A lot of people are going to judge the Jazz by how many wins they have this season. With the young talent coming into its prime and high level off season acquisitions, people may think the win total is the most important thing this season.
That would be wrong.
Anyone can win, but can you do it with swag?
I know for a fact (I do not) that Dennis Lindsey takes into account each player’s swag. Lindsey has talked about having player profiles he uses when scouting players in the draft and free agency. The list probably looks like this....
I agree with Dennis Lindsey that the Swagometer is a vital part of a player’s performance. But we must take this further. We must!
Some of you may be asking, what is swag? This is a great, and important, question. Here is the definition from Merriam Webster:
What about the other swag? That's a slang word that refers to stylish confidence. It shows up in songs ("Check out my swag, yo / I walk like a ballplayer"—Jay Z) and social media hashtags, but this word derives from swagger, not from stolen goods. And though it sounds newer than the "free stuff" swag, this swag is actually older. We can trace it back to 1640, where it's used to refer to "hansom swag fellowes."
The Jazz are absolutely filled with “hansom swag fellowes” and what I’ve done is created a swag ranking of the Utah Jazz. To do this I’ve created a system.
I present to you Swagonomics. Swagonomics is an incredibly accurate system to measure a player’s swag. It is very, very scientific and it works like this...
Swagonomics asks the important questions that will tell us who on the Jazz has the most Swag. Here we go.
15. Shelvin Mack
Coming in last for the Jazz is Shelvin Mack. Though Shelvin scores points for his ability to get assists, not many of those assists end in Dunks. Dunks being one of the large indicators of swag. If Shelvin dunked more and created sweet oops with his passing he would score higher. Sadly, much of Shelvin’s game involves very low swag floaters.
14. Joel Bolomboy
Joel moves up the swag meter with his dunks. He catches oops with his athleticism and then ferociously finishes them. This accounts for a lot of swag in my laboratory's swagonomics calculations. However, these dunk have happened in summer league and pre-season. To move up in the swagonomics calculations, Joel will need to produce his dunks and swag against higher competition. Also, Joel will be wearing a pink backpack this season which is hard to overcome.
Joel Bolomboy with the dunk! Tonight's @AFCU Instant Rewind ⏮ https://t.co/93xHuE1M8P— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) October 11, 2016
13. Dante Exum
Dante has an immense amount of swag potential, but he hasn’t quite gotten there yet. Dante has a winning record as a starter and has done it with strong defense. Though defense can have much swag, a lot of swag on defense come from intense blocks. Dante has not done a lot of chase-down blocks, the kind of blocks that get the crowd rocking. Dante scores points from creating oops, many of which happen with swag-heavy Rudy Gobert.
With more of this, Dante’s swag rating will go way up!
12. Joe Ingles
Ingles on court play is not something that scores especially high in swagonomics, although he does score well with his passing. Remember, sharing of swag is important. Even though Joe doesn’t have the typical highlight plays, he doesn’t care. Not caring about swag gives you swag points. I know, it’s science, I don’t always understand it either.
What adds to Joe’s swag is an intense confidence and sense of humor. Joe Ingles is who he is and doesn’t care what others think. This creates a high level of swag, sometimes referenced as swagger, especially in Austrailia (don’t look that up). It’s also well documented that Ingles’ personality helps other players in the locker room to overcome adversity and get through a long season with higher spirits.
11. Raul Neto
Raul Neto is probably the most “hansom swag fellow” on the Jazz by appearance. He makes a bald, 5’8” portly fellow like myself have confidence issues. If you follow twitter or Instagram you will see many likes and retweets from ladies that are not just fans of his game, but his very hansom face. It’s just not fair sometimes.
10. Trey Lyles
Trey Lyles has a smooth game and a smooth personality. It’s rumored that Lyles has a funny personality, but it doesn’t show up much in post game interviews. The thing that makes Lyles swag go up is his ability to take, and make, shots that are usually meant for players much smaller than himself. He also has a dribble drive game that is ridiculous for a player at 6’10”. More smooth than explosive, Lyles lulls opponents to sleep until he does something like this.
Swat Lake City is alive and well! ✋✋ #PHXatUTA https://t.co/LYlw6Ew4uF— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) October 13, 2016
9. Rodney Hood
Rodney has maybe the smoothest game on the Jazz. He has a stroke that makes even the darkest souled analyst swoon. His passing is high level and there are times where he shows flashes of Harden with his ability to penetrate and either score or dish. To score higher, Rodney would need to show us dunks. If Rodney went up and dunked on someone, I might die. And If you need a reminder of Rodney’s swag, take a look at this shot...
