Since the Sonics have been abducted, I’m going to spend this NBA season experimenting with the Jazz. So consider this column a “before” portrait of my Jazz knowledge. Here’s what I know:
I know the Jazz used to be in New Orleans. Inexplicably, when they moved to Salt Lake City, they refused to change their name. Or am I missing something? I know I’ve only been here for nine months, but I have yet to notice a Jazz music scene that is equal to that of New Orleans. Surely Salt Lake could have claimed the Storm, Avalanche or Rockies before they were taken by the WNBA, NHL and MLB. Or how about the Bees (now a Triple-A Baseball team in town) or the Seagulls? Did they even have a naming contest to come up with something more befitting to the region or the city?
I know Jerry Sloan has coached the Jazz for a long time. I hear players hate playing for him, yet he’s been pretty steady and successful. They lost a couple of championships to Michael Jordan and the Bulls and unfortunately choked during the couple of years when Jordan was retired.
Speaking of choking, I know Karl Malone had a reputation for disappearing in big games. I know he and John Stockton have statues outside EnergySolutions Arena. I know Stockton holds a couple NBA records, like all-time assists and steals.
I know that Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer have gold medals for helping the U.S. team beat Spain this summer in China in one of the most exciting gold-medal games that I’ve watched. (Ok, so maybe it was one of the only gold-medal games I’ve watched…but I stayed up late on Saturday night/Sunday morning and watched it live. I get credit for that, right?)
I know that Jazz fans look for numerous ways to rationalize any possible argument that claims Deron Williams is a better point-guard than New Orleans’ Chris Paul. I tend to think Chris Paul is obviously better and that the Jazz secretly wish they would have picked him instead of Williams in whatever draft that was.
I know that in spite of the controversial comparisons to Chris Paul, Deron Williams signed a contract extension in the offseason. I know that he is currently out with a sprained ankle.
I know that Williams is trying to convince Carlos Boozer to similarly sign an extension to remain a member of the Jazz.
I know that sixth-man Andrei Kirilenko gets a one affair per year allowance from his wife.
I know that center Mehmet Okur is on my fantasy team.
I know that Utah girls like Kyle Korver.
I know the Jazz lost to the Lakers in the playoffs last year and I know that you can get a reasonably priced ticket from a scalper around half-time of most games, including playoffs.
I know that the Jazz website claims the games are broadcast on KJZZ (Comcast Channel 664). However, there is no Comcast Channel 664—at least in my house. I gave up trying to find last week’s opening night game on TV, doubting that it would be in HD anyway. On Saturday, I struggled again to find the Jazz game. It was not on 664 (which is something called “MOJO” in my house), or 13. I finally found the game on Comcast Channel 52. My Comcast guide now claims tomorrow night’s game will be on KJZZ Comcast Channel 13.
I know the Jazz are 3-0. Now let’s crank it up already.