While the Jazz were starting the 2012-13 preseason with an inauspicious loss at Golden State with no television coverage on Monday night, the internet was doing what it does so well– serving up the following incredible tracks featuring Utah Jazz players singing. Enjoy “Keep Fightin” and “Keep it Sexy” by The Jazz Brothers.
Thurl Bailey, Del Curry, Rickey Green, Darrell Griffith, Karl Malone and Carey Scurry of the Utah Jazz, with time to spare during a recent road trip, tried their hand at making a recording of the Temptations’ song ”My Girl,” in a shopping mall in Phoenix. After the recording was well received by listeners of several Salt Lake City radio stations, they formed a group known as the Jazz Brothers.
We need to get our hands on that recording of My Girl in a shopping mall. Internet, don’t let us down.
Thanks to @typhill for the discovery. I realize it’s been featured here and there in the past, but it deserves a little more shine.
Now is as good a time as any to check out this bizarre vignette found in the KSL archives as part of our Retro Jazz project with KSL’s Jeremiah Jensen, featuring Frank Layden and Thurl Bailey re-enacting scenes from Indiana Jones in the old Salt Palace to illustrate the passing of the guard to his son Scott.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnorwoski is reporting that the Jazz assistant coach has accepted a position as assistant GM with the San Antonio Spurs. Layden began his career with the Jazz all the way back in 1981 and recently completed his 25th year with the franchise. He also infamously spent four and half years running (ruining?) the New York Knicks as GM and later as team president as well.
Layden is essentially job-swapping with new Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey, taking over Lindsey’s vacant position in San Antonio. I’m not sure if Layden was ever seriously considered for the Jazz GM spot or even if he wanted it, but it’s clear his heart was in front office work and not continuing on the sidelines as an assistant. Some have implied that Layden may have felt slighted by the Lindsey hire, but there’s no question the Jazz did him a huge favor by allowing him to rehab his career when they hired him as an assistant after nearly being out of basketball due to the Knicks debacle.
He’s been nothing but great for the Jazz franchise, however. Here’s to great success in San Antonio (though not against the Jazz) to a basketball lifer who is one of the main reasons the we all have great memories about the Jazz. I always enjoyed my interactions with Layden and he’s been nothing but a pleasure to cover. All my finest to a Jazz legend as he furthers his career.
Scott Layden’s bio from the Jazz media guide:
Scott Layden enters his 25th season with the Utah Jazz and his seventh as an assistant coach after returning to the franchise prior to the 2005-06 campaign. Things have come full circle for Layden, as he is now back in the place where his pro basketball career started, this time as an assistant on Tyrone Corbin’s coaching staff. Previously, Layden and Corbin worked together for over five years under Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and former Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan. In total, Layden would work with Sloan and former Jazz lead assistant coach Phil Johnson for over 14 seasons.
Layden’s responsibilities include helping Jazz players develop and hone their basketball skills, game preparation for opponents, and coordinating advance scouts. He has also shared coaching duties with Corbin during the 2005-08 Rocky Mountain Revues as well as the Orlando Pro Summer League in 2009 and 2010. In addition, Layden has worked basketball camps for both the NBA and adidas in China, Brazil and Europe the past eight years.
Before re-joining the Jazz, Layden worked with NBA TV for part of the 2003-04 and entirety of the 2004-05 NBA seasons. Prior to that, Layden served as general manager of the New York Knicks beginning in the 1999-00 season. A year and a half later, he added team president to his title. During his four and a half year tenure the Knicks made the playoffs twice, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2000. Preceding his stint with the Knicks, Layden spent 18 years in a variety of capacities with the Jazz, establishing a reputation as one of the game’s most astute judges of talent and an instrumental figure in the Jazz’s perennial success.
From 1992 through 1999, Layden was the primary Jazz contact and driving force behind all player personnel, draft and trade decisions. During his tenure as Utah’s primary architect, the Jazz recorded five straight 50+ win seasons (including three 60+ win campaigns), two Midwest Division titles (1996-97 and 1997-98) and back-to-back Western Conference Championships in 1997 and 1998. Layden was runner-up (to the Lakers’ Jerry West) for The Sporting News NBA Executive of the Year award in 1994-95, a season in which the Jazz went 60-22.
