Don from With-Malice.com has been doing this every April 14th for a while now. This is the day that we embrace players of the unsung variety. This is an end of the bench guy who gives it his all whenever he gets the call. He's not a major cog in the rotation who comes off the bench (so no Paul Millsap), or a role player who does something well (Kyle Korver and outside shooting). To be truly unsung you have to be limited in both appreciation and sheer playing time (10 mpg or less). Please visit Don's site if you get time (beware, he's a LA Lakers fan) for more info on this joyous day.
This season there are a few candidates for this on our Jazz' roster. Kyrylo Fesenko (8.4 mpg); Sundiata Gaines (6.9 mpg); Othyus Jeffers (4.9 mpg) and Kosta Koufos (4.4 mpg) all fit the bill, when it comes down to playing time. A case could be made for all of them (Fes shoots 54 fg% and grabs nearly as many boards as points he scores; Jeffers always attacks the defense while not getting beat on the other end; The Koof is simply put, The Koof) -- but in the end the most unsung player for the Jazz this season has been Sundiata Gaines.
How many other undrafted rookies have game winners this season, on national TV, vs. the Best regular season team in the league? (While on a 10 day contract) That alone makes him deserve this. But lets not forget that in the wake of the Kevin O'Connor firesale (where the Jazz got rid of a starter in Ronnie Brewer; a key bench guy / safety blanket for Jerry Sloan in Matt Harpring; *and* our 1st round draft pick, and back-up point guard Eric Maynor) our guy Sundiata has really stepped up and been the 'true point' yin we need off the bench to the 'wild, uncontrolled' yang of Ronnie Price.
I could go on, but where's the fun in that. Comment below and add your favorite moments this season of all four of these players -- and celebrate with us, accross the internet, the unsung players of the NBA.