March Madness! My absolute favorite sporting event of the entire year. I am so excited that it’s happening again this season. But I will also never forget how the year that Utah State probably had its best team in school history and the tournament was cancelled. That being said, I will also never forget this moment:
I hope you all filled out your brackets and are ready for some March Madness fun!
But you aren’t here for college sports, so let’s move back to the Utah Jazz. I wanted to use the March Madness bracket tradition as the background for today’s downbeat. What if we made a bracket of the best (or fan favorite) players in Utah Jazz history? Is there going to be bias and subjective opinion here? Absolutely, but hopefully it’s fun anyways.
I decided to break it down by position so it definitely isn’t a traditional bracket and it wouldn’t even make sense in the end. But I thought this would be the most fun way to analyze it. Without further ado, let’s get this going!
Can you imagine if Rudy Gobert had been the center for John Stockton and Karl Malone? They would have held teams to like 7 points per game. Any surprises here? Potential upsets? Honestly, these will probably be fairly chalk for the most part. But a real matchup of Rudy Gobert and Mark Eaton would have been crazy to watch.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I had a really hard time filling this one out all the way. Part of that is due to people playing multiple positions and trying to decide which fit better. But part of that is also that the Utah Jazz power forward history gets relatively thin pretty quickly. After Karl Malone, you could argue some of the seeding here. I went with Derrick Favors #2 because of his career contributions while in a Jazz jersey even if the peaks of other players here were higher. Don’t sleep on Big T in the first round here!
The SF’s was a lot quicker to fill out. I had a really hard time leaving off Joe Johnson here. I probably could have done a larger bracket in this region honestly. Where Gordon Hayward fits in the end will be interesting. People have come around on Deron Williams and like him again. Could the same be said of Hayward in 5 or 10 years?
Jazz have a very deep shooting guard history. This might be the most talented group if you look at it from 1-8. Putting Donovan as the 1 seed is more based on where I expect his career to end. Which is saying something, because having Pete Maravich, Jeff Hornacek, and Darrell Griffith below you is impressive! I’m sure I missed someone in this group, so let me know who else should have been included!
This is another position where the Jazz are pretty stacked. Obviously it starts of with the Point Guard GOAT in John Stockton. But Deron Williams is a 2x all star in a Jazz uniform and Rickey Green and Mike Conley have made All Star teams as well. After that I had a harder time really knowing where to seed everyone, but ultimately it’s just a thought exercise.
In the end, I imagine the “Final Five” would just be the #1 seeds from each position. And can you imagine that roster?
- John Stockton
- Donovan Mitchell
- Andrei Kirilenko
- Karl Malone
- Rudy Gobert
Their bench would probably need some more outside shooting, but there are more than enough options on this list to fill that need. Either way, that’s an All Franchise team that I would feel comfortable putting up against anyone!