On a recent interview with the Business of Sport youtube channel, Ryan Smith discussed coming into ownership, his commitment to the Utah Jazz, and moving on from Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. You can watch the interview here.
You should definitely check it out! One of the best parts is seeing just how committed Ryan Smith is. Knowing the goal of the Jazz is to win a championship and they’re willing to make the tough moves to do it is music to my ears.
Here are some interesting quotes from the interview, specifically being willing to make the big decisions they’ve done in the past.
On being willing to tear things down
We’re not afraid to tear things down if they’re not working and we’re always trying to climb… We’ve had to rebuild our Qualtrics system 3 different times from the ground up. Those are big decisions; we had to reposition the whole company and create a new category, experience, management from a position of strength.
The decisions the Jazz made the last few years were big and you have to give Smith credit for being wiling to deal with repercussions. There was a huge group of fans wanting to continue running it back with the core they had, even know deep down that wasn’t going anywhere. Smith talked a little more about that big decision.
Having to come in and say ‘hey look, what’s our goal? Is our goal to be really good or is our goal to win a championship?’… In Utah specifically, we are trying to win a championship. If we were trying to make the playoffs every year, we’d probably have a little bit of a different strategy. So coming in we truly were going to have to think a little different and go all in on a couple different decisions. And I think we’ve done that. I came in and we were the #1 regular season team but we’d been bounced out of the playoffs. And we had to make a tough decision last year. We were hosting the All-Star game in Utah, which was pretty cool and we had 2 All Stars. I brought Danny Ainge in and we all sat down and said ‘hey do we think we have what it takes to win a championship. We were kind of at the point where we had pushed all the chips in. To push them further was probably going to set us back. It was kind of all or nothing. For one reason or another we made the decision to move on and kind of reboot a little bit trading two All-Stars, which is probably not the most popular thing to do if you’re taking over the team in the first couple years.
Looking back, considering what they Jazz have acquired, and how good they are already, it was a tough decision that has had huge payoff and very well could lead the Jazz to a chance at a championship. Time will tell.
Make sure to give the video a watch/listen, it’s great knowing we have one of those ownership groups, and front offices, all in on winning a title in whatever way they can.