Digging around the internet for anything Jazz related, I came across this article from SI's Point Forward blog. In it, Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney have a back and forth about the state of the expected lottery teams this year. The Jazz came up in this question:
3. Which 2013 lottery team is due for the most constructive season without playoff contention?
In it, Mahoney posits that the Jazz have the greatest chance to grow by the subtraction of vets Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, and Mo Williams. I encourage everyone to go check it out. Its nothing groundbreaking, or that you haven't already read here, but its good stuff. I especially love this line:
In addition to Favors, Kanter and the persistently underrated Gordon Hayward
Other reading this morning lead me to a Zach Lowe article from last week regarding shortening the lengths of games. The change that is being mulled that would have the greatest impact is shortening the game to 40 minutes. Games these days can extend up and over 3 hours long and reigning in some of the dead time to get a 2 hour game would do wonders for those of us that desperately need to manage our time.
The other rules mentioned are the FIBA goaltending rules- which would be a great change to the game. It would help bring back the importance of the shot blocking defensive big and help diminish the impact of the dribble penetrating wing.
The other issue that Lowe mentions, but is much less talked about is the international pressure for the NBA to conform to FIBA rules. There is a very real pushback in the NBA that the opposite should be true. The NBA is the powerhouse in international basketball and should be the benchmark that other leagues follow. FIBA is not FIFA and without the inclusion of NBA players in the upcoming FIBA World Cup of Basketball, the tournament wouldn't have near the clout... it would basically be the Euroleague tournament.
There have been some changes toward the NBA's rules, with the change from that weird keyhole shaped lane to the NBA standard rectangle.
The reality is that the rules for all the leagues should align somewhere in between: Take the NBA's three point line (FIBA's is too short. Its ridiculous) and FIBA's goaltending rules, etc.
We haven't spoke about it, and its a loose association to the Jazz, but a few weeks ago Henry Abbott of TrueHoop wrote about the difficulties facing the Lakers. There will always be vocal arguments about why players choose certain teams over others in free agency, but this article is interesting in that it has good info about players thoughts on the culture of the Lakers and how Kobe's presence impacts decisions.
Now's your chance to bash on Kobe without remorse.
Here is where I would bring up a SLC Dunk pickup basketball league, but I don't think its gonna happen. We still have plenty of time weather-wise, but my school/work schedule precludes me from organizing anything. If there is anyone interested in being the David Stern of such a thing, email me at dustin dot lamarr at gmail and we can discuss putting something together.