What are the best moments for the Utah Jazz and its representatives in the annual NBA All-Star game? Stock/Malone MVP and Jeremy Evans immediately come to mind, but what else is there?
As I racked my brain for memories of when the Jazz have represented the NBA and All-Star break, 1993 obviously was at the forefront. I was a mere toddler, 4 yrs old, but have since learned about when SLC hosted the beloved All-Star weekend. It was the 43rd annual game and fans were delighted as the West beat the East 135-132 in overtime on February 21st, 1993. Topping it off, John Stockton and Karl Malone, the hometown heroes, were selected as the game co-MVP’s as Malone had a double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds while Stockton did his thing with 15 assists, 9 points, and 6 rebounds. I have since wished SLC would again have the title of host as I would love to be an active fan (instead of just being dressed up with a Jazz bib by my Dad) and see the city come alive with all the festivities. #BringtheAllStarGametoSLC should start trending somehow.
Speaking in hashtag, another memory that immediately comes to mind was the #LetJeremyJump campaign. Not only was Jeremy allowed to jump, but in 2012, he won the whole enchilada. Evans delighted fans by jumping over his sitting BFF Gordon Hayward and throwing down two balls in the same dunk. Another highlight was when he brought history into his favor by putting on a throwback Malone jersey and hopping over “Mailman” Kevin Hart while doing Karl’s signature move.
Evans was invited to defend his championship trophy and compete the next year, but finished as a close second. This time around, in 2013, Evans used Jazz history again and sat out Mark Eaton to jump over. His highlight dunk came later as he put on a show for the audience by bringing out a veiled “something” sitting on an easel. Evans jumped over the “something,” pretty easily, and then pulled the black velvet to display a hand painted picture of Evans jumping over a painted picture (talk about Inception, right?). Certainly creative that despite losing in the championship round, Evans brought smiles and pride to his Utah Jazz fan-base.
Aside from these two memories, I really had to stretch to think of other Utah Jazz All-Star moments. I went online to do some research and to see what else I could come up with. I failed to remember that in 2008, Deron Williams participated in the Skills-Challenge. D-Will had a personal rivalry with CP3 as the 2007 draft picks were compared and analyzed on a regular basis. In fact, not to long ago, an argument could be made the D-Will was the better point guard than CP, although now much has changed. D-Will certainly made his claim in the Skills Challenge, beating Paul, Jason Kidd, and Dwayne Wade. D-Will not only won, but he broke the event record, and holds it still today, with a time of 25.2 seconds. This year, rookie point guard Trey Burke will put his hand to the plow in the Skills Challenge. Who knows, maybe he’ll break Williams’ record.
Aside from that, as I continued to do my research, I learned that John Stockton holds the record for most assists in a single quarter of an All-Star game with 9 in the 1989 game. I learned that Karl Malone played in 12 All-Star games while Stock hung with him in 10 himself. I learned that Pete Maravich was the first Jazz All-Star (with New Orleans), back in 1976 as he scored 10 points in his appearance. He was selected to play the next year but didn’t due to knee problems. The following year, in 1978, he went to the All Star game for the last time, scoring 10 points in his finale. I also had to chuckle to myself as I remembered that AK-47 was an All-Star once, didn’t do much in the game, in 2003-2004 while Memo and Big Boozer went together in 2006-2007.
But now, beloved reader, I ask you: what else is there? Do any of you Jazz fans have All-Star memories involving our Jazz? Can you remember any notable plays or stats from any event? What was your favorite Evans dunk? Were you in SLC in ’93 for the All-Star festivities? If so, comment below! As we celebrate the All-Star break, let’s take a blast to the past and remember the highlights of the Utah Jazz in the NBA All-Star game.