Dirty Ceilings of Assist Leaders Who Need Playing Time - The Downbeat - #662

Eric_medium

Jeff Hornacek, when asked who's the leader of the Jazz:

I don't think [Ty]'s named a captain yet. We're trying to figure that out...Maybe a guy like Paul Millsap and Al, but they're not big talkers. They're not the type of guys that are gonna get in somebody's face and say, "Hey, we need to get this done" or we need to do this and that. They're more quiet guys...I think Josh Howard is a guy who, his intensity when he gets out there, he never takes a play off. Since he's been here I don't think I've seen him take a play off on the defensive end of the floor. So maybe a guy like that might turn into our guy on the defensive end. Raja does it. I don't think we have one true leader...

If there is one [leader on the bench], it probably is Earl, that he can say things and guys will really listen. But again, the leader has to be probably on the court for the majority of the time...So it makes it a little difficult for Earl to do that if he's not out there at the end of the game. When he is out there at the end of the game, I think he really does do that. So again, it's tough. I don't think you necessarily need one guy to be your leader. When I was here with John and Karl, I would say that Karl was probably the leader. He's the one guy that we could go to and say "We need this guy to get going" or to do this or do that, and Karl might get on the guy. John was the quiet kind of example leader. Karl's like, "Give me the ball. I'll score." That's always helpful to be a leader like that and I'd say 90% of the time he delivered. It's hard. There's not probably that many guys in the league like that. (KFAN)
Is this a point of concern (not naming a captain, but leadership in general)? It's definitely less of an issue if the players have been with each other for a long time or it's a more veteran team. You naturally think of your point guard when you think of on-court leadership, but Devin Harris IMO Earl Watson in this respect. Our longest-tenured Jazzman, meanwhile, is CJ Miles. Would having "that guy" on this team make a real difference when we're at that point in games when the Jazz just look lost and discombobulated out there, or is that guy an unnecessary luxury?

Once upon a time, every Jazzman on the roster with kids had at least one son. Every Jazzman, that is, except Karl Malone. The Mailman was therefore the subject of ribbing and teasing in the locker room. John Stockton spent his entire NBA career dishing assists to Karl, and this was no exception.

"John told Karl, 'I'll tell you how you have a boy, if you listen close,'" Kay [Malone] said. "John then goes, 'Take Kay out for a nice dinner, give her a couple glasses of wine, get her happy, take her home and call me -- I'll be over.'"
Tons of other warm fuzzies in this 1997 New York Times article, including how one of the Stockton girls would only sit in Kay Malone's lap at games, and how John usually ordered for Karl at restaurants while doing third-person Karl impersonations.

Thurl Bailey and Sidney Lowe, back in the day. (via @saltcityhoops)

Speaking of Thurl, Frank Layden was recently interviewed on KSL and compared Favors to Thurl Bailey. Although he is now primarily known for his 12-button suits, Thurl had a 15-year pro career, including 12 years in the NBA in which he averaged 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 block on 47% shooting and 81% from the free throw line. These numbers are nothing to sniff at and (but?) I think we all agree (hope) that Favors has a higher ceiling. Would you be disappointed, though, if he ends up with similar career numbers to Thurl?

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