Warriors

Utah hires Krystkowiak after Bennett's rejection

Utah hires Krystkowiak after Bennett's rejection

April 3, 2011
COLLEGE PAGE

SALT LAKE CITY (APCSN) The University of Utah hired New Jersey Nets assistant Larry Krystkowiak as their coach Sunday, picking him to lead the Utes into the Pac-12 Conference.The move came three weeks after athletic director Chris Hill fired Jim Boylen following consecutive losing seasons. Krystkowiak, who was traveling Sunday, will be introduced Monday.
Comcast SportsNet first reported that Saint Mary's head coach Randy Bennett had rejected an offer to be the next coach at Utah.RELATED: SMC basketball coach Bennett says no to Utah
The 46-year-old Krystkowiak has been an assistant with the New Jersey the past eight months. He played for the Jazz in 1992-93 as part of nine injury-plagued NBA seasons after being drafted in the second round (28th overall) in 1986 by the Chicago Bulls."I'm excited for Larry," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "We're going to be losing a man of strong character, solid family, really good basketball coach. (He) did a lot of nice things for us this year behind the scenes. So I really enjoyed working with him. We think this is a great opportunity for him. He talked about getting back to college and we think it's really good timing for him. So again, we're excited for him."This will be Krystkowiak's fourth head coaching job.He was fired in 2008 after going 31-69 in one-plus season coaching the Milwaukee Bucks. He also went 42-20 with a pair of NCAA tournament bids in two seasons at Montana, and was 37-16 with the Idaho Stampede in 2003-04, leading them to the CBA title game.The hire is an important one for Hill, now on his third coach since Rick Majerus departed.Hill gave Boylen a contract extension after a 2008-09 season that saw the Utes go 24-10 and win a share of the Mountain West Conference regular-season title. Because of that extension, Boylen is receiving a 2 million severance package.Hill also hired Ray Giacoletti, but fired him four years ago after a 54-40 mark.Neither could match the success of Majerus, a fan favorite and cult figure during 14-plus seasons at Utah. Under Majerus, the Utes qualified for the NCAA tournament 10 times, advancing to the regional semifinals twice and the national championship game in 1998.His overall mark before leaving for health-related reasons was 323-95, and crowds filled Huntsman Arena regularly. There were plenty of empty seats as the Utes went 3-5 at home in conference play this season.It will only get tougher with the Utes jumping to the Pac-12.Asked if moving to a major conference would be a problem for Krystkowiak, Johnson said, "It's a bigger problem, but it can also be a big reward," he said. "That will not only be exciting for them from a basketball point of view, but for football also."I wouldn't focus on the big problem," Johnson said. "I would focus on that they have a chance to really become one of the basketball powers in that conference because they are going to an elite conference. Right now, with what is happening with the Butlers and VCUs, anybody can elevate pretty quickly."Hill, who was unavailable for comment Sunday, wanted to move fast and cast a wide net.This was his second attempt to hire Krystkowiak - he went after him after firing Giacoletti, but Krystkowiak took the Bucks job instead. Other names Hill reportedly considered include Bennett and former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried.With Krystkowiak, the Utes get a coach with a background not that different from Boylen, who had experience in both college and the NBA. Among the players Krystkowiak coached with the Bucks was former Utah All-American Andrew Bogut.Krystkowiak appeared in 71 games with the Jazz in 1992-93 and averaged just over seven points, but that one year under Jerry Sloan greatly influenced his coaching style."Jerry would never know it, but I loved his demeanor," Krystkowiak said in a Jazz website feature. "He doesn't wear anybody out with a lot of words, but when he opens his mouth, what he says is valid and you'd better be listening to what he is saying. I like his hard-driving style and having played under a number of different coaches, I enjoyed being underneath him."

DeRozan fined by NBA for comments made after Raptors' loss to Warriors

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USATSI

DeRozan fined by NBA for comments made after Raptors' loss to Warriors

Following Toronto's 127-125 loss to the Warriors on Saturday night, Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan wasn't happy.

His team had almost erased a 27-point deficit and he felt like the officials were helping the Warriors.

"It's frustrating being out there feeling like you're playing 5-on-8. Some of those calls were terrible, period," DeRozan told reporters after the game.

As you might imagine, the NBA wasn't thrilled with thoses comments and fined DeRozan $15,000 on Tuesday for public criticism of the officiating.

DeRozan's incident is the latest in a long list of greivances between the players and the officials. The two sides met face-to-face in late December and plan to meet again during All-Star weekend in February to discuss the growing tension.

Who is now the Warriors' biggest rival?

