Utah Jazz Bid Adieu To The Man With The Magic Spray


Jazz trainer Gary Briggs and his secret stuff. Photo courtesy of the inimitable Clint Peterson.

Monday night not only marked the 38th victory and final home game of the season for the Utah Jazz, but also the last time Gary Briggs will take the floor at EnergySolutions Arena as the team’s trainer. Briggs, who will have worked 3,013 of 3,014 possible exhibition, regular season and playoff games over his career, has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

Briggs has been with the Jazz for 15 of his 33 seasons in the NBA. He began his career in the league with the Cleveland Cavaliers, with whom he was named Athletic Trainer of the Year in 1999.

Briggs is only the third trainer the Jazz have had since moving to Utah from New Orleans. He was preceded in his post by Mike Shimensky and Don “Magic Fingers” Sparks.

Players, both former and current, offered words of praise for Briggs on the eve of his retirement. Jazz broadcaster Matt Harpring spoke at length during the Mavericks game broadcast about the time Briggs spent working with him through knee injuries and illness. Meanwhile, former Jazz PG Earl Watson took to Twitter with a shout out to Briggs:

No sooner had Briggs been presented with a No. 33 jersey by Utah Jazz and Miller Group owner Gail Miller than he was right back at work stitching up Dante Exum’s lower lip after a spill.

For Jazz fans, Briggs will always be known as the man with the magic spray. Being a connoisseur of all things James Bond, I often find myself working the moniker into a song to the tune of Lulu’s theme for The Man with the Golden Gun.

"He has a powerful weaponHe charges, well.. nothing a shot.He’ll keep you healthy and ready to play,The man with the magic spray!"

Alright, so that song is terrible and Briggsy’s job doesn’t quite lend itself to super villains and femme fatales. He does, however, have a license to kill if the secret ingredients to his magic spray are discovered:

In all seriousness, everybody here at Purple & Blues would like to thank Gary Briggs for everything he’s done to help players around the league perform at their peak. Congrats, Mr. Briggs and enjoy your retirement!

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