Gordon Monson: Quin Snyder will be coaching again soon — if he finds what he wants

The former Utah Jazz coach is reportedly discussing ‘a wide range of philosophical and team-building items’ with leadership in Atlanta.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Quin Snyder as the Utah Jazz host the Los Angeles Clippers, NBA basketball in Salt Lake City on Friday, March 18, 2022.

After leaving the Jazz and taking needed time off with his family, Quin Snyder looking into the possibility of coaching the Atlanta Hawks is no big surprise. The Hawks should want one of the best coaches in the NBA, even if, technically, he’s not currently in it. Snyder is not done coaching.

The question then is: Does Snyder want the Hawks?

Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t. It depends on the Hawks themselves.

It depends on whether they give Snyder what he wants … and what he wants, if I know the man right, goes so far beyond money, it’s hard for dollar-driven folks to believe. If it was a stack of cash Snyder was after, he would have stayed right where he was in Utah.

He’s not stupid, he likes money as much as the next guy, and he ain’t working for free. But what he seeks is something the late, great Aretha Franklin so famously sang about.

Snyder wants r-e-s-p-e-c-t.

No, it’s more than just that. It’s the way in which he wants that respect manifested — via proper inclusion in team decisions and processes.

According to ESPN, the Hawks have ”made Snyder the full focus of the coaching search” and Snyder has been talking with owner Tony Ressler, general manager Landry Fields, and assistant GM Kyle Korver, one of his former players in both Atlanta and Utah, about “a wide range of philosophical and team-building items.”

Will the Hawks give Snyder what he seeks? It’s not that the coach desires to control his new team, to make all its choices and to draw the majority of its conclusions. He’s a smart man, smart enough to know there are other basketball minds involved — or should be — who are hired and qualified to make solid evaluations and judgments of their own. That’s what they do, that’s what they’re paid to do.

Snyder doesn’t seek all the jobs.

But Snyder would prefer not to be boxed out of that process on account of ego or insecurities or unreasonableness from the top down or the bottom up. He wants to be valued enough to be a part of the operation, to be listened to and heard.

Trust, for him, is a big deal. And that blows past what happens inside the team straight to what is made known outside of it. Mostly, though, Snyder wants to use all the substantial acumen and ability he owns to build a winning culture, a culture, a collective endeavor, that utilizes many of the same group-oriented things that work for and accelerate a team forward on the court off it.

Snyder is completely aware that he doesn’t know everything, that he makes mistakes, sometimes needs a guiding hand. But that hand had best be an open palm, not a clenched fist. While he was with the Jazz, he learned as he went, sometimes bumping and skidding en route. But the human coaching product that was among the league’s best while he was in Utah was better still after he finished up here. And even better yet as he had the time away from the game to reflect on and refine within himself what required reflection and refining.

What he’s looking for is rare. It’s the same kind of concept that might be found on a championship crew team, everyone rowing as precisely as possible together. There will be hiccups, disagreements that don’t need to mess up the rhythm and cadence of the team. In fact, a divergence of views and opinions on basketball matters can be useful — as long as they are … well, useful.

That’s what Snyder is not only looking for, but insisting on for his next gig, wherever it ends up being, Atlanta or elsewhere. He’s had his post-Jazz opportunities, but is being selective. Why? Because he wants to be. Because he can be.

Quin Snyder isn’t done yet. He’ll be coaching again soon. And whoever is willing and wanting to conjure the same culture the coach wants will get it, if they allow him to row and they row alongside.