So the Utah Jazz lost last night, big deal. They lost a lot over the last few seasons too -- but this loss doesn't invalidate the progress the team has made. We're proud of this team. This is a team going somewhere. This is a team we want to root for. And this team has some flat out characters on them.
The Oklahoma City Thunder didn't make the playoffs, and thus didn't get the 19th seed needed in order to give their pick to the Sixers; but more importantly, they did not make the playoffs. Trevor Booker had some kind words for Enes Kanter after all the dust had settled for both teams:
Wouldn't go to war with any other guys! Helluva season Jazz Nation!!! And oh yeah, glad we didn't lose to a non playoff team @Enes_Kanter— Trevor Booker (@35_Fitz) April 16, 2015
Hilarious. Booker has grown on me. Sadly, he's not perfect. He's not tall enough to be a solid defender in the paint or rim protector. He's not dead-eye enough to be a stretch big. But he does bring a lot of energy, hustle, enthusiasm, and offensive ability that you want from a late 1st rounder. He's not perfect for a championship team where there are more defined player roles, but for a lotto team on the rise he may be perfect for our Jazz. It's not like there are Mehmet Okur's available who shoot 40% from outside and block shots and play Yao Ming one-on-one in the playoffs.
Speaking of Memo, he and lots of Jazz family had things to say about this season. Here is a selection of them:
Tough loss but very fun year. Thanks Jazz Nation for the support. Can't wait till October!— matt harpring (@mharpring15) April 16, 2015
@utahjazz Once A Jazzmen, Always A Jazzmen! Ready to come back and help bring us back to the FINALS!!— Antoine Carr (@AntoineCarr55) April 16, 2015
That's RIGHT! No matter what happens, Once a jazzman always a jazzman. I believe it.— Jeremy Evans (@JeremyEvans40) April 16, 2015
Want to give a big thanks to everyone that gave me the confidence to go out each night and give it my all.— Jeremy Evans (@JeremyEvans40) April 16, 2015
Thank you Jazz fans and Jazz nation for the love and support!!! Great times, love you guys and GO JAZZ!!!— Jeremy Evans (@JeremyEvans40) April 16, 2015
Tough one tonight. Loved every minute of playing with this group of guys. Exciting future.. Thanks to all the fans for support! #JazzNation— Joe Ingles (@Joeingles7) April 16, 2015
Elijah Millsap (@Elijah_Millsap) April 16, 2015
Had some ups and some downs, but in the end everyone got better! Very special group to be apart of and #jazznation thanks for the support!— Johnnie Bryant (@jbryant3) April 16, 2015
Hate it had to end early but great year to build off of for the future.... shout out to that boy @35_Fitz lol— Derrick Favors (@dfavors14) April 16, 2015
It's been a good year for this young team.. I am excited for next season..All jazz next season..— mehmetokur13 (@MehmetOkur13) April 16, 2015
Man, I love this team.
We all should get these shirts, love how Jerry Sloan, John Stockton, Karl Malone, and Jeff Hornacek all fit here. Of course, no Adrian Dantley, Pistol Pete Maravich, or Mark Eaton . . . but we can't help it that we have such a rich history. (Also, wow, lots of twitter today in this downbeat . . . )
It's bitter sweet to have another season end. I've been living and dying with this team for so long now, it's strange. It really is. Why? Because I've now seen the respiration cycle of a franchise. Ups and downs. Lotto picks and playoff runs. Now that the season has finished, our long-time Jazz athletic training Gary Briggs has retired. I remember him when he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers (18 seasons), before joining the team. And now he's gone.
SALT LAKE CITY (April 13, 2015) - Utah Jazz Head Athletic Trainer Gary Briggs, who has overseen the team's training staff for the last 15 seasons, will retire following the conclusion of the 2014-15 NBA campaign. By season's end, Briggs will have worked 3,013 of a possible 3,014 preseason, regular season and postseason games over his career, which originally began with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He will be recognized during tonight's final Jazz home game against Dallas.
"While we may be losing a valued member of our day-to-day operations, Gary Briggs will forever remain a member of the Jazz family," said Randy Rigby, president of the Jazz. "We have been very fortunate to have ‘Briggsy' on our staff these past 15 years. He's become a valued member of the community and we've enjoyed watching his family grow in our state."
Briggs joined Utah in September of 2000, becoming only the third head athletic trainer in franchise history. Previously he spent 18 seasons with Cavaliers (1982-2000) where he was voted the 1999 Athletic Trainer of the Year. He also served as the head athletic trainer for the Eastern Conference at the 1995 and 1997 NBA All-Star Games.
"Gary has been one of the longest tenured and most respected trainers in the NBA," said General Manager Dennis Lindsey. "He's a consummate professional who will be greatly missed by our organization. On behalf of the franchise, we congratulate Gary on an incredible career and thank him and his family for their dedication to the Jazz."
