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The Downbeat #2062: The Amazing Utah Jazz Players Edition

Your Friday Downbeat!

NBA: Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday I had the opportunity to go to the Utah Jazz game in Sacramento. It was my first time going to an away game in the NBA. I went with my daughter. We had an absolute blast. We loved every minute of our time at the game, even during that 2nd and 3rd quarter run by the Kings that brought them to within 2 after the Jazz at one point led by 24.

We made sure to get to the game early so we could watch the warmups. Watching players warmup is one of my favorite things to do while at games. I loved it during my years working at the BYU games and I have loved it with every Utah Jazz game I have attended. I love seeing the players when the spotlight is not on them. I love to see their personalities seeping through, in ways that you can see during the game.

Unfortunately, we got to the arena right as Rudy Gobert was finishing so we didn’t get to see him up close and personal like a few of the other players. The players we saw were: Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, Joe Johnson, Joe Ingles, Gordon Hayward, Boris Diaw, and Shelvin Mack. We arrived more than 1 12 hours early so I don’t know why we saw so few players. Oh well. Still amazing to watch who we did see.

My daughter brought her Utah Jazz ball, in hopes to get autographs. At the Golden 1 Center it is a little different with how you are allowed to ask for autographs. We were allowed to stand on the sideline in front of the first row of chairs but not on the court. So there were the court side seats (a few rows) and a banister between us and the players. In order to get an autograph you have to shout at the players, to get their attention, then ask and they can come to you or you can toss them the ball. My daughter was very brave and asked the players that were close enough for autographs. Only a few players warmed up at a time together so it wasn’t too hard to do, except for the loud arena noise making it hard for the players to hear my daughter.

Alec Burks never came close enough for my daughter to ask but the rest did. I do not believe that Joe Ingles or Joe Johnson heard my daughter because they didn’t acknowledge her, and not in that way that you know someone is purposely ignoring you.

Rodney Hood was the first player that we saw warming up, my daughter was not yet brave enough to ask for an autograph but she did say “Go Rodney” and he smiled and waved at her.

After Rodney, she was able to get the attention of Shelvin Mack. He gave her a big smile and motioned for her to toss him her ball, she did. He signed the ball, and gave her a big smile and head nod when she said thank you. I am convinced this is why Shelvin had such a good game!

Boris Diaw acknowledged my daughter and motioned for her to wait as he finished his warmups. When he was finished he came around to us. My daughter was so excited that he came to us! He talked with her for a few minutes, asking her questions. He even thanked her for coming and supporting the Jazz. My daughter couldn’t get over that he thanked her! He signed her ball, he took his time so it wasn’t that rushed, so you can see that it’s his name. I’m grateful for good men like Diaw who take the time to make a fan’s day. My daughter will never forget her interaction with him and will always be a big fan.

Gordon Hayward was the last player to come warmup. Unlike other players who worked out with another player or two on the court, he worked out with just himself and Johnnie Bryant on the court. Joe Johnson was there for a few minutes but by far Gordon had the most time alone. (BTW Joe Johnson worked out the longest of all the players we saw). My daughter was able to get the attention of Gordon but he didn’t sign her ball, sigh. I get it and my daughter gets it so no worries on our part.

After the warmups we went to our seats. We were in the lower-bowl. Our seats were great just high enough to see the whole court, but we were close enough that we could still see the little details of the action. I have to say that the Golden 1 Center is amazing. It is so beautiful, and spacious. It is very open. Gotta hope that our re-design takes a lot of aspects from what the Kings did with their new arena. The way the Golden 1 Center is designed it has such a special feel. I know fans are a large part of that, they are all loyal. Even when the Kings were down 20+ they were cheering on every made basket, and every good defensive stand.

There was a great energy in the building the entire night. The in-arena entertainment was really great also. It’s probably the funnest basketball game I have been to in a very long time. It had the intensity of a playoff game, it reminded me of the 90’S Delta Center crowds, where every play matters, and you will cheer your team no matter what.

Jazz fans need to find that again. I don’t know when it was loss, but it was and we haven’t quite found it yet. Hopefully, this playoffs brings us close to where we once where. I think in large part, at the Kings game, there weren’t many people that seemed to be there just to be seen, like at the Jazz games. From what I could see, they didn’t have club seating on the lower bowl like the Jazz do. That seemed to be in the suites. I mean the court-side seats probably are somewhat club seating but its only a few rows on the court, the rest of the lower-bowl was filled with avid and loud fans. The fans made the game so much fun to be at. It was such a great environment, even if we were cheering for the opposing team.

The Sacramento Kings were celebrating the NBA Noches ENE-BE-A. They went all out, it was fantastic. They had salsa dancing on their dance cams, besos cam instead of a kiss cam, and all the songs were latino. Half-time celebration included Mariachi bands! Even the starting lineups were in Spanish.

Here is the Jazz lineup (Don’t mind my poor grammar haha)!

So fun!

So there is more to the Jazz right now besides my experiences at the Kings game. We always talk about Rudy Gobert so lets do so now. He is having himself quite the season, especially since the All-Star break. Especially in the last few weeks. I love watching him play. I love watching his passion translate onto the court. There are very few players that I have loved since Stockton and Malone like I currently love Rudy Gobert.

I found this interesting.

Everyone see Rudy in 7th and Hayward in 20th? Rudy is 7th!!! Rudy is such a winning player.

This made me happy after for whatever reason people didn’t like what Rudy said after the Clippers game and insulted him for it. BTW I loved it and wish we saw more of it.

A way too early poll to be asking this but want to gauge where we are at


Will Gordon Hayward Stay with the Utah Jazz?

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