For a team that prides itself in stability , the signing of Jason Hart didn't make much sense for the Jazz.
First, I never thought I'd see the Jazz sign someone who has been one of the most inconsistent players in the NBA for his career. He's been with 5 teams in 6 years. And I never thought that they'd sign a player to a two-year deal based on just the last 22 games of the 06-07 season where he was waived by SAC and signed with the Clippers to take over for the grotesquely injured Shawn Livingston. And his stats for those games weren't that good .
In the real world, this is your 30-year old son who can't hold down a job. And if you're hiring someone for a position and they have 5 jobs in the last 6 years, would you be inclined to hire him? I would love to see a real world resume from Jason,
OBJECTIVE: To find someone willing to use part of their MLE on PG that hasn't been able to crack an NBA rotaion.
2000-01 - Milwaukee Bucks - Played just one game, but shot 100%!
2001-02 - NBDL baby!
2001-02 - 10 games for the Spurs - Midwest Division Champs!
2002-03 - Hmm, where was I?
2003-04 - Spurs again. NBA Champs baby! Does he really have a ring?
2004-05 - Expansion baby! First steal in Bobcats' history!
2005-07 - SacTown baby! Couldn't crack rotation here either.
2006-07 - LAC. The NBA. Where 22 games of mediocrity = $4 Million.
2007-Current - Utah Jazz. They let me decide if I wanted to pick up another $2+ Million for keeping a seat warm.
Greg Ostertag, Chris Webber, Alan Houston
Seriously, is there any other real-world scenario where you could have a career like that and be given a guaranteed two-year salary worth 3X that of what you've ever made? You make $35k this year. Some other company offers you a two-year contract worth 120 grand a year after a similar career?
And maybe it was that lack of real-world experience that got Hart and Jazz fans off on the wrong foot. Back in November, after Hart had a little fender bender in the ESA's parking lot, he gave us this statement,
"It's the inconvenience. It's not material. It's just -- now -- I've got to call and get me a rent-a-car and they're going to try and give me a car that's [worth] $40,000 less than what I drive. I don't want my kids back there sitting low. But you know how insurance companies do it."
Take out the "$40,000" of his statement, and it's probably not a problem. But with that there, he reminded everyone that he was complaining about a sum that is more than what most fans probably make in a year. It's all relative of course. If you're used to that lifestyle, maybe that's a bit of a hit.
Of course the Jazz brass were scrambling after they didn't wouldn't sign Dee Brown. They had two PG openings with Fisher gone and Dee heading to Turkey. So signing Hart is a bit self-inflicted.
But it wasn't losing the popular Brown or the Escalade incident that disenfranchised Jazz fans, it was Hart's poor play. He was given the job out of training camp due to his hard work. I think most fans gave him the benefit of the doubt for the first month as he tried to learn yet another system. But he never got things going. He didn't shoot well and didn't seem to have good clock management skills.
Everyone knows that Sloan is going to pull Williams with about 3 minutes to go in the first. So Hart becomes the two-fer guy at the end of the period. He seemed more concerned about getting the shot off with 36 seconds left than about getting a good shot off. So no matter where he was on the court, he'd fire away.
And he never seemed to be able to get everyone into the offense. A lot of times to me it seemed like he would just dribble around trying to get an open look.
He went down with an injury in January and saw Price fill in and steal the show. Sloan didn't demote Hart based on his injury. Hart played a few games after coming back but soon found his position at the end of the bench as he lost yet another backup job. And we didn't see him much for the rest of the season.
And in the "biggest no brainer in the history of the universe" (I hate that commercial), Hart picked up his player option for the 2008-09 season. Where else was he going to earn $2 Million? But that doesn't mean he's going to be with the Jazz. He could be given his release if the Jazz can find something better. And at worst he becomes the coveted "expiring contract" player to be thrown in for any mid-season trades.