In the wake of two blockbuster trades and a very public fire sale, the Utah Jazz have signaled their intention for a full-scale rebuild. But new head coach Will Hardy still has an NBA regular season to navigate.
As a first-time head coach, Hardy must find a way to motivate the veterans of his roster and make it clear that he isn't going to be torpedoing the Jazz in 2022-23.
On Monday, Hardy revealed a new rallying cry — or team mantra — for this season, and we're not talking about #TakeNote.
“We know who we have, and this is the 49th team in Jazz history,” Hardy said. “And that’s our focus, team 49.”
Hardy has surveyed Utah's locker room, and he sees a collection of players with a lot to prove. Finding a way to harness it will be key.
“There’s a collective toughness, we have a lot of guys that have a chip on their shoulder,” Hardy said. “And I think that’s really powerful to have guys that are competitive and feel like they have something to prove.”
What sort of scheme can Jazz Nation expect to see from Hardy's squad this season? Suffice to say, he'll be pulling from many different sources of inspiration as he launches his 'Team 49' campaign.
“Some stuff will be familiar, some stuff will be new,” Hardy said. “Some stuff is from places I’ve been, some stuff is from places that the assistants have a comfort level. It’s really a blending of all that so that we’re all saying the same thing.”
The Jazz kick off the regular season on October 19. Many of our questions won't get answered until the sneakers start squeakin' on the hardwood court.
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