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Most fans are used to seeing the Utah Jazz players go through their pregame routines.
Players are also doing stretches and different training exercises away from the court. Some have something to eat a little while before the game starts. Some players listen to music, some meditate.
“I try to not sit in my office and just invent new problems.”— Utah Jazz coach Will Hardy on what he does leading up to game time
But what does the head coach of the Jazz do pregame?
“I try to not sit in my office and just invent new problems,” Will Hardy said shortly before the Jazz played the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. “Knowing myself, if I just sit back there and stare at (the game plan), or go, ‘Hey, let me go back and watch Memphis’ last game again,’ I’m gonna see something that may trigger some anxiety for myself.”
Hardy gets to the arena quite a while before a game starts and meets with his coaching staff to talk through some last-minute stuff, but by that point on a game day, most everything has already been planned and discussed.
So instead of spending the time overthinking things, he watches late-game situations from around the league — continuing to familiarize himself with tendencies of other teams, in case the Jazz end up in a close, late-game situation down the road.
But after he does that and maybe checks in with the players in the training room or locker room, Hardy sits for his pregame media availability and then mostly wanders around.
Hardy said that after spending more than a decade as an assistant coach and spending most of his pregame time on the court with the players who were warming up, that’s where he feels the most comfortable.
Fans who are able to show up to the Delta Center earlier on a game night are very likely to see Hardy walking around the court before a game starts. He catches up with some of the coaches from opposing teams, says hello to players that he knows and people in the crowd that he knows, and sometimes he’ll discuss things with reporters or members of his staff.
Most importantly, Hardy isn’t sitting in his office, where he knows he would start to go a little stir-crazy and that his anxieties would end up impacting the players on the team.
“I try to stay moving around before the game,” Hardy said with a laugh. “Just so I don’t make the night any more complicated than it already is. Trying to protect the team from me, basically.”
New with the Jazz
Quote of the week
“I can’t say that into a microphone.” — Will Hardy joked when asked what’s the dumbest thing he’s ever heard Joe Ingles say
From the archives
Stat of the week
San Antonio Spurs rookie, 19-year-old Victor Wembanyama, finished with 38 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in a 132-121 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. Only two other teenagers have ever posted NBA games of 38/10/2 in NBA history — LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
A marked man? Lauri Markkanen learning what it takes to be an NBA star (Deseret News)
In loss to Suns, Jazz rookie Keyonte George learned quite a bit (Deseret News)
Joe Ingles is making an impression as his career continues in Orlando (Deseret News)
Lauri Markkanen spent the offseason working on his ball-handling skills (Salt Lake Tribune)
Around the league
Clippers land James Harden in blockbuster trade with Sixers.
NBA In-Season Tournament begins on Friday.
Up next: 2023-24 regular season
Nov. 4 | 6 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Minnesota | KJZZ
Nov. 6 | 6 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Chicago | KJZZ
Nov. 8 | 5 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Indiana | KJZZ
Nov. 10 | 5 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Memphis | KJZZ
All times MT