Monday, May 30, 2005

Who is Better?

A new debate has aroused my thoughts, a debate that will probably continue for ages to come. The question being; who is better Shaquille O’Neal or Wilt Chamberlin? Now before anyone decides to answer this question, one should take time to think about it. To think about all the factors that comes into play. For one I am not a big fan of Shaq but the man is very good at what he does and will some day join Wilt in the Basketball Hall of Fame. But consider it was two different eras and two different styles. It is almost like comparing Joe Montana to Brett Favre, both great players but two different eras. So what do you all think?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Draft Time

Yesterday afternoon the draft lottery took place, and the Jazz were able to get as low as the number six pick over all. Not to bad considering they had an 11.9 percent chance of winning the number 1 spot. The Utah Jazz however collected 5 picks over all in the 2005 NBA draft which will take place the 28th of June.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Till Next Year

The Jazz gave fans a couple of very solid reasons to come back next year. First, they played a repeat performance of their Spurs upset with a 93-91 rehashing on April 13. Finally, they beat the playoff bound Kings on April 18. The Jazz finished the season with a 26-56 record.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Sloan is Staying

an excerpt from NBA.com
The Utah Jazz announced today the decision by Jerry Sloan to return as head coach next season for his 18th season at the helm of the Jazz. The team has also agreed to a contract extension through the 2007-2008 season.

Sloan has been Utah’s head coach since assuming the reigns from former head coach Frank Layden on December 9, 1988. Sloan is the franchise’s winningest coach (943-617) and has the longest active tenure with one team in professional sports as head coach.

The coaching achievements for the 63-year-old native of McLeansboro, Illinois, speak for themselves with the eighth best winning percentage (.620%), sixth most wins all time (943-617), two NBA Finals appearances (1997 & 1998), and five Midwest Division titles. He also guided the club to 15 consecutive winning seasons, 15 straight trips to the NBA Playoffs (1989-2003) and ten 50-win seasons.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Stockton Takes Permanent Position

from the official site of the Utah Jazz
In the first 12 years of Jazz basketball at the Delta Center, John Stockton led the team on the court nearly every night, missing only twelve games (at the Delta Center). Jazz fans knew when they got a ticket they were going to not only see him on the floor, they were going to see him play his tail off, as if he wanted to give everyone their money’s worth.

Which is why it seemed perfectly fitting to erect a statue of the man to be displayed permanently on the south side of the Delta Center plaza. Jazz owner Larry H. Miller commissioned sculptor Brian Challis for the project in 2003. Nearly two years later, the 8 foot, 800 pound monument took its’ place in a ceremony with Stockton, his friends, family and still loyal fans.

As a wall of balloons were cut off by Stockton and his family, the large bronze statue was revealed to be the point guard looking as if he is working off a pick-and-roll, looking for Karl Malone heading toward the hoop. He wears the classic Jazz jersey; complete with the short shorts he kept fashionable well into the 90s.

A crowd of over 300 people was there for the ceremony, including Stockton’s wife Nada, his children and even his parents. Also present were Jazz owner Larry H. Miller and sculptor Brian Challis.

“It is an unbelievable honor,” the point guard said after the unveiling. But one thing felt very wrong to him: the absence of his longtime teammate Karl Malone, who is set to join Stockton next year with a Challis statue of his own.

“I think about when Karl Malone and I, one of us would be in the weight room early in the morning and the other one wasn’t there. And the first comment to the other person would be “Mighty lonely in here today.” That’s really my first impression; its mighty lonely up here and it’ll be nice to see the big fella up here in short order.”

Challis, when speaking of his inspiration for the statue said “I’ve worked on this project almost a year and a half, throughout it has been my goal to imbue this sculpture with not only the likeness, but with something of the spirit of John Stockton. When those in the future look into his eyes I hope they see the focus and determination that we saw each time he stepped on the court. When they bend to compare their hand to the size of his hand, I hope they sense the greatness of his heart. I truly hope that the spirit of this site will stir within future hearts a sense of profound love and respect for those who erected this monument, and for the very real man it honors.”

With the team struggling so bad this year, Miller summed up a lot of Jazz fans sentiments when he wished there were another Stockton, or at least that the original would still play. “I’m pretty sure there’s only one of you, I wish we could get you back,” he said.

Miller continued with a revealing story about Stock. “I just want to give you a little glimpse of what John’s about. I had a conversation with him about six or eight months ago… I said, “well what do you do to occupy your time all these days?” I think I’m speaking accurately although Nada may correct me, he said, “Well, I’m coaching five or six teams.” And I said “wow. Whose?” He said “my kids.””

I said, “What do you coach?” He said “football, basketball, baseball and soccer.” I said, “What do you know about soccer?” And he said something that I felt was very revealing. He said, “I don’t know … I don’t know hardly anything about soccer, but if I can teach them how to compete, then I’ve taught them something worthwhile.” And I think that simple statement speaks volumes about that man and what was his greatness.”

It is only fitting that the man who may have done as much as anyone to build the Delta Center and the Utah Jazz will now forever greet the fans who come to see future versions of the team play.

And those short shorts?

“They’ll come back around,” he said. “Everything comes back around.”