Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder, after leading the Jazz to a franchise-best start and league-leading 24-5 record, will be the Western Conference All-Star head coach.
Naturally, Snyder tried to deflect from taking credit for the Jazz’s accomplishments, instead pointing to the players themselves for giving him the opportunity to coach the All-Star Game.
“It’s just a statement about our team and our players,” he said Wednesday night after the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers for a ninth consecutive win. “Obviously, winning games, that’s ultimately the reason you’re there is because your team is winning. You don’t have to read too much into that, that’s the criteria.”
Though Snyder is right that the winningest coach in each conference is named to coach the All-Star Game, Jazz players see it as much more symbolic of an honor for the work that Snyder has done in his seven seasons as head coach of the Jazz.
Donovan Mitchell described the tireless work that Snyder puts into the job saying, “The man never sleeps.”
“I love coach. I think this is well deserved. Obviously we score, we do all these different things, but he writes the stuff down. He’s the one that emphasizes it and yeah, we go out and play, but we’re a really well-coached team ... he won’t ever say it, but he’s the best coach in the league in my opinion.” — Donovan Mitchell
Mitchell went on to describe how after every season, every playoff series, every time he gets a chance, Snyder would come to Mitchell to discuss tactics, schemes and ideas.
“I love coach,” Mitchell said. “I think this is well deserved. Obviously we score, we do all these different things, but he writes the stuff down. He’s the one that emphasizes it and yeah, we go out and play, but we’re a really well-coached team ... he won’t ever say it, but he’s the best coach in the league in my opinion.”
Joe Ingles said that Snyder is the best coach he’s ever had and said that while that is in large part because of what he’s able to get out of players on the court, it’s actually the off-the-court conversations with Snyder and the relationships that he builds with players that is noteworthy.
“He’s a player’s coach,” Ingles said. “He obviously cares for each and every one that has been here over the seven years. And I think that’s one of the best parts, is when you’ve got a coach that actually cares about you, not just as a player and how I can get left and how he’s going to put me in the best position to do that, but to ask about your family, ask about your kids, ask about what’s going on off the court ... to have someone that genuinely cares is pretty special, and pretty rare.”
Rudy Gobert said that Snyder coaching the All-Star Game is a blessing and reminisced about the journey over the past seven years and how Snyder has stuck with the players and always been encouraging throughout even the darkest of times.
Obviously, the Jazz are hopeful that Snyder won’t be the only Jazz All-Star representing in Atlanta on March 7, but they’re proud of what they’ve accomplished as a team and they see the appointment of Snyder as All-Star coach as representative of everything, and so does Snyder.
“I’m honored to do that,” Snyder said. “It’s a credit to them that I’m getting a chance to represent our group and in that capacity.”