The Utah Jazz are cooperating with an NBA investigation into former guard Elijah Millsap’s allegation that executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey made bigoted comments during a 2015 end-of-season meeting, the team announced Thursday.
The probe will include the sharing of detailed notes taken in the April 2015 meeting that was attended by Millsap and three Jazz officials, sources said.
“The Jazz organization has zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior of any kind,” the team said in a statement. “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.”
Utah officials, including Lindsey, encouraged the league office’s opening of a review of Millsap’s allegation, which was lodged on social media Wednesday night.
While making a series of posts to Twitter about how bigotry “is still very well present” and is a problem that needs to be addressed, Millsap alleged that 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.'”
In prepared words to the Salt Lake City media, Lindsey said: “I categorically deny making that statement.” Jazz coach Quin Snyder told reporters Wednesday that he “can’t fathom Dennis saying something like that.”
Millsap had an exit meeting in April 2015 that sources said included Lindsey, Snyder and general manager Justin Zanik, who was then an assistant general manager tasked with keeping detailed notes of the conversation.
Those notes were entered into a team database, and league forensic investigators can determine whether they’ve been altered or updated in any way, sources said.
End-of-season meetings — also commonly called exit meetings — are staples of NBA organizations, typically wide-ranging conversations between front offices and players that review the past season and look to the future. The Jazz have kept detailed notes on every one of those meetings since Lindsey started as the franchise’s GM in 2012, sources said.
Millsap played two seasons with the Jazz, including returning for the 2015-2016 season. His older brother, Paul, played his first seven years with the Jazz, leaving after the 2012-13 season.
Lindsey was promoted to executive VP in 2019, and has presided over the rebuilding of an organization that currently has the best record in the NBA at 26-6.