No, I’m not asking whether anyone on the Jazz is overrated. I’m asking who on the Jazz is overrated. Specifically, I want to know this: between Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, and Jerry Sloan, who is overrated? And don’t tell me that none of them is overrated.
I’ll get into the discussion in a bit, but first a bit of a digression… I hate the Jazz. They’re my least favorite team in the league. Frankly, I’m not even sure why that is. I think it has a lot to do with their name: Utah Jazz is one of the stupidest names I can imagine for a team. There ain’t no Jazz in Utah. There was Jazz in New Orleans, where the team used to play. The name made sense for a team from New Orleans. It’s a stupid name for a team from Utah. It’s like calling a team the Bronx Cornhuskers. Or the Miami Polar Bears. It’s just dumb, and, worse, because the name comes from New Orleans, hearing the words “Utah Jazz” reminds me that sports teams should have a connection to their hometown, and reminds of how much I dislike it when a team picks up and moves without acknowledging that it loses some of its character in the process.
But, to be fair, that can’t be the entire reason I hate the Jazz. I mean, “Lakers” made sense for a team from Minneapolis, but, when the team moved to Los Angeles, keeping the name “Lakers” hardly made sense. That’s the same thing I just complained about the Jazz doing, and, yet, I don’t hate the Lakers.
So, there must be some other reason. I don’t know what it is. Maybe I’m just jealous that most Jazz fans get to practice polygamy and I don’t. I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I don’t like the Jazz. Or their fans. At all.
Ok, digression over…
The Jazz have been on my mind recently, more than they usually are. I think it’s because I listen to the NBA Today podcast, and, within the last 10 days:
– Rick Bucher came on with a list of his top 10 players in the league, and included Deron Williams, and
– A segment was devoted to talking about where Carlos Boozer will end up next year, as if he’s some kind of star and it really matters for the league what team he winds up in.
Another reason the Jazz are on my mind is that they have been winning recently. They are, at the moment, the #4 seed in the West. Not bad. But, they’re only 2 games ahead of the #9 seed, so they aren’t exactly setting the league on fire, either. Yet, if Williams, Boozer, and Sloan were all living up to their reputations, this would be a top 2 or 3 team in the whole league.
Think about it: Williams and Boozer were both on the 2008 Olympic team. Thus, important people in important places think they’re very good players. The Jazz are the only team in the NBA with two guys from that Olympic team on it. I look at it this way: if those guys were really worthy of being Olympians, then you’d have to think that the Jazz would be a top 2 or 3 NBA team unless they had either (i) a monkey for a coach, or (ii) a roster filled with crippled dudes.
Not only is Jerry Sloan not a monkey, but he’s a HALL OF FAMER. Yup. His reputation is so sterling that he got elected to the Hall of Fame. Watch a Jazz game and listen to the commentators; they’ll go on and on about what an amazing coach he is. It’s like he broke into Brett Favre’s suitcase, and stole some of the Broadcaster Pixie Dust.
I’m not saying the guy can’t coach, but the Hall of Fame? Seriously? A Hall of Fame coach leading a team with 2 guys from the Olympic team, and they’re only 2 games ahead of the #9 seed? I’m sorry. One of those 3 dudes is overrated. Maybe 2. Or all 3.
As I said, maybe we could make sense of this if they were surrounded by a roster of crippled dudes. But they aren’t. There are 4 other guys on the roster who average double-figure points-per-game. There are 3 other guys on the roster who average more than 4 boards per game (including 2 who average more than 6). Kirilenko is consistently one of the league leaders in both steals and rebounds.
To be sure, this supporting cast is no All-Star team. But the supporting cast shouldn’t have to be a bunch of All-Stars for the Jazz to be successful, BECAUSE THE GUYS THAT THE SUPPORTING CAST ARE SUPPORTING INCLUDE TWO OLYMPIANS AND A HALL OF FAME COACH.
Yet, they’re only 2 games ahead of the #9 seed. So at least one of those 3 dudes must be overrated. Which one is it?