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36 Years of Utah Jazz: The Downbeat #1648

Here's to three and a half wonderful decades of listening to people demand we name our team something else. Also: Devin Booker, Rudy Gobert, and Pokemon-themed GIFs, for some reason. It's your Tuesday Downbeat.

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Yesterday marked 36 years of Jazz basketball in Utah:

Click that link in the tweet, and you'll be taken to a page on the official Utah Jazz website entitled "History of the Jazz Name," which isn't long on detail but does feature this tidbit:

After much deliberation, team officials announced that the new team name would be the New Orleans Jazz on June 7, 1974.

Three contestants had entered the Jazz name, so team officials had Miss New Orleans 1974 choose a winner out of a hopper. That winner was Steve Brown, a 27-year old broker and transplant New Yorker.

Brown, a self-proclaimed Jazz freak who had once played in a league with Julius Irving, said, "I grew up on Knickerbocker basketball, but this is my team now." He received two Jazz season tickets and a trip to the 1975 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.

Steve Browns are in our blood, it seems.

(Enjoy, Moni.)

I'm less amused by the way the article ends:

To this day, saxophones, Cajun food, and Mardi Gras beads may be hard to come by in Salt Lake City, but Jazz is definitely in the air.

This is probably just me, but I tire of these kinds of apologetics when it comes to our team name. Yes, they started in New Orleans. Yes, that's way more geographically appropriate. Yes, they could have changed the name 36 years ago. BUT THEY DIDN'T. LET IT GO.

If you didn't read this Aaron Falk piece on Rudy Gobert -- although you are SLC Dunk readers and therefore have probably devoured every morsel of Jazz knowledge at every moment -- you should go check it out. This part has me thrilled:

"There are a lot of players that we talk about having potential and upside," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said at the end of last season. "I think the most unique think about Rudy is his desire to get better."

To get there, the young center wants to spend his summer getting stronger, particularly in his lower body, to help handle a heavier workload next season.

And, already one of the league's most feared rim protectors, Gobert hopes to put a little more fear into opposing defenses next year. The center intends to improve his post-game and add some mid-range shooting to his repertoire. He says he's hitting consistently from about 15-feet right now, and he plans to spend 10 days in Germany with Dirk Nowitzki's shooting coach later this summer to help fine tune his form.

"I'm more confident," he said of his offensive game. "Really in the first season and early last season, I wasn't really trying anything offensively. Now I can really work on my game and try to show it on the floor."

Oh. Oh my. The thought of Young Rud popping jumpers like Dirk? I...I need some air.

Really, it's that first part that has me the most excited, though. I don't really have any delusions about Rudy becoming an offensive superstar. What gets me excited is how much Rudy wants to improve. His interview comments -- and especially his Twitter feed -- show how much he cares. He takes not being the absolute, undisputed best as a personal insult. I love it.

Just one FanPost for you this week: mitchdowd24 breaks down some second-round draft prospects:

We have the 42nd and the 54th pick. I am not a scout so am relying a lot on for rankings. I figured draftexpress will probably be within + or - about 5 spots of where a player might be picked. So I went and watched all available scouting videos for the players from 37th to 59th for our 42nd and 54th pick and thought I'd share my favorites and why.

Thanks for the post! And oh, by the way...we miiiiight be looking at FanPosts more closely in the near future. Because of reasons. I'm just saying.

Anyway, here's a gif that doesn't make sense.

We know Kentucky's Aaron Harrison worked out for the Jazz last week, but we haven't seen his Wildcat teammate Devin Booker yet, who's been rumored as a strong possibility at #12. Here's ESPN's Chad Ford on Booker's game:

[Booker] is coming into the NBA at exactly at the right time. As Tom Haberstroh so eloquently wrote last week, shooting is the most coveted skill in the NBA at the moment. Booker's 41 percent shooting for Kentucky wasn't the best clip among the elite shooters in our top 30, but it was close. Still, Booker is looking for a label stronger than shooter.

"I think the final five [playoff teams, including the Clippers] were the top five shooting teams in the NBA. It shows you how important shooting is to a team," Booker told "I think teams can never have too many shooters. I think the league is evolving well for me. But I can do a lot of things. I had a lot of talent around me in Kentucky, where all I needed to do was space the floor. So I made the game simple. But I think I can show a lot more. I'm trying to develop into an elite two-way guard. I play with my IQ a lot. People are starting to figure out I'm a little more athletic than they thought with the combine scores. At the end of the day, it's all going to show."

Even with a healthy and improved Rodney Hood, the Jazz definitely need shooting on the wing. If Booker's there at #12, I think I take him.

Quin Snyder is giving unemployed folks a show of sartorial support:

Well, better than this kind of suit, anyway.