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Utah Jazz Downbeat #2033 - Respect your elders!

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Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz are rising right now, but let’s not forget the decades of work others have put into the franchise. After all, let’s not be the Knicks.

Charles Oakley

The Utah Jazz play the Boston Celtics tonight in a close match-up despite what the media will tell you. The New York Knicks are making all kinds of bad decisions right now, can the Utah Jazz avoid doing the same? What do you do with infinity of money and stardom? Pick up a few new hobbies, I guess? All this and a look at how much we need to continue hating on the Houston Rockets!

One

Tonight the Utah Jazz (34-20) hope to get back to winning games, and will be hosting the Boston Celtics (34-19). These two teams have very close records, but the perception of them are completely different. The Celtics are the 2nd best team in the East right now (yes, the Toronto Raptors have been in a slide of late, going 4-6 in their last 10), and are powered by All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas — someone getting both MVP and All-NBA Team buzz. HALF A GAME BEHIND THEM IN THE STANDINGS, we have the Jazz who are fourth in the West and people seem to be just barely mentioning Gordon Hayward as an All-Star.

Utah Jazz v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Furthermore, the whole Rudy Gobert being somehow a DPOY candidate and All-Star Snub is hilarious. It’s really absurd. But anyway, the Celtics are supposed to be amazing. And the Jazz . . . are only half a game behind. So what does that make our team?

Well, if they win tonight it makes them half a game ahead of the amazing Celtics.

Two

I did actually talk about the #BOSatUTA game here, if you want to hear my crazy voice.

Personally, I really hope Boston is tired. George Hill coming back some put a dent into Isaiah Thomas, hopefully; but he’s averaging 30 ppg this year. As the 60th pick in the draft. That’s remarkable. It’s terrifying if your team can’t guard small, speedy guys at all.

Three

Apparently, Hakeem + the 2016-17 Houston Rockets > The Mailman + the 2016-17 Utah Jazz.

Ok.

Four

This really has nothing to do with the Utah Jazz, anymore, but I’m happy to announce that yes(!) Andrei Kirilenko did one day play tennis against Maria Kirilenko, a professional on the Women’s circuit.

Early on in her career Western news sites used to erroneously mention that she was his sister. She did clear it up by saying that she was not related, but did really want to meet him one day. (Which underscores how much of a big deal Andrei is in his Motherland.)

Cool story, bro Amar.

Five

When I lived in Canada (in the 90s) the only regular access I had to the NBA was via NBC. The NBC outlet that broadcast in my part of the frozen north was from New York. As a result, I watched a lot of New York Knicks games. And before the Toronto Raptors became a thing, the Knicks were my “Eastern Conference” team.

I did enjoy their downfall and the years of mismanagement — but enough is enough. The NBA is better when the Knicks are good. Their fans are real fans, unlike fair weather fans from other big market teams. The Knicks fans are loyal. And the players too share that loyalty and love for their team. Which is why the whole James Dolan thing is so much more upsetting.

New York Knicks Photo by: Tim Defrisco/Getty Images

There’s a more robust timeline of everything that can be found here . . .

. . . but the highlights are simple: former player is critical of Knicks front office; gets blackballed by org he busted his butt for; can’t get a job with them despite getting jobs all over the NBA (he’s qualified); owner personally singles him out; he gets thrown out of home game; he goes to jail; bad PR happens to Knicks; Dolan then fires the head of security for MSG; NBA players (past and present) support Oakley; more bad PR; and now ‘he said / she said’ press conferences.

There are more than just two sides to this story, but Woj killed Dolan here.

It does kind of remind me of Karl Malone, who like Charles Oakley, has to buy his own tickets to home games of the franchise he took to the championship limit. You may not remember it, but Greg Miller stood UNDER THE BASKET during the first formal time Karl Malone had access to training Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. (Because, you know, Greg Miller needs to be in those closed to the media sessions.)

It’s hilarious. I have a lot of respect for these 80s / 90s athletes. And I think more of them should be getting some love from the teams they toiled for. All of Karl’s kids are grown now. Don’t make the same mistakes the Knicks are making.