Friday, May 14, 2010

Don't Break Up The Jazz

John Saltas over at City Weekly provides a great commentary comparing the state of the Utah Jazz to the state of the Salt Lake Tribune's sports section.

I’ve read enough bipolar columns by Gordon Monson to know that he’s a seriously tired and lazy writer. Why’s that? Because it takes one to know one. He tries so hard to be macho, hip and cool, but he comes off like a virginal water boy, one fond of peeing in the Gatorade to get even with the big boys. I’ve also read enough of Kurt Kragthorpe to believe that on any given day, he’d rather be golfing. I know that, too, because I golfed with him once. He’s a very nice guy who likes golf more than most golfers. Great—then he should cover golf more often.

The common theme on the Tribune sports pages for this entire Jazz season (on every other day, that is; it’s never consistent) has been that the Jazz should rebuild. Nah, the Tribune should rebuild.

If it were me, I’d keep the workhorse Steve Luhm, and Siler, too—if he’s not writing headlines. I’d give Michael Lewis and Lya Wodraska prominent columns. Jay Drew can stick to the Cougs. Give Marty Renzhofer the Utes. But do something, for chrissakes! The only thing worse than the end of this Utah Jazz season was the bitter exclamation point the Tribune put on it. The writers remind me of Casey Stengel’s New York Mets of whom he asked, “Can’t anybody here play this game?” Can’t anybody there write?

The Tribune sports writers are even pathetic at snarkiness, yet down the hall, they have a true snark professional in Glen Warchol. Glen could school them. Glen is at least interesting when he’s snarky.

You should really go read the whole thing. It's great.

However, he missed something.

Gordon Monson chided Andrei Kirelinko for not playing hurt. While I wish more guys would play through some pain, the fact is that playing hurt probably cost the Jazz their starting center for the playoffs and possibly until January.

And, part of the reason Kobe Bryant hasn't been his explosive self is his insistence to play through pain.

Yes' John and Karl played through pain. But, John and Karl were special.

Besides, Karl was never quite the same after he played a whole season with a broken finger, mostly because he no longer had any feeling in that finger.

Plus the Jazz aren't that bad. They tied for the 6th best record in the league this season. That despite a horrible November and December. They made the second round of the playoffs (a feat only accomplished by eight teams), despite starting an undrafted rookie and someone who is a better comedian than basketball player. Both of whom were starting because of injuries to other players.

Yes, they got swept by the Lakers. Unless somehow there is a sudden influx of talented 7-footers we can bring in for cheap, I don't see us being able to match up against them any time soon. And, in three of those four games, we had the lead in the closing minutes.

Plus, who are you going to get? Let's face it, how many top-tier players want to come someplace where the local paper trashes a second-round team?

I know I wouldn't.


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