Today is Anzac day, which is the day where Australia and New Zealand remember the efforts, sacrifices, and the heroes who passed fighting in "all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations." (Thanks Wiki!) Thankfully, due to my travels and meeting wonderful people all over the world I knew about it beforehand; and this day is the analog for what the rest of the Commonwealth does on Remembrance Day (November 11th), or what the United States celebrates on Veterans Day (November 11th). As an aside, it's hard to imagine that there was a time back when professional athletes would go fight wars because the need was so great. Today that is not the case but still something to think about. Our South of the Equator Jazz family had this to say:
At the going down of the sun... And in the morning... Lest We Forget— Brock Motum (@brockm12) April 25, 2015
Lest We Forget. Thank-you to those that have served and continue to serve our wonderful country. #anzacday #lestweforget— Renae Hallinan (@RenaeHallinan) April 24, 2015
N.B. Renae is Joe Ingles ' fiancee.
It's not all about being solemn and reverent. Dante Exum got dressed up to watch some Aussie Rules Football/footy:
His team lost, but our little rookie did get this jab in on Ingles:
Everyone turn to Channel 7 to watch @Joeingles7 interview at the footy. #thiswillbeinteresting— Danté Exum (@daanteee) April 25, 2015
My how they grow up. Also, I love the globalization of the game we love, and how people from all over the world can contribute to the Utah Jazz -- especially the fans! Australia and New Zealand were integral parts to the Allied war effort and lost 52k brave soldiers during WWII. Remote members of the Commonwealth (Aus, Canada, Nepal, etc) were often sent to the most difficult parts of the war as fodder, but found a way to persevere. Their efforts will never be forgotten. And their memory will endure. Just like the performances this season by our Australian Jazz family, players and fans alike. Fighting by your side victory is assured.
We can't get into any World War talk without mentioning the French. The Minister of Defense, Rudy Gobert , is chilling right now. His IG feed suggests that he is in Africa, or is just putting up photoshops of resorts? (I suspect in tourist friendly Morocco....)
It must be cool for him to be able to vacation to some other place and speak his mother tongue though. I will say that his travel photos make him the second most well traveled member of the Jazz family (fans included).
This was what he was doing after summer league in the off-season before his rookie year. Man, I wish I was a multimillionaire sometimes.
I've kinda been holding back on the NBA Draft posts until we get a little closer, but there's lots of talk to be had. Jody Avirgan of FiveThirtyEight asks if you can fix the NBA Draft?
The NBA draft could use some fixing. Whether NBA Commissioner Adam Silver admits it or not, teams are tanking in order to land a better chance at a top pick. On the most recent episode of our sports podcast Hot Takedown, we discussed a few proposals to fix the draft structure, from the "wheel" to closing the gap between the worst and second-worst team's chances. Now, it's your turn.
Where there are no answers given, there is a form for you to add in your own solution.
When you're sitting on your couch, daydreaming, what crazy scheme have you come up with to fix the draft structure? Tell us below — no idea is too weird. We'll compile some of them on FiveThirtyEight and discuss our favorites on the show.
We'll also endorse one idea as the official Hot Takedown proposal and send it as a notarized letter (on fancy paper, too) to Silver. And that'll solve everything!
My idea right off the top of my head? Have two of the worst teams (by record) get a spot in the Top 5, but have the other three spots determined by some other metric, like a tournament. So instead of the Lotto being what it is today, where 14 teams fight for a chance for three of the top three picks they will be fighting for two of the top five picks. In fact, I should put some more thought into this and submit a proposal myself. You can too, over here!
So awards season is here. And here's a quick recap of what we've seen:
- NBA Champion -- TBD
- MVP: TBD
- Finals MVP: TBD
- All-Star MVP: Russell Westbrook (OKC)
- DPOY: Kawhi Leonard (SAS)
6MOY: Lou Williams (TOR)
- CotY: Mike Budenholzer (ATL)
- ExotY: TBD
Any Jazz family members likely to be recognized? I don't think any of our rookies will win Rookie of the Year, but Rodney Hood should get a look at one of the All-Rookie teams. I would love to see Dennis Lindsey's name up there for Executive of the year. But if Rudy doesn't win Most Improved player . . . there must be a lot of Jimmy Butler fans then.
You may or may not read The Onion, the self-styled "America's Finest News Source." The evil geniuses over there are excellent satirists. However, sometimes satire hits a little too close to home. In their recent point form Sports Graphic they chronicle the Best Playoff Performances in NBA History. Headquartered in the Chicagoland area the authors there couldn't help but make fun of the Utah Jazz twice in their nine point list, which pokes fun at Shaquille O'Neal (and Kobe Bryant), Toni Kukoc (and Michael Jordan), John Stockton, Bill Russell, Elston Turner, Dirk Nowitzki, Jerry West, Grant Hill, and obviously, Bryon Russell. Of B-Russ they say:
"His seven points and four rebounds are likely how he will be most remembered for his performance in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals."
When I first read it my Jazz-anger was already at a max so I misread it as "...are likely how he will most want to be remembered for..." which I think is a better joke. Or at least it seemed that way when I was mad. Anyway, if you can laugh at yourself, or other NBA players/teams check it out here. Of course, many people don't know that The Onion is satire that they had to make a page all about people not understanding this. Because I got your back Jazz fans here are the real best playoff performances in Jazz history:
- Karl Malone vs. Seattle Supersonics ('00): 50 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block
- John Stockton @ Golden State Warriors ('89): 34 points, 16 assists, 6 steals, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks
- Karl Malone @ Los Angeles Clippers ('92): 44 points 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 11/18 FG, 22/24 FT
- John Stockton @ Los Angeles Lakers ('88): 29 points, 20 assists, 5 steals, 1 rebound, 10/15 FG, 8/8 FT
- Karl Malone @ Portland Trail Blazers ('91): 40 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 20/22 FT
- Karl Malone @ Chicago Bulls ('98): 39 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 17/27 FG
- John Stockton @ Los Angeles Lakers ('88): 23 points, 24 assists, 5 steals, 3 rebounds
- Carlos Boozer @ Houston Rockets ('07): 41 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists
- Karl Malone vs. Portland Trail Blazers ('92): 39 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals
- Jeff Hornacek vs. Seattle Supersonics ('96): 28 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 9/14 FG, 3/4 3PT, 7/7 FT
- Karl Malone vs. Seattle Supersonics ('96): 32 points 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals
- Deron Williams vs Los Angeles Lakers ('08): 29 points 14 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 9/13 FG, 3/4 3PT, 8/8 FT
- Karl Malone vs Golden State Warriors ('89): 37 points, 22 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 11/14 FT
- Karl Malone vs. Los Angeles Clippers ('97): 39 points 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 15/19 FT
- Rickey Green vs. Dallas Mavericks ('86): 32 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds, 12/18 FG, 1/1 3PT, 7/7 FT
These are sorted by GameScore, and you can check the full list here, over at Basketball-Reference.com.