Tyrone Corbin took over for a legend in muddled circumstances and pieced together a fractured team. In his first full season, he guided a young team to the playoffs.
This year, the Utah Jazz head coach may face his toughest coaching job yet. But it won’t be with an expiring contract hanging over his head.
The Jazz picked up the third-year team option on the 49-year-old Corbin, ensuring the longtime assistant and one-time player remains in Salt Lake City through at least the 2013-14 season.
"We prefer to stay away from coaches in last years of their deals," General Manager Dennis Lindsey said, "especially coaches that have performed well here."
Since replacing Jerry Sloan midway through the 2011 season, Corbin has amassed a 44-50 record. This season marks Corbin’s first full year and training camp as head coach, after leading the Jazz into the playoffs and an eventual first round sweep against San Antonio in the lockout-shortened season.
The Jazz open the regular season Wednesday against Dallas at home, and exercising the option on Corbin’s contract, the details of which are not known, was the final piece of housekeeping before the games begin.
"It’s one thing that you just don’t have to worry about," third-year guard Gordon Hayward said.
Earlier this week, the Jazz also picked up options on Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks. Those moves, coupled with Corbin’s option, offer stability to a franchise that has long been coveted it, but next summer will have up to nine free agents.
"They appreciate what we did last year," Corbin said. "The way team grew together, the way we stuck together. They wanted to reward me along with the guys for the job that we did last year."
In 2011, Corbin inherited a Jazz team that was on the verge of blowing up its core and trading Deron Williams to the then-New Jersey Nets.
"That was a pivotal point in Ty’s growth here," Lindsey said, "is how he handled that difficult situation."
Since then, Corbin has been responsible for blending a core group of veterans and young players and the result has been a group with admirable chemistry. However, with 9 players on the Jazz roster who have at some point in their career averaged 30 minutes a game, and several more who eventually will, Corbin could have a challenging season ahead.
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