SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder will coach the Western Conference team in next month’s NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta.
The NBA has not officially announced the game will take place March 7th, but Snyder locked up the honor with Utah’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
Having coached last year, Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel is ineligible to coach this year, while Monday’s win clinched Utah having a better record than the LA Clippers no matter what happens the rest of this week. The Jazz play the Clippers twice in Los Angeles Wednesday and Friday.
“It’s just a statement about our team and our players,” Snyder said. “The way that they’ve played, obviously winning games, but ultimately that that’s the reason you’re there is because your team is winning.”
Snyder will be the first Jazz coach to represent the West in the All-Star Game since Frank Layden in 1984. Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan never did coach in the All-Star Game in his 23 seasons at the helm of the Jazz.
Snyder has led the Jazz to the NBA’s best record at 23-5, including wins in 19 of its last 20 games, entering tonight’s showdown with the Clippers in Los Angeles. Utah has the league’s fourth-best offensive rating (116.6 points per 100 possessions), second-best defensive rating (107.4) and best net rating (plus-9.2). The Jazz are the only team that resides in the top five in both offensive and defensive rating.
The 23-5 start is the best in Jazz franchise history.
76ers coach Doc Rivers is in line to coach the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game.
The starters for next month’s All-Star Game will be announced Thursday night on TNT, having been determined by a combination of fan voting (50%), media voting (25%) and player voting (25%). The seven reserve spots, which are voted on by the coaches in each conference, will be announced Tuesday on TNT.
Like in recent seasons, the NBA will again have the two top vote-getters choose teams from the remaining pool of 22 All-Stars.