Once upon a time there was a wizened old Master, Master Hornacek. He was patient and skilled master who had moved from the hard desert lands where he gained a lot of notoriety towards the eastern lands. He moved back west in the year 1993-1994 -- and from there joined a powerful mountain monastery of the Jazz Clan. There he trained hard, and alongside other great Masters he reached the highest peaks of individual and collective success . . . before moving again to travel the world.
He would return, and has returned. Now he works to train at that same Mountain Monastery. Master Hornacek trains younger players today . . . but today he may have finally found that perfect set of students. He has found the Fourteenth Wing of Hornacek...
If you like old Kung-Fu movies, creative writing, and a long succession of stats . . . click on
Jeff Hornacek was the perfect compliment to John Stockton and Karl Malone. Hornacek was a former All-Star (Western Conf All-Star), and dead eye shooter. He was also a combo guard who could play SG and PG, and was capable of driving, passing, getting to the line, and shooting from the outside. He was basically Manu Ginobili -- but on the downswing of his career (check out his USG% AST% if you don't believe me). He could do everything on offense, and play good enough defense to move the Jazz from a second round team towards a team that went to the Western Conference finals five times in seven years. Hornacek was the last time we had a great wing player. His number was #14. Since then the Jazz have added guys, traded guys, and drafted guys.
Right now (depending on the fables -- does Gordan Giricek counts? Does Harpring?) we have reached the Fourteenth Wing under Hornacek.
The Fourteen Wings:
- Bryon Russell (1993) -- rookie in Hornacek's first year in Utah
- Shandon Anderson (1995) -- played with Horny for 3 years
- Quincy Lewis (1999) -- great college player, supposed to play with Horny and carry the torch
- Andrei Kirilenko (1999) -- He did not play with Hornacek, but worked with him on his shot
- DeShawn Stevenson (2000) -- Same as Andrei
- Sasha Pavlovic (2003) -- potentially could have been a solid player, but left in expansion draft
- Kirk Snyder (2004) -- only played one year with the Jazz, could have been something under Honry's help
- C.J. Miles (2005) -- Super young, been part of the Jazz team for 7 years
- Andre Owens (2005) -- undrafted player who made the team
- Ronnie Brewer (2006) -- Become a starter but moved in his 4th year
- Morris Almond (2007) -- the best scorer since Hornacek, but too much ego to be a team player
- Wesley Matthews (2009) -- undrafted and left after one year
- Gordon Hayward (2010) and Alec Burks (2011) -- two younger guys with high potential. One of them is the true 14th Wing of Hornacek
Not every player spent a lot of time with our franchise, and not every player was a team mate or coached by Hornacek. That said . . . let's take a look at their minutes . . .
|Player||Draft||Seas 1||Seas 2||Seas 3||Seas 4||Seas 5||Seas 6||Seas 7||Seas 8||Seas 9||Seas 10|
Some guys have played a lot: B-Russ, Andrei, and CJ.
And on the same hand, some guys hardly played at all. CJ is a good example, B-Russ got a lot more PT early than CJ did. Hopefully guys like Gordon and Alec continue to get a lot of PT . . . because they are the two guys who may actually be the next great win player, something we haven't' had in a long time.
I'd go into more info, but I have a huge head ache and I'm going to take it easy. The successive pieces on the 14 Wings of Hornacek will be more interesting. Really. It's a cool Kung-Fu tale, based around Master Hornacek and the journey our players have to go on to become great -- and an analysis on the failures on all the guys inbetween Hornacek and our guys on the team today.