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Off-Day Odds and Ends

December 30, 2009

1. As a Jazz/NBA/sports fan, every move or decision (or lack of) made by or affecting your team can cement your idea/belief/absolute conviction that you are so much smarter than the players/front office/league office.

Right now, I’m questioning the intelligence of certain players (Stephen Jackson) and certain player agents (Nate Robinson’s). Captain Jack got fined at the start of the season for saying that he wanted to be traded, while Robinson got fined after his agent voiced a similar desire (even though Robinson himself has repeatedly said that he wants to stay in NY and has been “one of the team’s biggest cheerleaders“).

OK, so maybe some players don’t read newspapers/know how to get online/gossip while getting their hair did, but isn’t it the job of agents to keep abreast of industry news? Didn’t anyone learn anything from Carlos Boozer’s Summer ’09 Tour de Whore? If you want to be traded, just preface everything you say with “I was told that I would be traded” before talking about where you want to go and who you’re best friends with, and you’re good. It’s Professional Assthlete 101 and couldn’t be simpler. Save your money, NBA players. After all, in this economy, everyone’s in a financial crunch, right?

2. Speaking of all that, Boozer said this past week, “I’d be blindsided by (a trade). I think there’s a really good chance I’ll be here (with the Jazz) the rest of this season.”

I’ll give credit where credit is due. Boozer has largely been nice and silent this season so far. He is, however, not averse to playing with fire. It’s kind of like a cheating husband that promises his wife he’ll never cheat again. However, when he starts getting into a flirtation with a co-worker at the office, instead of extricating himself from the situation so that he doesn’t go down the same road again, he gives in to temptation and wallows in it as it develops into something more.

I suppose Boozer has every right to speak his mind, but given his track record, you would think there are some subjects he would avoid talking about. Of course, that’s assuming that he actually realizes that Summer ’09 Tour de Whore was a bad idea and that he messed up, and actually learned something from the debacle. Which it appears he has not.

3. David Locke brought up a really good point in his blog the other day:

First, CJ is the only player on the roster who has not touched the top floor of his ability. Most of our guys are improving with maturity and experience, but CJ is the one talent who still has a lot left in his game and seems to have a completely different level that he can attain.

This definitely gave me pause for thought. It’s just so true. You look at our roster and yeah, there are guys (Fes/the Koof/OMSW) that can benefit from added experience or playing time, but talent- or skill-wise, they’re pretty much capped out. CJ…I think there’s more to CJ.

You figure that there’s got to be some reason(s) why the coaching staff, down to the last man, fought to keep him when OKC signed him to an offer sheet that I–and I believe many other fans–thought that there was no way in hell the Jazz would match. The guy that brought CJ to the attention of OKC was a former Jazz guy, and at the time it really seemed like CJ was just too immature or “didn’t really get it” enough to be worth that money. I for one am glad now that he’s still around, and man oh man–it feels good to see a J being launched by a natural shooter wearing a Jazz uniform this year (seeing as how I reached my quota on Brewer, Boozer, Memo, AK, and sometimes even DWill jumpers about two weeks into the season).

4. Luhmy reports that if Deron keeps pace with his season assist average, he will become the 4th player in franchise history to reach 3,000 assists vs. Denver on January 2nd. A huge coincidence here is that Deron and Stock will have both reached this milestone in their respective 341st career games.

At first I thought to myself, how is it possible that Deron and Stock would reach the milestone in the same game since Stock was a backup (unbelievable right?) until his 4th season? So I looked it up and it’s because Stock averaged 13.8 and 13.6 APG in his fourth and fifth seasons, respectively.

Just as a side note, John Stockton averaged freaking 8.2 assists in 23 minutes per game off the bench in his third season. It’s astounding. It’s staggering. It’s…well, it’s dumb of me to measure him against mere mortals. (This is where you say, “Word!”)

5. Finally, I do not have a good feeling about the whole Sloan-AK situation. First (or maybe it was second, I can’t remember which came first), Jerry critized AK’s defense a few weeks ago saying something to the effect that he gambles too much on D. Then, he was quoted five days ago talking about how AK is no longer playing at All-Star level* and that he’s lost all the weight he gained during the summer.

And then yesterday, this:

With three-tenths of a second left in the first half and Utah owning a 48-38 lead, Kirilenko was called for fouling Andre Iguodala as he launched a shot from half court. It was one of the most unnecessary fouls I’ve seen in a long time, considering the Jazz had just fought off a Philadelphia rally and reclaimed a 10-point lead.

On the bench, Sloan’s face turned red and, if I can read lips, he was more than a little upset with Kirilenko.

After Iguodala missed two of his three free throws, Kirilenko jogged off the the floor. But Sloan didn’t say anything to him. Instead, he turned toward the locker room precisely as Kirilenko ran past him.

If Sloan criticized Kirilenko, he did it in the privacy of the Jazz’s locker room, which reinforced the feeling I’ve had since A.K.’s tearful meltdown during the 2007 playoffs.

I’ve always thought part of the original truce between player and coach involved Sloan agreeing to not publicly criticize Kirilenko. (sltrib)

I don’t know what’s going on and I really hope I’m just being paranoid, but if something is, please Jerry for frak’s sake build AK up if he needs to be built up. Seeing as how, you know, he’s vital to winning.

*I’m not making excuses for AK because, yes, at times he is a shadow of his former self, but come on, the coaches completely changed AK’s role on the team while the Front Office went and signed Boozer to hog all the minutes at the 4, and someone actually has expectations that AK’s production would remain at All-Star level? That’s unrealistic and well, uh, dumb.

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