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State of the Dunk: Announcing new site management

The present and future of SLC Dunk.

Vox Media

For the past year SLC Dunk has been in a state of transition much like the current Utah Jazz. We had been preparing for a change in the offseason. That change was to transition editorial responsibilities of SLC Dunk from Amar to myself. Throughout the year more and more of those responsibilities had been transferred over. The plan was for me to step into the role after the offseason.

But, as is sports is life, we had to make the move sooner rather than later. Amar, our past editor, posted something on this site that didn't meet our standards for professionalism and guidelines for respectful communication. After talking with Amar, and knowing him for the last seven years, I'm 100% certain his intent was not malicious. Nevertheless, he and all of us here understand that we have a responsibility to use good judgement in our language with the understanding that our words can impact people in a hurtful or negative way even if that was not our intent. We cannot champion a positive message if we don’t abide by the consequences of violating our code of conduct. After speaking with Amar and SB Nation management, we all felt it was necessary that he step down from SLC Dunk effective immediately.

I will be taking over full editorial responsibilities of the blog. I feel more like Ricky Rubio right now. I thought my first season as Editor in Chief would hopefully go unnoticed because we’d be putting out quality content. But I know it’s impossible to escape the comparisons to the previous staff that have posted here in the past: Basketball John, Amar, Shums, Diana, Prodigal Punk, Moni, Clark, Andy, and many other talented folk. I hope that when I hang up the keyboard I can be spoken in the same rarified air as them.

Seven years ago, I begun my writing career for Salt City Hoops while I was on an acting contract in Montana. I would write my article in Microsoft Word, find the one coffee shop in town that barely had adequate internet, e-mail it to Spencer Ryan Hall who at the time was the editor of Salt City Hoops, wait 15 minutes for it to send, then refresh twitter for my one time of the day. I had 20 followers on twitter at the time. I idolized the contributors to this blog. Though I was loyal to Salt City Hoops, I dreamed of having the chance to write for SLC Dunk. The responsibility of leading this blog is not lost on me.

In addition to myself taking on additional responsibilities we have transitioned to a new core of contributors. Many of whom you have already begun to grow accustomed to reading. I am truly lucky to have them be by my side to lead SLC Dunk into this new Hayward-less Jazz era. You will find their introductions below the announcements of what we have planned for you.


Relaunched this past Monday, the Downbeat makes a triumphant return. As a Dunker I lived for them. During our transition we were looking for talented contributors who we could trust to keep up the content. They began to fall from the wayside during the transition. They’re back.

SLC Punks Podcast

You have probably heard by now but we have a podcast back up and running. The talented James Hansen joins myself every week to talk to the latest news and Jazz information. It’s been too long for this site to be without a podcast and you deserve one.

Salt Lake City Stars Coverage

The Salt Lake City Stars are becoming more integral to the Utah Jazz’s plan and with the addition of 2 way contracts you can expect to see a lot more G-League coverage from the site in the coming year. We will be providing recaps, standout players of the week, and any transactions that occur will the Utah Jazz G-League partner.

Rudy Gobert and the Quest for DPOY

James Hansen is working overtime to present these videos to you. He sends them to me in the middle of the night as he’s working on them. They’re amazing. They’re stellar. They’re even featured on ESPN’s The Jump. We’re really excited for the talent he’s bringing to the site and I know you all will love the next installment.

Instagram / Twitter Watch

We recognize there are many of you who don’t have Twitter or Instagram nor do you want to. But you do want to know what all the hoopla is with players on there. We will have dedicated contributors watching them for you. So you can find out before your social media plugged in friends that Dante Exum is working out with Baron Davis and be ready for #MuscleWatch in the fall.

Weekly Power Ranking Roundups

We know our opinion isn’t the be all end all. On a weekly basis we will have a weekly power ranking roundup so that you can know who thinks Utah is great and who thinks Utah is not so great.

Cool New Graphics

You might have seen our awesome new photoshops hitting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on this blog. Those are courtesy of Taylor Griffin, one of our newest writers. We wanted to step up our game this season and Taylor helps us provide that.

Previews / Game Threads / Recaps

During the season we will continue to bring you Previews, Game Threads, and Recaps from all of our staff here. We also will be starting to up our game during Game Threads. Game Thread posts will get updated with highlights, the score, and random occurrences to the game. We want to make Game Threads a great place to hang out again.

Facebook / Twitter Live

We’ll be hosting more Facebook Live / Twitter Live events in the future. Our plan is that our podcast will begin to be broadcasted live during some of these Facebook Live events. We want to engage more with our audience.

Let’s meet the staff

(In no particular order)

James Hansen

James has been writing for SLCDunk for over a year now, but has been making trash fan posts for a lot longer. He also does videos, one was put on ESPN one time and Tracy McGrady didn't know what to say.

