Road Trippin': Go behind the scenes with the Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz boarded a flight in Salt Lake City on Wednesday morning and will make stops in Atlanta, Charlotte and Miami over the next six days.
You already know Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Bojan Bogdanovic provide the star power for the Utah Jazz. But when the team packs up and hits the road, there are dozens of people working behind the scenes to set the Jazz up for success. Here’s a look at some of the support staff, working quietly and efficiently so that Mitchell and the team can focus on taking care of business on the basketball court:
Team chef Anthony Zamora and his team prepare a custom spread for the players — meals, snacks, and a special hydration Jell-O before they leave the practice facility for the airport. Zamora helps order healthy meals on the road and checks in on the team from Salt Lake City.
“Guys will even call and ask if I can look at a menu for them,” he said.
Equipment manager Adam Klauke is the first person off the plane. Klauke unloads bags and equipment. After the team arrives at the hotel, Klauke’s shift work continues late into the night at the opposing team’s arena.
One of the most important bags in Klauke’s possession: the players’ shoe bag.
“Adam is top-notch,” point guard Mike Conley said. “It’s easy to kind of overlook that when you get caught up in the season and playing and moving around and traveling. But a guy that always has the right sweats, the right shoes, the right hoodie, it’s invaluable. You don’t even have to ask for things.”
Steve Smith is the head of security for the Utah Jazz.
“My main job is to make sure the players, coaching staff and the travel party is safe and secure, so they don’t have to worry about what’s going on with their safety,” Smith said. “They can just focus on their job, the business of basketball.”
Smith and his team spend about 100 nights a year on the road, but they are always a phone call away for players no matter where they are.
This Road Tripping series is brought to you by Visible SCM. To win on the court, you’ve got to win off it. The Utah Jazz relies on the help of many staff members working behind the scenes with speed and efficiency in mind. That reliability allows the players to get from city to city without fear of arriving without a pair of shoes or the right jersey. Dozens of people are doing their job, so that the team can do theirs.