SALT LAKE CITY — The NBA and the Utah Jazz opened up an investigation Thursday into former guard Elijah Millsap's claim that executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey used bigoted language toward him during a 2015 exit interview.
"The Jazz organization has zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior of any kind," a statement from the Jazz reads. "We take these matters seriously. We have proactively engaged outside counsel to work in coordination with the NBA to thoroughly investigate this matter. We seek a comprehensive and unbiased review of the situation."
An ESPN report said Utah team officials, including Lindsey, encouraged a review of the incident from the NBA.
On Wednesday evening, Millsap, who played part of two seasons with the Jazz, claimed that during an end-of-season meeting in 2015, Lindsey "made bigot remarks in my exit interview while conversing with Q. Snyder 'if you say one more word, I'll cut your Black ass and send you back to Louisiana.'"
Lindsey, who has been with the team since 2012, quickly refuted the claim, telling members of the media that "I categorically deny making that statement."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said he couldn't remember details from the nearly 6-year-old meeting but stated, "I can't fathom Dennis saying something like that."
Rudy Gobert, who said he was close to Millsap during their time playing together, said he'd never heard about the incident before hearing of Millsap's claim on Wednesday.
The report from ESPN said that a third member of the Jazz brass was in the meeting: current general manager Justin Zanik, who was tasked with keeping notes.
Those notes, according to the ESPN report, were entered into a database and forensic investigators can determine whether they've been changed or updated.
Millsap returned to the Jazz for the 2015-16 season but was waived in January of 2016.