This is what happened to new Jazz forward Kyle Korver when he transferred from Cleveland to Utah
Less than 48 hours after learning he had been traded from Cleveland to Utah, Kyle Korver hit the ground for the first time as a Jazzman in 2018 on Friday, and immediately hit a three just 12 seconds after his entry into the match.
But bringing Korver to this point was a gigantic undertaking on the part of a team of individuals behind the scenes working together to enable him to wear a jazz uniform so quickly and to prepare Korver with a future in Utah for the rest. . of the season. Here’s how it all happened:
Like most players, Korver took a pre-game nap before his Cleveland Cavaliers – the team with the worst record in the NBA – faced the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. That’s when he heard the news: “I woke up from my pre-game nap to a bunch of missed calls from my GM and agent, and I thought to myself ‘well, something happened!’ ‘
The fact that Korver was traded didn’t come as a huge shock to him. Since the Cavaliers were no longer a contending franchise after LeBron James left, Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman had been frank with Korver, letting him know he was very likely to be traded. to the highest bidder at some point prior to the trade. deadline.
But for Korver, the destination was important to him. So he submitted a list of teams to Altman, teams where Korver had family or friends waiting, or places he was comfortable moving. One of those teams was the Jazz; as he says when he was a free agent in 2013, “I have a lot of respect for the organization, and it’s just a great place to live and play basketball.” Altman, however, had no obligation to trade Korver with anyone from his squad roster, but Korver is glad he did.
“They were aware of this, they really were,” Korver said. “I’m grateful to Koby Altman and the Cavs management for that.”
Meanwhile, Jazz chief executive Dennis Lindsey broke the news to the other player involved in the trade – swingman Alec Burks – personally, as he always makes it a priority. Jazz was in Brooklyn and Burks was already in the arena. Lindsey already had a phone connected with Burks’ agent after the conversation, so they could talk about what her opportunity would look like in a Cavaliers uniform. Then his agent put him in touch with the management of the Cavaliers.
“Opportunity is everything in this league,” Burks says the Cleveland Plain dealer. “I feel like I have a great one here. I’m just trying to take advantage of it and help my new team win.
Burks later entered the Jazz locker room and told his teammates – leaving them in a state of shock, according to several players.
From there, a dizzying maze of logistics had to be envisioned. First, there was the trip, which needed to be booked immediately to move players as quickly as possible. Burks, for example, left the Barclays Center just an hour after learning he had been traded – half an hour before he played against the Nets – to catch a flight to Cleveland. Since the Jazz were planning to head straight to the airport after the game, Burks had already packed his bags.
For Korver, things were even more complicated: he wanted to return to Cleveland to personally break the news to his family. Korver has a wife, Juliette, and three children: a daughter (6 years old) and two boys (4 and 2 years old). By the time he arrived in Cleveland, the children were already asleep. After a night of planning, talking, and little sleep, Korver broke the news to his children when they woke up the next morning.
“Most of the time, when you move somewhere, you think about it for a while. You will probably be able to choose where you want to go. You have to prepare your family; you can write your list of pros and cons, “Korver said.” The NBA is a wonderful job in so many ways. But experiencing the stability knowing that you are going to be staying somewhere for as long as that is not one of them.
Korver then immediately boarded a flight that the Jazz had booked for him to fly to Charlotte, NC. Korver arrived in Charlotte around 4 p.m. Thursday. While in the air, the Jazz and Cavaliers ended the commercial call with the NBA, allowing both teams to send out the press release with the news.
That didn’t mean the exchange was over, however. Both players still had to undergo physical exams, and Korver’s took a few hours. After a busy day, he was at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte at 7:30 p.m. with the rest of his new team. The next morning, Jazz executives were awarded the league’s “professional certificate” which allowed Korver to participate in the team’s filming at 11 a.m.
“We’re counting the minutes here, and everything is critical,” Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said. “The credit goes to [Jazz director of basketball operations] Steven Schwartz on our side to move this forward and speed up the process. “
Jazz equipment manager Adam Klauke also had an important job – making Korver’s uniform. On each trip, Klauke wears a blank jersey to use in such cases. Klauke asked Korver which number he would like to use, then got to work adding the sewing of Korver’s name and number to the uniform itself. (On one occasion, Klauke didn’t have enough time to add the name to a blank uniform for an emergency signing, meaning the player played in an unnamed uniform that night.)
