Gail Miller Rumors
The initial shock of Gail Miller announcing in October 2020 that she was selling the Utah Jazz to tech entrepreneur Ryan Smith has long since dissipated. And yet, it remains a bit jarring to consider that — aside from the minority stake they retained in the team upon its $1.6 billion sale — the Miller family now has zero involvement in running the team it owned for 35 years. Greg Miller, who previously served as CEO of both the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies and the Jazz until his 2015 resignation, acknowledged this week that the team no longer being under the family’s control took some getting used to. “Well, it’s been a huge change. It’s been a seismic change for us,” Miller told The Salt Lake Tribune.
The Miller family was able to take the resources formerly allocated for the Jazz and Vivint Arena and redirect them to other ventures (both business and philanthropic), while the organization has, he believes, benefitted from an influx of new blood and new perspectives. “Ryan brings a level of energy and creativity to the team that I’m sure our family never had,” Miller said. “… I hope that it’s everything that he wanted it to be. I hope that all of his goals and aspirations that he had in pursuit of owning an NBA franchise materialize, and that he’s able to have just great success.”
Miller is urging people not to jump to premature conclusions about the re-brand. “I don’t know that it’s going to be that earth-shattering. I’ve seen the new look, and I think it’s a very impressive look,” he said. “But if you look back over the 43 years or so that the Jazz have been in this market, there have been several re-branding efforts, and to me, it’s just cool to look back on those as a collective and just sort of see the evolution of those. And they all fit. They all have their place in their era. And you think of the players that wore a certain style of jersey. And so I think this is the next installment. And I applaud Ryan for taking the steps to be new and innovative.”
Greg Miller wants to see the franchise succeed whether his family has a hand in it or not. “As someone who was invested — emotionally and financially invested — in the Jazz for decades, I would love nothing more than to see Ryan and the Jazz, Quin [Snyder], and everyone in the organization, just continue to grow and progress and ultimately win an NBA championship,” Miller said.
The Larry H. Miller Group of Cos., which built an empire selling cars and trucks, is getting out of the vehicle-selling business. The LHM car dealerships are being sold to an Atlanta-based company for $3.2 billion. The Asbury Automotive Group will acquire Miller’s 54 new-car dealerships, seven used-car dealerships and 11 collision centers in Utah, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho and Washington. It’s the eighth-largest dealership group in the United States.