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The Downbeat #1140 - It's My Opinion Edition

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday I listened to a great interview on Radio West, with the author of the book The Sports Gene, David Epstein.  This book is about the science of genetics as it applies to elite athletes.  The interview is filled with interesting tidbits that apply to all sports:  Dispelling the "10,000 hour rule", environment's effect on athletic development, etc.  As someone who obsesses a bit about professional basketball, I have long thought about what it is that separates one player from another?  Why does elite physical athleticism not translate to super-stardom?  For example, why is Javale McGee not one of the top players in the NBA?

The answer has everything to do with how the person trains (the environment), as well as their work ethic, which scientists have found to be genetic.  Think about that when someone suggests that player X will get better if they go to P3, or you hear that Gordon Hayward is stifling his development when he goes to a different training facility.  In the interview, Epstein states that as diverse as our individual genome's are, the same goes for the ideal manner in which we train, and that every person that desires to be an elite athlete should try as many methods of improvement as possible until they find the method that gets the best results for them.  This likely means that facilities like P3 and St. Vincent Sports Performance Center develop individualized programs for each athlete, based on their desired area of improvement and individual skill level.

Here is an article about St. Vincent Sports Performance Center

Did you read that article?  If so, you saw this tidbit:

Hayward and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, are currently in talks with the Jazz to extend his contract this summer. If no deal is reached, he’ll become a restricted free agent next summer.

This could be serious, or this could be protocol.  I'll leave it up to Peter to pontificate.

Last night Gary Payton was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, as MyLo already alluded to, he was inducted by our beloved John Stockton

I don't think I can say enough about how fantastic Stock's double-breasted, peak lapel tuxedo looks. Style for miles. Stockton steez.

Here's The Glove's acceptance speech.

I been getting a lot of slack, for this guy here [points to John Stockton].  Umm.. Everybody has been askin' me why he is the toughest person to guard, other than Michael... instead of Michael Jordan.  First of all, it's my opinion, so that's the way its gonna go.

Try not to well up when he tells the story about Stockton; I dare you.

While everyone searches for content during the offseason, USA Today Sports has taken to ranking the "watchability" of every team in the NBA.  On Friday, the Jazz came in at #29.  According to the folks at USA Today, the Jazz will be the second least watchable team in the League.  This means that they will be less watchable than the Milwaukee Bucks, the Charlotte Bobcats, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Sacramento Kings.  I don't buy it.

I dug around to see if it had been discussed, but it looks like we haven't hit it.  Last week Zach Lowe, over at Grantland, released a list of "Most Known Unknowns".  In it he talks about some of the enigmatic young players in the league, including our very own Enes Kanter and Alec Burks.  In his article he lists them as "The Sure Bets in Utah"

Utah will exercise Year 4 options on both Kanter and Alec Burks. The Jazz have essentially no long-term commitments, meaning they can keep paying all four of their core young guys without any cap or tax worries — for now.

Exactly one month from yesterday, the Jazz will tip-off preseason with a home game against the Warriors.  Tantalizing, isn't it?