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If you read the subhead to this article—hopefully, you’re still with me—I hope I didn’t blow all of my credibility as a Jazz fan/hoop head. Let me explain.
In my family, we’re Jazz fans. It’s just what we do. Growing up living about three hours from the stadium, we still made an effort to get out to at least 2 or 3 games a season in the years of my youth. I’ve been around it my whole life and I’ve watched nearly every game religiously since I was about 14 years old. I’m the youngest of six boys in my family. While in other sports our fan allegiances are all over the map, the Jazz are the only thing in the sports world which unifies us all. It’s the one sports thing we can all talk about intelligently and, for the most part, agree upon. Well, that and rooting against the Warriors. But I digress.
Anyways, my dad is a little more apathetic about sports than us boys most of the time, but he loved C.J. Miles. To the extent that he got himself a Miles t-shirt jersey with his number 34 on it, which, to this day, I think is his only real piece of Jazz memorabilia. He’s the only person I know with C.J. Miles specific gear. Every time Miles hit a shot, he’d cheer a little bit more than normal. During his time here, Miles got the rep of being inconsistent, he’d have 3 or 4 stinkers for every good game. This criticism was merited, but it didn’t dull my family’s love for him at all. Then, on March 16, 2010 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, something magical happened:
LOOK AT THAT LINE! 40 points on 14-of-18 shooting! 6-of-7 from 3! Our faith in C.J. was justified! Validation! That game was the highlight (and maybe the only highlight) of the Ty Corbin era for me. Luckily, I served an LDS mission from 2011-2013 so I missed most of that era, which was maybe the biggest blessing I got from my mission. (Jokes.)
Of course, we know Miles wore out his welcome in Utah not long after, and it seems like the majority of fans’ derision for him has only grown. But I remain a loyal supporter (he shot 41% from 3 this year, by the way), so if you ever see me vehemently defending C.J. (maybe even irrationally), now you know why. Long story short, I’m a Jazz fan because it’s something that brings my family closer together.
Unfortunately, I’m just young enough that I don’t really remember the prime of Stockton and Malone very well. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking back on that stuff and still love those two almost to the point of idolizing them, but I wasn’t along for the ride when it was happening live. As such, my earliest fondest memories of this team was the peak Deron Williams era. That time was great, but here’s hoping my best years as a fan are ahead of me! Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward are here to take us to the promised land. And by the promised land, no, I don’t mean Boston.
More about Kaleb:
I grew up on a farm in Idaho. Realizing the farmer life wasn't for me, I started schooling to become a sports journalist. That's still a work in progress. I've been a Jazz fan from the day I was born and I'll be a Jazz fan until the day I die. Title or no title, I'm just along for the ride.
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