The 2015-2016 Utah Jazz season is over. All those lucky socks that resulted in numerous painful close losses have finally been washed. The Stockton and Malone jerseys have been returned to their offseason resting place in the closet. The NBA League Pass app has been deleted from your phone, and it's time to rediscover what it's like to not have firm plans after 7:00 MST again.
But beneath it all, the urge of Jazz fandom runs deep.
You keep checking twitter as if there's another game to be played.
You keep refreshing SLCDunk.com eagerly waiting for some news to break.
You check the injury report out of habit, someone must have got hurt today.
You talk to your friends about the Jazz in present tense as if the Jazz could still make the playoffs.
You flipped the channel to Root Sports and watched a Rockies game. You're not even a Rockies fan. You just wanted to see those familiar graphics and commercials.
You keep telling your wife about how you think Dante Exum grew and is now 6'9", you think. It's hard to tell from the photos. But you know.
If you have done even one of these things, you're an addict. A Jazz addict.
You're a glutton for pain and remorse. But luckily there's a 7 step plan for recovery. If you follow this plan you'll slowly feel the pain of missing the playoffs turn into hope and excitement for the next season. Guaranteed.
We have studied NBA prospects, got hyped on some sweet new swag, and watched the Utah Jazz trade/draft someone. That feeling to watch basketball is starting to come back. You believe in your heart of hearts that you're ready to watch a basketball game. That's great. But before we release you back into the wild, you need to go through some alpha and beta testing.
We don't know how you'll react when introduced to a real Jazz game with real consequences. In order for you to know that you're ready for real basketball and its sometimes devastating results, we are going to run a simulation. Real basketball players, real basketball, but in a summer league environment. Good ol' Summer League basketball. What's great for Jazz fans is we can put you in a refuge called the Rocky Mountain Revue. It's the NBA Summer League where teams will have their youngest players get some early experience to prepare them for what the NBA game is like. We're going to do the same with you.
Now unfortunately you won't be seeing Dante Exum during this NBA Summer League. Reports say that he will not be participating in it. Dante Exum confirmed this at locker cleanout. His rehab timeline just doesn't work out that way. But the Jazz will have at least one sophomore there in Trey Lyles and there's a chance Tibor Pleiss could show his face there. With all the draft picks the Utah Jazz have in this upcoming draft it's unlikely they leave without a few rookies.
That is unless Dennis Lindsey goes full Lindsey and you never go full Lindsey. But if he does, the NBA Summer League could only boast a few Jazz players officially on the starting day roster.
Since this is a warmup for you, my recovering Jazz friend, that will be just fine. Think of NBA Summer League like Whose Line Is It Anyway. The show where everything's made up and the points don't matter. Its full purpose is so these young players can get some experience and we can get hyped for next season in the process.
When will Utah Summer League be?
July 4th-7th, 2016.
That's right, 4th of July. Fireworks, BBQ, 'Merica, and Jazz. What's more American than that? Nothing. That's what. You are going to be so amped and hyped for next season that you won't even remember some guy named Kobe even played basketball. Your entire mind will be on such a char-broiled, meat induced high that all you'll think about is a lineup of Dante Exum, Rodney Hood, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert laying waste to an opponent's offense with its defensive prowess.
It should be noted that some plays in these games might trigger some terrible memories. That's perfectly natural. If a player steps back for a three there is a good possibility that you'll see Steph Curry. If a player goes for a poster dunk it might remind you of Andrew Wiggins posterizing Rudy Gobert. Seeing a lineup of all D-League players might remind you of the Los Angeles Clippers' game in which a bench unit dismantled the starting lineup of the Utah Jazz. That's okay. You're ready for this now. If you break down at any point you can blame your allergies, after all it's dry in Utah. You can milk that excuse for as long as you want. Then grab a coke, shake it off, and know that if Jerry Sloan saw you he'd tell you he doesn't need a crying guard, he needs a making guard. Step up to the plate of Jazz fandom and don't wince. It's time to assert yourself. You're ready.
- Schedule out July 4th-7th, 2016 on your phone.
- Celebrate 'Merica and the Jazz.
- Eat tons of BBQ and eat at Taqueria 27 if you're in Utah. You earned it.
- Attend the Utah Summer League and, if you can't, watch it online.
- Follow SLCDunk.com for all our coverage of the Utah Summer League.