I was frustrated on how things panned out, how things were handled, how our beloved coach had to end his record defying coaching tenure in such bitter manner. It was a virtue for a coach and organization to keep that level of trust and respect and produce success each and every year for over 20 years. No team in any sports has seen such a long tenure. And I don't think there was any NBA organization that was that consistent in winning. Every team had their ups and downs, even the Lakers, the Celtics and the Spurs. I've seen those teams struggle while the Jazz consistently had winning records and made the playoffs every year. That's called success and a blessing to us fans to enjoy good basketball.
Now? We no longer have that solid foundation. It's about starting anew.
Yes, I was mad at a particular player for not dealing with the issue with his coach in a more respectable and constructive manner. But, now I want to make peace. I have no ill towards that player. I wish the best for Williams. I wish him success and a glorious career.
The Jazz had to go through a lot this season; the many altercations and team in-fighting, the sudden shock of losing our coach and not being able to send him off in dignity and respect (after his 26 years of service, at least a standing ovation, right? It was an ugly ending and it still doesn't feel RIGHT), the unexpected trade of All-Star franchise worthy player Williams, the constant losing especially at home. The players had to endure a lot and still are going through pain especially after losing two close games to top caliber teams.
Yes, it is painful to watch our team lose. We're not a losing team. We never lose 2 or is it 3 consecutive home games. No team dare comes to our arena and beats us. NOBODY. That's what 26 years of dedication and wisdom Jerry has brought us. He KNOWS how to win. That's what we were missing during the last two games. The difference between the Nuggets and the Jazz? The Nuggets also traded their All-Star player but have been playing top ball. Here's the difference: They have a solid foundation. Coach Karl is an excellent coach. They're adhering to the coach and are more composed, comfortable, and effective with a system in tact down the stretch. That's the difference.
Now, the Jazz will rebound. I truly believe that. I believe the management have the right mindset and are willing to continue the tradition. They've shown that by the signing of coach Corbin. That's a progressive step forward.
And to be fair, to be winning all of a sudden like nothing happened, like all the negativity and all the drama never happened, would be silly. The team is trying to find their face, identity. They will struggle.
So, I don't mind them losing. I see more energy, more up-tempo running, hustling and spirit. It's been enjoyable watching the team play competitive ball. Both the Celtics and the Nuggets had only good things to say about the Jazz. We all know that the officiating determined both outcomes (the Nuggets got 25 freethrow attempts in the 4th alone while the Jazz got 12 freethrows the entire game. Are you kidding me? And the Devin Harris defense on Lawson, the Millsap steal, and Kenyon Martin bumbling to name a few.). But again, if the Jazz were facing sudden success, they would not be able to grow together as a team. As painful it is, this is needed for the team to grow stronger. Funny thing is, I enjoy watching the Jazz even after loses.