“Watching our coaches, our health-performance people, our nutrition [people] as well, [how] our players performed during the hiatus … I’m in awe of how much work that we put in,” Lindsey said. “Our players are in terrific shape, they’re very excited to compete. And so I think we’ll be formidable.”
Lindsey and Jazz general manager Justin Zanik addressed the media on Wednesday in a Zoom call — the former from Salt Lake City, the latter as part of the organization’s traveling party in Orlando. Between them, they pretty well covered the past, present and future of this group — providing some perspective on the events that have shaped the season thus far, giving a glimpse into the team’s brief existence inside the bubble right now, and answering, as best they can, what the near future may hold.
Among the most notable bits of information they dropped is that no Jazz players tested positive for COVID-19 in the league-mandated testing sessions conducted over the past few weeks. Everyone in the traveling party was tested again shortly after arriving on the Disney World campus, though Zanik said they did not have results back yet for those. He added that everyone was due for a second test around 9 p.m. ET Wednesday night.
Everyone who passes both of those tests is then free to end their hotel room isolation and move about the campus. The Jazz are scheduled to have their first team practice on Thursday between 5-8 p.m. ET.
Zanik, meanwhile, provided some intriguing details on the process of getting into the bubble.
“The weirdest thing was getting on a plane again after four months,” he said.
Once their Delta charter landed in Orlando around 7:15 ET on Tuesday night, they were greeted by a pair of waiting Disney Cruise Line buses (no Mickey Mouse ears on board, to the dismay of some), then received a police escort to the campus. Upon arrival, they were ushered into a conference room, given a 15-minute presentation by league personnel, then immediately tested for COVID-19. After that, they were sent to their rooms for quarantine.
“If you want any reviews about the hotels or restaurants or what Disney looks like, I have no idea. I’ve seen the lobby for about 15 seconds, and then the inside of the rooms,” Zanik said.
Lindsey mentioned that the selection of who comprised the traveling party mostly came down to the desires of coach Quin Snyder and VP of Performance Healthcare Mike Elliott, with the latter getting an extra person or two versed in his preferred “fusionetics” joint mobility care program. Lindsey also gave a rundown of some of the equipment the team brought along, including “an alternate weight room besides the one that the league is providing, because we have some very specific lead-up drills … and equipment.
“The Millers agreed to spare no expense,” Lindsey added.
“My expectation is the Millers will fully fund any request that we have regarding player personnel,” Lindsey said.
In the more immediate future, with practices and games to take place in the coming weeks, there is the question of expectations on the basketball side. Lindsey again touted the team’s conditioning. Zanik praised Snyder’s detail-oriented preparation.