Heading into his rookie season as head coach of the Utah Jazz, Will Hardy had few expectations placed on him. The Jazz had just traded their two franchise stars–Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert–and were headed towards rebuilding season.
Or so everyone thought.
Thanks to the young team’s hot start, they finished as a mid-tier team in the West with serious hopes of making the Play-In Tournament.
Hardy was a big part of that success, and by season’s end, he was rewarded. The 35-year-old coach earned one second-place vote and seven third-place votes for Coach of the Year, finishing ninth in the race.
Will Hardy almost got friend banned from Utah Jazz games
But while all of his on-court success should be applauded, his actions away from the floor are ready to be laughed at. In a story by Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune, Hardy revealed that he nearly got one of his close friends banned from Vivint Arena.
“I actually had a friend who was in town who was a Warriors fan,” Hardy said. “He was there with his boss from San Francisco and a couple of people from work — they were there for something — and they were sitting like six rows away from the bench.”
But when Hardy went to exchange some friendly trash talk with his friend, things went awry.
“So we won, the arena is going crazy, and on the walk out towards the tunnel, they’re sitting right there, and I yelled something at him in the stands,” said Hardy. “And he got rushed by security because they thought that he had said something to me.”