8. George Hill
If you want someone who helps others with their swag, it’s George Hill. His ability to play off guard or take on point guard duties mean he gives everyone the chance to show off their swag. This ability to allow others to shine is an immense ability and he shines in these scientific, very professional, rankings.
George Hill also is incredible at denying opposing players the ball on defense. He also locks up players and keeps them from dunking on ours. Being posterized can hurt a players swag forever and George Hill protects the Jazz from ever allowing the other team huge dunks.
7. Derrick Favors
The thing that stands out to me now more than ever with Favors is his strength. How many times do we see Favors either gather a rebound or pass and then power through the defense to score. Being the most powerful guy on the floor almost always gives Derrick higher swag. He’s willing to dunk on people too which gives him solid marks in the swag department.
Also, Derrick stands up for teammates and shuts down opponents quicker than anyone out there when they think about starting something. This clip was the thing that made me swoon over Favors more than any moment before...
6. Joe Johnson
Being a 6 time all star and having a huge amount of nicknames including “Iso Joe” and “Joe Jesus” puts Joe Johnson high on the list. Joe has that smooth game and ability to score in isolation that gives him huge marks. More than that, Joe has the personality that gets him high marks. He’s just cooler than most guys. The best quote from this preseason came from Joe, from Andy Larsen of KSL...
And Joe Johnson had the best quote about the Jazz's situation: "We've got a few guys banged up, but I'm sure they'll be ready when the popcorn really starts popping."
That type of quote comes from someone with supreme confidence. I’m actually not scared at all that Joe’s lackluster numbers this preseason will continue. When the season starts, Iso Joe will turn it up...
5. Gordon Hayward
People will make jokes about Gordon’s hair, but deep down it’s obvious the haters are jealous. Gordon has a ton of swag. He’s an awesome dad with a beautiful family, he’s an all star caliber player in the NBA and legitimately great E-Gamer. Gordon was willing to smack talk Lebron saying there was no chance he could beat him in League of Legends and also claimed his spot as the best in the world. At gaming that is...
Back to his hair... Gordon has changed a ton from when he came into the league to now, and he looks good doing it. I have three kids at home, I go to work and then write for this site as well as run some podcasts. I look like adrugged up, less attractive, wimpy version of Randy Couture. Gordon gets on the floor and looks like a GQ model. I think I’m gonna stop before I start crying.
4. Rudy Gobert
Rudy plays with a swag that has endeared fans to him for years. He dunks it with ferocity and rejects players at the rim with the same passion. He even talks smack after the block. Not only is Rudy a fantastic player, but he already has two things that set him above other players: a great nickname (Steiffel Tower) and a signature celebration (the salute). Just writing this makes me want to put Rudy higher, but, alas, Rudy has stopped giving us the salute. If he can bring that back... Please bring back the salute, Rudy. Please!
3. Jeff Withey
Jeff Withey? JEFFREE DAVID WITHEY!!!
There was one moment this year that made me put Withey’s swag almost to the top. First, we all saw the drama between Withey and his girlfriend (a model from a magazine that showcases attractive women. This is taken into account for his swag). They were broken up, then back together and then broke up. Right after the break up Withey did this...
Jeff Withey with the sweet poster - Tonight's @AFCU Instant Rewind #UTAatPHX ⏪https://t.co/4YMI6xeaxj— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) October 6, 2016
Withey took out his frustration on this dunk in such a way that he rocketed up these rankings. “Who needs model girlfriends, anyway!?!” was what he probably yelled as he dunked it.
2. Alec Burks
The original king of swag on the Jazz. If you question Alec’s swag, just remember that his all time starting 5 includes himself. When you are asked this question and you put yourself, you deserve this spot.
Burks doesn’t just talk though, he backs it up with a game all about getting to the rim and getting dunks. This dunk right here show’s why people still think Alec has a chance to become great...
I mean, it’s just silly.
1. Boris Diaw
I mean, come on, look at this...
#HappyNationalCoffeeDay from @theborisdiaw! pic.twitter.com/rZDPHFyELc— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) September 29, 2016
Boris is who he is and doesn’t care what people think. First, he’s a fantastic ball player, but his off court swag is what puts him over the top in these rankings. The fact that Boris loves his espresso machine so much that he’ll take it with him on a road trip to SLC. Incredible. And if you ever question Diaw’s swag, this photo as a response to Popovich questioning if Diaw was eating well is amazing...
That face is the definition of swag.