After buying League Pass Broadband for three years in a row, I didn't renew my subscription this year. There were a lot of reasons: busy with work and church callings, some continuing professional education obligations, too hard to convince the House Budget Committee Chairwoman it was a good idea, etc.
Last year, I probably managed to watch only about 20 games, so it wasn't hard to convince myself that I should just save my money. I still had to think about it, however, because I found the draftees intriguing. And since the other off-season transactions only brought us veterans who specialized only in cashing big paychecks (R. Jefferson and A. Biedrins), rehabbing serious injuries (B. Rush), and just being a pleasant person to be around (J. Lucas III), I figured we might get to see these youngsters get a lot of minutes.
In the end, not subscribing seemed like the easiest way to sit this season out, since it was mostly about losing enough games to get some good draft picks next year. In some ways, however, following the team this year without watching any games has been more difficult. When the only gauge of the young player's progress is what I can glean from the box score, I just don't have a sense of what these players can do without seeing them play.
As it turns out, they haven't played very much anyway, so maybe it was the right call. But now, League Pass is on clearance, so I have another opportunity to agonize over this decision. Should I spring $65 to watch the rest of the season?
It's still not an easy decision to make. Sometimes I am so fed up with how things are going that I wish it was April so the season could be over. The team has been much better since Trey Burke came back (it couldn't get much worse than it was without him), so that's nice to see.
But if we're rating the team based on Dennis Lindsey's 3 Ds (Defense, Development, and whatever the third one was), the team doesn't seem to succeeding.
The defense (15th in points allowed) is middle of the pack. And the young players are not getting the minutes they need to develop. Don't get me wrong, R. Jefferson is having a pretty decent year (at least compared to his Golden State nightmare), but as a self-described "hired gun" he has no future on this team. Coach Corbin is willing to help him resurrect his career, and I'm OK with that on a personal level. But it's not doing the team any good for the future, which is all this season ought to be about.
I've heard many, including David Locke, emphasize that the team is about .500 since Trey came back. That's true, but it it really makes me wonder is whether these great players could win more games if they were managed better. They players have to play, but even great players will only be mediocre without a great system.
So when my mouse hovers over the "purchase" button on the League Pass website, I just can't convince myself that it's worth even a measly $65 to watch these games. And what I really find myself thinking is that I'd almost rather watch Jeff Hornacek lead the Suns to win after win, or watch Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver (and the Junkyard Dog DMC, to a lesser extent) have a great year with the Hawks.
And that's the most disturbing thing of all about this year: that the way the team is being handled would make me rather watch other teams than my beloved Jazz. I hate to say it, but that's how I feel, and "feelings just are."
So I think I'm going to save my $65. And while I do, I'm going to hope that the Jazz front office is following twitter and keeping the pulse of the fan base. They've already torn up the old roster to bring in almost an entirely new team the last couple years. That's great. Once the season is over, I'm waiting to see if they are willing to do something similar with the coaching staff. If they don't, we'll get the same thing next year as well.
And the young guys (Gordon, Alec, Trey, Derrick, Enes, Rudy, Jeremy) deserve much more than that. And so do their fans.