At least one Jazz fan fed up with mediocrity

dnews 0808jazz.sptThe status quo can be good, comforting even. Jazz fans used to count on Stockton and Malone every year.

Now, after three years that featured two lottery seasons and one first-round sweep, one  fan has had enough, at least according to the e-mail I received shortly after the end of the season.

“I know the drill,” part of it said. “Typically the season ends, a nice spinning story is written about the exit interviews. Then it’s over until the draft, and after the draft an interview with the top draft pick, and then not much until pre-season. This year could and should be different. You guys could step up and raise the big issues that are the elephants in the room. I hope you will.”

Irate fans aren’t anything new, but this wasn’t your typical, venting fan. He stated he’s been a season ticket holder since the Jazz moved to Utah in 1979 — and that he gave up those season tickets after this season came to a close.

“We just can’t keep sending big checks to these guys,” he continued. “This team has a substantial history of poor player selection and management.  The Owner needs to clean house…assuming they have the determination and guts to do so.  Otherwise, this season will become the norm.”

Many fans will nod their heads at this. I did the same thing. I get it. I lived in Phoenix until 2010, just long enough to see a similar drop in trust between an NBA fan base and a new generation of team ownership. Suns fans were — and are — irate that an All-Star core of Steve Nash, Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion — all at or approaching their primes — was voluntarily disbanded, one at a time, over a span of seven years in exchange for Boris Diaw, Hakim Warrick, Goran Dragic and Jared Dudley.

The Jazz are in a similar spiral. Stockton and Malone became Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer, which is now Mo Williams and a stable of power forwards that are either known-and-unwanted or young-and-unproven.

Following the death of long-time owner Jerry Buss and the Lakers’ embarrassing first-round sweep to San Antonio, fans in L.A. are just starting to experience similar doubts.

It’s hard to remember that in the same city, Donald Sterling was just as reviled for his mangling of the Clippers for over two-and-a-half decades. It wasn’t until drafting Blake Griffin and swinging for Chris Paul that the Clippers became relevant.

With Lob City in full swing, it’s hard to find a cross word about Sterling today — a modern sports miracle produced from two good moves after a slew of terrible ones. Jazz fans are hoping for a similar turnaround.

At least one 34-year season ticket holder, however, isn’t convinced the current management can pull it off.

Categories: Jazzland

About the Author

Matt Petersen

Matt joined the DeseretNews.com staff after three years of sports reporting and sports web editing at The Daily Herald in Provo, Utah. While there he covered BYU, UVU, high school and NBA sports. Born in Nebraska and raised in Phoenix, AZ, Matt has grown to love the scenery, sports and people in Utah since moving there in 2009 to finish his studies at Utah Valley University. Matt is an avid NBA follower and makes time to dust off the high-tops to do more than just write and watch the game.

9 comments

  1. Richie

    I think that you are the first Salt Lake writer that has had the courage to call it like it is. With the combined loss of Larry Miller and Jerry Sloan the Jazz would be better off with new management from Corbin on up. Greg Miller doesn’t care and Corbin is in over his head.

  2. Neal

    It’s about time that someone in the media has enough guts to call it how it is. The Jazz FO is happy to be in the worst position in the NBA… mediocre. Nothing is going to change though. Nothing.

  3. Rick Saldana

    In my opinion, the 2012-2013 Jazz team failed to make the playoffs due to poor coaching. They should have been a sixth or seventh seed in the current playoffs, but all too often during the season, Tyrone Corbin played the wrong lineups, mismanaged the players on court time, and wasn’t able to fire the team up enough to get a win. He also, at times, seemed befuddled as to which play to run or what to do.

    Here are just some of the mistakes Corbin made with the team this past season.

    1. Game after game he started Marvin Williams, when he should have been playing DeMarre Carroll. When Carroll played, lots of good things happened. On court, DeMarre was tough as nails, often stealing the ball, getting rebounds, and generally made a nuance of himself on the court, at least for the opposing team. Marvin just didn’t bring much fire power or anything else to help out the team. For most of the season, Marvin numbers were pretty miserable. It wasn’t until the end of the season that he did manage to have a few good games, but by then it was too little, too late.

    2. Starting Al Jefferson alongside Paul Millsap was a mistake. The best combination from mid-season on was Favors and Jefferson. Why? Because Millsap couldn’t defend the paint well enough to make up for Jefferson’s general lack of defense, but Favors could.

    3. Since mid-season, Enes Kanter should have been splitting time with Jefferson. During the time Al was sidelined with an injury, Kanter played brilliantly. As soon as Al came back, Kanter’s time and numbers went down, way down. Kanter needed the playing time to develop his confidence and abilities. Looking forward, it’s quite likely the Jazz are going to end up losing both Jefferson and Millsap. By not playing Enes Kanter as much as he should have, Corbin has stifled Enes Kanter’s growth as a basketball player.

