Utah Jazz: Did a former NBA champ just punk the entire fanbase?

Utah Jazz (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

Signs say an ex-player might be disguising his true take on Utah Jazz fans.

Less than six weeks ago, Kendrick Perkins referred to the NBA-leading Utah Jazz as a lottery team when they play away from home. He tweeted that laughable observation despite the group’s road record never coming close to dipping below the .500 mark.

Therefore, remembering this past statement, something smells fishy about Perkins’ sudden public plea (below) on Sunday for fans around the league to give more respect to the franchise.

See, Perkins’ Twitter account often reeks of sarcasm. So one could interpret the 2008 NBA champion’s peculiar montage as nothing more than a sly jab at the Jazz (50-18).

Nevertheless, while some folks understandably don’t know what to think of Perkins’ tweeted video, most Utah supporters seem to simply view it exactly as the renowned comedic hypeman advertised the two-minute “public service announcement”:

Not so fast.

Analyzing all of the video’s remarks about the Utah Jazz

First, Kendrick Perkins began the video with a replay of LeBron James’ infamous Utah Jazz slur from March’s All-Star Draft; to recap that night, James and Kevin Durant let both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert undeservedly slide all the way to the last two picks because, as James giggled, “in video games growing up, we never played with Utah.”

After that, the 36-year-old Perkins — now co-host of ESPN Hoop Streams — blatantly mispronounced “Gobert” before rhetorically asking NBA aficionados if they ever forget the name of “that French dude.”

Perhaps Perkins has been watching Utah games on mute, thereby never learning how to correctly say Gobert’s name. Maybe he hasn’t watched this squad at all. On the flip side, it’s possible this Americanized pronunciation is just his sincere way of mocking anyone who paints “The Stifle Tower” and his teammates as utter frauds bound to soon suffer another early postseason exit.

Perkins then wondered aloud whether Mitchell’s name is the last thing that comes to mind when people hear “Spida.” Next, he called out millennials for primarily listening to hip-hop, noting that “kicking back and vibing to jazz is as OG as it gets” while showing a photoshopped picture of himself in a band uniform, popping his suspenders and holding a saxophone.

And Perkins followed that up by displaying the notorious 2017 tweet from Vernon Maxwell that claimed he was unaware of there being any internet access in Utah. This preceded a less-than-flattering smoggy aerial view of Salt Lake City.

At that point in the video, though, Perkins presented a call for action.

Narrating over a clip of Mitchell swatting “HATERZ” away, Perkins provided a bogus number in “1-800-HELP-UTA” along with a “#RespectUtahJazzAgain” to use on social media.

OK, read that hashtag again. Yes, it seems to mimic the slogan from a certain red-hatted presidential campaign, particularly when considering Utah is routinely one of the reddest political states.

Finally, Perkins reminded viewers that even new Jazz minority owner Dwyane Wade “got a piece of the pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side” — whatever that may or may not insinuate.

Comedy? A genuine show of respect? A devious attempt to fool Utah Jazz fans into believing Perkins is on their side?

Decide for yourself.

But whatever Perkins’ motive, “bizarrely entertaining” is likely the most fitting description of all.

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The widely underappreciated Utah Jazz — now sitting atop the Western Conference standings and holding a two-game lead over the Phoenix Suns (48-20) with only four games left on their regular-season slate — will return to action at 8 p.m. MT Monday on the road against the Golden State Warriors (35-33).