Look, it’s August. This is the absolute worst month for an NBA fan. Honestly this is one of the worst sporting months of the year every single year. The news slows down and there’s not as much to talk about.
So what better time than to compare the Utah Jazz with Star Wars characters?! This list is data-driven and highly scientific. The methodology, however, will not be disclosed. So sit back and enjoy as we delve into this ever-important Utah Jazz topic.
Dennis Lindsey = Yoda
The Mastermind. The calm, wise leader with quite the competitive streak. You can hear his intelligence within the first few seconds of an interview. He’s got laser focus and a jedi-like foresight that’s paid dividends time and time again. You can easily imagine that quirky laugh every time he does a draft night deal with the Denver Nuggets. If only Lindsey could be the general manager of the Jazz for 900 years!
Quin Snyder = Emperor Palpetine
The Evil Genius. One moment he seems like the nice guy. The next he’s got his rage on and is killing everyone with his eyes alone. He’s got this squad running a very tight ship that wreaks havoc on opposing teams on a nightly basis. His defense is feared and his offense hasn’t completed its construction. The goal is to build the strongest empire in the league and lead this team to its first ever championship.
Rudy Gobert = Darth Vader
The Enforcer. No one dares cross Rudy Gobert. His sheer presence in the paint is utterly terrifying. Opponents run away when they see him towering over, ready to send any hopeful shot back. He’s what makes this team so difficult to defeat. His powers earned him Defensive Player of the Year honors last season.
Donovan Mitchell = Luke Skywalker
The Leader of the Rebellion. Overlooked and underrated, no one expected Donovan Mitchell to have such a profound impact on the franchise. He learned and developed faster than any player I’ve ever watched. His rise to the top didn’t even take 1 season. He’s got a personality you can’t help but like and is building his fame worldwide. His skills can match up with just about anyone, and he isn’t afraid to use them when necessary.
Joe Ingles = Obi-Wan/Old Ben Kenobi
The Old One (and The Glue Guy). Joe Ingles NBA career was on the verge of being lost and forgotten before being signed by the Jazz. Now he’s that wise old guy that just won’t go away. He’s so effective and has become a vital part of the team. He’s a locker room guy and is a great mentor. Plus, check out this spin move that’s rather reminiscent of Slo Mo Joe
(Having difficulty with Youtube embedding. Here’s the link)
Ricky Rubio = Han Solo
The Swagger. Ricky Rubio has a confidence and swagger like few possess. He may have gotten off to a rough start, but wow was the ending worth it. He was crucial in leading the team to an unexpected comeback last season. He became more comfortable with his 3 point shooting, despite the odds saying that would never happen. The Spanish Samari has the flare necessary to receive the Han Solo comp.
Derrick Favors = Darth Maul
The Silent leader. Derrick Favors is not a man of many words, but that doesn’t mean he can’t bring it on the court. His quiet confidence has been crucial to Utah’s success over the past couple years, even if his efforts can easily go unnoticed. He’s also had some injury concerns and questions, so his future was in question. But he may have finally put them to bed for good, with a comeback year in 2017-2018.
Jae Crowder = Poe Dameron
The Daring Leader. Jae Crowder was having a pretty rough time during his stint in Cleveland, but the trade to Utah revitalized him. He became a natural locker room leader awfully quickly. He stands up for his guys and is willing to enter any fight. He could use some refinement on his decision making, and hopefully an off-season under Quin’s tutelage will give him time to do just that.
Dante Exum = Anakin Skywalker
The Potential. Dante was quite the unknown mystery coming into the 2014 NBA draft, but the potential was recognized by NBA experts. With his unfortunate injury history, Dante is getting a late start to his development. Some say it might be too late. If he pans out and reaches his potential, Dante could be a key piece in bringing
peace to the galaxy a title to the Jazz.
Royce O’Neale = R2-D2
The Over-Performer. When the season began, I would not have believed how big of a role Royce would play by season’s end. He was supposed to be an end-of-the bench kind of guy, but ended up making crucial plays during several games throughout the season. He’s a lunch pail kind of guy, just going to work day in and day out. He could be on this team for a long time.
Thabo Sefolosha = Qui-Gon Jinn
The Mentor. Thabo may not have a ton of time left in his NBA career, but he still brings a ton of value. The old veteran is a great locker room presence and perfect mentor for Utah’s young wings. Injury forced him out of having a significant impact on the court last season, but I think he still has what it takes to be a solid 3 and D wing in the league.
Grayson Allen = Kylo Ren
The Passionate Rookie. Grayson comes from a pretty historic line of guards at Duke University. He also has quite the Kylo-esque baby face. His past may be a little spotted or maybe misunderstood. He’s let emotions get the best of him before, but that passion is also what helps him play his best. What is his true role moving forward on this team?
Alec Burks = Lando Calrissian
The Smooth Talker. Alec Burks is as smooth as they come. From his interviews to his drives, he exudes confidence. He’s also willing to gamble when he drives to the rim, which has led to some pretty spectacular finishes in his career. Unfortunately, some of those gambles have cost him as well. He hasn’t had a very healthy few years, nor has he translated to Quin’s schemes as well as everyone had hoped.
Raul Neto = Boba Fett
The Sidekick. Much like Boba Fett, Raul has become quite the fan favorite despite not playing a very big role. Is it the looks? Is it his rookie season where he surprisingly started 53 and played pretty well. Is it his bromance with Rudy Gobert? Who knows, but I’m glad he’s coming back to the Jazz again next year.
Ekpe Udoh = Chewbacca
The Backup. Ekpe Udoh isn’t completely mandatory for this team, but it sure is nice to have him when you need him. He’s come up with some important plays during times of need, especially when Rudy Gobert was out with injury. He doesn’t get a ton of minutes, but he’s one of the best rim protectors in the game. He seems like a really nice guy through his book clubs, but he can turn into a terrifying defensive presence when needed.
Tony Bradley = Finn
The Project. Tony Bradley decided he’d had enough of the college game, so he took off from UNC when he had the chance. I think he’s still trying to figure out who he is and what he really wants to become. He is fairly inexperienced, but the talent is there to increase his role significantly in the future. I’m excited to see where he ends up.
Gail Miller = Leia Organa
The Princess. Last, but absolutely not least, we have one of the beginners of it all. The near-perfect Gail Miller. She’s an incredible woman who has proven more than capable of leading this amazing franchise. She didn't discover this talent until later in life, but we’re glad she’s with us. Larry H. and Gail single-handedly built one of the most important things to the Utah community and culture, then cemented it in stone by putting it in a family trust. We’d rather not think about how dark and gloomy things might be if it wasn’t for the her.