Today the NBA announced the the Golden State Warriors do everything / Husky Magic Johnson / forward was awarded Western Conference Player of the Week. He deserves it, and congrats to the MSU man. This is the fifth such Warrior to win the award since the 2010-2011 season. That's tops out of all the teams in the conference. And that got me thinking . . . the Utah Jazz have historically been led by some of the most overt stars there have been. John Stockton owns all of the assists and steals. Karl Malone is second all-time in scoring. No one blocked more shots in a season than Mark Eaton. Adrian Dantley averaged 30 ppg (or close to it) five years in a row. Pistol Pete Maravich is one of the all-time most iconic players the game has ever seen. It seems like the stars have all gone for the Jazz. And I get that, I look at the 2015-2016 roster and I don't see any stars. With the player of the week award you don't even have to be a star, you just need to step up. And even then the Jazz are now 75 weeks removed from their last player to win Player of the Week for the Western Conference.
If one looks at the 2010-2011 till 2015-2016 seasons you have 116 player of the week awards. That is divided through all 15 Western Conference teams, and unequally shared by just 36 different players. After all, there can only be one best player of the week, and that's usually one of the best players. If you're not a star then you really have your work cut out for you. If you break it down, this is what you get:
|2||Warriors||14||5||(5), (3), (3), Monta Ellis (2), Draymond Green (1)|
|3||Rockets||12||4||Kevin Martin (1), Kyle Lowry (1)(9), (1),|
|4||Trail Blazers||10||2||Damian Lillard (2)(8),|
|5||Lakers||9||3||Pau Gasol (1)(6), (2),|
|7||Spurs||8||3||(4), (3), (1)|
|10||Nuggets||4||3||(2), (1), (1)|
|11||Timberwolves||4||3||(2), (1), (1)|
|12||Hornets / Pelicans||3||3||Chris Paul (1),(1), (1)|
|13||Kings||3||1||DeMarcus Cousins (3)|
|14||Jazz||3||2||Al Jefferson (2), (1)|
|15||Suns||2||2||Goran Dragic (1), Markieff Morris (1)|
Also open wide for some pie chart!
Overall it's clear, the Utah Jazz have been pretty much starless over the last half a decade plus. That makes sense, the team has lost a lot of games, has gone to the lottery many times in a row, and really is rebuilding itself after a massive coaching change and even larger front office shake ups that have changed not just the General Manager, but also big fish higher up the food chain.
I'm not bringing this up to pout, or say "hey, we deserve a star." The Jazz do not. They haven't put the work in to get one, or make one. I like Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert, Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, Trey Burke, Dante Exum, and company. I'd love it if one of them became a star. But it's not even about that. It would be sweet if someone stepped up to at least have a great week, even if they can't be great for a season. Even Mo Williams and Kevin Martin did that in the last few seasons. (Seriously.) It's been 75 weeks since a Jazzman stepped up to the point that the NBA was forced to recognize them. Even headcase DeMarcus does star things here and then and becomes an All-Star. The last thing I want is for this team to be the Cleveland Cavs from 1993 till 2004. That's a decade of suck that finally ended when they got LeBron James. But imagine how much longer that franchise would have floundered without winning the lotto? I guess this took a dark turn. Our Jazz team could be similarly irrelevant without a star, and irrelevant for a very long time. Karl Malone was player of the week 23 times. John Stockton was player of the week 6 times. Let's secure the Jazz' bright future by having them be led by stars once again.
START Tibor Pleiss !