So ... about that DeAndre Jordan thing yesterday. Emoji wars. Paul Pierce's cute rocket picture. Rudy Gobert talking smack with a sweet Game Boy Color reference. Playin' Cards. Barricading the Doors.
I don't know.
The weirdest thing was to think of Doc Rivers suddenly acting like an NCAA coach possessed by a used car saleseman trying to protect his prize recruit. All while DeAndre Jordan was sitting there, looking in the mirror, overcome with the soul of Miggory Sow and smuttering to himself: "Gor! I'm a princess!"
While I get that DeAndre can change his mind, there is something a little ugly about going back on an agreement. On the other hand, it's kind of fun to realize that Mark Cuban is now Lazar Wolf, knowing that he's getting his soul crushed after singing L'chaim. "We had an agreement!" we'll be hearing forever. On the other, other hand, if you think several NBA owners and GM's aren't going to use this as precedent to channeling their own used car salesmen souls, you don't know professional sports ... I'm convinced about half of the stuff in the CBA exists because of idiot front office people screwing everybody with underhanded tactics and decisions. On the other hand ...
Side note: We could really use some awesome Fiddler on the Roof gifs', world. I feel very disappointed.
Amid all the insanity, something really struck me. This, of course, has to do with Rudy Gobert's miraculous response to Paul Pierce:
Paul Pierce just tweeted with his Game Boy color lol— rudy gobert (@rudygobert27) July 8, 2015
Every time I read this I laugh again until tears come out. But there's something else significant going on here. Here's a tweet from Alec Burks on the Utah Jazz account yesterday. The Question: Who's the funniest guy on the Jazz.
Rodney Hood is apparently not only funnier than Rudy, but he is "by far." This is like someone asking Karl Malone who's the best shooter on the '98 Jazz and he says: Adam Keefe. And you just stare and him for a minute before politely reminding Karl "Um ... Jeff Hornacek is on the Jazz." and Karl just smiles, "I know, right?" And all you can do is just shake your head and wonder what kind of crap Adam Keefe must be doing in practice.
Rodney Hood is funnier than Rudy Gobert. Kinda like finding out John Stockton was hilarious the whole time:
So now that Trey Lyles has finally signed with the Jazz, the word on the street is that he's going to play in tonight's game:
Just received confirmation that Jazz rookie Trey Lyles will be here on Thursday, and the plan is to "play him a few minutes each half."— Spencer Checketts (@1280Spence) July 8, 2015
In the long run, it doesn't matter that he wasn't with the team initially. They even have the Las Vegas summer to play, so it's not like he's missing it all. My hunch is that we'll never really know the whole story, but it doesn't matter. I'm glad he's signed, with the team, and starting to play. And I'm glad we get at least a game of him playing in front of the home crowd.
Speaking of Summer League ... the Jazz will continue to host the Utah Summer League, but next year the ESA is already booked. As reported by Aaron Falk at the SLTrib, the Jazz will need an alternate venue.
Personally, I love the idea of doing it at the Dee Events Center at Weber State. Or maybe the Spectrum at USU. Or if the Jazz really want to get intense, how about randomly picking Stake Centers throughout the valley ... think of the possibilities when all the guys show up at 9:15 for their normal Tuesday night basketball and there's the Jazz vs. Spurs going on ... all while some old dude is trying to make the scoreboard work, but he keeps resetting the clock to 6:66 and the score won't budge from 12 -3. And even better ... we could all answer the question we've always been aching to ask: "Yeah, but how good would they be if they had to play on carpet?"
I have developed a love-hate relationship with advanced stats. One of my college degrees is in physics, and as such, I do really enjoy mathematical models to accurately portray and predict reality. But sometimes, I think people take them in ways that are not actually good.
Here's an example: Grantland's Jonah Keri writes about his mid-season baseball awards. It's important to note that this isn't based on who is likely to win the awards at the end of the season, but to identify who has actually been most valuable in the first 80-ish games. Here's why Jason Kipnis doesn't deserve the MVP: "Kipnis has leaned on an unsustainable .382 batting average on balls in play, so he’s out."
I want to die.
He's not the MVP of the first half because you don't think he'll be as lucky/productive in the 2nd half?
That's not how it works. That's getting too clever and excited about the advanced stats and how well you can use acronyms and such. This is getting too cute and enamored with your own intelligence.
Every single one of those hits happened. And if his performance was the most impressive in the first half, he's the MVP. It doesn't freaking matter if it's unsustainable. Or if it was lucky. You don't give out the World Series MVP award based on who is most likely to have the best season next year. You don't judge the most impressive first half because the stats say a guy probably won't keep it up the final 80 games.
Stuff happens. Random things happen. That's why sports are fun. And I wonder if we get too smart, too into the advanced stats to try to predict what will likely happen in the future that we forget to watch and enjoy what happened today. I definitely think I have.
I'm as skeptical as anyone about whether clutch ability is a genuinely sustainable skill. But if a guy hits a bunch of clutch shots ... enjoy it. Celebrate it. Call the guy an MVP. A smart GM isn't going to count on unsustainable performances when he builds for the future. But I think that sometimes we don't celebrate quite as much as we could because we're too busy looking at numbers and building the wrong kind of stories.
Basically, if you don't enjoy a moment because the numbers say it shouldn't have happened, or that it isn't going to keep happening in the future, or because it's luck and not skill ... well, then I think maybe you're not enjoying quite as much as you could.
And I am as guilty as anyone.