The Downbeat #1164 - The "Did Anything Happen While I Was Gone?" Edition

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Well, I missed it.  For umpteenth year in a row, I missed the Open Scrimmage.  The good news is, for those of us that spent our weekend playing mighty hunter (Heavy emphasis on the "playing" part, over here) the great people in the Jazz media department have us covered.  You can watch the entire recap here. The link also has all of the post game interviews.  By all accounts the new display system is amazing.

Enes don't dance no mo, all he do is dis.

As basketball season descends upon us, the coverage has ramped up from the local outlets.  Here's some highlights:

Bill Oram, Salt Lake Tribune:

Trey Burke wants to be vocal leader

Depth an area of concern amid youth movement

Jody Genessy, Deseret News:

Big opportunity ahead for a bigger Jeremy Evans

Jazz scrimmage turns into 'Welcome Back Kanter' special (included for hilarious photo of David Locke with Derrick Favors)

As The Mailman slowly returns to the world of the NBA, we will start seeing his name pop up more frequently.  He can't even help it.

After his work with Kanter and Favors, Rob Mahoney (SI's Point Forward blog) posits that Malone would be a "Dream Mentor" for Dwight Howard.

Another Mailman mention was not so positive.  Tomorrow night, the fantastic series Open Court, premiers on NBATV.  As Sekou Smith teases on the Hangtime Blog at NBA.com, in the season premier, the ever controversial Isiah Thomas has some eyebrow raising comments about Malone:

“I thought Utah, going back to that team, I thought they had everything it took to win a championship,” he said. “They had the system, the players, the toughness, they were defensive-minded and everything. I always thought like Malone was the weakest link because he wasn’t a good foul shooter. Had he been a good foul shooter they would have beat Chicago.”

He doesn't stop there, either.  You can check the rest out (including a video clip) on the Hangtime Blog, or tomorrow night when it airs (6pm Eastern).

The thing is, Thomas has a point.  In the '97 Finals, Karl shot just 62% from the line, however the idea falls flat when you look at the '98 Finals, where he shot a respectable 76%.  Mostly it shows that Thomas really knows how to hold a grudge.

Much has been said about the various and plentiful unknowns surrounding this Jazz team, as we open up the 2013-2014 season.  We've heard about the possible lack of depth, the inexperience of the best players on the team, as well as the change the entire franchise experiencing (DL taking over, Corbin's contract year).  The most intriguing aspect, to me, is Trey Burke.  There is so much to like about the rookie.  I love his swagger and attitude, and he certainly says all the right things, but the most important thing is and always has been what happens on the court.

With Favors and Hayward, we have somewhat of an idea of what to expect.  Even with Kanter we have a pretty good idea of how he'll perform.  But, with Burke we have what could be the most pivotal player in this lineup.  Along with his semi-enigmatic backcourt partner Alec Burks, we have no clue how they will perform in such important positions in this team's lineup.

For Burke it will be whether he can be the "vocal leader" he aims to be, and whether he can back up this assumed position of authority by playing the right way and showing that he deserves to assume that role from the first day he takes the court.

The return of the season also brings the return of "Text Messages to..." by Shea Serrano.  I love these. They make me laugh and everyone should read them.  This week featured an exchange with Derrick Rose

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