There was disappointment, and there was frustration.
For those who knew, worked with, played with and played for Tyrone Corbin during his long tenure with the Utah Jazz, his departure as Jazz coach on Monday made for a difficult day.
“You never want to see this happen to Ty, because he’s such a good guy,” Jazz center Derrick Favors said. “He’s helped me a lot. It was a real pleasure to work with him and I wish him the best of luck.”
Jazz Hall-of-Famer John Stockton said Corbin was put in an almost impossible situation, armed with a roster this season that had little chance of winning. “I’m saddened by it,” Stockton said. “The guy was obviously put in a tough spot this year with all the young guys and everything. It’s frustrating to see a good coach bear the brunt of that. The good news is that he’s proven he can coach, so I think there will be other opportunities for him. And that’s good because he’s one of the finest people I know.”
Corbin, whose contract was not renewed, had an interesting tenure with the Jazz, to say the least.
He was handed the job after Jazz coaching legend Jerry Sloan abruptly called it quits in the middle of the 2011 season. The next season was shortened by the NBA lockout, derailing the offseason and preseason. The Jazz made the playoffs, but were swept out of the first round by San Antonio.
Last season, the Jazz just missed the postseason, then decided to part ways with franchise stalwarts Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson to begin rebuilding. The result: Corbin was handed a team with very little chance to win this season.
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey on Monday acknowledged the difficult task Corbin faced on a daily basis, not to mention how hard it was for Corbin to coach in the large shadow that Sloan cast on the franchise.
“Following Jerry is like being the man who followed John Wooden,” Lindsey said.
Through it all, Lindsey stressed that Corbin handled his plight with as much dignity and class as a man possibly could in his situation.
Sloan, also a Hall of Famer and now a consultant with the Jazz, was disappointed that somebody so loyal to the team had to be let go.
“I just hate to see him go,” Sloan said. “He played for us and worked on our staff and has always done a great job. He’s been very loyal. You just hate to see something like this happen. It’s hard to not feel down in the dumps about it, but that’s life in the NBA, I guess.”
Those closest to Corbin offered support on Twitter as well.
Corbin’s son Tyrell — a rising senior guard at CSU Bakersfield — offered a positive message to his father.
“Tough situation. Proud of my guy! On to the next chapter. Excited to see what the future has in store.”
Jazz owner Greg Miller offered up praise as well.
“Best wishes to Tyrone Corbin for success in the future. He is one of the classiest people I have ever had the privilege of working with.”
And former Jazzman Ronnie Price, now with the Orlando Magic, wanted it known that Corbin played a significant role in his life.
Ty’s been a big factor in my career, said the former Utah Valley star. “He was a guy I could go to and get advice from. He was always helpful to me. He taught me how to be a professional. I was very fortunate to have played for Ty Corbin.”