The Utah Jazz may not be in the NBA Playoffs this season, but plenty of them are watching it and taking notes. Also, lots of former Utah Jazz players are in the playoffs, and battling it out for other teams right now. It's a fun time for the Jazz, and the fans know that we're on the verge of something great. Of course, the head coach Quin Synder and General Manager Dennis Lindsey already knew this a while back.The foundation of what they have built is based almost fully upon having great character guys play prominent roles on your squad. This week we take a look at what Rudy Gobert is doing in Africa, and how Gordon Hayward really has his head on straight. The opposite could be said about Ante Tomic, who may just be using the NBA as contract leverage year after year after year. Having good people on your team leads to future success. I believe that fully. So hopefully the playoffs will no longer be a distant memory either. Also, really, not enough people are getting Utah Jazz License plates for their cars.
1. My name is Gordon Hayward, but you can just call me dad
Gordon Hayward does a lot of things on the court and off the court. With the ball in his hands he is a true triple threat. Off the court his charity work (St. Jude's is one example), professional eSport Gamer life, and growing family keep him busy. He's about to get really busy as he's about to be a father. In his own words G-time talks about his transition to being Nap-time -- read it all over here at his own blog!
2. Rudy Gobert is doing Charity work in Africa
So what does the most feared rim protector in the game do during the off-season? He goes out there to impoverished places of the world to protect villagers. No, he's not out there staving off bulldozers or whatever it is we envision troubles people in the developing world now-a-days. He has been working with Giving Back, a charity in France, the USA, and Africa that promotes a sustainable childhood through education and sports. It's awesome to see him being involved in important things.
Here is a video (from January) that includes inspiring quotes and a few of the players who are participating in this program. The video does not include any Gobert action, but the music is straight up epic.
3. Ante Tomic is not coming over to the Jazz
The bad news is that he is going to stay (for now) with FC Barcelona. He hasn't signed the deal yet, but its not likely that he's coming to Utah any time soon. Listen to the interview that KFAN had with Euroleague reporter David Pick. Of course, there's also the necessary Tibor Pleiss and Raul Neto talk as well!
Ultimately, Ante Tomic is a very big fish in a medium sized pond, and it's unlikely that he wants to go be a back-up to Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert.
4. I don't think enough people are getting personalized Utah Jazz license plates
If I lived in Utah I totally would have these.
You can get these at your local Utah DMV now, or ordered through the mail or whatever. Man. Woman. Child. Family Pet. Go get these. It's super cheap. For Reals! Get all of the full details over here!
5. Playoffs? Playoffs??
Longtime sports writing guru, the SLTRIB's Kurt Kragthorpe, writes about how the Utah Jazz playoff wins drought is now five seasons. Somehow I didn't think it was that long ago. Man . . .
Five years later, every player and coach involved in the Jazz's series-ending, Game 6 win over Denver is gone. A major trade, several free-agent departures and two head-coaching changes have marked the Jazz's longest stretch in Utah without a victory in a playoff game. Only four other NBA teams have failed to produce a postseason win since April 30, 2010: Charlotte, Detroit, Minnesota and Sacramento.
The Jazz qualified for the playoffs in 2012, when they were swept by San Antonio. Otherwise, they have nothing to show for a five-year period of upheaval. Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan quit in the middle of the 2010-11 season, and the Jazz have lost players who are now thriving with other teams.
Should everyone have seen this coming?
Previous Top Five Stories:
March 28 - April 3: Rod Rod Hundley passes away; Grantland kills Enes Kanter and his comments on Utah; Australian Newspapers talk about Dante Exum; the Idaho Stampede have been purchased by the Utah Jazz and what does this mean for the future; and Rudy Gobert is a legit star according to the National basketball writers of America
April 4 - April 10: DUKE wins the NCAA National Championship; Rodney Hood will play in summer league; National media think the Utah Jazz will make a run for the playoffs next season; Quin Snyder interviews + Moni = awesome; some national writers don't think the Thunder want Enes Kanter back
April 11 - April 17: Utah Jazz players could make some noise with some end of season awards; Rocky Mountain Revue dates and teams; Bryce Cotton 's awesome oop; Gary Briggs retires; Locker Clean Out exit interviews
April 18 - April 24: Rudy Gobert 's reaction to placing 5th in DPOY; Alec Burks desire to get back on the court; Quin Snyder is a Top 10 Coach; Andrei Kirilenko is still AK-47; Larry H. Miller day of service
- April 25 - May 1: You're already reading this one, you dumb-dumb!