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Draft Party, G-Time, John and Karl, and... Books? - The Downbeat - #776

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As we found out last week, the Jazz are having a draft party to celebrate the drafting of the #47 pick. However, interestingly, the Jazz tweeted this today:

I would have expected the Fanzz sidewalk sale to be a large part of why they throw the draft party at all: a chance to clear extra inventory for Fanzz and make a little bit of money too. It's not like concession sales are high at the draft party, heck, they give everyone a free hot dog who comes in the door. You might expect them to make a few season ticket sales, which are hugely valuable to the team, but it's not as if potential customers are hugely excited by the 47th pick. So why are the Jazz throwing one this year?

I imagine that the Jazz have done research on this, and have found that one of the aspects of the team that people like most is the community surrounding the franchise. They throw a party and give out hot dogs for the same reason us regular people do: to build and maintain connections. Those connections become incredibly important as a revenue stream. Those people are willing to pay lots of money on merchandise, tickets, parking and more. Especially those people who are willing to go to ESA to celebrate the #47 pick, who, by the way, will not be guaranteed to make the team.

As a side note, and I think this should be said, in many ways SLCDunk is like a 24/7 "draft party". We provide a service to the Jazz by hosting these discussions and building on them with the fans who are most knowledgeable and passionate about the franchise. The Jazz community is built; tickets are sold. Sure, criticism is rampant. But where there is criticism, there is rationale. The modern fan demands a sort of constructive criticism, or at least, an acknowledgement of flaws where they exist. In my opinion, we strike a balance fairly well: at this site, if you have an uninformed opinion, you're likely going to be called out on it. In short, we host the kinds of fans the Jazz will need to carry in the future, and we lead them to think about the Jazz as often and as well as possible. That's a pretty valuable connector to the franchise.

Moni posted this video on her blog of all of the deleted scenes from John and Karl from the excellent The Dream Team documentary that aired last week. It's long, but you should watch it, because if you're like me, you have a neverending affection for John and Karl.

What are some of your favorite basketball books? This is somewhat selfishly motivated because I've been looking for books to read this summer, but I'll share some of mine:

  • Basketball on Paper - by Dean Oliver - I like this book a lot, and it's really important: on of the first, if not the first, advanced analytical looks at basketball. Who makes what happen and how?
  • Basketball Prospectus - Kevin Pelton and Bradford Doolittle - Another really excellent book, and perfect reference guide. Either keep it with you to get a quick look of a player's talents, or read the whole thing cover to cover in a voracious attempt to learn all of basketball right now. Either way, it's an excellent buy.
  • The Book of Basketball - Bill Simmons - Yes, it's Bill Simmons, and yes, he's biased, and for some reason wants to hate Karl Malone like Karl personally ruined his dreams. I don't think he has any idea how good Stockton is. I think he's a really, really juvenile writer at times. That all being said... It's a fantastic read. There's so much to learn about the history of the game, so much to imagine and read about and to experience that it's difficult not to read the book. The companion site,, is great because it actually links to YouTube clips of what Bill writes about, making it a much more enriching experience. I recommend having book and laptop open at the same time.

So, readers, what book recommendations do you have for me?

Remember when Gordon Hayward was drafted, and we were all, well, unconvinced? Let's be honest, we reached somewhat for G-Time, making it a really risky pick. Kevin O' Connor asked us to give him two years to evaluate, and to see what we had in the young man. And what we have is a versatile, two-way wing with a really impressive basketball IQ. As our only good wing player for most/all of last season, you can make a case he was our most important player: what would we do without him?

Well, Mr. Prodigy/memoismoney has created his usual excellent mix of Gordon's 2011-2012 highlights:

I recommend watching it. Because Gordon is too big, yo.

Poll Time!