For #NBAFanVoice day, I thought about everything that I could say and decided that I've said my opinion on the owners and the players. Instead, what I would like to do is write just a bit about what I love about the Jazz and the NBA. That's what I miss most. To the owners and the players it's just a business. They'll tell you that over and over again. It's not so for the fans. Sure, there's a bit of business when it comes to deciding how to spend your hard-earned dough, but a lot of times emotion and loyalty outweighs logical decisions.
I don't ever think about the business side of things when I've set my heart on going to a game. At minimum, I'm playing $5 for parking, $20-50 for tickets, $20 for food, travel time, and other things that I'm not taking into consideration. It's not an overestimation to say that I spend $100 when all is said and done. Even if things are tight, and there's a good game going on, it doesn't take much for me to override common sense and commit to spending that money just to watch the Jazz play. Once I'm set on going to a game, any business or financial sense goes out the window.
I've missed taking my boys to games, teaching them to hate the Forum Blue and Gold, and bonding with them over the Jazz. I miss not being able to follow former Jazz players around the league. Once they've been a Jazz man, they're always a Jazz man. I miss game threads. I miss posting recaps and previews. I love the whole subculture of the NBA and the characters behind the players. I miss all of the trade machine offers both absurd and realistic. I miss Boler and Harpring and hammer threes and third-quarter daggers. Yeah, I said it.
I miss complaining about poor defense and shot selection. I miss not being able to have new SLC Dunk memes appear from game threads. I miss moni not being able to keep a running record of games based on Corbin's tie selection. I miss not having to tell my wife to let me just watch the last 5 minutes of a 30-point blowout.
We need basketball because it has become a part of us. Some would say that it's an unhealthy percentage. When that's taken away, then that percentage of us is missing. We can fill it with something else but it will never be the same. If you're readying this site right now while the lockout is going on, you probably feel the same.
So let me hear/read what you miss most about the Jazz and the NBA. While we'll all be quick to forgive, it's important for the owners and players to know that it's not just a business. This is about people, people that won't have jobs this winter. People that won't be able to bond and come together. People that care too much about a silly sport. People that should be treated as such and not just dollar signs.
The United States Conference of Mayors recently sent a letter to David Stern and to Billy Hunter requesting they consider the local economies in their decision. An excerpt (.pdf),
We know the issues being discussed between NBA owners and players are complex and
need to be addressed to ensure the long-term wellbeing of the league. We are not
interested in taking a side. The United States Conference of Mayors has always
maintained impartiality in major leagues sports negotiations.
Rather, we respectfully ask that you consider the consequences to our cities should the
lockout continue. We ask that you work quickly to find a way to compromise so that we
might salvage the upcoming NBA season.
We are proud to call our cities home to NBA franchises. As basketball fans, we know
winning and losing is part of the game. Rest assured; everyone loses if there is no season.
One of the signatures is from Mayor Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City. He's on the advisory board for the Conference of Mayors. Notably absent from the signature list is the President of the Conference, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (Los Angeles), Mitchell J. Landrieu (New Orleans), and Mick Cornett (Oklahoma City). I don't know if that means anything or not but how hard is it to add their names to the list? It's not like they all signed it personally. I would have thought that at least the president would have his name on their.
Any guesses as to who the rookie was? From Fox Sports Florida,
After shootarounds, Jazz players have been known to punt balls into the stands. Rookies then have to retrieve them.
Utah guard Ronnie Price remembers one first-year player making quite the blunder.
"I told (teammates) I had the best leg in the NBA and I can punt the ball better than anybody in the NBA, and a rookie challenged me," said Price, who wouldn't name the player. "That was a rookie mistake. So we tested my leg out to see how far it went. It went real far up there and he had to go get it."
Word is Price hasn't been challenged since.
My guess is either Fesenko or the KOOF. Maybe Hayward? They would have to be just cocky enough to challenge a vet as a rookie.