By Brian T. Smith | The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Aug 07 2012 10:36 am • Last Updated Aug 17 2012 12:01 pm
Lindsey would’ve been fine with it. He could’ve been a lifer. Living in gyms, breathing in sweat and competition, maximizing raw potential and constantly competing for a championship.
Dennis Lindsey file
Position » Jazz general manager
Age » 43
Career » San Antonio vice president/assistant GM (2007-12), Houston vice president of basketball operations and player personnel (2002-07)
NBA start » Rockets video coordinator/scout in 1996
Pre-NBA » Assistant coach at Fort Worth Southwest High School and Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College
Playing career » Baylor (1988-92)
Family » Wife, Becky. Four children (Jacob, Matthew, Meredith, Jessica Claire).
Born » Freeport, Texas
Changing of the guard
Kevin O’Connor relinquished his role as Jazz general manager on Monday, while Utah hired former San Antonio vice president/assistant GM Dennis Lindsey for the position.
O’Connor will remain as the Jazz’s executive VP of basketball operations and oversee all big-picture aspects of the organization.
Sixteen years after taking a pay cut just so he could trade the title of assistant men’s basketball coach at Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College for an NBA entry-level position, Lindsey was officially awarded a job Tuesday that instantly became a life-changer.
Kevin O’Connor relinquished 13 years’ worth of responsibilities as the Jazz’s general manager, turning Utah’s day-to-day activities over to Lindsey. The well-respected and highly successful O’Connor will remain in his position as Utah’s executive vice president of basketball operations, pairing with Lindsey in the attempt to finally bring an NBA championship to Salt Lake City.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported Lindsey’s hire as Jazz GM and the change in O’Connor’s title Monday.
Lindsey was formally introduced Tuesday during a news conference at the team practice facility. Jazz CEO Greg Miller and president Randy Rigby praised the addition, touting Lindsey’s low-conflict, high-character personal nature. Jazz owner Gail Miller laughed and cried discussing O’Connor’s unyielding devotion to Utah’s lone major professional sports franchise.
"I have absolutely no worry that Kevin and I can put a great group together and have great chemistry," said the 43-year-old Lindsey, who spent five seasons in San Antonio as the Spurs’ vice president/assistant GM and was splicing video for Houston in 1997 when John Stockton drilled a Game 6 buzzer-beater that sent the Jazz to the NBA Finals.
Lindsey added: "The nature of my relationship with the players is going to be to cultivate the group. … I’m trying to continue what Kevin and [coach Tyrone Corbin] have started with a new core."
After having his name attached to high-profile jobs with Atlanta, Minnesota, Phoenix and Toronto during recent years and being a finalist in June for Orlando’s GM opening, Lindsey has suddenly become a member of the Jazz’s close-knit, less-is-more front office.
O’Connor had long considered removing himself from the NBA’s daily grind, but held off making the move during a lockout-compressed 2011-12 season that left little time for big-picture planning. Now, Lindsey assumes a position that first appeared within his grasp when he served as the Rockets’ vice president of basketball operations and player personnel. Current Houston GM Daryl Morey assumed that title in 2007, though, and Lindsey spent the past five years adding to his resume in San Antonio.