Danny Ainge
Photo: John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Danny Ainge, who was hired as CEO of the Utah Jazz last December, said he was ‘curious and optimistic’ when he joined the team, but he was surprised by the atmosphere he encountered.

“What I saw during the season was a group of players that really didn’t believe in each other,” he said. “Like the whole group, I think they liked each other even more than what was reported. But I’m not sure there was a belief.”

He later explained, “I think individually they have resolve. I just don’t believe that collectively they did. So we saw a lot of players trying to do it on their own, as the belief in one another wasn’t as great as other teams I’ve been on and around.”