5) Derrick Favors and Len ‘Truck’ Robinson (Tie)
We’re just getting started and already we have a dilemma. Do you include the team’s five-year stint in the Big Easy when compiling this kind “best-ever” list? Outside of “Pistol” Pete Maravich playing the role of the game’s ultimate showman, not much good happened. Also, what role does longevity play in the equation?
These are both factors, but myself and some of the other J-Notes contributors that helped compile this list still couldn’t overlook what Len ‘Truck’ Robinson did in a Jazz uniform.
Despite appearing in just 125 games with the New Orleans Jazz from 1977 to 1979, he was arguably the league’s best power forward at that time.
In his only full season with the team, the 1977-78 campaign, Robinson registered one of the most impressive statistical seasons ever by a Jazzman. He averaged just under 23 points and led the NBA in rebounding at nearly 16 per game, as well as minutes played at an incredible 44.4 per contest.
Robinson was named an All-Star and All-NBA First Team player that year. So, Truck comes in at No. 5 — unbelievable numbers and an open and shut case, right? Not so fast.
Although Robinson was brilliant during his short Jazz tenure, Derrick Favors’ name also bears mentioning. He’s coming off what was arguably the worst season of his career, but before the knee problems, he was among the league’s best power forwards.
Over the three-year period from 2013 to 2016, Favors averaged 15.2 points, better than eight boards and 1.5 blocks per game. He’s never suited up for the West in the NBA All-Star Game, but that’s close to All-Star production.
If he can overcome his injuries, it’s not a stretch to say he could approach that level again in 2017-18.
Ultimately, both Favors and Robinson have made their mark for the Jazz franchise and each deserves a spot in this list.
Jazz Stats, Robinson: 125 GP, 23.2 PTS, 14.9 REB, 2.0 AST, 43.4 MIN ; 423 GP, 12.1 PTS, 7.4 REB, 1.4 BLK