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Utah Jazz Downbeat #2059 - Happy Birthday Jerry Sloan!

No birthday cakes today, ladies.

Jerry Sloan

Today is the glorious day where Jerry Sloan emerged from his mother’s womb ready to have ice-pick fights in the parking lot. All Utah Jazz fans are happy and should get a day off of work. There’s more to this beat than Jerry, but that’s really where it beings for us today.

Today is Jerry Sloan’s birthday. He’s not on social media, but we’re all doing our part to at least say nice things about him there.

It’s not just NBA players and accounts, fans love Jerry too!

As for that statue, read Basketball John (@5kl) ‘s tweets about it, where it should go, and so forth. Happy Birthday Jerry! You deserve lavish gifts, but instead you’re getting a bunch of tweets.

So what other Jazz family are born in March? Dan O’Sullivan (3rd), Greg Ostertag (6th), Kevin Murphy (6th), Jeff Withey (7th), Ian Clark (7th), Jeff Wilkins (9th), Robert Smith (10th), Rickey Williams (12th), Kyle Korver (17th), Ronnie Brewer (20th), Lamar Green (22nd), Rich Kelley (23rd), Moses Malone (hey, he brought an ABA championship to the Utah Stars, 23rd), Jeff Judkins (23rd), Gordon Hayward (23rd), Bart Kofoed (23rd), Ken Boyd (25th), Andy Walker (25th), William Cunningham (25th), John Stockton (26th), Henry Sims (plays for the Salt Lake City stars, 27th), and Travis Leslie (29th).

First, that’s a lot of late summer lovin’ by their parents. And second, this makes me almost want to make that “Best Jazz team by Birth Month” tournament happen this summer.

  • PG: John Stockton, Robert Smith
  • SG: Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, Ian Clark, Rickey Williams, Bart Kofoed, Travis Leslie
  • SF: Gordon Hayward, Kevin Murphy, Jeff Judkins, Andy Walker, Ken Boyd
  • PF:
  • C: Moses Malone, Rich Kelley, Greg Ostertag, Jeff Withey, Dan O’Sullivan, Jeff Wilkins, Lamar Green, Willy Cunningham

And head coach Jerry Sloan yelling at them from the sidelines.

John Stockton retires
“Honestly, you know we’d beat every other month down like they stole something.”
Photo By Kent Horner/NBAE via Getty Images

Yeah, I don’t think many teams would do well against this squad.

By the way, this Quin Snyder guy did a very Jerry Sloan like thing last night.

Love it. More please!

Fran’s got something to say about the Utah Jazz power forward problem right now (thanks to injured Derrick Favors, uninspired Boris Diaw, and just not ready Trey Lyles).

Here’s an excerpt:

They say necessity is the the mother of invention.

That’s how Joe Johnson finds himself at this point in the Jazz starting lineup at power forward.

“I should have figured it out sooner,” said Utah coach Quin Snyder.

You get to you’re 16th NBA season and it’s usually less about who you think you are than what you can possibly be.

With Derrick Favors sidelined by a left knee contusion, Snyder eventually turned to the 35 year old who’s spent his career as a swingman burying big shots from the perimeter. He came to the Jazz last summer as a free agent to be that shooter, but now is doing it from a totally unfamiliar place.

“Whatever it takes for me to help,” Johnson said. “I just love being out there, regardless of what position coach wants me to play.”

Playing alongside Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rudy Gobert at center, what little the Jazz give up at one end of the floor with the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Johnson at power forward, they more than make up at the offensive end.

Fran Blinebury,, 2017

There are more quotes, stats from the NBA’s John Schuhmann, and more! Of course, I think we all have to accept that this is probably the best way to keep Gordon Hayward and Joe Johnson on the floor together - while allowing for George Hill and Joe Ingles to be on the court at the same time. And while this is not a Joel Bolomboy themed PF solution, it’s one that I think we are only going to see more and more of in the next few weeks.

It also isn’t just an “offensive” issue, as we saw last night Johnson’s combination of size, strength, and perimeter training allowed him to get out on Anthony Davis where Rudy Gobert did not dare to tread. (By Xs and Os design.) The 1, 2, 3, and 4 can switch on defense with Joe out there. It works. It’s working. It may be what gets the team some Playoff wins. It’s just abandoning the size advantage and defense first identity that the team had built up over the last two seasons.

Also, I love Joe Johnson, so it’s not a problem for me.

I love it when other facts based, objective NBA writers #TakeFNNote of Rudy Gobert.


The bad news is that I don’t think enough people who have DPOY or All-NBA votes are facts based, objective NBA writers. While Rudy *is* the DPOY, the Jazz MVP, and clearly an All-NBA player I don’t know if it’ll shake out like that. But sure, add another chip to his chiseled shoulders at your own risk, NBA.