11.16.2006

The Discovery of Phosphorus



The New Jazz have the best record in the league through the first 8 games and something needs to be said. All I know is that I attended the season opener in the Delta Center and enjoyed every minute of the game, something that couldn't be said for many Jazz games in the post-Stockton to Malone Era. So here we are with an exciting team of castaways, revunated vets, solid rookies, and the emergence of the not-so-catchy Williams-to-Boozer connection. (And the emergence of Matt Harpring using terms of endearment like "D.Willy" in reference to his 2nd year teammate.)



So what is to be made of Jerry Sloan not only playing but praising a handful of rookies? Or letting Deron Williams convince the team to wear black shoes and socks for the first time in franchise history (starting with Friday's game at Seattle)? And all this success on the heels of a terrible start by Kirilenko, who looks even more Drago-esque when he mopes around the court, missing shots and feeling sorry for himself because of lack of touches on the offensive end.



The character of the New Jazz can be summarized with this quote by Jerry Sloan speaking of rookie rebounding machine Paul Millsap:

His coach, who clearly likes his team more every day, sure did.
"There are very few guys who play that way because they've been told all their lives they're supposed to score. Moms, dads, everybody told them to score," Sloan said. "I don't know who told him what. . . . But you could make a living in this league and not score a point."
He means Millsap's way, not Kaman's. The Clipper center, signed to a five-year, $52 million contract over the summer, was shredded by Okur, who outscored him 27-3 and sent him to the bench with six fouls after only 19 minutes.


First of all, I'll admit to giggling as I read the line "shredded by Okur," but there's no better way to say it. Okur has been handing people their lunch on the court and then heading home to his wife, the former Miss Turkey Yeliz Caliska [link not only safe for work, but CRUCIAL as well] and 50 million dollars. Certainly it's his world and the rest of us just live in it. Millsap may not have the millions but he has an uncanny ability to clean the glass and get his hands in passing lanes, and like Sloan says, if he keeps it up he'll be cashing checks for a long time.



Besides an appropriate dose of Right Way play and Hustle, this year's New Jazz are just fun to watch. Millsap flexing after rejecting Corey Maggette in the midst of holding the Clip Joint without a field goal for almost 11 minutes. D. Williams and Derek Fisher surgically emasculating the Rockets on opening night. The Jazz-Pistons tilt from last week was one of the most enjoyable games I've watched in a long time. And maybe that's a bit of "I know it when I see it" logic, but that's what makes me care. (Aside: Rasheed Wallace is some kind of player. He's an unstoppable force in an alternative universe where he doesn't bore himself out of taking what the defense gives him.)

When trying to come up with the reasons for the success of the New Jazz my initial gut feeling was to chalk it all up to Chemistry. But the truth could be closer to Alchemy. In the mystical jazz laboratory, the combination of boring parts has unexpectedly sublimated into an exciting team that seems to root for each other's success and actually enjoy playing together. They have a nice mix of veteran leadership and young legs. They've got a legendary coach who seems to have a newfound soft side along with a new wife. And certainly the indeterminate ethnicity of Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer is the logical conclusion of an unholy Stockton-to-Malone Hybrid.

Now, the resultant gold was on display Wednesday night. Not only did the New Jazz make quick work of the of Clippers, but one of their finest made a guest appearance at a John Legend show in Park City later that night. I was checking scores from the game periodically, and after the show as I was walking out I bumped into this guy standing in a VIP section working it with a girl who couldn't be described as Park City's finest. And as I watched him awkwardly get his game on, I realized it was Gordon Giricek, still wearing his suit from the game earlier in the evening, but all undone and disheveled. I tried to take a picture with my phone but it was too dark and it didn't save anyway. My question, of course, is how he got there so fast after the game, and how that Achilles he's been babying with a walking boot at the games is holding up after standing at a concert for 3 hours. But hey, when you're 7-1 you do whatever you want.

42 Comments:

At 11/16/2006 12:53 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

not a single mention of ronnie brewer, heart and soul of any remote interest i might have in the new jazz?

 
At 11/16/2006 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And certainly the indeterminate ethnicity of Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer is the logical conclusion of an unholy Stockton-to-Malone Hybrid."

This is one of the best sentences I have ever read. Seriously.

 
At 11/16/2006 1:08 PM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

Great post, interesting link to the newspaper article with these two facts:

- All Jazz players wear Nike, except New Balance endorser Rafael Araujo (New Balance?)

- "My college coach always said, 'Don't wear black shoes because you'll get traveling called on you a lot more,' " Sloan explained. "That's important. That's a possession."

What?

Also, with Utah having the best record, is this the only chance to write the following on here and not get banned: Jazz is basketball (if not the other way around)? Or will bad jokes get you banned regardless?

