While the NBA All-Star Break is, for some, full of the festivities and celebrations that take place in the All-Star host city, for many around the league, it’s a time to rest and rejuvenate.
Last season, the Utah Jazz not only had three players Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley appeared in the All-Star Game, but Quinn Snyder and his coaching staff were in Atlanta for All-Star Game training as well.
This season, Connelly and Snyder, who are not part of the All-Star invitees, took the opportunity to walk away from the game.
Many Jazz players noted that the schedule, injuries, losses, and COVID-19 made January 2022 one of the most grueling months of their careers, and they were more than happy to be able to take some time to breathe.
It takes a while to calm down and catch your breath,” Snyder said. “It’s a good idea to just let it go, so to speak, for a few days and as often as you can, be refreshed and refocus.”
For Snyder, who has been described as a crazy scientist when it comes to basketball, the recovery doesn’t include golf or a tropical destination as it does with many NBA players. Instead, he refocuses by surrounding himself with family.
“Being around my family and my kids as much as anything reminds you that this is a game,” Snyder said. “Basketball is what we do and we love and we are grateful for, but it doesn’t love you back.”
Not liking the game they love is something the Jazz have felt a lot about over the past six weeks or so.
Injuries to the Jazz’s best players, Mitchell and Gobert, kept them sidelined for weeks, during which time the Jazz were also dealing with COVID-19 to hit the team for the first time this season, midway through the schedule that put them in. Against the best teams in the league.
On top of it all, the Jazz went through a trading deadline that was immediately preceded by watching Joe Inglis, one of this team’s top statesman, go down as the AFC Champions League ruptured at the end of the season.
The Jazz team didn’t walk away from those mental and physical tests unscathed and finished January with a 4-12 record, exiting the top three in the Western Conference standings.
Conley, who said he hasn’t taken a vacation with his wife in nearly six years, felt an all-star break couldn’t come soon enough.
“I’m going on vacation this year,” Conley said with a laugh. “I haven’t had one in a long time and this year – the last few weeks – have been tough. It’s definitely appropriate and needed. I’m going to spend time with my wife and the kids will go with their grandparents.”
Sneijder is fully supportive, especially this season, of his players who take a break and find some time to balance themselves the way they see fit. He knows the kind of mental and physical beating his players have been subjected to during the first part of the 2022 calendar and wants them to come back from the break as if they were ready to play the last 24 games of the season with renewed emotion. of ferocity.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Quin Snyder if he wasn’t also already planning for a post-all-star.
“You go to the all-star break with an idea of what you want to do to get out of it,” Snyder said. “But you’re trying to shut that down a little bit because it doesn’t help you recover.”
Easier said than done.