Klauke also needed to know what shoes Korver was going to wear, so he contacted Korver and got his shoe model, size, and color preferences. Korver wears Nike, who immediately shipped Korver’s favorite shoe and favorite color, and which matched his new team’s colors. All team gear used by the Jazz, from travel suits to extra t-shirts, was also shipped to Jazz in Charlotte.
All of the above allowed Korver to wear a jazz uniform and be eligible to play. But there were so many other things to consider, which the Jazz front office helped solve behind the scenes.
Linda Luchetti, vice president of basketball operations at Jazz, led the process of onboarding new players from an off-court perspective. Among other things, Luchetti had a buffet of housing options for Korver and his family around Salt Lake City that they could move into at any time. Luchetti had also put together a small list of public and private education options for Korver and his family, along with the pros and cons of each. Korver’s family will likely stay in Cleveland until December while their daughter completes her first semester of kindergarten and then moves to SLC.
“They’ve been great,” Korver said. “There are a lot of steps to get my family there and a lot of things to do.”
But the Jazz still wanted to help Burks’ family too. So even beyond connecting Burks ‘family to Luchetti’s equivalent in Cleveland, Luchetti worked to help Burks’ fiancé and baby leave Salt Lake City. For example, the Jazz picked up the car Burks had left at the Salt Lake City airport and sent it en route to Cleveland. (The Jazz also left Korver a car at the airport for him to use when he arrived in Utah on Sunday night.)
In Charlotte, Korver had to take his new Jazz headshot, used for Jazz promotional material, graphics in the arena and on the Jazz show. All of these are created by separate employees of Jazz Marketing and Broadcasting. His jersey wasn’t finished yet, but luckily the headshots were just taken from the shoulders. Korver, surprised at the request for a headshot, hadn’t quite done his hair to his liking yet.
The media also had to be treated. The Jazz first arranged an interview with Jazz Broadcast TV, then another with the team’s website, then another with the assembled media during filming.
Name badges were created for Korver’s locker at Zions Bank Basketball Center and Vivint Smart Home Arena. On Friday, Korver’s locker tag was simpler: his name and number were written on athletic tape.
In the midst of it all, Korver had to learn all about his new team on the pitch.
First of all, there were the plays. The Jazz are carrying their current playbook to iPad for situations like this, but they know it’s hard to expect Korver to learn all of this right away, especially with everything going on.
“You can download a playbook to an iPad, but you can’t do it in someone’s brain no matter how smart a gamer you are, without creating indecision and hesitation,” L said. ‘Jazz Head Coach Quin Snyder. “You cannot lose the forest through the trees.”
And Korver also had to learn the language of the team, both on offense and defense.
“I had Quin for a year in Atlanta and I really respect his spirit for the game,” Korver said. “He’s created all this terminology that’s unique, just like him,” he smiles.
Finally, we learned about the staff he would play with: their tendencies, where they want the ball, how they fit in as pieces in attack and defense. Overall, Korver says he knew what was going on about “25%” of the time in Friday night’s win over the Hornets. And for all he had been through in the previous 48 hours, Korver’s 14 points and 5-7 shots were a key part of the victory.
After that, Korver picked up his bags and boarded the Jazz’s charter flight to Miami, arriving after midnight in Florida, after a day he thought he was in Boston, where the Cavaliers played on Friday.
“The NBA is crazy, man,” he said.
JAZZ VS. HEAT
At the American Airlines Arena, Miami
Tipoff • Sunday, 4:00 p.m. MST
TV • ATTSN
Radio • 1280 AM, 97.5 FM
Registers • Jazz 11-12; Heat 8-13
Last meeting • Heat 103, Jazz 102 (January 7)
About jazz • They are in good health, which put Georges Niang and Tony Bradley on the inactive list for Friday’s contest … Dante Exum won the first DNP-CD of his season after Raul Neto apparently passed him in the rotation of the leaders of Jazz … Rudy Gobert played two consecutive games with four blocks
About the heat • Goran Dragic Tyler Johnson, Dion Waiters and Derrick Jones all missed Friday’s Heat game due to various injuries … Josh Richardson, 25, is the Heat’s top scorer this year with 20 points per game … 37-year-old Dwayne Wade has scored 18 goals in his last two games