I have had a real hard time choosing which was the best game that I have attended. I have so many fond memories of being in the Delta Center cheering on my Jazz. It is hard to choose just one game. I have decided to write a little about four NBA experiences/games I have had that are truly my best Jazz game memories.
My first incredible NBA experience was not a game. It was February of 1993, the Utah Jazz were hosting the All Star game. I loved that I lived during a time in NBA history that the Jazz were able to host an all-star game! I did not attend the game but I did go to the All Star NBA Jam festivities on Saturday. My dad was nice enough to drive me downtown on a day where the snow wouldn't stop, cars were running off the road, visibility was horrible but my dad drove me. I will forever be grateful that my dad knew how important this event was to me and what a once in a lifetime opportunity it was. I remember there were lots of booths and activities. There were a lot of NBA players, coaches and executives just walking around. The NBA was different in the early 90's.The biggest memory I have is seeing Frank Layden, Jerry Sloan and John Stockton from a distance. They were down on the court I don't really know what they were doing, John was warming up for something, There were probably other players doing things if John was but I only remember John. Going to the All Star NBA Jam session is one of the best memories I have with my Dad .
My next memory of one of my favorite games took place on New Years Eve of 2005. Lou and I were the parents of a 19 month old and a 4 month old. Needless to say nights out weren't that common back then. When I saw that the Jazz were playing a New Years eve game, I thought that would be the BEST way to ring in the new year. The reason this game was so special to me is because its when I fell back in love with the Jazz. Between my mission, getting married, finishing undergrad, working on my graduate degree and having two babies 15 months apart, somehow I had a lull in my Jazz fandom. I still watched games during that time but my love was not equal to it once was and nowhere close to what it is now. During that game AK was AK47 and Memo was Moneyman. Memo and AK made me realize how much I loved the game and how much I loved the Jazz. I loved that the Jazz were still the Jazz with all new players. I cheered my heart out, Lou got a taste of my true Jazz fandom and I never looked back.
On January 6, 2012 the Jazz played the Memphis Grizzlies at home. Lets be honest not normally a memorable game but when you are the invited guest of the owner of the Utah Jazz, it makes for the most incredible night. It started in the morning of the day of the game, I decided that I wouldn't check twitter that morning. I was going to the doctor with my friend who was pregnant, I was kind of tired of twitter and thought you know what I need a break. I also decided to not check emails. That morning Greg invited me through Twitter to the game. Through my amazing network of Jazz friends I found out about the invite. David Smith who was also invited was able to get my phone number from someone to call me and let me know. I had to call Greg's assistant by noon to let Greg know if I was able to attend. David was able to get a hold of me after ten. I am so grateful that everyone worked together to find me and let me know about the invitation. I was able to have dinner with Greg before the game. It was in the Lexus club room. It was really nice. Greg was super personable and nice. I felt like I was talking with an old friend when talking with Greg. Greg's love for the Jazz really shined through during our conversations. Since I was the only girl that was invited, I was able to sit by Greg during the game. Greg warned us that he didn't talk much during game so we wouldn't be offended if he didn't chat much. I found out that was not true, Greg chatted and chatted with me. I learned so much about what he thought about our current players at the time, past players and about his dad. I will never forget that night with Greg Miller. How I was a lucky enough fan to get chosen, I will never know but I will forever be grateful for the opportunity.
Lastly another game that is my memory bank of my favorite games is the Jerry retirement ceremony game. When the Jazz first advertised the ceremony I thought I need to go to there. We had months to decide and plan but deep in my heart I knew we were going to go. Living in Boise made things a little more difficult to get to the game. We finally decided the Monday before the Friday game that we were going to go. We would pull the kids out of school for the day, Lou would get ahead at work (it was a very busy time for him at work) and we would just go. We ended up paying a lot more than face value for our tickets because of our late decision but it was worth it. I decided we'd make a fun weekend out of it. I made an arrangement with a dear friend, to have my kids sleepover at their house, so Lou and I would just have a little get away. We stayed at the Little America downtown, we met awesome SLC Dunk writers for dinner at La Jolla Grove before the game and finally we went to the game. It had already been a long day at that point since we had only left Boise that morning but I was so full of energy when we arrived at the game I could hardly contain myself. Walking into the ESA was magical. I loved all the Jerry signs and posters. They even had Jerry stickers on the floor. The game was pretty forgettable but the ceremony was amazing. Jerry Sloan is a very big reason of why I have been a Jazz fan for twenty five years. I loved being at the arena, where everything was focused on Jerry and we could celebrate his career. The arena had a different feel, a vintage Delta Center feel to it. Everyone knows that I haven't enjoyed the Jazz the last 4 years like I did previously. The Jazz were in a weird place with Ty Corbin as the coach. Celebrating Jerry's achievements with the Jazz, seeing so many of the players I loved, including Karl Malone and John Stockton at the game just made everything right again.
I hope that soon I can add a new Jazz game to the list. A Jazz game under the Dennis Lindsey, Quin Snyder era. I am very excited for the new season to begin. I have a hope and optimism towards the Jazz that had been missing. The Jazz are back and I can't wait to be a part of it.