currently the youngest coach in the league.

“As our search committee went through this process, Will really differentiated himself among a group of extremely talented candidates,” said Jazz general manager Justin Zanick. “We look forward to working with him as we continue our quest to bring the NBA Championship to Utah.”

Hardy moves to Utah after spending last season as an assistant in Boston, helping the Celtics make 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.

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“The Utah Jazz is one of the most respected and successful franchises in the NBA and the fan base here is legendary,” Hardy said. “With this opportunity comes tremendous responsibility. I am grateful for the trust Jazz has placed in me and I look forward to the work ahead.”

Hardy will replace Quinn Snyder, who decided to leave Jazz earlier this month after eight seasons. Snyder and the Jazz made the playoffs each of the past six seasons—tied for the second-longest current streak of postseason performances in the league—and Hardy handled a roster that features Donovan Mitchell and an All-Star-level guard at Perennials. . Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rudy Gobert.

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 – and now finds himself as the latest offshoot from the highly successful Popovich coaching tree.

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“Will Hardy is one of the most talented youth leaders in the NBA,” said Danny Ange, CEO of Jazz Basketball Operations. “He understands the importance of setting a vision and creating a culture for the players. He places great importance on communication, player development and creating the most productive environment for players to succeed. His experience on the coaching staff who have made it to the NBA Finals and with USA Basketball is invaluable and has helped prepare him for the moment. ,

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