SALT LAKE CITY — At 10:01 p.m. Tuesday night, one of the most powerful leaders in the Utah community took his last breath in his Salt Lake City home surrounded by family.
Late LDS president Thomas S. Monson passed away at 90.
As the Mormon community continues to mourn his death, the Utah Jazz gave a tribute to the loyal fan with a moment of silence at Vivint Arena ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans tipoff Wednesday.
For Jazz coach Quin Snyder, he wouldn’t expect anything less than that from an organization who prides itself on such selfless acts.
“For me, from the time that I interviewed, you know with the Miller family how important their faith is to who they are and what they do in the community with the Church,” Snyder said. “It follows that that would happen tonight, that we would have that acknowledgment.
“I think those values permeate the culture of the Jazz,” he added. “It’s something that they believe in and whatever selflessness or commitment to family … all of those different things are things that, whether or not they are emphasized overtly every day, they are the things that we know are important to them and we want to represent them the right way.”
The Jazz also released a statement from the Larry and Gail Miller family on behalf of their appreciation for Monson. His love for the Jazz was well documented through the years.
“His lifelong service and his impact on the world will always be remembered,” the Jazz released. “He was an example of pure service, always looking after those in need, including our family as he provided comfort by visiting Larry, another West High boy, many times during his long illness. We are honored to have had a close relationship with him and will miss him.”
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: For the past couple weeks, coaches from the Chinese National Team have been in attendance during Jazz activities. They’ve been involved in meetings, practices, and any other team-related functions as an opportunity to share knowledge. Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey and his staff welcomed the international coaches into the organization as they continue to scout and connect with the overseas market. Utah entered the 2017-18 season with eight international players on the roster, which was the most in the NBA.
“You can share basketball ideals and experiences especially with coaches from other parts of the world that have unique experiences,” Snyder said. “So it’s great to have them here and we’ll have a chance to spend even more time with them. They’re going to be here for a few weeks.”
ROAD WARRIORS: In the month of December, Utah played nine road games while traveling a total distance of 11,221 miles. In January, the Jazz are back on the road again, playing eight games away from home for an estimated travel of 10,189 miles in Denver, Miami, Washington, Charlotte, Sacramento, Atlanta, Detroit, and Toronto.
“The distance can have an impact with time zones,” Snyder said. “I think that’s the main thing, and you try to mitigate that with how we schedule certain things, but that’s the primary thing with the distance.
“I think guys end up sleeping on the plane and I know the coaches end up watching a lot of film so in some sense you get something ‘done,’ so to speak, but it kind of is what it is.”