Today we take a look back at Utah Jazz history and listen to Jeff Hornacek talk about playing with John and Karl, and his NBA Finals days. We also celebrate the efforts of our two-time Defensive Player of the year Mark Eaton, and look at how popular convention stacks him up against Rudy Gobert. We read a great article by the DN's DJ Jazzy Jody. And, we try to crack the nut of "who is the best non- Karl Malone power forward" in franchise history. The numbers are . . . revealing . . . and confusing. Also, we need to start things off with some "Black Friday" history -- plus department store fist fights.
Happy Black Friday everyone! I really never got into this whole "shopping like you mean it" thing . . . but then again I'm not that materialistic. Heck, as My_Lo knows I almost exclusively buy off-brand cell phones from dubious people off eBay. SOMETIMES I can dial a number without my calendar app opening up. It's fun. What's not fun is people going crazy about stuff.
Black Friday is lame. But seeing people fight over appliances is funny. And sad. But mostly funny.— KJ_NBA (@KJ_NBA) November 27, 2015
And we are off and running ..Black Friday brawl at a mall in Louisville pic.twitter.com/N6ZhiPdNnR— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) November 27, 2015
That said, let's check out the Jazz record on Black Friday. (Actually, ain't nobody got time to look that random trivia up right now...)
Jeff Hornacek talked on a podcast for a good 20 minutes with Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix about everything from his playing days, his retirement, getting back into the game, and horrible road trip stories. Of course, he's super candid about how he found out about the Charles Barkley trade that sent him to the Philadelphia 76ers, and if MIchael Jordan did push off on Bryon Russell or not. But it's a great listen because he talks about those NBA Finals teams, his coaching influences, when he has to do a Jerry Sloan impersonation to get the attention of his current team, and just how the Jazz ended up getting him to coach for them.
He does take some credit for Andrei Kirilenko 's big three in the Houston Rockets series, but fails to take credit for Kyle Korver's record setting season. Personally my favorite parts were him explaining the relationship between Sloan and expressive bigman Greg Ostertag. It's a great listen.
Also, just because, he also talks about Tom Chambers dunking. Which brings us to this oldie but goodie:
Man, Mark Jackson needs to be humiliated more. I mean, more than he already is every time he looks in a mirror. But you know what I'm saying.
I can't get enough of this awesome story of super Jazz fan Gilad Perry, who flew from Israel all the way to the USA to watch the Utah Jazz play the Detroit Pistons. It's a great story, and Jody Genessy of the Deseret News breaks it all down here!"We had so little information about the NBA back then in Israel," Perry said, speaking in nearly perfect but accented English. "As soon as I saw the symbol, I fell in love with the Jazz."
Although initially drawn in by the J-note artwork, Perry soon discovered there was more than meets the eye with the Jazz.
This young fan from the other side of the world picked a pretty fun time to become a devoted follower of this NBA squad, which was about to enter its most successful decade in franchise history.
It didn't take long for him to love the Jazz, for the same reason as Utah-based fans.
"John Stockton," he said, "was the one who made me be part of the Jazz family."
It seems like so many of us Jazz fans are also "Jazz" fans of some stripe. Being a musician and seeing a musical note as a sports logo was something I really gravitated too as well growing up. As a side note, I really missed out on not being able to meet him in Detroit. I was in Canada at the time taking care of my elderly parents who were both in the hospital -- and I hope that Gilad knows that WHEN the Jazz play in Israel I will be one of the first people on that plane and hope to meet him then!
Rank the best non- Karl Malone power forwards in New Orleans / Utah Jazz team history:
Is this list incomplete for a true discussion because it omits part-time PFs like Andrei Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur, and David Benoit? Is the list incomplete, just in general, because I failed to include Mike Harris and Jerrelle Benimon? Are so many people in Utah named "Spencer" because of former Jazzman power forward Spencer Haywood? If you are looking at a mix of longevity with the franchise you almost have to discount Robinson and Haywood . . . making it a free-for-all at the top. So who do you have as the #1 non-Malone PF in Jazz history?
I love how Mark Eaton needs to remind the world that he was actually pretty awesome.
I liked a @YouTube video from @markeaton7ft4 https://t.co/Ge2gWQ20zG Mark Eaton Dunks on Mychal Thompson— Mark Eaton (@markeaton7ft4) November 26, 2015
I can see why he would feel the need to do so, as his Standing Dunk rating in NBA2K16 was downgraded from 98 to 80, and his Offensive Consistency was downgraded from 50 to 30. I seem to always ask this, but never follow it up . . . but anyone playing something other than Fallout? (No, Shums, I still haven't figured out fast travel yet in Skyrim. I have only figured out how to get destroyed by giants so far.) Anyone besides me playing NBA 2K16? I am playing both the mobile app and the console game. In both cases I am not great. But I do have Mark Eaton's player card in NBA 2K16. And I can say, with a full heart, that starting Rudy Gobert over him is the smart thing to do at this point. Eaton is the "King of Blocks" but he's just not quick enough to get to a lot of shots. And if you penetrate and dump the ball off to Rudy under the rim he will both a) catch the ball, and b) be able to put it in the basket.
Historically accurate Eaton would be the superior player, but no video game ever has been able to accurately portray him since Electronic Arts' "Lakers vs. Celtics: And the NBA Playoffs" (1988 rosters) back in the day. The only player who could block Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 's sky hook in that game was Mark Eaton. Also, his beard looked great on a four color CGA monitor.