The Utah Jazz Continue To Not Get Any Respect


This is silly. After notching a 19-10 post All-Star break record and a league-leading defense, the Utah Jazz became the darlings of the NBA last season. Pundits from across the nation were lining up to crown the Jazz as the league’s next up and coming team.

Now that summer has come and gone, that love has seemed to dwindle. It’s been asked before, but the question bares repeating–what the hell does it take for the Utah Jazz to get some respect? NOTE: This question must be read in a Rodney Dangerfield voice.

Case in point—this year’s NBA 2K16 ratings. Apparently they didn’t get the memo that the Jazz are a team with a stable full of young talent, including one of the Association’s most ferocious power forward/center duos.

The video game franchise is gearing up for its next big release and in doing so, released its top 10 lists for each position. Here are the results for the fours and fives.

Hmmmm….. There seems to be two names in particular left off of those lists. This had Jazz Nation up in arms.

There are also rumors floating around the Internet that the Jazz are ranked 26th out of a possible 30 teams in NBA2K16. L-O-L.

Moving on, I guess that it’s a video game, which panders to stars—both past and present—in order to sell, but Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors both being snubbed is asinine.

Even the Jazz big man was pretty upset about his rating.

To put it into perspective, despite being widely recognized as rising stars, neither player was able to earn a “B” average—Gobert ranks 79 overall; Favors is 78.

Upon being left out of the top 10, insult was added to injury when Derrick Favors was ranked lower than these other power forwards: Nenê Hilario, Greg Monroe, Taj Gibson, David West, David Lee, Kenneth Faried and Serge Ibaka.

In fact, Derrick’s overall ranking puts him on par with Thaddeus Young and Boris Diaw.

And when it comes to Gobert, I guess these guys just don’t like—or pay attention to—defense.


Allow me to retort on both players’ behalf–

  • Last season, Favors had the third-highest PER among power forwards, trailing only Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin. Both are considered superstars.
  • Last season, Favors gave the Jazz 16.4 points a night with a 23.2 percent usage rate—both career highs.
  • Opponents shot just 39 percent at the rim when Gobert manned the paint.
  • Utah allowed 100.1 points per 100 possessions with Gobert on court last season—compared to 107.1 when he was on the bench.
  • When playing together, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert are the best defensive front court in the NBA.

As if this wasn’t enough, who can forget Derrick Favors being snubbed from the 24-man Team USA minicamp?

This led to Gobert’s now infamous jab.

The good news, however, is that Gordon Hayward was ranked sixth among small forwards, making him the only Jazz man to crack the top 10 in any position.

But remember when he got his name butchered by NBATV?

I get that the Jazz aren’t the marquee team they were in the late 90s. That Utah is one of the smallest television markets in the league and that Salt Lake City isn’t making any top free agent destination lists, but good grief.

Being a Jazz fan means constantly rooting for the underdog and being underrated is one of the franchises’ main ingredients. I find it frustrating as hell.

Take former Jazz power forward, Paul Millsap, for example. Paul, after being overlooked for years in Utah, signs as a free agent with the Atlanta Hawks, only to become a back-to-back All-Star. Part of this is moving to the Eastern Conference, another part is that he was sold short because he was a Jazzman. Regardless, I’m pretty sick of it.

For a state that constantly gets teased for its lack of coffee drinkers, it’s the outsiders that stay sleeping.

After notching 38 wins last year, The Jazz raised plenty of eyebrows. I thought the word was out and our boys were finally getting their due. I was wrong. The fact remains–the Utah Jazz continue to not receive the love they deserve. I guess at this point we should all be used to it, but it continues to sting.

To put a positive spin on things, the silver lining has to be the amount of bulletin board material the Jazz now have. Being snubbed and disrespected time and time again has to be motivating. Here’s to hoping Gobert, Favors, Hayward and the rest of the Jazz use it to wreak havoc on the NBA come next month.

Next: Help Former Jazzman JP Gibson Fight Cancer

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