SALT LAKE CITY — Here are a few facts that tell you all you need to know about job security for NBA head coaches:
Fact 1: Kevin McHale was fired by the Houston Rockets on Wednesday after leading the team to the Western Conference Finals this past spring.
Fact 2: Jeff Hornacek, who was an assistant with the Jazz as recently as 2013, is now the ninth-longest-tenured coach in the NBA.
Fact 3: Quin Snyder, the guy Utah hired last year, has held his position with the Jazz for a longer stretch than 13 other coaches in the league.
In other words, job security is an oxymoron in terms of NBA head coaches.
“Obviously any time that you learn of a coach being fired being a coach you’re taken aback,” Snyder said. “Particularly given the circumstances.”
Those circumstances included the Rockets starting off just 4-7 this season, but also included three straight playoff appearances and an overall record of 193-130 under McHale’s direction.
“I don’t know the circumstances or the situation,” Snyder said, “but I have tremendous respect for Kevin McHale on so many levels.” And he has sympathy for the Hall of Famer’s plight.
“I do know he took that team a long way last year to the Western Conference Finals.
"It’s hard,” Snyder said. “We’ve been off to a slow start (6-19 last season). It reminds you of what a difficult and volatile position this is. It’s hard.”
Snyder expressed his appreciation to the Jazz organization, calling Utah “unique” in the way it deals with its coaches.
“It’s not a blind commitment to coaches and players,” he said. “But I think there is an understanding that there is volatility in the NBA that sometimes you can’t control. That includes everything from injuries to chemistry.
"Oftentimes," he continued, "it takes time. You have to work through those things. I think there’s an understanding on that level.”
FOREIGN AFFAIR: The Raptors and Jazz have a combined 13 players who hail from outside of the U.S., representing Australia, Brazil, Canada, Congo, France, Germany and Lithuania.
That makes sense to Snyder, who spent the 2012-13 season in Russia as an assistant under Ettore Messina with CSKA Moscow.
“Good players come from every country all over the globe,” Snyder said. “I think that’s one of the neat things about the NBA is that we do have that diversity in many respects, and certainly Toronto is a team that embodies that and we do as well.”
FRENCH LOVE: The Jazz held a moment of silence and performed the French national anthem before Wednesday’s game as a tribute to last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who’s from Saint-Quentin, France, has appreciated the love and support his country has received across the Atlantic.
“I appreciate it. The French people really appreciate it and appreciate the support everybody has shown,” Gobert said at Wednesday’s shootaround. “All of the country is a little bit shocked.”
Gobert said he’s talked to other French NBA players, including Evan Fournier of Orlando, and he continues to play with a heavy heart.
“I’m not over it, but I can’t let it distract me,” he said. “I’m going to still focus on basketball. I know they’re taking care of it over there.”