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Highlights from new Jazz head coach Will Hardy’s introductory press conference

The new head coach’s first order of business will be building the coaching staff and getting to know the players

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Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith and new Jazz head coach Will Hardy get ready to take photos

Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith and new Jazz head coach Will Hardy get ready to take photos at the end of a press conference at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Utah Jazz formally introduced Will Hardy as the team’s new head coach on Tuesday.

In a press conference held at Vivint Arena, Hardy was joined by Jazz CEO of basketball Danny Ainge and owner Ryan Smith as they fielded questions from local reporters. Here are some of the highlights from those interviews:

  • The Jazz interviewed an extensive list of candidates for the position, but Hardy immediately stood out for Ainge and the rest of the front office.
  • Hardy’s coaching philosophy can generally be summed up in three words — toughness, sacrifice, passion. “I would like for everybody to recognize that this is bigger than them individually,” Hardy said. “Everybody’s gonna have to get out of their comfort zone a little bit as they move forward.”
  • The front office was honest with Hardy throughout the interview process about the different paths the Jazz could take moving forward and how that could mean that he could be coaching a contending team or a team that is facing a rebuild. Hardy wanted to position no matter the roster or what the future might be.

  • Hardy will spend the next few weeks building his coaching staff, which will include outside hires but also could include some of the assistant coaches that are already on staff with the Jazz. “There’s a lot of great coaches in the NBA, and some of those coaches are already here,” Hardy said. “So, I’m taking this time to get to know them.”
  • The Salt Lake City Summer League kicks off Thursday evening and then the Las Vegas Summer League runs July 7 through July 17, and Hardy will be attending both for the duration, using them as an opportunity to get to know coaches and players more.
  • The Jazz front office, namely Ainge and general manager Justin Zanik have been open and communicative with Hardy about roster decisions, and they have made him a part of the decision-making conversations. But, Hardy said he has full trust in Ainge and Zanik’s ability to construct the roster without his input.
  • Hardy has been in contact with the Jazz’s current players and said that everyone has been receptive and excited to get to work with him.