A quickie Downbeat this morning. Even the Jazz players that frustrate us the most don't garner hate from Jazz fans but there are a few players that have been loathed. Here are the top 5 in no particular order
Jason Hart, He was only with the team for one season but never got off on the right foot with the fans after his comments about having to ride in a lesser vehicle after his Escalade got damaged. Couple that with his atrocious 2 for 1s at the end of the 1st and 3rd quarters, his inability to grasp the offense, and lack of community involvment, he was a favorite scapegoat. I don't know if we journeyed into hate territory with Hart but we certainly had a strong dislike for him.
Mark Jackson, He too only played one season for the Jazz in 2002-03. His role was to back up John Stockton and provide a veteran presence for the second team. It seemed though that he though it should be his team and tried to turn the players against Stockton. Also remember that this was Stockton's last season. I don't know what Jackson's motives were, it wasn't like it was going to be a old guard/new guard situation. Jackson barely played the next year with another team and retired after that.
To make it worse, we have to hear him call every Jazz game when they're playing on ABC. To compound that, he's a horrible commentator. What a kick to the groin every time I have to hear him speak.
Derek Fisher, I've had a self-imposed boycott of mentioning Fisher, the Fisher Lied girls, and all other things related to him because I just want the story to go away. However, with this list, he has to be mentioned. He's in the unique category of being hated post-Jazz because of the whole circus involving him going to the Lakers immediately after being released from his contract with the Jazz so that he could be closer to doctors that could care for his daughter's cancer.
I really don't want to start a discussion on this because it's been hashed out too much already but I knew if I left him off this list, he would have been brought up. He may though take the title from Boozer as being the most polarizing Jazz player ever.
Carlos Boozer, He may be one of the most polarizing Jazz players ever. You either love him or hate him and there's plenty on both sides. In strictly basketball terms, you love him because of the offensive output he gives for the team. He has some of the best footwork and ambidextrity of any player in the league. Where the hate comes in is his his apparent lack of committment on the defensive end and his physical toughness. To some he will always be about the money, showing his loyalty to whomever will flash him the most green.
Rony Seikaly/Derek Harper, So these two were never officially Jazz men but they get on the list for spurning Utah in trades that would have sent them here. Harper said, "You go live in Utah." Seikaly's trade was rescinded after he didn't want to come because there was no night life. I think the official reason that trade was cancelled was a failed physical. Seikaly could have helped the Jazz win the championship that year which made his failed trade hurt even worse.
A common theme to all of these hated players, with the exception of Fisher, is angering the blue-collared type Jazz fans. John Stockton and Karl Malone were loved more for their hard work and dedication to the game than for their skills. Put the two together and they're gods. That's why we will always love players like Wesley Matthews over players like DeShawn Stevenson. Give us the hard working, TEAM, from 2003-04 over the 2008-09 guys any day.
Downbeat bonus poll,