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The Downbeat #1627: The Strong Parental Example Edition

Jerry, John, Randy, and the 1985 Draft Lottery.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

So less than a week until the NBA draft lottery. The Shums shared with us that Dennis Lindsey will be representing the Jazz.

I don't mind Dennis going, I mean he has never been before. I imagine it was the easiest choice for the Jazz. We had KOC representing the Jazz for a lot of years. Then Randy Rigby. Last year it was Brian Miller (which was a little out of the box for the Jazz, sort of kind of).

KOC brought us luck in 2011 (From


and then this:


I know there is such a slim chance that the Jazz will move up this year (barring any trades) but just for fun, what should Dennis Lindsey do to bring the Jazz luck on May 19th?

Speaking of the draft lottery. Chris Ballard at Sports Illustrated wrote an excellent long form article about the 1985 NBA draft lottery. It was the first draft lottery of its kind, there have been conspiracy theories revolving around it ever since.

Our very own BBJ's video was shared in the article. Here is the video to give you some reference to what the article is talking about incase you need the reminder:

A few snidbits from the amazing article. It takes a long time to read but it is worth it.

Now, the NBA’s four-year, $91.9 million TV deal with CBS was set to expire after the season. Ewing in Sacramento did not move the TV needle. But Ewing in the Big Apple? Wrote The New York Times before the lottery, "There is a strong feeling among league officials and television advertising executives that the NBA will benefit most if [Ewing] winds up in a Knicks uniform."

Others took it a step further. Stan Kasten, then the GM of the Hawks, recalls attending a college tournament in Hawaii a few months before the lottery. "I was sitting with a couple of NBA guys," says Kasten, "and I remember one high-ranking- team executive, who I will not name, was a million percent convinced of what was going to happen. ‘He’s going to the Knicks,’ he kept saying. ‘He’s going to the Knicks. It’s all arranged.’ " Kasten pauses, chuckles. "I didn't believe him at the time."

Moments later Stern took the stage. What unfolded next has since become the Zapruder film of sports, watched and rewatched on YouTube and dissected by conspiracy theorists. Stern explaining the process. A white-haired man from the accounting firm of Ernst & Whinney, Jack Wagner, tossing seven envelopes into the plastic globe one at a time, pausing for the briefest of moments—perhaps to adjust his aim?—before dumping in the fourth, which bangs off the interior of the drum, creasing the corner. The NBA’s head of security, Jack Joyce, spinning the drum five times. Stern exhaling visibly and reaching in for the first choice, the one that will determine Ewing’s fate. Stern fumbling around for a moment, grasping and turning the envelopes, then lifting out the lucky one—which just so happens to have a creased corner.

Stern brushed off questions about a rigged outcome. "If people want to say that [the lottery was fixed], fine," he said. "As long as they spell our name right. That means they're interested in us. That’s terrific."

Stern modeled the NBA after Disney. ‘’They have theme parks,’’ Stern said at the time, ‘’And we have theme parks. Only we call them arenas. They have characters: Mickey Mouse, Goofy. Our characters are named Magic and Michael. Disney sells apparel; we sell apparel. They make home videos; we make home videos.’’

And then there are those who see it practically. "Yeah, I can see him doing it," says one prominent agent. "But so what if he did? It worked out. He helped save the league."

The article does not say whether the 1985 lottery was rigged or not. It presents different viewpoints and opinions of people who were there and those others close to the situation. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Go read it if you haven't and share what you find most interesting about the article and your opinion on the topic.

The NBA Draft Combine is going on. I am sure someone who is much more knowledgeable about draft prospects will write marvelous posts about it, here at SLC Dunk. We had been so spoiled the last few years to have Amar attend, it's too bad it didn't work out this year for him to go to give us his first-hand coverage.

Amar may not be at the combine but Jerry Sloan sure is.

And speaking of Jerry Sloan. Something that will always endear me to him.

Jerry is awesome.

Randy Rigby called into the Zone yesterday while driving home from Park City, for his weekly interview.  Randy talked a lot this week about the combine and what they look for in players. As it goes for the last few years Randy stressed the importance of the players to come from good families.  (via

On the relationship between strong family background and discipline
Another thing, before I get cut off, that I want to mention, that, it may seem very fundamental, but really in the ye–a lot of the interviewing as well, and from a, our team psychologist, an issue we look at is also their family background, and their family history, and their dynamics that they have, and we ask them to talk about that.

And the, and he’ll ask them to talk about family and their philosophy and their background with their family. That really comes, shows through with the, with their teaching, with their stability, with their discipline.

Those things become very important, and something that is very high in our analysis with these players, and, because you see the results, and that th–a player can have.

If he comes in and does not have the discipline; if he doesn’t have, really, strong parental example in their life, they can really, the money can get to them. Their life can get pretty crazy, because of the high profiles they’re at, and it can really have a corrosive effect, not only on them, but also the team.

I strongly believe in the importance of being raised in a strong family. I believe that parents have a lifetime influence on their children and have a lifetime responsibility towards their children. Being a mother is second only to being a wife for me. I have felt fortunate to be a stay-at-home mother. I do not take being a mother lightly.

All that being said I feel the Jazz have been a little weird in their family talk the last few years. I fully understand that one of the dominating cultures in the Jazz's market believes in the family (I am part of that culture! I am one of the people they are marketing to). Again I believe families are important, so so so important. I don't however believe that a player can't be a good fit on the Jazz if he doesn't have a "strong parental example in their life".

Lets take for example the voice of the Utah Jazz for over 30 years, Hot Rod Hundley. Hot Rod was basically an orphan as a teenager. He ended up being a #1 draft pick (to the Lakers) and had a long successful career as an NBA play-by-play voice. Would the Jazz not draft/hire Hot Rod if he was a player or broadcaster now? We have had many players in the past, that wouldn't fit with what Rigby states as important, who have gone on to do great things for the Jazz.

I know the Jazz have always always been about drafting quality people, which is wonderful and I have loved the culture of our team for over 25 years becauses of it. I don't understand though, why Randy Rigby and Dennis Lindsey bring up family backgrounds all. the. time. Even to the point of the importance of players coming from a two parent home. I don't remember the family talk as much when I was growing up as a Jazz fan, it was more about who they were as a person when on the Jazz and if their style of play fit our team.

Is it more important for a player to be a good person or to come from a "strong family"? A parent's strong values doesn't necessarily mean the players will have strong values. And because a player doesn't come from a "strong parental example" doesn't mean they aren't a good person.

If these values are important in drafting players do you continue to enforce the values once a player is on the team? If the goal is to get players with strong values do you have to enforce it after the fact also? So if a current player does something that goes against what the Jazz value do you get rid of him, even if he is really talented? In keeping players does the culture of strong parental example and family values matter the same as they do with drafting players?

So where does this priority fall? Is it more important than winning? Is it the same? Is it less important than winning? Are they drafting first on character and then on talent? Does talent trump character?

The Jazz and Kings Twitter accounts have had fun with each other the last few weeks. Yesterday this happened:

Love the Jazz and love John Stockton.