Twitter, you guys. What did we ever do without it?
For one thing, we probably pissed each other off a lot less. Grantland's Zach Lowe, who's been featured a lot in these Downbeats -- mostly because he's a prominent national writer who actually covers the Jazz quite a bit -- tweeted a seemingly harmless supposition regarding current Houston Rocket guard James Harden and his availability while a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder:
Lots of people around league remain mystified Utah, especially, didn't act more aggressively in pursuing Harden.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 30, 2013
After that...well, the proverbial ish got real:
Right. Well, then.
I'm not much concerned with actually hashing out the probability of such a hypothetical transaction; what's past is past, and I'm pleased with the direction the Jazz are headed in. Certainly entertaining to watch the conversation unfold, though.
And to be fair, all parties involved were quite respectful, as internet beefs go. (Zach gets this sort of thing a lot, though perhaps disproportionately often from Jazz fans. We're a vocal bunch. And I wouldn't have it any other way.)
There are times, however, when the heady combination of audience and immediacy that Twitter affords can get the best of any fan, even within Jazz Nation. I've seen more than a few beefs (beeves?) unfold between people who I know would behave differently in person. Denim Millward addresses this over at Salt City Hoops:
I know what you must be asking yourself. "Who is this preachy jerk and why does he think he can tell me how to be fan?" I don’t. Obviously, you have every right to be a fan in any way you see fit. This is simply a list of three rules that I humbly believe will make the online Utah Jazz fan experience much more pleasant and enjoyable for all parties involved.
Whether you agree or not, I appreciate Denim's efforts. His thoughts run parallel to the Manifesto I wrote here on the Dunk, lo, these many years ago. (Been meaning to update that again.)
I don't want to belabor this point, so I'll just leave this here.
Now to the fun part of the community: FanPosts! (Every time I write the Downbeat, the third section belongs to anyone who wants to share their thoughts with the rest of Dunklandia. If you want to be featured...write a FanPost!)
First, Aged fan has some new numbers for you to consider:
I'm not interested in re-fighting the past arguments we've had about playing time. I'm excited for the future of the Jazz. I'm not suggesting this is the end-all-be-all stat, but am just offering this as another point of information to consider, especially if you (like me) had not been aware that this data was available.
On the more subjective end of the spectrum, pearlsNswine gives his best guess as to the probability of Jazz players becoming stars:
In order to build a contender the Jazz will need to try and get two stars and 3 playoff caliber players and we are well on our way to getting 3 of those needed pieces with Kanter, Favors and Hayward. Burks may also become one of these players, or it is possible we will need to upgrade the shooting guard spot. I think it is unlikely that Trey ever becomes one of the players to drive the Jazz to a championship.
Keep writing, folks!
Seems like every week, the Jazz have a new player to introduce to the media. (I realize this can't go on forever, since we're almost out of money and roster space, but it's been fun while it lasted.)
The newest recruit: Belmont guard Ian Clark, fresh off his Summer League MVP performance. As always, our girl Moni has his intro interview (we'd be lost without you, Moni-kins! Also, can I call you Moni-kins?):
[Signing with the Jazz] is like a dream come true. You know, I was overwhelmed. I was excited. The first person I called was my mom and dad. And my mom was emotional, my dad was excited. I called my brother right after and he was excited for me, and it was just a good time for my family.
It's so awesome to hear young players express what it's like to achieve their dreams. Reminds me of...