Welcome to the 163rd annual Days of '47 Parade. I'm your host Craig Bolerjack along with my left hand man, Matty Harpring. How are you doing Matt?
Matt: I'm great Boler, it's good to be back in Utah around loyal Jazz fans, ready to celebrate the traditions of this great state, it's pioneers and of course Utah Jazz basketball. As we all know, the days of '47 parade have some of the best fans that any parade in the country has to offer, with their passion, their drive and desire to enjoy a great parade.
Boler: You nailed it Matty, like a nail on the head. Some of these fans have been out here since last night camping and carrying on, in hopes of seeing some of their favorite floats and in hopes of catching some candy, Matty. It's going to be a great one today. Let's get started.
First float we have for you is a perfect start to this parade, it's brought to you by the pioneer association and what we have here is an old fashioned float that depicts the every day life of an honest to goodness pioneer that trekked into the valley back in 1847.
Matt: Boler, this parade is starting out strong with this depiction. You have pioneers up there getting up early, some of them pushing a handcart that is crafted from the finest wood you can find in Utah. You have some of the little ones churning some butter to put on their bread for breakfast. I like how this float is bringing energy today. It's ready to compete. In this parade, you've got to bring all you've got to perform today. No half attempts are going to do and this first float is no half attempt.
Boler: Oh, you've got that right, Matty. This float is 52 feet long and 12 feet high and holds 18 pioneers, well actually actors playing pioneers, showing us what it might have been like to live in those times. And although, these actors have smiles on their faces, I can tell you from first hand experience, it would be no picnic in the park to live like one of these pioneers.
Matt: Next up, we have a float of every reality TV show performer that hails from Utah. That's right, if you've ever made it on TV with your abilities to perform on American Idol, America's Got Talent, or So You Think You Can Dance, you should be on this float. This float carries 157 of your favorite contestants with talent. You remember their names from your favorite shows: Nikki Carmichael, and Brenda Johnson. John Silver and Ronald Wisenhunt. Chad Murray and Gayle Washburn. Utah has per capita some of the greatest performance artists this world has ever known and right now, if you'll take a listen, you can hear some of them singing a rendition of "We're living in Utah" from those Utah tourism commercials back in the 90's.
Boler: Oh Matty, that song makes me want to get up and visit Utah. That is a lot of talent to be harbored on that one single float. Makes you proud to be a Utah native. Next up, we have the first of the floats that I'm sure all Jazz fans will love. In honor of the days of 47 parade, there will be some floats dedicated to famous num
ber 47s from the Utah Jazz. First off, we have a float dedicated to none other than Mr 47 himself, Mo Williams.
Matt: Mo Williams is the first of the great picks the Jazz have made at #47 in the draft and what better way to honor him than by giving him his own float.
Boler: There is no better way, Matt. Drafted in 2003, Maurice Williams came to Utah by way of the University of Alabama and put on a show right off the bat. Williams was able to average 13 mpg off the bench and scored 5 ppg and as you know Matt, it is not hard to get coach Jerry Sloan to trust you with those minutes and Mo did just that.
Matt: Yeah, I had the privilege of playing alongside Mo his rookie year and he was a great guy. He was the type of guy who'd show up to practice early and leave a little later than everyone else. Great worker. In fact, although he was taken 47th in the draft, it is hard to find five better wing players taken in front of Mo. His career 13.
Boler: You said it, Matty. Mo is one of only 8 all star players from his draft class and one of only 5 guys from his draft class to start in an NBA finals game. He's pretty much done and seen it all at this point. Although he was number 47 in the draft, how many wing players would you take in from of Mr. Williams if you could do it all over Matt?
Matt: Not 46 guys, I can tell you that. Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade are givens. Maybe Josh Howard from his earlier years. But after that it's debatable between number 7 draft pick Kirk Hinrich, Leandro Barbosa and Utah Valley's very own Travis Hansen.
Boler: But to get arguably, the 4th or 5th best wing player in a draft at number 47. I think we can both agree that lady luck was with Kevin O'Connor the night he drafted Mr. Maurice Williams. Up next we have a float dedicated to the next great 47th pick by the Utah Jazz, in one Paul Millsap. You might know him as "Mr. Double Double" or "The Workman" or "The One Gave us the Miracle in Miami."
Matt: I know him as a great teammate, Boler. He's the type of guy who shows up early to practice and leaves later than everyone else. He's also the guy who just brings a lunch pail to work and gets his job done. Did you know, Boler, that of all the people in Paul Millsap's draft class of 2006, he leads them all in career field goal percentage at 52%?
Boler: Well, I do now Matt. You know who else is on that list? Leon Powe, Renaldo Balkman and Utah's very own Ronnie Brewer. That's the list. For a guy who couldn't shoot the ball a lick, Ronnie B, sure could put that basketball right in that hoop. But back to Paul, his career 12.1 points per game are good for 5th best in his draft class behind only Andrea Bargnani, Lamarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy and Rudy Gay. In fact, Paul Millsap is arguably a top 5 player from this draft class, even though he was taken at 47. Lamarcus Aldridge might be the only better big man in this draft. You would trade Paul Millsap for Lamarcus Aldridge or Rajon Rondo at the 21st pick, but everyone else is up for debate. Andrea Bargnani? Maybe. Rudy Gay? Probably. Maybe even Kyle Lowry, but that's it. Paul Millsap has really proven that you don't have to be a lottery pick to produce in this league, or today in this parade.
Matt: When you look at all of the players taken ahead of Paul Millsap, Boler, you just sort of scratch your head at how GMs and scouts could miss on this guy. I understand he was small and from a small school, but I guess the scouts and GMs couldn't measure the size of this guys heart and his tenacity, because those two things have carried him into becoming a very solid power forward in the NBA.
Next up, we have a float dedicated to every Utah Jazz fan's favorite 47 and that is the Russian Torpedo, Andrei Kirilenko. Now this float was originally conceived and planned by EPIX, the make believe Utah-based video game company, which dumped about $17,000 into the planning and conception of this float, but right after investing that money, they turned around and threw their time, efforts and money into two other floats and sort of put this Kirilenko float on the back burner. Originally this float was only half way done and paid for, but then Russian Billionaire Mikhael Prokhorov stepped in and donated $4.5 million dollars to finish the float. It's plated with gold and is covered with New Jersey Nets gear and has a depiction of Andrei wearing a Nets Jersey, so nothing subtle about this float.
Boler: Thanks Matty. Well, we are going to take a long commercial break. We will be back in October for the start of the season and take a look at the next days of #47 parade float dedicated to Kevin Murphy.