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The Downbeat #1980 - Utah Jazz primed for a big season, so start it already why don’t ya?

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Thurl Bailey, Blue Edwards, P3, making movies and more all in this Downbeat

Utah Jazz v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It’s almost September. All Utah Jazz fans can’t wait any longer! Start training camp!

Beat 1

The 2016-2017 NBA Season approaches, as more and more Utah Jazz players are finding their way back ‘home’.

I think Rudy Gobert, ostensibly moving into a “contract year” is going to have a big season (regardless if he gets an extension done or not). Shooting star Andy Larsen adds:

In my mind it seems like Quin Snyder can run two groups during practice, players from the United States, and players from the world:

'Murica The World
PG George Hill Raul Neto
SG Rodney Hood Dante Exum
SF Gordon Hayward Trey Lyles
PF Derrick Favors Boris Diaw
C Jeff Withey Rudy Gobert
PG Shelvin Mack
SG Alec Burks
SF Joe Johnson Joe Ingles
PF Joel Bolomboy
C
UTIL Marcus Paige
UTIL Chris Johnson

There’s no doubt that Team USA would win here, but it’s not as lop-sided as some other former Utah Jazz teams used to be.

Beat 2

One thing to worry about with such a mix of talent, age, experience, and success is that not everyone may be on the same page. Some young guys are trying to make a name for themselves. Other guys may be trying to get their next contract. Most are hungry for wins. Few have had their fill. That’s a head-ache for Quin Snyder though.

A player that has years of success in the NBA and internationally is Boris Diaw. He has few basketball related goals left to cross off his wishlist. And it’s only fair to have interests outside of your professional life. For example, he’s a film-maker.

Who knew, right? Well, hopefully he can keep his eyes on the playbook this year instead of the call sheets. Or did he decide to play for the Jazz because it’s close to Sundance? We shall see. I don’t think we should worry too much about Diaw, but if there was a candidate for someone to check out (check out Diaw with the Bobcats), I don’t think we’d be thinking it was Joe Johnson or George Hill.

Beat 3

Shirtless video of Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert and others from three years ago at P3? Yes. Really scraping the bottom of the barrel right now for Jazz stuff. (Also included are former Jazzmen like Trey Burke and Enes Kanter . . . )

It’s still worth watching for the breakdown on Hayward’s tenacity and improvement over the years. After all, he did go from this:

NCAA First Round: Butler Bulldogs v LSU Tigers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

To this:

Utah Jazz v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

And his dedication on working on his body was a big part of that.

Beat 4

Check out these Thurl Bailey highlights.

Man, the game I grew up watching is so different than the NBA game of today.

Beat 5

Something that has captured the national attention right now is the singular act of a quiet, low-key protest. In the “Land of the Free” (provided your dad goes to the same country club as Brock Turner’s dad) I find it increasingly worrying that people get offended so much by the behaviours of other people. Especially if that behaviour is inherently not harmful to others. In this case, using one’s visibility to express an opinion that isn’t shared by a group of board room marketing execs who carefully manufacture a public image of a client.

Without politicizing this too much, I always find it interesting when visible people (professors, business leaders, entertainers, athletes, etc) speak out. You’re not always going to like what they have to say. But in America, they have a right to say it. Moreover, as human beings, it’s possible that their life experiences may differ than ours — and as a result, their perspective on things is formed by a different set of experiences. We shouldn’t be so quick to say other people are wrong. Unless they are Los Angeles Lakers fans.

Duh.

So one guy I follow on twitter is former Jazzman guard/forward Blue Edwards. Blue has lived a life filled with experiences I’ve never had. Now, I don’t agree with everything he says, but I respect — no, I LOVE that he speaks his mind. And this is what he had to say regarding civil disobedience:

I guess that’s what it boils down to. The most American thing ever is fighting for one another. Even if it’s against the status quo group that’s currently in power. (Ask the Redcoats.) Clearly, I don’t have any solutions to the big problems of the world today. But I do think that communication is the key to resolving a lot of our ills. Right now many people don’t even know that some problems even exist because they are so far removed from the day-to-day life experiences of people who they never normally interact with.

Talk to one another. Let’s be less judgemental as a nation of individuals. And if possible, let’s try to learn each other’s history. So we can build a better future, stronger than before, because we are together.

I like to thing that this unity can be something that helps make our Jazz team greater than the sum of their parts. I want to see them fight for one another out there, even though there’s a lot of competition within the group.

That’s the most American thing there can be.