Once upon a time, the Jazz had a vet who would get frustrated when teammates didn't work as hard as they ought. Of special mention was a certain center who was always out of shape.
We all know who I'm talking about: Karl Malone.
Now we also have vets who have experienced frustration with the team's overall effort. From the Deseret News:
Key reserve and leader Earl Watson insisted that embarrassing losses to less-talented teams, like the Hornets, "don't just happen overnight." Watson believed that demoralizing defeat, which still stings worse than Tuesday's OKC meltdown, had been building up.
Also from the Deseret News:
"That's what we run, so we've got to be able to run it effectively," Raja Bell said of the Jerry Sloan -era offense. "We missed shots, but there were plenty of possessions where I think we just chose not to run it effectively, and you can't win like that."
Here's my question: does it mean anything that the leaders of this team, the guys being vocal about effort every game, they guys giving the motivational speeches, etc., etc., etc., — does it mean anything that they're two bit players on the team? The backup PG and 8th leading scorer? What about the vets with the big roles? What about Al, Millsap, and Devin?
This is the attitude I don't get. From the Trib:
After watching Burks burn for nine points and 10 free-throw attempts in just 14 minutes during a road loss to New Orleans on Monday, Corbin acknowledged it’s become harder than ever to keep the 20-year-old slasher locked up.
Every time a rookie plays well, this kind of statement is made: "it's become harder than ever to keep" so-and-so from good minutes. As if that's the goal—as if the team wants to make them ride the pine, but the young whipper-snappers just aren't' cooperating.
We can hope that things will change. But quotes like these kind of scare me (from the same article in the Trib):
Corbin considered putting his starters back in Monday against the Hornets with about three minutes to go. He held off, though, deciding to stick with Utah’s young guns.
Of course, I'm glad he held off. But that he considered it shows me exactly how much he is naturally inclined to go to the vets. The kids will not get minutes if they are 1% better. They have to be 200% or 300% better—so much better that even guys on the team payroll are pointing it out. And even then it may not be good enough to get minutes from the vets. We'll see.
On a lighter side, it seems Gordon Hayward's parents are a couple of groupies. They had a good, old fashioned road trip this past week, driving to see the Jazz back-to-back-to-back games in Memphis, New Orleans, and Oklahoma City.
Those trips sound brutal enough with a chartered jet. But driving? Wow.
Apparently after the Oklahoma City game, when they returned home to Indianapolis, they put up 2300 miles in the trip. I'm impressed.
It seems that Jeremy Evans has NOT been invited to the Dunk Contest at All-Star game. Who are the contestants?
I'm about five times more bummed about this that I ought to be.
If you could hand pick your perfect dunk contest participants, who would you pick?