Justin (JuMu)

Justin has been writing for the Dunk since 2014. He goes by JuMu on here. He had his childhood in Utah and still remember where he was when Stockton made that shot that sent the Jazz to the finals even though he was only 5 at the time. A few years later, he moved to Southern California and has lived here since. He's been going to see the Jazz at Clippers games every year for probably a decade now as well as Jazz at Lakers games every now and then when he feels like being harassed. He enjoys basketball, running, and video games as hobbies.

Taylor Griffin

Taylor is a lifelong follower of the Utah Jazz and the NBA. He has written for several online publications and has a passion for the game of basketball. He has a professional background in finance and accounting, and enjoys writing about the Jazz in his free time between work and family.

Kaleb Searle

Kaleb Searle is a journalism student, a former Idaho potato farmer, an unabashed CJ Miles homer, and most of all, a passionate Jazz fan. With a small frame and uncoordinated limbs, Kaleb's chance of being athletic himself waved farewell long ago, but his love of sports never ended. After growing up on a farm and serving an LDS mission in California, he set out to pursue his passion of sportswriting. Aside from the Jazz, Kaleb roots for the Tennessee Titans and San Jose Sharks (being from Idaho allows for a wide range of free agency fan options).


It all started when his first word was "ball", to the delight of his father. Basketball was in his blood. Jazzy’s grandpa is in the University of Utah record books as the team leader in multiple stats during his senior year, and his dad won many a recreation league tournament with his brothers. After turbulent teenage years, he rediscovered his passion for basketball and the Utah Jazz in 2011, only months before the fateful game against the Chicago Bulls. His home town is the suburbs of Salt Lake City, but Jazzy is currently living in Provo, attending BYU.

Jason Walker

Born in Oklahoma but raised in northern Utah. Currently a student at Utah State University studying journalism with the dream of one day being a sports writer (and getting paid for it). Life long Jazz fan whose biggest regret in life was not getting Jerry Sloan's autograph when he sat two seats behind him at a Jazz game in 2013.

Tavan Parker

Tavan Parker, previously known as stocktonjr, was raised on a farm in Hooper, Utah and is currently in his 3rd year of pharmacy school at University of Utah. He’s been a Jazz fan for literally as long as he can remember; Stockton's Shot being one of his first memories. He lurked on SLC Dunk for a long time, finally joining in 2013 due to the awesome content and discussions. He has been married for 3 years and has a 16 month old daughter. The only things that beat out his love of the Jazz is that of God and family. He’s excited to be here and he hopes we can continue enjoying the site we've all come to know and love!

Kristine Jakins

Kristine is a student at Utah State University and a ride-or-die Jazz Fan since before birth. She loves dogs, all things NBA, and National Parks. She, surprisingly, has a lot in common with Blake Griffin, such as a shared belief that Space Jam is the greatest movie of all time and a secret crush on Quin Snyder, although, according to league sources, only one of these similarities can be confirmed.

Steve Park

Steve is a lifelong fan living in Rexburg, ID (for hopefully not the rest of my life). He is studying to become an architect. One tidbit that may win your local bar's trivia night is that, like he who must not be named Gordon Hayward, he broke the ring finger on his off-hand playing basketball (twice). Hey may have a secret crush on the Milwaukee Bucks.

Nathan de la Cruz

Born and raised in the Salt Lake City area, Nathan graduated Utah Valley University with an Accounting degree but has been working in Financial Services for the last 3 years. The thing he is most proud of is his wife and daughter, especially because they are patient with him when the Jazz are losing a game. He has been a Jazz fan since he was 4 years old (1988), some would call him a nerd because pretty much every shirt he owns is either Batman or Utah Jazz. He's a lifelong Jazz fan.

Dan West

Dan West is a college student in Utah who has been a lurker at SLC Dunk since 2009 and a member since 2011. In addition to his Utah Jazz habit, he enjoys racquetball, firearms, disc golf, reading, camping, and Indian food. Jordon pushed off. Stop booing Deron Williams.

A. Cheng

A. Cheng loves the Jazz and basketball, despite being very very short. Currently an undergraduate at MIT. Very confused about what to do with life. He wants to try improving his writing skills; blogging about something very familiar and fun is a good way to start. Favorite player: Rudy Gobert!

Jordan Cummings

Jordan is a lifelong Jazz fan, dating back to the Stockton/Malone era (Jordan pushed off!), through the AK/Deron days, and through the most recent heartbreak of #betrayward. Jordan has three children and is stepfather to one more. He studied theater and digital media at Utah Valley University and works at a software company in Utah.

Dunkis Emeritus

As usual the Hall of Dunk-Fame contributors/editors such as Diana, The Shums, Basketball John, Clark, Prodigal Punk, Spencer Campbell, YuccaManHoops, and Moni have open invitations to contribute whenever they'd like and you may see them jump in from time to time.