Saturday, April 5, 2008

Revisiting an Old Flame

I've gotten away from watching much basketball, but I saw an old favorite team, the Utah Jazz, beat the San Antonio Spurs last night. The Jazz and I go way back; not quite to their days in New Orleans, but close. I think one reason is the overall odd vibe of the organization. Even the name is off, a remnant of it's original incarnation. They've had the same coach, Jerry Sloan, for 20 years, unheard-of in modern professional sports. They tend to have an odd mix of players; obscure small-schoolers, iconoclasts from other countries, players with skills that don't go with their physical attributes (Adrian Dantley always comes to mind; a 6"5" low-post scorer). But their consistently offbeat philosophy manages to produce decent teams from year to year, as opposed to other organizations with greater resources that muddle along at bad-to-horrid.

And the name.......imagine Brooklyn Lumberjacks, or Miami Blizzard.


Unknown said...

I was a kid living north of New Orleans when the Jazz packed up and moved--I got to see Pistol Pete Maravich play in the Superdome once, which was a horrible place to watch basketball, even if we did have good seats. I eventually forgave the for moving, although they did so the year after the Jazz had their first winning season, I believe, but I never forgave Utah for keeping the name. I'll hate them to this day for that.

I have a close friend who lives in Salt Lake City, and I've been there. Beautiful city, if a trifle hard to get a beer in, but it doesn't scream "Jazz" the way new Orleans does. In fact, it doesn't even whisper "jazz." It's just wrong.

Dale said...

I'm a Blazers fan so I'm a bit of a natural enemy of the Jazz, but you're definitely right -- they put a competitive team on the floor year after year, which vividly distinguishes them from too many pro sports franchises. The ownership, management, coaches, and players actually seem to want to win games! Fancy that!

They are the anti-Clippers.