SALT LAKE CITY -- Scott Layden is returning to the NBA.
Layden, the former president of the New York Knicks and an
assistant coach and administrator with Utah, is joining Jazz coach
Jerry Sloan's staff as an assistant, the team announced Wednesday.
Layden and Sloan were assistants with the Jazz under former
coach and general manager Frank Layden, Scott's father. It was
Scott Layden who convinced his father in 1984 to use the 16th
overall pick in the draft to select an unknown point guard out of
Gonzaga -- John Stockton.
A year later, Scott Layden directed the draft again and Utah
selected Karl Malone at No. 13, setting the foundation for the
franchise until 2003.
"I am really pleased to make this announcement. Scott has an
extensive amount of basketball knowledge and will bring a great
deal to our coaching staff," Sloan said in a release.
Layden hasn't worked in the NBA since being fired as president
of the New York Knicks in December 2003. Layden spent four seasons
running the Knicks and was blamed by fans for New York's struggles.
Layden became so unpopular in New York that fans filled Madison
Square Garden with the chant of "Fire Layden!" during the 2003
draft. A few months later, the Knicks did just that.
Layden spent 18 years with the Jazz as an administrative
assistant, scout, assistant coach, director of player personnel and
vice president of basketball operations. He left Utah in 1999 to
become president and general manager of the Knicks.
"I think he felt a comfort level with Coach and I think he felt
a comfort level with the organization," said Kevin O'Connor, who
succeeded Layden as vice president of basketball operations in
The only player remaining from Layden's first tenure with the
Jazz is Andrei Kirilenko, a first-round draft pick in 1999 before
Layden left for the Knicks.
Layden, 46, will officially start Sunday when the team meets for
rookie camp prior to the start of the summer league on July 15. He
was out of the country Wednesday and not available for comment.
The deal will be completed later in the week when Layden
returns. The Jazz would not disclose terms of the contract.
Layden replaces Gordon Chiesa, Sloan's longtime assistant who
left for a job with the New Jersey Nets last month. Layden joins
assistants Phil Johnson and Tyrone Corbin and Sloan, who succeeded
Frank Layden in 1988.
"I don't think it's been buttoned down exactly what his
obligations are going to be, but his main responsibility will be on
the floor as an assistant coach," O'Connor said.