    Confidence, for an NBA player, is a precious commodity; one that once lost, can be hard to get back. Just look at how long it took for Randy Foye to regain his stroke after he lost it during a stretch of bad games. I hope Kanter comes back strong next season, the Jazz are going to need him.

    4. After Mo Williams’ thumb injury had healed, Corbin made a rookie coach’s mistake by bringing him back into the starting lineup too quickly. He should have gradually worked Mo back into his regular starting position; slowly increasing his on court time, until the team had adjusted to the change. Unfortunately, he didn’t do that and the starting lineup didn’t mesh very well for a number of games, resulting in turnovers, missed assignments, bad passes and lost games. Any top tier college coach would have known better than to dump Mo Williams immediately back into the lineup. Corbin should have realized it too, but he didn’t.

    Since 1979, I have followed and attended home games for both the Utah Jazz and the University of Utah Utes. For 15 years, during that time, I watched a basketball genius by the name of Rick Majerus lead his Utes to victories against highly touted teams. Games which would have been losses, except for the fact that the Utes were being coached by a man who truly understood the Xs and Os of the game of basketball.

    Sitting in the Huntsman Center, watching Majerus coach his Utes, taught me more about the game of basketball than any coach I ever had. Majerus’ coaching style, though abrasive, proved to me that the right head coach can and does make all the difference.

    Even though he never learned how to pronounce the word offense (oaf-fence) and had many faults, I miss Rick Majerus.

    The Jazz need an experienced “Majerus type” head coach.

  4. Rikk

    I agree that Corbin needs to go. His lack of creativity, both on the offensive side and defensive side, and trying to run the same as Coach Sloan is appalling. The teams of yesteryear were based of slower, power game and it work well, hence the success under Coach Sloan. The core players are far more athletic and not fitting of that type of game. Uptempo, slashing players are what make up the core of this team. Coach Sloan’s system, or Corbin’s version of said system, is not and will not work with the players we have. I respect Corbin for trying but he does not have the creativity nor experience to coach this team to success. I am not a season ticket holder but used to go to games on a regular basis and you won’t see me at anymore games. It is too frustrating watching the disservice to the players and to the fans for the product that is floored and how the are used. Get a new coach that knows how to scheme to the talents of the team. If I were a NBA player and free agent, I wouldn’t want to come here with how Corbin is screwing the fans and players careers.

  5. cajazzfan

    I agree with Richie. I am tired of seeing potential talent wasted and not used to the best of there abilities. Corbin needs to go along with a 1/3 of the team. It wont happen. They will be another average team next year. As a fan since 1990 it may be time to root for another NBA team.

  6. Phil

    I understand that Larry left his oldest son in charge, but why not swallow his ego and let one of the other brothers who loves basketball head the Jazz. I live on the east coast and have had to work hard to follow the Jazz and listen to their games. But like the subject in this article, no more. They are not the blue collar workers who bring their lunch pails to work team that have inspired me over the years. Jerry didn’t care what type of contract you had. If you left it all on the floor, he played you.
    I’m also appalled at the continuing missteps in how Scott Layden was driven out and Raja Bell was finally waived. I think the best owners are those who are fans and Greg is not one.

  7. todd mintz

    I have waited for so long to see someone with the guts to print it like it is…BRAVO….The Jazz I have said for years, care about FUN AND COMPETITIVE not WORLD TITLES> Corbin has no clue about rotations, basically putting our hardest worker and Defender Demarre Carroll on the pine. Waiting until injuries to finally give Burks the chance to be a Full time starting Point. This team should have been a 6 or 7 Seed. It will be the same story, resign 10, Likely lose Paul and Earl, Other than that same Team…Same Coaches, same Happy and Content Fans. And the cycle goes on and on and on

  8. Chris

    I agree with everything Rick said above. I am also bothered by how we lost Sloan because management wouldn’t stand up to Deron Williams punk attitude. Now we have Corbin, who I am sure is doing the best that he can, but is not able to be a head coach at this level. You see this all of the time in the NFL, guys are great coordinators but terrible head coaches. We have Hornacek on the staff who will now leave to probably coach Philly or Phoenix and we will lose the only good coach on that staff. Just like we did years ago when Phoenix signed him because Layden didn’t want to disturb him at 10 at night. Don’t wait fire Corbin, hire Horney and let’s get things back to what this franchise used to be.

    • Richie

      It sounds like we are a majority. Other interesting comments are starting to surface. O’Conner sold his home while everyone says he isn’t leaving. Sloan may coach again, Good for him. There are some funny white bill boards popping up with negative thoughts on them. Are they political or a precurser to an anti Jazz management statements?