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5 Jazz People Who Are Awesome - The Downbeat - #806

Raja Bell, pictured here, is happy. And today, so are we.
Raja Bell, pictured here, is happy. And today, so are we.

In today's Downbeat, we'll attack the news and the Jazz with a relentlessly positive approach, with a list of 5 Jazz-related humans who, besides being human, are also awesome.

Derrick Favors: Why is Derrick Favors awesome? Consider this: he wanted to go to Tabiona (population, according to Google: 173). Indeed, read this article by BTS: Utah Jazz’s Derrick Favors takes over Tabiona.

Derrick knows how goofy Utah is. I mean, look at the adults in the picture in the Trib's article: they're about as different from Derrick as Americans can get. But, nevertheless, he wanted to be there, where some other players would be uncomfortable with the whole trip. Then he started joking around:

And everyone shared a hearty laugh about that one. #PrayForCardboardGerald.

Raja Bell: The day's other big news came with BTS's reporting that, in fact, the Raja Bell buyout, announced as merely awaiting contract formalities earlier this month, is actually experiencing a significant holdup: Raja Bell refusing to accept Utah Jazz's buyout offer, source says.

Interpreting the events on Twitter, Jazz person (who is awesome but unfortunately will not get his own beat in today's post) Peter J. Novak posted this interpretation:

I happen to agree. Raja said a verbal agreement was in place on July 8th, and that he was "pretty much a free agent". But him and his agent shrewdly avoided signing paperwork until he could find a deal with another team, which he probably can't, due to the reasons I mentioned on Twitter but don't want to post in this absurdly positive look at the team.

So instead, here is the numbered list of awesome things Raja Bell did while he was on the Jazz:


Shan Foster:

Oh, you've seen this video by now? Yes, I know you have. Still, Shan Foster remains awesome, remains a Jazzman, and remains hopeful about his dream. Longer post coming on Shan's impact on all of us sometime in the next week. Yes, I'm going to attempt to make connections between Shan Foster and greater humanity. Get excited.

Brian T. Smith: You may have noticed Brian T. Smith's work all over this Downbeat so far, indeed, he has primarily reported the biggest two Jazz news events of the day. We (fans and snarky people everywhere) tend to give poor BTS a lot of derision for things that, realistically, are probably unfair. But look at his influence in the Jazz writing world: it's everywhere. He reports a great deal of Jazz stories first. He has connections the rest of us only dream of.

He also wanted to go to Tabiona, just like Favors, and then while he was there, and a story broke? No bother. Just wrote up something on the blog, of great importance to Jazz fans everywhere. A player says something incisive, dirty, and funny? No worries, I'll post it on Twitter. In many ways, he's like our own Amar, always willing to put in insane amounts of work for the greater good of the team.

Then yesterday, BTS took time out of his busy schedule to tweet with his fans and followers, with brilliant personality and likability:

And everyone cheered:

For his contributions, BTS deserves to be on today's "Jazz People Who Are Awesome" list.

The Jazz Parking Lot Lady: On 2nd South and 2nd West, there is an entrance to a Jazz lot, actually connected to the one owned by LHM that is kitty corner from ESA. There, the lot is price fixed at $5 for the regular season, which makes it a large discount compared to most sports parking situations in the USA. Indeed, the affordability of this lot is a major factor into making Jazz games affordable to the average or below average income family.

At the entrance, there's an awesome black woman who takes our money at each Jazz home game, gives us the blue ticket, and tells us, each game, that either "they ain't going to give us no problems" or "they're going to give us a run for our money but we'll pull through in the end", in such an assured style that you have no choice but to agree.

But then comes the final phrase:

"Have Fun, and Go Jazz!"

which, due to repetition and sheer brilliance, has kind of become my life's motto. To reveal this publicly is probably not good internet security, but the wifi password at my house is that phrase, sans spaces. Is there a better slogan to keep with you at all times? I do not think there is. For that addition, as well as her enthusiasm and wisdom, the Jazz Parking Lot Lady wins the spot at the end of today's Downbeat.