February 29, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah governor Gary R. Herbert (center) presents Utah Jazz small forward Jeremy Evans (40) with an award for winning the slam dunk contest at the NBA all star weekend prior to a game against the Houston Rockets Energy Solutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
To be perfectly fair, there really wouldn’t be a "Positivity Week" if I didn’t get a chance to run down our roster. I had a lot of medical appointments during the pre-season rundown of our team and was unable to participate then. Which sucks. So all in all, doing this is going to make up for it to a certain point.
Jeremy Evans was the Utah Jazz draft pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. He was picked in the 2nd round, pick #55. He was not even on draft boards, but since then he has soared right into our hearts. And he’s still rising.
After the jump – Three reasons why I love Jeremy Evans
#1: He dunks on everybody
Jeremy Evans dunks on everybody. And he’s dunking on everybody all the time. Some people don’t like to be called ‘dunkers’. This isn’t a limitation on him at all; not at all. This is about him being efficient and able to get easy baskets. These are two things all NBA teams strive for. No one disparages guys like Steve Kerr or John Paxon for being pure shooters. No one should disparage Evans for being a pure finisher then. And that’s exactly what he is. I wrote all about it for DimeMag a few weeks ago. If you haven’t read it before here’s the link.
#2: He Won the Dunk Contest
You always love a winner. And Jazz fans know a lot about winning games, even All-Star Game MVPs, but this was a franchise first. We’ve had guys like Jeff Hornacek shoot the lights out before, in a number of different competitions. We had Deron Williams bring home the Skills Contest Trophy, but that seems like a million years ago now. But we’ve sent wave after wave of Jazz players to the Dunk Contest – and each of them has failed to bring home the hardware. This wasn’t the case with Jeremy "Elevator" Evans. Sorry Darrell Griffith (’84, ’85), Blue Edwards (’91), David Benoit (’93), Jamie Watson (’95), and DeShawn Stevenson (’02) – there’s a new Dunk King in Utah. It’s Elevator Evans.
As a last minute replacement for the increasingly prop-dominated Dunk Contest he had many disadvantages. When he showed up, though, he’s the only guy who made his dunks on the first try (which he did for two of the three rounds). And on that one time he missed, he quickly recovered and finished on the second attempt. He won the dunk contest, and he earned his win.
And I love that he brought home a trophy to Utah, something we haven’t had for a long while.
Hope you enjoyed that.
#3: He’s super humble, and doesn’t want to really draw attention to himself
If I had his hops, and was dunking on everyone, I’d be all over the place letting people know about it. Maybe a lot of that is because I haven’t dunked on a 10’ rim since high school, and I only dunked a soccer ball. But still. I’d be all over self-promotion, especially if I won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. That’s not Jeremy though. He’s the guy who used to let Earl Watson do all the talking for him, and could barely say the lines in the thank you video to the fans. I can only imagine how much peer-pressure it took for him to even sign up to twitter. He’s humble, unassuming, and doesn’t draw attention to himself. He’s super down to earth for a guy who seems to spend so much time in among the clouds.
What’s not to love about that?