by Alex Poletti
Last year, the Utah Jazz proved that they were still contenders in a competitive Western Conference, finishing with the fifth seed; however, they were no match for the Houston Rockets, getting eliminated in five games. Despite new additions like Mike Conley to compliment budding stars Donvoan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, it seems they will stay in playoff limbo after the conference as a whole got a facelift. To compete, they’ll have to do something drastic. The Second String knows just what to do.
Quin Snyder has performed admirably as head coach since 2014, finishing runner-up for Coach of the Year in 2018. However, to truly compete, the Jazz need a trailblazer, someone who can take every sap of potential out of promising players. That’s why the Jazz should consider actor J.K. Simmons as their next head coach.
Simmons’ impressive accolades speak for themselves, having won an Oscar and a Golden Globe along with several other impressive honors. He’s no stranger to jazz, either, playing a minor part in “La La Land” and coming into his own as music instructor Terence Fletcher in “Whiplash.” In the latter, Simmons’ coaching potential becomes evident.
If the Jazz wish to run an up-tempo offense, there is no one more qualified than Simmons to make that happen. In the past, he has been quick to tell others that they weren’t playing at his tempo, and he certainly got them to fix it.
His athletic prowess isn’t in question either. We’ve all seen what he can do when he throws a chair across the room, just wait to see what happens when he’s got a basketball in his hand. The University of Montana alum clearly knows how to keep his players in shape as well; Simmons was not having it when one of his players wanted a Mars Bar.
Can he help developing stars reach their full potential? Yes. He doesn’t hold back that his main motivation is to find the next Jazz superstar, whether it be a Charlie Parker or a Louis Armstrong. He scouted Miles Teller as a freshman at Shaffer, and by the end of the film the drummer delivered an MVP-worthy solo.
Of course, that’s only half of the head coaching job. Media relations has become an important part of the gig. If a coach can’t deal with reporters (see Mickey Callaway), they probably belong on no professional sports teams but the Mets. Simmons knows the media. He has not only worked well with reporters, but has boosted them to a new level by demanding pictures of Spider-Man. And at the end of the day, isn’t that just what the NBA needs?