 
At 11/16/2006 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really think when it's all said and done D. Williams will go down as a better player than CP3

 
At 11/16/2006 2:16 PM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

The Stockton/Malone hybrid passage is the product of a truly nocturnal mind. I think I'm going to be shaken for a little while.

 
At 11/16/2006 2:18 PM, Anonymous Pichi Campana Aguanta said...

This entire team is about unexpected results, so Brewer fits in nicely with his crooked arm shot that strangely goes in more often than not.

And Kaifa, both of the details you mentioned jumped out at me as well. The irrationaly old-school conventional wisdom regarding black shoes and socks is fascinating.

 
At 11/16/2006 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since circa ought-ought, I have only encounter 4 players that I would truly say need to be seen live to have a full understanding of their games and are worth the price to watch. We can all flip on channel 750-766 and comprehend that LBJ is a man child, Kobe is the black momba, and that Chris Kaman is not an attractive person. And obviously GOATs last year is must see. I'm spinning tires here but the 4 are AI (one up's Wade, gets knocked down 8 times), Rip and Reggie (movement sans rock), and AK-47; I always walked away from his games thinking he is the only player that does everything very good. Baseball uses the five-tool player term, I believed that 47 was the NBA's only five-tool player out there. This weekend I saw him live, he played like he picked up a 2 pack a day habit in the off season. Sorely disappointed. Michael Redd, shhhhhh 57.

WV blpyik=Kazakh sandwich

 
At 11/16/2006 2:40 PM, Blogger GentleWhoadie9000 said...

Karl Malone will fucking kill you if you don't get off his land.

 
At 11/16/2006 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AK-47 is so overrated, remind what he's ever won??

 
At 11/16/2006 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ability to sleep with a woman other than his wife once a year.

 
At 11/16/2006 4:59 PM, Anonymous 1 Pt. Buck said...

I too was at the Bucks/Jazz tilt over the weekend. 2 meaningless observations:

1. My Jerry Sloan coaching against Terry Stotts is to General Patton playing Stratego against Rumsfeld syllogism died a slow, embarassing death.

2. Charlie Bell also wears New Balance shoes.

 
At 11/16/2006 5:23 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

i noticed during last night's unc/winthrop game that winthrop also wear new balances. during the anti-sweatshop heydey of my late undergraduate years, i drafted a half-serious letter to the daily tar heel urging the university to leave nike (jordan brand) for new balance in part because they make some of their shoes in the united states and in part because james worthy was sponsored by them.

 
At 11/16/2006 5:30 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

and by draft, i mean that i talked about it a lot, but never actually wrote anything. so, don't go looking through the DTH archives, sherlock.

wv: ukotztzj: some unholy east european nigerian jewish hybrid set to dominate the league circa 2024.

 
At 11/16/2006 5:33 PM, Anonymous Pichi Campana Aguanta said...

As long as we're going Uni-Watch on this, I have to say that the sartorial touch of Adidas is a huge improvement in the warmup apparel department. The Jazz particularly have gone from wal-mart chic to looking like an italian soccer club. Even 'tag would've looked sharp in the new gear.

wv: kecifx - well he should, have you seen his wife?

 
At 11/16/2006 5:59 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

I didn't even finish reading the whole post before realizing that I needed to comment.

I think you've hit on a new aspect of FD-ism: the players were all born to ball in alternate universes.

Proposal for a future post: describe the alternate universe of each of the FD 50.

wv: freqbxe -- Free Quebec, Xerxes!

 
At 11/16/2006 7:09 PM, Anonymous Pichi Campana Aguanta said...

Shoals, I got yer Brewer right here:

Brewer and Kirilenko

And just for kicks, here are two more gems:

The unis

Boozer

 
At 11/16/2006 7:23 PM, Blogger seezmeezy said...

can't believe i'm the first to comment on the wedding pics:

-the contrast between their skin tones is frightening, going from wife to groom almost made my pupils burst

-seriously, how little do you give a fuck about personal appearnace if yer unibrow can't even get a trim for wedding photos

-i wonder if ak-47 is off to a slow start cause he's tapping mrs. okur sans guilt

-this broad wouldn't even be a 7 if she wasn't pictured with memo

-i will never understand how a professional athlete has a turkey neck. i can understand just being a fatass as yer physical steez, but everything else on this cat seems to be in order. where does the jiggler come from???

-she's either pretty tall or rocking old school jump shoes, personally i'm hoping for the latter

 
At 11/16/2006 8:05 PM, Anonymous Andrei Kirilenko said...

AK-47 is so overrated, remind what he's ever won??

I've never won anything. Ow! my back hurts....

 
At 11/16/2006 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I too late to jump on the Monta Ellis bandwagon?

 
At 11/17/2006 12:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

throwing ont seezmeezy's picture comment vein,

is ak-47 rocking a huge lower lip sore in pichi's pic?

not that there's... well, warning to the yearly exceptions.

