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The Hopelessy Hopeful Jazz

For those who haven’t attended church services in a while, you’ll get a hint of the spiritual, mingled with the Jazz. Excuse the religious undertones, but if it weren’t for religion, I don’t know how a fan base could be so content with mediocrity.

For Utah Jazz fans this upcoming NBA season is a chance to start clean, to renew your faith and hope. The Jazz have unlimited potential. The future looks bright, the youth of the Jazz are the strongest we’ve ever had. Fans are pumped up, season ticket holders are coming back, and the new logo has bumped up sales at every Fanzz store from Provo to Ogden.

But unfortunately, we’re just stuck in a bad movie plot. You know, the one where Bill Murray wakes up every day to the same old rigmarole? Dear Jazz fans, it’s just another Groundhogs day here in Salt Lake City. I hate to be a realist, but it’s in my DNA (I’m from Boston where my whole life I was taught to hate a man who let a round ball roll through his legs).

Let me tell you how the season will unfold. I tell you these things that you may learn wisdom and avoid heartache. The Jazz with all their hopes of a great season, combined with the collective belief and prayers of their loyal fans, mixed in with lots of raw talent (in the case of Fes, really raw talent), led by an amazing coach who has never won a thing, are headed for another early exit in the playoffs.

Why such doubt you ask? Oh me of little faith, I know. Truth is, there’s a little something called fact, not faith. Fact is the Lakers have won the title 2 of the last 3 years. And our road to a title goes through LA. (That’s why you see that “Dead End” sign up ahead.) Truth is, there’s a little something called skill, not potential. His name is Kobe. We counter with the ever-learning-yet-unable-to-find-the-truth C.J. Miles. Truth is, there’s a little something called “been there done that”, not “wish I could have done that”. Phil, Kobe, Fisher to name a few.

What the Jazz need is a savior. And no, I don’t mean Raja Bell or Earl Watson. (And don’t argue with me saying Al Jefferson has great…say it…potential-that’s my point). We need the big name player that will never come to Utah for those reasons (that he’s a big name player, and it’s Utah).

At the expense of being sacrilegious, let me tell you who our savior is: we need a Kobe. (Did I just say that on a a Utah Sports Blog?) We need a closer, a winner, someone who has the skill, not who will develop it. We don’t need youth, we don’t need a project, we need a bonafide winner. And we need him now. Until we get him, it’ll be another off-season of acquiring semi-skilled ballers, drafting white guys with great minds, and hearing Jerry Sloan talk about how we lose because of our youth.

Don’t you wish Kobes came around in the draft more often than once every 10 years? Don’t worry Jazz fan’s, although we don’t have Kobe, we do have our hope and faith. It isn’t much, but it got us through the last ten years, and it will get us through the next ten as well.

(Editor’s note: Please disregard the above article. The author penned this before he was made aware that the Jazz found the next Kobe in the 2010 NBA Draft. Gordon Hayward!!! SWEET!!!)

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  • Amos

    Why I am excited about the Jazz -

    1. It’s the NBA. These “semi-skilled” players are among the best players in the world, and we have the privelage of watching them in our home town.

    2. Al Jefferson is the biggest name, and best player that the Jazz have ever added through trade or free agency, and he just might be able to influence D-Will to resign with Utah.

    3. We get playoff basketball every year, because of Jerry Sloan. I love it, and no other fans in the NBA have had as many playoff teams during Sloan’s time here.

    • http://espn.com Chase

      Dear Ben,

      I respect your article. However, you mention “we” many times in this article, implicating that you feel part of the Jazz family. If you really were you’d understand what the Jazz of done this off season. One with thorough understanding would say OUR moves were phenomenal. The Jazz replaced arguably the worst front course defense in the league. Memo is simply too slow horizontally to cover Boozers issues EVERYWHERE defensively. Straight up Memo is long enough to play D. Back to my point. Fez believe it or not is already proving critics wrong and will get better. Big Al is long enough to make some serious issues for offenses this year. With those two the Jazz’ defense goes from awful to long and athletic. This team finished about 16th in the league last year and has great potential to cut that in half. The FACTS will prove that.

      I’m all little concerned that you obviously let emotion get involved in this post. Journalism has to exclude personal emotion.

      This team has a very large percentage of it’s members new, which by itself can present problems but with the coach, savvy veterans and the system will actually prove the exact opposite. This team will win 52+ games and Sloan finally will get Coach of the Year. Time will tell and for once Utah should get the respect they’ve been working for for years

      • Ben

        Chase, thanks for visiting the site, and for leaving your comments.

        I’m not a journalist and don’t know if I ever would want to be. I’m just a guy that writes what’s on my mind. I do think, however, I left emotion out of this article. See, to be honest, I’m excited about this team as well. They might have made some nice moves, but I fear it will end up with the same result – an early exit in the playoffs.

