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Kragthorpe: Tyrone Corbin’s fate was inevitable
Kurt Kragthorpe
(Jeremy Harmon  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin leaves the court after losing his first game at the helm of the Jazz on Friday, February 11, 2011.
(Tribune file photo)  

Utah coach Tyrone Corbin is charged with helping young players such as Derrick Favors improve.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin chats with Utah Jazz point guard Devin Harris during a free throw in Salt Lake City, Monday, February 20.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin applauds his team's effort at the end of the first half, with the Jazz leading by eight points. Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets, NBA basketball Friday, March 23, 2012 at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz guard/forward C.J. Miles (34) high-fives Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin in the second half. Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets, NBA basketball Friday, March 23, 2012 at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin and Scott Layden talk during the second quarter of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Thursday April 26, 2012. .
(Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
The Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin gets ready for round two of the playoffs against San Antonio as they practice at the Zions Bank Basketball Center on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Much of their work hinders on their ability to defend Tony Parker of the Spurs.
(Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin works to get his team ready, including Gordon Hayward, right, as they prepare for round two of the playoffs against San Antonio at the Zions Bank Basketball Center on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Much of their work hinders on their ability to defend Tony Parker of the Spurs.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Jazz big men Marvin Williams and Al Jefferson pose for photographs with head coach Tyrone Corbin during Jazz media day in Salt Lake City on Oct. 1, 2012.
(Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin talks to Jazz Bear before the Jazz Scrimmage at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on Oct. 6, 2012.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin walks the sidelines during a preseason game against the Thunder at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin picks up a technical foul in the first half as the Utah Jazz host the Portland Trailblazers in preseason NBA basketball Thursday October 25, 2012 at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin as the Utah Jazz host the Portland Trailblazers in preseason NBA basketball Thursday October 25, 2012 at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin as the Utah Jazz host the Portland Trailblazers in preseason NBA basketball Thursday October 25, 2012 at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
(Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin argues with a call by an official during the first half against the LA Lakers at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 7, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Jazz Head Coach Tyrone Corbin yells from the sidelines during a game against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin talks with Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) on the sidelines during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012. The Jazz went on to win the game 94-81.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin protests a call as the Utah Jazz face the Toronto Raptors Friday December 7, 2012.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin, pleased with the team's effort as the Utah Jazz face the Toronto Raptors Friday December 7, 2012.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin protests a call as the Utah Jazz host the Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA basketball Wednesday January 2, 2013 in Salt Lake City.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin talks with Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Tuesday February 19, 2013. The Jazz are winning the game 58-53.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Tuesday February 19, 2013. The Jazz are winning the game 58-53.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin yells from the sideline as the Utah Jazz host the Atlanta Hawks, NBA basketball Wednesday, February 27, 2013 in Salt Lake City.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin on the bench as the Utah Jazz host the Atlanta Hawks, NBA basketball Wednesday, February 27, 2013 in Salt Lake City.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin talks to his team during a time out during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday March 1, 2013.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin watches during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday March 1, 2013. The Jazz won the game
Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin's success as Jazz coach will be judged on one simple measure: whether his team earns a spot in the NBA playoffs. Team's recent slide has opened Corbin to scrutiny.(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin during the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 5, 2013. Utah won the game 95-83.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin before the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin watches as Utah Jazz point guard Mo Williams (5) and Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) walk off of the court during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Photo by Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune)   
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin and Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams (8) during the game against Phoenix at the EnergySolutions Arena Friday February 11, 2011.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin speaks during a press conference outside the Jazz locker room. After losing in Memphis, and missing the playoffs, the Utah Jazz cleaned out their lockers and met with the press, Thursday, April 17, 2013.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey and Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin talk during a press conference at the Zions Bank Basketball Center during the NBA draft Thursday June 27, 2013.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin talks during a press conference at the Zions Bank Basketball Center during the NBA draft Thursday June 27, 2013.

Suddenly, the Jazz have become just like every other pro sports franchise.

That’s what I wrote in February 2011, when Jerry Sloan stopped coaching the team, and the theory was validated Monday when the Jazz fired Tyrone Corbin, Sloan’s replacement.

Technically, the Jazz didn’t renew Corbin’s contract after a 25-57 season. Yet he’s the first coach in 32 years who left the Jazz via someone else’s decision — and Tom Nissalke has always said he was “relieved” when that happened to him.

Corbin, in contrast, wanted to return. Having delivered the news, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey described Corbin’s reaction as ranging from “disappointment to anger and everything in between.”

Having hoped Corbin would survive, I made my concession speech in early April, recognizing there was no compelling reason to keep him. His job was challenging from start to finish, but the coaching change is completely defensible — with the Jazz’s lousy defense among the biggest reasons.

It also means the Miller family, the team’s owners, can’t claim the Jazz are different from any other franchise. The Jazz have joined the “blame-the-coach culture” that Lindsey once said they rose above, and the next coach will be subject to scrutiny like everybody else in the league.

Story continues below

Then again, the late Larry H. Miller wanted to fire Sloan after losing his first playoff series in 1989, only to be talked out of the move. Sloan lasted for nearly 22 more years, defying the NBA’s coaching turnover.

Corbin was not hired by Lindsey, who arrived two years ago and now will conduct the Jazz’s first coaching search since 1979, when the team started playing under Nissalke in the old Salt Palace. The hiring will become the Jazz’s biggest decision since the trade of Deron Williams, which came two weeks after Corbin’s promotion.

The potential for Corbin’s keeping his job peaked in late February, after the Jazz recovered from a 1-14 start by going 20-22. But when the team lost 21 of its last 25 games — never mind that many fans were more unhappy about those four wins than the 21 defeats, in the interest of draft positioning — Corbin’s fate became inevitable.

Corbin made his share of mistakes, in terms of both personnel and strategy, but he deserves credit for holding his team together during some tough times. What’s unclear is whether Corbin is losing his job because he lost too many games, or because he tried to win too many games at the expense of playing time for the Jazz’s youngsters.

Both, probably. Lindsey cited “a lot of different criteria over multiple years.” Asked about philosophical conflicts, Lindsey said it would be fair to “assume that there were different thoughts.” Yet he also said he was “completely comfortable with the minutes our young guys got.”

So that answers absolutely nothing. The good news is there should be no confusion about the evaluation of the new coach. It’s all about wins and losses, starting now.

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NBA » He got his shot at succeeding with Jazz, but it wasn’t a very good one


 
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