NBA • Team execs deny report of him leaving this summer.
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Reports that longtime Utah Jazz executive Kevin O'Connor is planning to step away from day-to-day operations of the team are inaccurate, franchise leaders said Wednesday morning.
In a tweet sent at about 9 a.m., Jazz CEO Greg Miller said, "Sources very close to the Utah Jazz (me) verify that Kevin O'Connor is not stepping down as [Executive Vice President] of Basketball Operations."
A television news report Tuesday night said O'Connor would vacate that role and hand his duties over to general manager Dennis Lindsey sometime this summer. Lindsey replaced O'Connor as GM in August, bringing an end to O'Connor's 13-season tenure as the primary decision-maker in basketball operations.
O'Connor denied the report to The Salt Lake Tribune late Tuesday, saying, "Not true and I have no comment."
Later Wednesday, Jazz President Randy Rigby released a statement in which he also said the news was untrue.
"Media reports of Kevin O'Connor's departure are inaccurate and he is not stepping down," Rigby said. "He is fully engaged in Jazz preparations for draft season. The working relationship between Kevin and Dennis Lindsey is unchanged as both individuals provide valuable expertise, knowledge and perspective toward building a championship-caliber team. Kevin will be a member of the Jazz family for a long time. No further comment is needed."
O'Connor joined the Jazz in 1999 after serving as director of player personnel with the Philadelphia 76ers. He oversaw the Jazz's transition out of the John Stockton and Karl Malone era and into one led by Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer. That team peaked with a trip to the Western Conference finals in 2007.
The Jazz season ended April 17 the same day O'Connor sold his Holladay-area home. The team finished 42-39, but missed the playoffs for the second time in three years.