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Report: Earl Watson wants to be next head coach of the Utah Jazz

May 17, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT


The Utah Jazz parted ways with head coach Tyrone Corbin after three and a half seasons, and with young talent in place and a rebuilding culture on the rise, Utah is a team that needs to make the right choice in hiring Corbin’s replacement.

The league seems to be trending toward young, first-time coaches rather then installing retreads, so in this way, Earl Watson — who has played 13 seasons, three of the last four of which were spent in Utah — might be a fine choice.

And he’s not being shy about angling for the position.

From Chris Haynes of

Earl Watson of the Portland Trail Blazers has a strong desire to become the next head coach of the Utah Jazz and would relish the opportunity to interview for the position, league sources associated with the guard informed

Watson, 34, played three seasons as a member of the Jazz and immediately became an organization and fan favorite. He is viewed by numerous NBA executives as one of the few current players capable of making a smooth transition into the NBA coaching profession shortly following retirement.

The soon-to-be coach admitted during Friday’s exit interviews that the Utah job attracts him, and he already has the endorsement of Utah’s electric wing stud.

“I’m definitely pulling for Earl to get the job,” Jazz forward Gordon Hayward told via phone Friday morning. “He’s a great guy and has a great basketball mind. If he did become our coach and I got to play under him, it would be great because I know how hard he’ll work and prepare us. He’s a true professional and I think no matter where he ends up, he’ll be a great head coach in the NBA.”

Not only does Watson have Hayward’s support — which is important, considering Hayward is a restricted free agent this summer and is likely to be retained on a long-term, high-dollar deal — but he also may be able to get Hubie Brown to join him on his staff, at least on a part-time basis.

It’s impossible to know whether or not Watson would make a good head coach. But given his extensive time spent as a player and his recent understanding of the Jazz organization, if Utah wants to give a first-time head coach a shot, there are worse decisions the franchise can make than going with someone who has Watson’s breadth of experience.

  1. duhwighthoward - May 17, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    You know, there are guys out there who were actually good players like Kareem and Ewing, who would like to coach.

    • scotteharris - May 17, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      And exactly how does being a good player makes them more qualified to be a coach? There’s quite the long history of good/great players turned coaches that were rather terrible as head coaches.

  2. jacobk621 - May 17, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Never heard of this guy and he played 13 yrs ?? His name sounds like a shoe salesman ,, circa , “Al Bundy”

  3. mrlaloosh - May 17, 2014 at 10:12 AM


  4. khmerson562 - May 17, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Earl Watson will be a good coach one day. Guys that are great coaches usually are not a great player .

  5. kb2408 - May 17, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    He’s been in the league 13 years?!! Amazing. What’s with all the head coach jobs going to point guards? What, a 7 footer can’t be a good coach?

    • sugarkeyboards - May 17, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      I think the reason so many point guards end up coaching is because they are sort of an extension of the coach on the floor. They (for the most part, not all the time) are the ones leading and directing the team on the court and those are qualities you find in coaches as well.

  6. ravenswhat - May 17, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    So now every player can go from the locker room to the sideline just like that? What a bizarre trend.

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