In hindsight: A look back at the week that was
Blood is Boylen for Jazz fans
I have this app on my iPad that allows children to match objects of various shapes and sizes with each other, helping them learn associations, patterns and such.
If former Utah coach Jim Boylen was represented as a shape on one side of the app's screen and the Utah Jazz’s head coaching position on the other, Boylen would be a circle and the Jazz’s head coaching position would be a triangle – or whatever shape is least like a circle. A giraffe maybe? The Eiffel Tower?
Match compatibility: None
Mental description of anyone that thinks the two would go well together: Nuts
Chances it will happen: None
What’s next: Max Hall and his mom singing the national anthem at a Utah football game? Bill Maher offering a pregame prayer at BYU? Donald Sterling hosting the Trumpet Awards?
The Jazz hiring Derek Fisher as head coach, with Carlos Boozer as his assistant, would cause less outrage in Utah.
Nate Gagon is a published sports, music, and creative writer. He is also a wholehearted father, grateful husband and ardent student of life. He shoots roughly 94% from the free throw line and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or @nategagon.
According to an article by Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News last Tuesday, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey was asked whether the team had identified any criteria or prospective candidates for the vacant head coaching position, and responded, “We literally have not spent one minute on that. We have not had one conversation in regards to other names or the criteria.”
Interpretation for Corbin: “Hey Ty, we literally have never talked about what we want in a coach or who out there might do a better job than you – we just know we want you out; thanks for everything though and sorry about putting you in a no-win situation.”
Interpretation for Jazz fans, if true: “We don’t know what we’re doing but we enjoy our salaries so thanks for the support.”
It’s difficult to believe, however, that in reality no people in the Jazz’s organization have given any thought to what they want in a coach or who out there in the world might be a good candidate.
More than likely the true answer is something more like, “Of course we have all given those questions a lot of thought and have monitored the coaching landscape closely. We haven’t put anything official down on paper yet but we have all given it a lot of thought.”
Hopefully for Jazz fans that is the case. If not, and Lindsey was literally speaking the truth – wow.
Last week former Jazz player and assistant coach Jeff Hornacek finished second in the voting for the NBA’s Coach of the Year award after his first season with the Phoenix Suns.
In most years, Horny would have won the award after leading the Suns to a 48-34 record – 23 games better than they were last season despite being ranked near the bottom of the league by NBA experts in the preseason (ESPN and Fox Sports both had the Suns at No. 29 in their preseason power rankings).
From that perspective, Hornacek’s performance in Phoenix this season has to be considered one of the most remarkable single-season coaching jobs in NBA history.
For the Jazz, this must feel like the San Diego Chargers letting go of Drew Brees only to see him become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, except at least the Chargers still had Phillip Rivers and didn’t have to replace their starting quarterback one year later.
There are a lot more unpredictable variables over time to being a good coach than there are to being a good player, though, so only time will tell how big of a loss Horny really was for the franchise.
When Jimmer Fredette got bought out of his contract by the Sacramento Kings everybody figured it would be a great thing for him.
It has turned out instead to be maybe the worst thing that could have happened for Jimmer’s long-term prospects in the NBA.
If he had stayed in Sacramento, people could have continued to believe that Jimmer just got stuck in a really bad situation with the Kings but that he could have a solid role with a better franchise.
Not so much, apparently.
After being freed by the Kings, Jimmer was available for every NBA team to sign. Surely now he would find a team willing to let him show what he could do, at least for 10-20 minutes per game to finish the season, right?
Instead he’s barely gotten off the bench for the Bulls since signing with them and hasn’t played a single minute in their four playoff games thus far. It turns out by leaving the Kings’ bench for the Bulls’ bench all Jimmer did was add a second opinion against his prospects as an NBA player.
There is, however, one way Jimmer’s epic fail with free agency could help him. It could temper the expectations of BYU-Jazz fans to the point where the Jazz could sign him without fear of overwhelming irrational fan expectations.
The Jazz could reap the benefits of having Jimmer in Utah, including his ability to knock down three pointers and free throws, without the negatives that might have existed previously with Jimmermania. And this offseason they could get him at a much lower price as a free agent than the lottery pick they would have had to spend in the 2011 draft.
Do it, Jazz. It’s not often you get a chance like this with a local legend. Even the Ute fans that hate Jimmer would be impassioned by the move.
And, hey, it’s not like your defense can get any worse.
- The Utes locked up Larry Krystkowiak with a new five-year deal, meaning if he doesn’t leave for the Jazz or another NBA team he will make more money.
- The BYU men’s volleyball squad won its conference with a sweep of Stanford in the title game and is a No. 2 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
- Former Cougar Matt Carlino chose Marquette for his senior season.
- The runnin’ Utes received a commitment from a 7-foot Austrian while one player from last year’s team is leaving.
- Real Salt Lake gave up a lead in the final minutes and settled for a disappointing 2-2 draw at home on Saturday versus Vancouver. RSL now has three wins and five draws on the season and has yet to lose a match.
- The Grizzlies lost their first-round playoff series to the Bakersfield Condors four games to one, ending their season.
The NBA playoffs have been unbelievable, in a very good way, especially in the Western Conference where all four matchups have been incredibly compelling and dramatic. I still have not and will not watch any games live due to the insanely excessive amount of timeouts and other delays in NBA playoff games, but I make darn sure to record every game and watch the last quarter of the close ones. It’s been awesome.
Although it’s probably been a decade since I watched a regular season NHL game for more than 15 minutes, I use my DVR to tune in for the playoffs. Like the NBA, the NHL playoffs have been tremendous, with perhaps even more dramatic finishes and crazy comebacks than the NBA.
In baseball, the Atlanta Braves’ pitching staff is in the midst of the greatest single month of starting pitching in history. As impressive as that is, the most insane part is that they have done it without three of their five projected opening-day starters: Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor.
Through Sunday, the Braves’ starters have a combined ERA of 1.57 using the following pitchers:
- Julio Teheran: 1.47 ERA, six-of-six quality starts
- Alex Wood: 1.54 ERA, four-of-five quality starts
- Aaron Harang: 0.85 ERA, five-of-five quality starts
- Ervin Santana: 1.95 ERA, three-of-four quality starts
- David Hale: 2.31 ERA, two-of-four quality starts
Thanks to its pitching, Atlanta is 17-7 on the season despite scoring more runs (89) than only three teams in the league so far.
This week is all about the NBA playoffs.
Can Dallas really continue to play with San Antonio, the team with the best record in the league despite being the first in history to go a season without having a single player average 30 minutes per game? My inclination is to say no, but Dirk Nowitzki hasn’t even done much in the series so far and Dallas still leads 2-1.
Can the Hawks, a team that couldn’t even win half its games in the Eastern Conference this season, keep looking like a better team than the top-seeded Pacers? What on earth has happened to Roy Hibbert?
The storylines are plentiful and the drama riveting. Set your DVRs. Or, if you have no life, set yourself up for maximum couch potato-ness.
Make sure to tune in to the NHL playoffs too.
Locally, expect nothing concrete, interesting or truthful in the Jazz’s coaching search and expect a lot of manufactured storylines.
Other than that, BYU’s men’s volleyball squad starts the NCAA Tournament on Thursday as the No. 2 team in the country (the tournament includes only six schools) and Real Salt Lake travels to play the winless Chicago Fire (0-1-6) on Saturday.
Philosophical parting question of the week
If what goes around comes around, would it be accurate to say that what comes around also goes around?