SALT LAKE CITY – As sports fans gathered at Legends Pub and Grill to watch the Celtics face off against the Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday evening, their minds were on the Utah Jazz.
Even Boston fans glued to the bar’s big screen couldn’t help but talk about the day’s big announcement.
“It’s too bad. Because Quin Snyder was a good coach,” Mike Maloney said, to a group of work colleagues who came out to watch the game with him.
Sunday afternoon, the Utah Jazz sent out a press release with the news Quin Snyder is stepping down and concluding his tenure as the team’s head coach.
From the fans, the ownership group and the organization: Thank you, Coach pic.twitter.com/19uu9BhrSd
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) June 5, 2022
“Snyder departs Utah following eight years with the Jazz and a 372-264 (.585) regular-season record,” the release said. “He leaves the Jazz as the second-winningest coach in franchise history.”
Snyder was quoted in the release as saying that after discussions regarding moving forward, he knows it is time.
“I strongly feel they need a new voice to continue to evolve,” Snyder said, in the release. “That’s it. No philosophical differences, no other reason. After eight years, I just feel it’s time to move forward. I needed to take time to detach after the season and make sure this was the right decision.” He said he is grateful for his time at the Jazz.
“It was surprising to see him go, but they’re, you know, kind of middle of the pack in the Western Conference, and usually when that happens, you make a change– and it usually starts with the coach,” Maloney said .
Utah Jazz Fan Seth Walsh, who was watching the game at a nearby table, said he’s not sure Snyder fit with the team’s future.
“It’s not a surprise,” Walsh said. “I think many people were leaning toward him. He was going to retire but take a couple of years off and then get back with a different team.”
Walsh wondered what will happen with the Jazz from here.
“The first thing that pops into my head is, it’s just going to continue the dysfunction with the locker room,” he said. “I think he was probably the last thing holding your two stars together behind the scenes, and obviously, with the way Donovan is reacting to it, it’s not good.”
Walsh, as well as Maloney and his group, speculated on what this means for Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. Walsh said he thinks the team will keep one of the stars but feels they won’t both end up staying.
Maloney chatted with his co-workers about different potential directions to go in.
“Maybe Rudy is the guy to go,” Maloney said, to the group. “I think you could maybe move Rudy to the Nets, get Kyrie [Irving] to play with Donovan Mitchell.”
Food for thought, and Maloney said it’ll be interesting with the change of coach to see if that means changing some of the players.
“The Jazz are a great team that obviously has earned a lot of respect in Quin Snyder’s tenure,” he said. “I wish him the best.”