SBD/August 7, 2012/Franchises

Kevin O'Connor Out As Jazz GM, But Will Stay On As Exec VP

Focusing on Exec VP duties, O'Connor can give "sharper leadership" to the team
Kevin O’Connor plans to “relinquish his position as longtime general manager of the Utah Jazz” and Spurs VP/Assistant GM Dennis Lindsey “is expected to take over the role,” according to Smith & Luhm of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. O’Connor will “still guide Utah’s basketball operations and retain key aspects of the ‘executive vice president’ portion of his job title.” The Jazz were scheduled to hold a “front-office-related news conference” at 10:00am MT today. The Jazz have “one of the smallest front offices in the NBA, and O’Connor’s decision will push forward a modernization process that began when Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan resigned in February 2010.” A source said the move makes "perfect sense." Smith & Luhm note by removing himself “from the day-to-day grind of being a GM -- dealing with agents, travel, nonstop phone calls and endless rumors -- O’Connor should be able to streamline his responsibilities and provide the Jazz with sharper leadership” (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 8/7). In Salt Lake City, Kurt Kragthorpe writes O’Connor “personally tries to take the places of two franchise legends," late Jazz Owner Larry H. Miller and Sloan. After Miller died in ‘09 and Sloan resigned last year, the Jazz “have lacked the administrative layer that O’Connor will now fill.” The newly hired GM “can handle the day-to-day personnel management, with O’Connor functioning as the ultimate decision-maker in the absence of the strong personalities of Miller and Sloan.” Kragthorpe: “This is just another step in the Jazz’s evolution toward normalcy in the NBA. After being owner-driven and coach-driven for nearly a quarter-century, they’re becoming like just about every other pro sports organization” (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 8/7).
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