The Utah Jazz parted ways with its recent tumultuous past on Monday, April 21, letting go of head coach Tyrone Corbin after three seasons. Corbin was promoted to the top job after Jerry Sloan resigned in 2011--but the ride was a bumpy one to begin with.
After the Jazz sent Deron Williams to New Jersey (now Brooklyn) in Corbin’s first year and later sent players like Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Wesley Matthews and Kyle Korver--franchise cornerstones all--their separate ways, you knew a rebuilding project was in order.
And so, Corbin wasn’t dealt the most fair of hands over the past three years--but his work with his young charges was apparently not enough to keep him on as Jazz coach. His record was 25-57 this year as Utah finished with the fourth worst record in the NBA.
“I would like to thank Ty and his staff for all of their hard work, dedication and professionalism over the last three-plus seasons,” Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said in a statement. “This has not been an easy decision, but after a thorough review process, we as an organization feel that this is the best decision for our franchise moving forward.”
Corbin had 112 wins and 146 losses as Jazz head coach--certainly not the worst coaching record of any NBA head man. He even led the Jazz to one playoff appearance--in which Utah was swept by the San Antonio Spurs. But there were other factors--nee obstacles--that may have led to his dismissal.
When Jensen left his job as Rick Majerus’ right hand man and top assistant at Saint Louis for the D-League Canton Charge--and then led the Charge to a title in his first season--you knew this former Utah Utes star was on the rise.
It was confirmed after Jensen reached the pinnacle as a D-League coach and was hired by Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey.
Jensen’s work with the bigs was critical in the development of Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert this season.
If you don’t believe the Jazz paid close attention to their top assistant getting arrested for tax evasion in 2013, you don’t know much about the Jazz.
It was a big deal internally--and the primary reason the team brought in several new assistants including Jensen. The writing was on the wall for Lowe--and Corbin--even if it was kept private.
Lowe--who also played with Jazz color commentator Thurl Bailey at North Carolina State--was always a coach who was good with guards and small forwards --but he came in as a package deal with Corbin.
What is this, old home week? If Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski is to be believed, former Utah Utes head coach--and current San Antonio Spurs assistant--Jim Boylen could be in the mix.
Yes, you heard right; the guy who tried to get physical with the opposing team's player--and the guy the Utes fired because he didn’t win enough games or graduate enough kids.
He apparently is tight with Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey. Utes and Jazz fans, you can panic now.
Many may not believe--or agree with this--but Hornacek leaving the Jazz organization for the Phoenix Suns and his relative success as a head coach this year with a roster that was as bad as Utah’s was equally bad for Corbin.
Jazz brass probably looked at Hornacek, a former Jazz assistant, as the one that got away, so to speak.
And when Corbin couldn’t deliver wins in the final third of the season like Hornacek, it made Ty expendable in their eyes, perhaps.
Corbin (pictured) was never a Dennis Lindsey guy. Lindsey didn’t hire him; Kevin O‘Connor did--and there were reports of discontent between all of the above.
As general manager, Linsdey’s moves were shrewd, particularly at the 2013 NBA Draft.
But, Lindsey's decisions to let Paul Millsap, Mo Williams and Al Jefferson go were met with some scorn--and it paved the way to a rebuilding project the likes of which has never been seen in Utah.
Even if Corbin wasn’t publicly sharing his opinion on the matter, you could tell he wasn’t ready to tank for the sake of some youngsters, either.
After all, he was Jerry Sloan's guy--and Sloan would have allowed that over his dead body.