One one hand, I like the way they play. Hard-nosed, no-nonsence. Very ‘blue collar’.
But… on the other hand, I hate their rabid fanbase (not ALL fans, but the ESA ones are pretty difficult to like). Some of the stuff that’s happened there from their fans is simply deplorable.
Still, they’re part of an LA tradition. It wouldn’t feel like the playoffs if LA didn’t beat up on them at some point.
Anyway, all semi-kidding aside, here’s the top 5 Utah Jazz players… all time.
5. Mark E. Eaton – Sure, blocking’s a relatively new statistic, but 456 blocks in a season is simply monstrous. If you’re counting, that’s more than 5-and-a-half blocks per game. Just a complete and utter wall on defense. 4. Peter Press Maravich – Hall of Fame Celtic, John Havlicek once said “the best ball-handler of all time was Maravich”. During his posthumous induction to the Hall of Fame, it was said of Maravich that he was “perhaps the greatest creative offensive talent in history”.
High praise indeed.
Waived by the Jazz, he ended up at Boston, but retired because of a leg injury.
He died well before his time, at the age of 40.
3. Adrian Delano Dantley – Whilst at Utah, Dantley hit his heights as a prolific scorer. One of the forgotten stars of the 80s, he averaged more than 30 points a game for 4 straight seasons, and his average at Utah – 29.6 ppg – is yet to be beaten by another Jazz player. Not even the vaunted Malone. 2. John Houston Stockton – The lil’ half of the Stockton/Malone duo. The guy played his whole career at Utah. 19 years, and averaged a double/double.
As tenacious as he was quiet, Stockton’s cool, reserved demeanor was the perfect foil to Malone’s heart-on-his-sleeve passion.
The distance from #2 to #1 in this list is negligible in the extreme. 1. Karl Anthony Malone – The other half of one of the most recognizable duos in the history of the NBA. Like him, love him, hate him or otherwise, there’s no denying his position at the PF slot: one of the greatest ever to play that position.
Phenomenally strong, the guy was a beast offensively and a defensive monster. He and Stock took the Jazz to their only two Finals appearances. The Mailman’s probably the #1 recognizable Jazz player.