Following the double overtime win in the final game of the regular season Wednesday night against the Timberwolves, the Utah Jazz have decided to move on from head coach Tyrone Corbin according to Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune. After four seasons with the Jazz, Corbin has put together a 112-149 record during his tenure with Utah. He put 270 games in while wearing a Jazz uniform, and has coached 262 games as the head coach of the franchise.
There are few answers as to who the Jazz may have in mind to replace Corbin. Whoever it may be, they won’t be responsible to fill the shoes of Utah’s legendary head coach Jerry Sloan. That’s exactly what Ty faced when he took on the role, and it proved to be too great of a void to fill. But can you really blame Corbin for failing to meet these expectations?
Whether it’s fair or not, the decision has been made to move on from Corbin, but let’s take some tenure history into consideration. Utah had just traded their superstar point guard Deron Williams away for a young Derrick Favors and Devin Harris, picks, and cash. Then comes the retirement of Jerry Sloan, and suddenly Corbin is left with a completely different team that was missing their center piece.
Entering the next year comes the NBA lockout. It turned out to be a nightmare for Corbin who really could have used some valuable training camp time with his new squad. At this point, you’re learning from live in-game action. You mix that task with a bunch of young players and two premium players like Paul Milsap and Al Jefferson, both with expiring contracts, and you’re left with a very awkward situation. Corbin was faced with the decision of playing the veteran guys to further build up their free agency appeal while getting some quality wins, or bench them in favor of developing your future.
Corbin decided to go with the method that would result in more wins. Jefferson and Milsap got the nightly nod as starters, while young Jazz men Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors provided limited minutes off of the bench. Corbin was faced with criticism from the Utah fan base on a night-to-night basis with the mass majority pulling for more play from their future stars in Favors and Kanter. Having Milsap and Jefferson remain in the driver’s seat resulted in more wins, but it wasn’t enough to make the playoffs.
Enter the 2013-14 season. Corbin is now without his go-to combo in Milsap and Jefferson, and is now looking to Richard Jefferson and Marvin Williams to provide that leadership veteran presence, while fully relying on Gordon Hayward to be the leader of the team, and to be that go-to guy to command the floor and seize the clutch time role. You’re also left with a very talented, undersized rookie point guard in Trey Burke to come in and fill that void Utah has had since the departure of Deron Williams, and furthermore, John Stockton. Without the big-man presence to produce points in Al Jefferson, you’re looking to Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter to take the keys and drive this Utah team to some boards and buckets.
Your team is predicted to finish as one of the worst teams in the league, and such an assumption arrives to hold true. Upper management and the entire staff were on board with full knowledge that this was going to be a rebuilding and development year. Why abandon that now? Why not choose the coach you want to stick with these players with the same philosophy and rebuilding process while your talent develops? The next coach will have to be prepared to take on a core set of players, all with 3-4 years in the league, and impose a new system and philosophy on them. Don’t forget that you need to further develop your potential franchise second-year point guard as well.
Fair or not for coach Tyrone Corbin, his tenure with the Jazz has ended. Utah will definitely have trouble finding a personality who shares as much class, professionalism, and passion for the franchise as Corbin has.
Sports-Kings Pass The Pill Contributor Austin Peat @PistolPeat187