A native of Long Beach, Calif., Briggs began his athletic training career as a student assistant at the University of Florida. Prior to working in the NBA, he spent time at Morehead State University and Troy University. His wife of 32 years, Sue, teaches English at Salt Lake Community College and he has two daughters, Ashley and Courtney who both live in the greater Salt Lake area.
I believe he will be succeeded by Brian Zettler, our favorite green sweater vest wearing guy who gets called for technical fouls occasionally. So we're losing one thing, but gaining another. The Jazz confirmed SLC Dunk's report that the Rocky Mountain Revue is back.
SALT LAKE CITY (April 13, 2015) - NBA action will return to Salt Lake City this summer with the 2015 Utah Jazz Summer League, which the Jazz will host at EnergySolutions Arena from July 6-9, the team announced today. In addition to the Jazz, the six-game, four-team event will also feature the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs.
"Jazz fans are among the most loyal and passionate supporters you will find anywhere in the world, and I can't tell you how thrilled we are to be able to bring them the Utah Jazz Summer League beginning this July," said Utah Jazz president Randy Rigby. "On behalf of the Jazz and the Miller family, I would also like to express our gratitude to Adam Silver and the NBA for their support in helping us return summer league basketball to Utah."
Each participating team will play three games over the four-day span as part of nightly double-headers on Monday, July 6; Tuesday, July 7; and Thursday, July 9. No league games will be played on Wednesday, July 8.
The Utah Jazz Summer League will feature newly drafted rookies seeing their first NBA action, along with young NBA players, select free agents and undrafted rookies looking for an opportunity. Current Jazzmen who played on the team's 2014 summer league entry in the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas include Trey Burke, Danté Exum, Rudy Gobert and Rodney Hood.
"Summer league is a very valuable resource for player development, talent evaluation and organizational growth. The opportunity to once again host our own league is one that we have been interested in for a number of years," said Utah Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey. "We are pleased to see this possibility become a reality with the creation of the Utah Jazz Summer League, and are proud to play host to three class organizations like the Celtics, 76ers and Spurs."
NBA summer league games will be returning to Salt Lake City for the first time since 2008. Many current NBA stars appeared in summer action in Utah early in their careers, including Carmelo Anthony (2003), Tim Duncan (1997), Kevin Durant (2008), Kyle Korver (2003), Paul Millsap (2006, 2007), Steve Nash (1997), Joakim Noah (2007), Dirk Nowitzki (1999, 2000), Tony Parker (2001) and Zach Randolph (2001).
Utahjazz.com will have correspondents covering the Jazz and the Utah Jazz Summer League, and fans will be able to access box scores, game recaps, cumulative statistics, behind-the-scenes coverage and much more by visiting www.utahjazz.com and following the official Jazz twitter account, @utahjazz.
Further details on the 2015 Utah Jazz Summer League, including a complete schedule of games, ticket package options, broadcast information and team rosters will be announced at later dates.
I remember seeing the RMR go away, and now it's back. I guess the older I get the more perspective you gain. It's probably why the vast majority of the older Jazz fans did not feel like the Tyrone Corbin era passed the smell test. And it's probably so many of us who joined our fandom back in the 1980s see the similarities with this club. There is going to be a new flowering of Jazz fans because of this new era. It's exciting. It's new. It's being built the right way by smart people. And they will be successful.
I can only hope that decades from now there will be Jazz fans writing on the internet (or whatever they have) with the same longevity that us greybeards have today. The 40 and 50 and 60 year old Jazz fans aren't going to last forever. That's why it's important for us to impart our Jazzdom to the following generations. (Which is why a lot of my long from stats posts look at 20, 30, 40 years worth of data.)
But when I read the fanposts, or see activity on social media I know that both the Jazz org and the Jazz fandom are in great hands.
It blows my mind at how much fun it is to come to this site and be a part of something that's growing. Thanks again to all the readers, if you're a lurker or an active participant thank you both. Thanks to my writing team, we're all busy but I love how we always make time for one another. This year has been personally challenging, but writing about this team every day has been a pleasure. Furthermore, I appreciate what the Utah Jazz are doing, and love what we get from the players, coaches, and front office guys. As our team gets more popular we get more information and content created about them from national writers, and that's cool to see; however, few people work as hard as the Jazz beat writers for the traditional media. We're in a new golden age of technology. And we truly can drown in a sea of information. While the Jazz aren't winning 50 every season like they did for the vast majority of my fandom, there's never been a better time to be a fan -- you have countless podcasts, vines, youtube mixes, and blogs to digest. It's fun to be a part of this information era.
Thank you to eve ryone for such a good season, with greatness yet to come!