SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz assistant coach Johnnie Bryant, known for his work developing players, is reportedly leaving the Jazz to be the top assistant for the New York Knicks.
Bryant is being hired as associate head coach under Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau, The Athletic reported Tuesday.
While Utah can’t comment on the move until the Knicks make it official, the Jazz did confirm Bryant will be with the team throughout their entire playoff run.
Bryant, 35, joined the Jazz staff in 2012 as a player development coach and has since built a strong reputation for his work in that area throughout the league.
He helped Gordon Hayward reach the All-Star game in Hayward’s final season in Utah. And Bryant has also been the assistant who has worked closest with Donovan Mitchell during the All-Star guard’s first three seasons in the league.
In 2009, Bryant, who played at the University of Utah, started Bryant Sports Academy and within a short few years became the go-to private trainer in the Salt Lake Valley. He worked with NBA players like Ronnie Price and Paul Millsap, and young talents like Tyrell Corbin — the son of then-Jazz coach Ty Corbin.
The rave reviews from his players and his own son eventually led Corbin to offer Bryant a job as a player development coach with the Jazz.
Since then, Bryant’s reputation as a coach that can raise player's games has only grown. Hayward widely credited Bryant for his jump to the All-Star level. And under Bryant, Mitchell went from a player seen as a raw offensive prospect to someone scoring 57 in a playoff game.
In that time, Bryant has grown, too. He has evolved from a coach in charge of simply helping guys develop floaters or perfect a jump shot to one who’s also a tactician — helped by Jazz head coach Quin Snyder’s extreme attention to detail. His reputation and resume of All-Star players made him an enticing candidate for other jobs throughout the league.
Bryant is the second member of the Utah organization whom the Knicks have hired away this offseason. In May, longtime Utah executive Walt Perrin was hired as New York’s assistant general manager.