Monday, September 30, 2013
Monday September 30, 2013, and its time to get this season started! Media day for the Utah Jazz and I had a chance to listen to David Locke's interview with all of the players. Great interviews and some good introductions to some guys that are new to the team. There were a few things that stood out to me.
First was Dennis Lindsey's interview. The guy is more than solid! He has a plan in place and he is driving hard. David Locke discussed the open gym that they ran at the practice facility in September, Lindsey said they had over 50 players come through including their own. He mentioned the fact that all of the guys showed up early for that and were able to train at altitude. Dennis also mentioned some of the things that he noticed each player had worked on over the summer. The one that I found the most interesting is he and Ty's idea or role for Jeremy Evans. I never expected to hear them refer to Jeremy as a leader, but that is what they said they see him being.
I was also very impressed with Richard Jefferson. He comes to the team as somewhat of an outcast and a player at the end of his career. He understands his role and hopes to make the most of that as well as being a mentor to the younger guys. This is an important trait. The last thing this young team needs is a distraction (Raja Bell) in the locker room.
Trey Burke is a very confident young man that feels he has a lot to prove. He had the opportunity to spend 3 days in Spokane Washington with John Stockton this summer. The thing that I found the most interesting about Trey is that he is a student of the game. He took full advantage of the opportunity to go work with the greatest point guard to play the game.
Last but not least, I saw Gordon Hayward be a leader. Enes Kanter was doing his interview with David Locke and was having a good time, laughing it up and just being Enes. Gordon came over for his interview and jumped in with them. You immediately saw the respect that Enes has for him as a teammate and leader. Don't get me wrong, these guys like each other and are friends but they also know they have to get down to business and work to get to the level that they want to.
Love to see these guys stepping up and ready to do some work! Its going to be a fun season!
Friday, September 27, 2013
Paul George and Demarcus Cousin, both players just received extensions on their rookie contracts. Paul George signed a 5 year 90 million dollar contract. Demarcus Cousins signed a 4 year 62 million contract. Wow! That's a lot of money for a media hyped average player and a complete knucklehead. Do we really consider Paul George an NBA superstar? He is a good defender and an average offensive player. If you look at his numbers they do not justify this contract. http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/georgpa01.html#per_minute::none, http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/georgpa01.html#advanced::none. Don't get me wrong Paul George is a nice player but he is not a guy you build your franchise around and is going to LEAD you deep into the playoffs.
Cousins, he is a whole different story. A bad teammate, a shot chucker, terrible defender and a cancer in the locker room. Does the guy have skills, definitely. But again, do you want your team built around a guy that statistically makes you worse? Per www.82games.com
For fans of the NBA and especially Jazz fans this is BAD! If these two players just received these types of contracts and you are an average or small market team and have the hope of holding on to your young stars, you better hope your teams front office is ready to pony up the dough. This new CBA was supposed to help level the playing field some. To help smaller markets keep their players. Well Sacramento and their new ownership, and Larry Bird and the Pacers just blew up those thoughts. I hope the rest of the league will be somewhat reasonable when it comes to signing players and stay with in the market value of such players. Paul George will be making more that James Harden....Cousins will be making more that Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Kevin Love, all All-stars. For the Utah Jazz's sake I hope Gordon and Derrick both understand how valuable they are to the franchise, but also realize that building a championship is not just about them and the money.
Call it my "homer wish" maybe they can give us a "home town discount"!
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Jazz fans have a lot to look forward to this season. The young guys are finally going to get their chance to prove themselves. Yes there will be ups and downs, but as a fan I haven't been this excited for a season to start since Deron Williams 2nd year in the league. The Jazz now have 5 lottery pick players that appear to be the starters at each position. One of the biggest questions will be the bench and their ability to produce. This is a bit of a step back considering depth has been one of the Jazz's strengths for years. None the less I look forward to watching every game and watching the team develop and improve!
Monday, September 23, 2013
Magic vs. Bird , Lakers vs Cetlics, MJ vs Pistons....The list could go on and on of great rivalries in sports.
But in the last ten years name one great rivalry? You can't! Players in all sports and at all levels are far to familiar with each other and would rather be friends. I miss the "Jordan Rules" the Detroit Pistons had in the 80's-90's. I even miss the small rivalry the Utah Jazz had for a couple of years with the Chicago Bulls. What is it that makes rivalry? Why do we enjoy them so much? And why aren't there any good rivalries these days?
In my opinion, a rivalry begins when one team or person gets the better of their opponent for an extended period of time. For example, Yankees vs Red Sox. For years the Yanks seem to put the Sox out of their misery year after year. I believe this rivalry was taken to a new level the year the Sox upset the Yanks and went on to win the Series. The same can be said about the Indian Pacers and the New York Knicks. The Knicks were constantly beating on their little brother, till one day Reggie Miller decided he had enough and scored 8 points in 18 seconds. That was always a fantastic series to watch.
I enjoy games or series like this so much more that your run of the mill Pacers vs Hawks etc.....There is that element of getting over that hurdle,especially when you are the team getting kicked all to often. In the same respect its kind of nice to be on the other end of the beating and be able to see your team dominate a rival. For myself, I can always go back to Utah Jazz vs San Antonio Spurs. It doesn't matter team records, standings or what not, as a Jazz fan I am always more excited and nervous when we play the Spurs. Those games are always dog fights and rarely does the opponent blow the other team out. These games have me on edge for the entire game, and unfortunately if the Jazz lose you can count on me being in a bad mood! Its just down right depressing.
Now this weekend we come to one of the State of Utah's biggest rivalries of all time, Utah vs. BYU. To be honest, as a Utah fan this game has lost some of its luster. Maybe because Utah is now in the Pac-12 and BYU is Independent. It could be because the game is in September as opposed to the end of the year like it use to be. For myself as a fan I am not sure why this game is losing its shine but it is. Will it be any less of a game? No, these two teams simply put do not like each other. They will scrape and claw all the way to the finish. As a fan that is what I want. I want the dog fight, I want the nasty.
As a fan that is what I want. I want the dog fight, I want the nasty. I want MORE RIVALRIES!
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
With all the rule changes in both college and the NFL, would you want your son playing football on any level? You had TE Dustin Keller get hit low in the preseason and had his knee obliterated. And now this...2nd case this year alone. Don't get me wrong, I love football as much as the next guy, but are the risks too much? Your 17 year old son destroys his knee and now is going to walk with a limp for the rest of his life, not to mention the arthritis and other complications that are caused by this injury. I have a 9 year old that, in the past, I have wanted to play football. But the more I think about it, the more I feel it is best if he doesn't.