When it comes to finding work, connections are key. And no player is more connected with the Utah Jazz franchise than the NBA’s all-time assists leader , John Stockton.
The Jazz plan to reach out to Stockton to gauge his interest in being the team’s head coach, according to ESPN. The team is aware of Stockton’s lack of coaching experience and his aversion for the spotlight, but there are some that believe when it comes to coaching he could be “a natural.”
Per insider Marc Stein:
The assumption in coaching circles is that Stockton, who was fiercely private as a player and has remained so in retirement, would balk at the media demands on coaches as much as anything about the job. But Stockton also is seen in some corners as a coaching natural after spending 19 seasons, all with the Jazz, as a peerless coach on the floor who ranks No. 1 in league history with 15,806 career assists.
The search for the next Jazz coach is expected to include upwards of 20 candidates. General manager Dennis Lindsey told the Deseret News that the team is getting closer to reaching out to the prospective coaching candidates.
Lindsey is expected to sit down with the potential candidates as soon as this week at the NBA’s pre-draft camp in Chicago, which would serve as a first round of interviews.
The report names former University of Utah coach and former San Antonio Spurs assistant Jim Boylen as Lindsey’s top choice. The two worked together in Houston, but the general manager declined to comment about interest in Boylen or any other candidates.
“I’m optimistic and I think there’s a good talent pool of coaches available,” Lindsey said. “Because we don’t know right now, there’s no one else that really knows. All the speculation is very premature.”
Another candidate that has been mentioned in connection with the Jazz vacancy is longtime European League coach Ettore Messina, who is believed to want to make the leap to the NBA. Both Lindsey and assistant general manager Justin Zanik are known to be fans of Messina.
According to ESPN, Chicago Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin, former Missouri coach Quin Snyder, and current Jazz assistant coach Brad Jones may also be in the running for the position.