I'm guilty of wanting more expressive players on the court. After all, some of my best moments as a Utah Jazz fan came with Karl Malone punishing other teams on the court, getting fouled, occasionally injuring the guy fouling him, and then flexing. Karl let you, your teammates, your coaching staff, and your momma know that he was beating you like you stole something. He wasn't all talk, but he put up the numbers to allow him to say whatever he wanted on the court, whenever he wanted. Now, that doesn't condone trash talk or exuberant celebrations for no reasons. But the Utah Jazz of the 2010s seem like absolute choir boys in comparison.
Yes. Trevor Booker gets hype with his dunks, blocks, and buzzer beaters. roars occasionally when he makes a big play. is the strong silent type, but even he can bust loose with some on-court vocalization. And cannot be stopped with his amazing bench celebrations. But these four guys are all very reserved compared to The Mailman.
And maybe that's okay. The Dennis Lindsey era of the Jazz go all out with their scouting. They scout college players with a team of guys looking at everything. They go all over the world to watch, and talk to, pros in other leagues. (E.g. David Pick reports that assistant GM Justin Zanik was in Israel a number of hours ago to take a look at Dragan Bender.) And their crew keeps watch of everything happening in the association on a nightly basis. I'm very impressed with how through they are; and moreso, I am 100% on board with who they select or court in free agency. They aren't going for the big fish, but they to go for players who fit the corporate culture of what the Utah Jazz are doing right now.
Between you and me and 40 point losses to the San Antonio Spurs aside, the one thing they are doing is they are not embarrassing themselves. This has been a pretty embarrassing month for some NBA players. And as a result, an embarrassing month for the teams that are associated with them.
Charlotte Hornets bigman was suspended for five games for violating the NBA's drug program. The bugs had to release the following statement: "[we are] disappointed in Al's decisions that led to this suspension. As an organization, we do not condone this behavior." Rumors persist that the five games is a consequence of a repeat failure of a recreational drug. (A first failure results in a likely team imposed super secret double probation, I don't know enough about it, maybe someone should ask about that.)
The Sacramento Kings starting point guard stalked and verbally abused longtime respected NBA referee Bill Kennedy, and was subsequently suspended by the NBA for directing a derogatory and offensive term towards a game official. Rondo apologized and then made a stronger apology. But it's yet another dark spot on a Sacramento franchise in peril right now. The Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and General Manager Vlade Divac both had to distance themselves and the franchise from Rondo's comments.
Yesterday retired NBA player Washington Wizards at his peak, went out of his way to insult both the WNBA, and reasonable thinking people everywhere. I don't know if the NBA can fine him when he's not currently employed by them, but this is just another in a long line of Gilbert being Gilbert. SB Nation's Mark Hinog breaks it down here -- and if you enjoy watching young women being good at sports you can find a number of great videos to watch in his article., formerly of the
It's a force multiplier to see these huge errors of judgement or discretion happen in such a short period of time. Utah has been happily bereft of these issues on the professional level. What's the worst thing that's happened? fun of a disabled man (after Shaquille O'Neal and Waka Flocka also did it), and a personal picture of Trey was also leaked. Trey Lyles became a part of "Black Twitter" ? These are very small infractions compared to that of what other NBA Franchises have to deal with. Again, just this month we have Jefferson's drug habit, Rondo's homophobia, and Gilbert's sexism. Ridiculous.made
It's not just something that can hurt a team's image. But with what we're seeing about Phoenix Suns, we see that bad behavior can slow positive momentum for a rebuilding team. I'm not even beginning to understand the continual train wreck that is Jahlil Okafor's off-court decisions., and how his poor decisions are forcing the hand of the
Are the Jazz players just better at hiding their mistakes? Or is it simply just that the Jazz front office really take character into account before adding someone to the team? The truth may be somewhere between those two concepts; however, as a Jazz fan I'm happy I don't have to blog about the ridiculous stuff other team's bloggers are forced to.