An NBA investigation into Utah Jazz vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey was unable to find corroborating evidence that he made an alleged racist remark, the league announced Monday.
On Feb. 24, former Jazz player Elijah Millsap tweeted that then-GM Lindsey had told him “if u say one more word, I’ll cut your Black a** and send you back to Louisiana” during an end-of-season exit interview in 2015. Millsap’s allegation then triggered a league investigation.
The investigation consisted of the NBA and an outside party interviewing those who were in the meeting: Lindsey, then-Jazz assistant general manager Justin Zanik, head coach Quin Snyder, and Millsap. The league also spoke to Millsap’s agent, Daniel Hazan, as well as reviewed notes taken by Zanik during the meeting, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.In the end, “the investigation was unable to establish that the alleged statement was made,” the NBA announced Monday.
In reaction to this conclusion, the Jazz issued a statement: “As an organization, we take all matters of this nature seriously and have zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior of any kind. We appreciate the thorough process of the NBA’s investigation and thank all parties involved for their full cooperation. The league’s investigation was done in coordination with independent, outside counsel. We respect the league’s process and results announced earlier today.
”For more than 25 years, Dennis Lindsey has been a respected basketball executive around the NBA and a leading voice on social justice within our organization and community,” the statement continued.
Publicly, Snyder supported Lindsey last month, saying that he didn’t recall a comment like the one Millsap alleged, and furthermore, if Lindsey had said something like that, he would have remembered it. The meeting was not recorded. Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who said he was friends with Elijah, said that he would reach out to the former Jazz guard — brother of All-Star Paul Millsap — about the exchange.
The younger Millsap, Elijah, was first signed to a 10-day contract on Jan. 5, 2015, then a second one on Jan. 15 of that year.
After the expiration of that contract, the Jazz agreed to a longer-term extension, one that they cut him from on Jan. 5, 2016. Lindsey, through a Jazz PR representative, declined to comment further on the investigation, citing the Jazz organization statement.