Thursday, September 18, 2008

News Headlines - The calm before the storm

Can you believe that it's almost October? Really? We're less than half a month away and more and more NBA news will be coming in the near future. [point of reference: us bloggers have lamented how boring the Month of August was, imagine how bereft of information it will be in those non-Olympic years!] Anyway, here is a quick rundown of some Jazz related stories:

Yes, I know what ubiquitous means . . .

* The Dominator is ubiquitous -- Deron Williams is "The Man" of this team, and lives in SLC full time, and as a result, he's been busy there full time giving back to the community, read about in the Desert Morning News!

"When Williams first appeared in Utah, he was confident but guarded. Charles Barkley he wasn't. But as time passed, he became increasingly willing to show his humor. Sometimes it's simply a glint in his eye or a short one-liner. For those he trusts, he's engaging and cooperative, the proverbial good guy. Which raises the obvious question: What's in it for him? Is this some kind of radical publicity blitz?

Probably not, since he had already signed his contract extension before most of this happened.

"We didn't just sit down and say, 'Deron, we've got to come up with a major media crash course,' like we're promoting a movie," said Wright. "It's not like that. People were calling and saying, 'Can you go here?' And a lot of it, if it fit into his schedule, we did."

Wright says Williams also did it because he understands he's the Jazz's guy. His team, his town, his responsibility. Which is quite unusual. The team has three players who have been All-Stars (Boozer, Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur), yet the most popular, and the unchallenged leader, is Williams." (Brad Rock, 2008, Deseret News)


We love Isiah

* Steve Luhm (of the Salt Lake Tribune) talks about the 2010 Draft pick that we own, and how the improvement of the New York Knicks may reduce what looked like a for sure lock at a Top 5 pick in that draft.

"The Knicks weren't going anywhere under Isiah Thomas and the Jazz's chances of being in the top five or top 10 of the 2010 draft with the pick previously acquired from New York would have improved had he stayed in charge.

The hiring of Donnie Walsh as team president and Mike D'Antoni as coach is first step toward respectability for the Knicks, which is not good news for the Jazz.

Walsh's track record and reputation are impeccable. He's one of the best in the business and was the perfect choice to direct the reconstruction in New York.


I've known him since he was hired as Denver's director of player personnel in 1997. During the lockout-shortened 1999 season, D'Antoni inherited the impossible job of head coach and guided the Nuggets to a 14-36 record. He was not retained, but got a second chance to be an NBA head coach in Phoenix, starting early in the 2003-04 season.

Everybody who follows the NBA knows what kind of job D'Antoni did with the Suns." (Luhm, 2008, Salt Lake Tribune)


I am a big freak!

* AK back to Russia, for reals this time, people! -- People love to jump to unreasonable conclusions, as a story grows exponentially with each blog that links to it, and gives their take -- I read this blog post from "The Hoop" from a variety of sources (ballhype and dimemag) today, and Dime even goes the distance to suggest that solving the financial burden in Utah is as easy as shipping AK off to CSKA Moscow (reading jazzfanz much?)-- because of their "reported" interest in him.

Didn't they have 'reported' interest in Ben Gordon too? How did that work out?

The Hoop reports from somewhere else ( that this can be a done deal, and that it may have some weight because Andrei hasn't renewed his contract with the Utah Jazz yet. First of all, it's good to check your sources.

There are a few places on the net that show these financial facts quite easily . . . Andrei is under contract for three more seasons @ $15 million, $16.5 million and $17.8 million. So not only is AK not able to renew his contract (as it's not expiring), but this means that CSKA would have to buy out his contract from the Jazz (much like how when NBA teams have to buy out contracts from big dogs across the pond, it works both ways guys). This guy (Anthony) said it best:

"I mean, CSKA's got money, but I don't know if they have 3 years/50 mil of buyout money to go along with a similar sized contract. His wife has a shop in Salt Lake, he's good friends with the other Eastern European dudes on the team, and he has one of the best point guards in the league (and if Boozer bolts he'd become his preferred target). Something tells me that this won't happen.

Scratch that, everything tells me that this won't happen."  (comment from The Hoop article, 2008)


* Training camp Tid-bits -- It basically starts on September 29th with media day (yes, we'll get to find out what hair color Fesenko currently has, or if Kover finally got that 'Thugg Life' tattoo he kept suggesting that he'd get over the summer), then they're off to Boise from September 30th to October 3rd. (Mark your calendar, Masha!)

Greg Ostertag always pays attention to when Jerry Sloan speaks. And by always, we of course mean 'never'.

When this happens each year I think of Jerry Sloan telling all the players that for that point in time that he's going to be their daddies, and that he forces integration by having unlikely pals to room mate together -- like, a few seasons ago we may have had Greg Ostertag sharing a room with DeShawn Stevenson. Okay, sure, my entire concept of Jazz training camp is like that sequence from "Remember the Titans".
Just fast-forward to the 3:30 mark if you don't want to watch all of this, the best part (the part I'm talking about) starts at 6:30 . . .anyway . . . the first pre-season game is against the Lakers on October 7th in Anaheim. Woo!



* Trickle down economics means that during an energy crisis air travel is more expensive . . . duh. Thanks for showing up Jasen Lee.