SALT LAKE CITY — It’s funny how life in the NBA works.
Three weeks ago, Dennis Lindsey and his family were happy right where they were: living in Texas while dad served as assistant general manager of the San Antonio Spurs.
However, life began to take an interesting turn when the Utah Jazz asked permission to speak with Lindsey regarding their soon-to-be-vacant general manager position.
The Spurs said yes, Lindsey listened to the Jazz’s offer and on Tuesday, less than three weeks after the process began, the 43-year-old was introduced as Utah’s new GM, replacing Kevin O’Connor, who held the job for the past 13 seasons.
“It wasn’t a difficult decision at all,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey will replace O’Connor, 63, who remains Utah’s executive vice president of basketball operations.
O’Connor will continue to play a key role in running the team but now will have a “playmate” to help with the day-to-day operation of the team.
“He’s going to deal with a lot of the day-to-day things,” O’Connor said. “But in order to get to that point we’re going to have to walk each other through a lot of the day-to-day things.”
As far as trades are concerned, O’Connor said no personnel decision has ever been made unilaterally. He, Lindsey, team president Randy Rigby and Jazz CEO Greg Miller will discuss such matters as a group.
“The bottom line is, he’s the working general manager,” O’Connor said. “He’s going to do a lot more work on those things than I am.”
Lindsey spent 11 seasons with the Houston Rockets before joining Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio in 2007.
The Freeport, Texas native is the father of four. His wife, Becky, is the daughter of former Houston Oilers football coach F.A. Dry, who also served as head coach at Tulsa and Texas Christian.
Lindsey played college basketball at Baylor from 1988 through 1992 and helped the Bears to the 1988 NCAA tournament.
Shortly after his press conference ended Tuesday, Lindsey’s children, ranging in age from 15 to 6, slipped away to the Zions Bank Basketball Center courts and began shooting baskets.
While his oldest son, Jacob, bombed 3-pointers, one of the Lindsey daughters, Meredith, took her shoes off and, decked out in a flowery sun dress, happily dribbled around the floor.
O’Connor took notice and playfully got into a defensive stance, only to have the girl get the edge on him and dribble to the basket.
If they were having trouble with the idea of moving to a new place, the Lindsey family certainly did show it.
“They understand the business,” Lindsey said. “They are flexible as a group. They understand Salt Lake City is a great place and it’s family oriented.”