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USATSI

Who is now the Warriors' biggest rival?

Earlier we discussed how the Golden State Warriors have seemingly moved beyond hating on NBA officials (three technical fouls in 18 days is a stunning reversal of their formerly disputatious form), but we may have forgotten one new reason why they have found a more Buddhist approach to the cutthroat world of American competitive sport.

They lack someone new to hate.

Their much-chewed-upon rivalry with the Los Angeles Clippers actually lasted two years, and now the Clippers are busy trying to prevent military incursions into their locker room from the Houston Rockets. Their even more famous archrivalry with the Cleveland Cavaliers seems to be imploding – with the total connivance of the Cavs themselves – before our eyes. Even cutting off their hot water made them laugh when two years ago not letting the Warriors' wives get to the game on time torqued them mightily.

And since we know that you locals desperately need a bête noire for your heroes (even though their biggest foe is actually their own attention spans), let us consider the new candidates.

HOUSTON

The Rockets have been among the Warriors’ most persistent contender/pretenders, having faced them in both the first round of the 2017 postseason and the conference finals in 2015. Both ended in 4-1 Warrior wins as part of a greater piece – Golden State is 19-4 against the Rockets in the Warriors’ bad-ass era, 10-2 at home and 9-2 on the road, and has finished an aggregate 59.5 games ahead of the Rockets in the past three and a half years.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include James Harden and Chris Paul, while Rockets fans loathe Draymond Green and Kevin Durant and work their way down from there.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 32,353): 19. The Rockets need to win a playoff series before even matching the Clippers, who as we all know came and went in a moment.

SAN ANTONIO

The previous platinum standard in Western Conference basketball, the Spurs have never really gone away, though they have aged. Their pedigree is not in dispute, and Steve Kerr has essentially become the next generation of Gregg Popovich. It is hard to create a rivalry out of such shamelessly mutual admiration.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include . . . uhh, maybe Kawhi Leonard for winning two Defensive Player Of The Year Awards instead of Draymond Green, though that’s not much to go on, frankly. Spurs fans hate Zaza Pachulia for stepping beneath Leonard and ending last year’s series before it started.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 23): 1. If they didn’t have to play against each other, I suspect these two teams would date.

OKLAHOMA CITY

The Thunder’s 3-1 collapse in 2016 is all but ignored now because the Warriors did the same thing one series later, but lifting Kevin Durant was quite the consolation prize for Golden State, and the definitive finger in the eye for the Thunder, who turned their team over completely to Russell Westbrook, for good and ill. Even with the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are still trying to relocate their stride.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include Westbrook and Anthony for defining the I-need-the-ball-in-my-hands-to-function generation, and owner Clay Bennett for Seattle SuperSonics nostalgics. Thunder frans hate Durant, followed by Durant, Durant, Kim Jong-un, Durant, leprosy, Draymond Green’s foot, and Durant.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 440): 220. Westbrook is a human lightning rod, Anthony is the antithesis of what Warriors now regard basketball (they’d have loved him a quarter-century ago), and Stephen Adams for getting his goolies in the way of Green’s foot. Plus, some savvy Warrior fans can blame OKC for extending their heroes to seven games, thus making the final against Cleveland that much more difficult. This could work, at least in the short term.

PORTLAND

Damian Lillard is a much-beloved local. Plus, the Blazers have never interfered in the Warriors’ universe save their 1-8 postseason record. There are no truly hateable players on either side, though Stephen Curry threw his first mouthpiece in Portland, and Green is a perennial.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 1): 0.

BOSTON

The new pretender to throne, with the Eastern Conference’s version of Kerr in Brad Stevens. Even better since taking advantage of Kyrie Irving’s weariness with LeBron James, and until proven otherwise the team the Warriors should most concern themselves with.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include Irving, who made the only shot in the last five minutes of Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, while Celtics fans hate Durant for not signing with them.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 67.7): 26, though this will rise if the two teams meet in the Finals. The last time they did, Bill Russell owned basketball.

THE REST OF THE EAST

Still too remote to adequately quantify, though Toronto, Miami and Milwaukee are clearly difficult matches for the Warriors. If you put them together, Kyle Lowry, Demar DeRozan, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Hassan Whiteside with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe coming off the bench, coached by either Eric Spoelstra or Jason Kidd, would make a fun team for the Warriors to play against. Probably not functional, but fun.

And finally:

SACRAMENTO

Some decade the two teams’ geographical proximity will matter, but for now, they remain essentially two full professional leagues away from each other. We just mentioned them so Kings fans wouldn’t feel any more slighted than they already do.