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Utah Jazz vs. Atlanta Hawks: Overtone - The Eternal Love for Paul Millsap

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Paul Millsap’s hard work made him a fan favorite

San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz, Game 4 Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

It’s a touchy subject, that.

Paul Millsap kind of was the fan darling when he played with the Utah Jazz, and some people would love to see him return still, especially with Millsap’s heir apparent ailing this season.

2nd rounder turned all-star, leader of the Atlanta Hawks, contenders for at least 2nd best team in the East. It’s a good story. It’s that Hoosiers underdog thing.

He was always hustlin’ and bustlin’ in a Jazz uni, and people loved him for it. And off the court he put in the hours too, adding more range to his game. Slightly undersized for his position, he out-battles people and shows a characteristic many Jazz fans seemingly adore above elegance or grace; grit.

An interesting question is, do Jazz fans value that characteristic beyond measure? Do players like Millsap (or Demarre Carroll or Wesley Matthews or Rudy Gobert) get more leeway than, for example, a Gordon Hayward, whose poise doesn’t translate to the court in the same way.

Sometimes I wonder.

It’s not about debating who is better than whom, or who you’d rather start a franchise with if you had the choice.

Just who gets the love, the forgiveness, and eternal devotion of the fanbase.

And does that sometimes explain the disconnect between front office decisions and what the fans would like to see.

Lets hope that Millsap doesn’t re-pay the Jazz directors in kind tonight.