        I wish the Jazz luck. Things could work out for them.

  • Ben

    Amos, thanks for the comments. I agree with a lot of what you said. It’s amazing to see what these guys can do night in and night out.

    As for AJeff, for me the jury is still out. He’s never helped a team win. I like him though. He was drafted by the Celtics and that’s my hometown team, so I’ll always root for the kid.

    And playoffs are nice, but there’s nothing like yelling at the top of your lungs and celebrating a championship. Let’s hope this is the year!

  • http://www.tornbysports.com mrsjbagby

    What a downer you are! Let’s hope for the best and expect whatever may come which I expect won’t be terrible. Of course we can’t expect a championship this year… But hey, I can’t wait for the season to start!

    • http://espn.com Chase

      This article was written with very little sports insight and more opinion. The fact is that Utah has arguably the best coach in league history, the best point guard, a top PF n(A.J.-anyone that averages close to 20 and 10 is a stud) and has a franchise that has seen the playoffs as much as nearly ANYONE in professional sports-mixed with the very solid moves (that also addressed their lack of height) has a chance at a very good season.

  • brent husted

    dude, i have no idea who you are but you’re writing is narcissistic and dull. it’s a small market team, give them credit for what they’ve done. go buy a franchise in mexico and try to accomplish half of the feats the jazz have. are jazz fans overly optimistic? yes. are we going to win it all this year? probably not but your whining is boring and writing subpar. be positive and root for the jazz… oh wait, you’ve hoped on the laker bandwagon.

    • Ben

      Thanks for the the critique of my writing, I’m glad this isn’t my day job. As for bandwagons, I’m definitely not on the Lakers’ train, I was born and raised in Boston. As for the whining, again, I’m from Boston. That should explain it.

  • rawr

    What about the ’04 pistons? known as the team of “semis” beat the star studded Lakers, including Kobe. My point is that it is possible, but there is a huge sense of chemistry that has to exist within a team in order for it to get to greatness.

    • http://www.tornbysports.com Grant

      Thank you for bring this point into the discussion. No team wins without chemistry, and the Jazz have to develop that chemistry before we will be able to make a guess at what their potential is.

      • Ben

        I think losing Boozer is going to hurt our chemistry personally.

      • Ben

        kidding-haha

  • Grant

    Chase,

    I am a little concerned you don’t understand what a blog is. The whole idea is to put what you think, what your emotions are, and some facts if you choose. This website was created to have passionate fans write about the teams they cheer for. Emotion and opinion are to be expected.

    You are clearly a Jazz fan and I would like to know what your definition of a successful season would be for the Jazz. Ben claims their season will end in an early exit from the playoffs. I am a Jazz fan and season ticket holder. Unfortunately, I agree with him. If this teams works out their chemistry, gets a lower seed in the playoffs, and is knocked out early I would consider the season a success.

    • Ben

      I chose to include only one fact in my post-the one about the Jazz drafting Gordon Hayward.

  • Bret

    So your solution to all the Jazz problems is to get a “Kobe”? I’m pretty sure every team in the league feels exactly the same way. Your solution is unreasonable. If the (insert any team here) would have just had Kobe Bryant last year, they would have been so much better. What a newsflash! So why stop with just Kobe? If only the Jazz could get a “Kobe”, a “LeBron”, and a “Dwight”, they’d be unstoppable.

    It’s not that the Jazz have been unable to get a “big name player” because it’s Utah; it’s that there are barely any “big name players” to begin with. The fact is, the few actual big name players generally stay with the teams that drafted them, save for LeBron of Amar’e. So basically, no teams have been able to get big name free agents except for the Heat and the Knicks. The Jazz made the Western Conference Finals with the players who chose to come to Utah, so I’m guessing that by big time players, you mean players that can lead a team to the finals at least, so even Amar’e doesn’t really qualify.

    The only other way to get a big time player is if another team trades them away, such as K.G. and Ray Allen going to Boston. What “big time player” has actually chosen to go to Boston in the past 25 years? About as many as have chosen to go to Utah. Players stay where they are mostly because of more money being available if they choose to stay.

    • Ben

      Bret, thanks for you comments. I think we agree more than you realize.

      My point is, as great as the Jazz are this year, it doesn’t matter. If the goal is a championships, they don’t have what it takes to win. As great as they were in the late ’90′s, it doesn’t matter either. They were up against two of the greatest players to ever play the game: Jordan/Kobe. They’ve won what, 11 rings combined. How many would the Jazz have if those 2 weren’t around? At least two.

      As you mentioned, those guys don’t come around very often. Unless we are lucky enough to get the next “Kobe” it’s going to be really hard to win a title.