 
At 11/17/2006 12:56 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

yes, because i took the last seat about two hours ago.

WV: uozrlz (greek mashup specialist)

 
At 11/17/2006 3:17 AM, Blogger T. said...

Memo looks like an extra from The Waterboy or There's Something About Mary in those wedding photos.

WV - umzku - the name of Memo's monkey

 
At 11/17/2006 4:42 AM, Blogger T. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/17/2006 4:43 AM, Blogger T. said...

also would've thought that there would've been a for certains return of NBARS post about the new Melo commerical, with Melo interacting with his PR familiez, Japanese fans and game winning shots

WV: zeeoivfd - Cavs Center overindulges in veritas/freedarko

 
At 11/17/2006 11:04 AM, Anonymous Musa D said...

My dad always claimed the Celtics wore black shoes so they would appear to move more slowly than they really did. He thought this deception somehow confused the opposing team. As if playing a bunch of slump-shouldered white guys wouldn't accomplish this on its own.

WV: zklpljf - Zeke Learns to Play Just Freshmen

 
At 11/17/2006 12:17 PM, Blogger Headdie Jones #6 said...

head to passionofronartest.blogspot.com for a light, entertaining look at the NBA...seriously it's a good site...you won't be disappointed

 
At 11/17/2006 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, headie with the self-link.

wv: ynlapjav = your new lap-dancing Javie

 
At 11/17/2006 2:36 PM, Blogger T. said...

I was disappointed. Now what?

 
At 11/17/2006 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im not usually one for motivational sneaker ads, but im like that melo commercial. and the shoes.

 
At 11/17/2006 3:44 PM, Anonymous Pichi Campana Aguanta said...

I missed the interview by John Thompson with Carlos Boozer on TNT Thursday. First of all, no one does a better interview with NBA players than Coach Thompson. Always riveting. Also enjoyed the studio commentary regarding the Jazz. Barkley had them as the #2 team in the West.

WV: xnfowit: web 2.0 app providing news and humor

 
At 11/17/2006 3:45 PM, Anonymous Pichi Campana Aguanta said...

Here's the link: http://broadband.nba.com/cc/playa.php?content=video&url=http://boss.streamos.com/wmedia/nba/nbacom/tnt/inside/tnt_inside_061116.asx&video=blank&tab=tntchannel&nbasite=nba

 
At 11/17/2006 4:13 PM, Anonymous J.E. Skeets said...

Praise the Lord, Dwight!

 
At 11/17/2006 4:22 PM, Blogger JoshLove said...

Ha! I was just gonna post the same thing. I am beseeching FD to make sense of this madness for me.

wv: ifqubf - "If Q (Richardson) Was Your Boyfriend" (sung to the tune of Prince's "If I Was Your Girlfriend."

 
At 11/17/2006 4:30 PM, Blogger The Electric Zarko said...

I am now ridiculously scared that Monta will pull an Arenas on the Warriors.

The two guys we absolutely need to keep on the team are him and Biedrins, who's turning into the Eastern European Theo Ratliff (not a bad thing).

 
At 11/17/2006 4:38 PM, Blogger T. said...

Wow. The Dwight Howard thing = me speechless.

 
At 11/17/2006 5:03 PM, Anonymous Jack said...

Is that a coelacanth(lungfish) in your first picture?

Coelacanths are a prehistoric, deep-dwelling fish that were thought to be extinct but rediscovered some time ago. I could see how this could be an analogy to the Jazz.

 
At 11/17/2006 5:59 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

darko is mary carey's boy

 
At 11/17/2006 6:27 PM, Anonymous Pichi Campana Aguanta said...

Jack, nicely done. I was thinking of the coelacanth when I was looking for pictures, for the very reason you mentioned. But Shoals has a corner on the shark and coelacanth market so I went with the bowfin:

...they are often considered "trash" fish by sportsmen who catch them, and are scorned for their voracious appetite in eating both gamefish and panfish of more desirable species. However, they battle powerfully when hooked, offering a tremendous fight to the angler. Bowfin, when caught, should be handled carefully. They are very pugnacious, and consider themselves a match for anything - including a human being. Once in the boat, they will make every attempt they can at biting the fisherman - and they have a mouthful of very sharp teeth.

Bowfins are found throughout eastern North America, typically in slow-moving backwaters. When the oxygen level is low (as often happens in still waters), the bowfin can rise to the surface and gulp air into its swim bladder, which is lined with blood vessels and can serve as a sort of lung.

 
At 11/18/2006 12:57 AM, Anonymous J.E. Skeets said...

12:47 am EST -- the Return of Amare

 
At 11/18/2006 11:07 PM, Anonymous Jack said...

Amare has regained his "Boss" status.

 
At 11/19/2006 3:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9-1 now...

 
At 4/13/2009 5:40 AM, Blogger 平平 said...

^^Thanks!!

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