After spending one year as an assistant coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, Layden began his pro basketball career as an administrative assistant and scout with the Jazz in 1981. In February of 1982 he was elevated to assistant to Frank Layden, where he remained until being named the Jazz’s director of player personnel in 1989, and then director of basketball operations in 1992, before being promoted to vice president in September of 1996.
An upstate New York prep standout, Layden went on to play collegiate basketball for St. Francis University in Loretto, Penn., where he was a four-year letterman and captained the team in his senior year of 1979-80. He graduated with a degree in business management.
An active member of the Salt Lake community, Layden volunteers his time on the fundraising committee with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Catholic Community Services Board of Trustees. He is also an active participant in JazzCares, hosting clinics for the children of fireman, police officers, military personnel, nurses and teachers. In addition, he has led camps in Israel two of the past three years in conjunction with PeacePlayers International, a program that uses basketball to teach children proven tactics for improving their communities.
Layden and his wife, Marsha, have four daughters: Sarah, Hannah, Mary Frances and Emma Grace.
Editor’s Note: Retro Jazz is a project with KSL Sports to post classic Jazz footage from their archives. Special thanks to KSL’s Jeremiah Jensen for his great work finding, editing, and sharing these clips.
The 1985 Playoffs were special for a lot of reasons. The previous season featured the team’s first trip the postseason and set the tone for the next two decades with a dramatic first-round win against the Denver Nuggets. In 1984-85 the team didn’t match their Midwest Division title of the year before, but Mark Eaton had a monster season on his way to earning the Defensive Player of the Year award. Larry Miller became a 50% owner of the team a week before the playoffs started. It was John Stockton’s rookie year, and the roster featured both a BYU guy (Fred Roberts) and a Utah guy (future commentator Pace Mannion).
Things didn’t look good for the Jazz in the deciding Game 5 in Houston after Eaton had to leave the game before halftime with a hurt knee. The Twin Towers of Akeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson took advantage and pushed the Rockets to a nine-point lead in the third quarter. Jazz coach Frank Layden was forced to counter with Rich Kelley and much-travelled Billy Paultz. And that’s when things got interesting.
The Whopper got under Olajuwon’s skin with his physical play, leading to one of the most famous punches in NBA history:
After the fact, the good people working at KSL Sports at the time somehow made the great decision to air a musical montage Billy Paultz highlight reel set to Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds.”
“He wasn’t part of their offense, all he was out there to do was get in my way,” Olajuwon wrote. “And he did. It was very irritating. He shadowed me, hung real close, and wouldn’t give me any room to move. When I tried to get some space he would flop, fall back like I’d hit him with a brick, and the referee would call a foul on me.
“I don’t like flopping; it is not real basketball,” he continued. “For some reason, that night the referees were letting him get away with it. He would flop, I’d get a foul. Flop, foul. They called me where he hit the ground and I hadn’t even touched him. He was a pest. I couldn’t even shrug him off because once I moved so much as an elbow Paultz would go crashing to the floor and the referee would whistle me again.
“I said, ‘Well, if you’re going to flop I might as well hit you for real.’ Ralph Sampson got a rebound and as soon as Paultz came over to cover me and flop, I hit him. I gave him a real good shot.”
Amazingly, Olajuwon was allowed to remain in the game after the punch. He was fined later, but can you imagine the response in today’s NBA? David Stern would be apoplectic.
The Deseret News write-up for the game takes a fantastic tangent, with a quote by Paultz in response to the takedown of Houston’s “Twin Towers,” leading to a mention of a ninja movie filmed in Salt Lake. I can’t make this stuff up:
“Me and Kelley, we’re the American Towers,” said Paultz. “That’s where we live in Salt Lake City.”
The two reserve postmen — Paultz has been in the pros for 15 years and Kelley for 10 — reside during the basketball season in condominiums in the downtown American Towers.
The condominium project’s only known previous national publicity came two years ago when a lengthy karate fight scene was filmed on the building’s roof in a forgettable film called “Revenge of the the Ninja.”
Kelley and Paultz easily became the Towers’ most famous tenants by their work Sunday, which was aired on CBS.
Thankfully the internet exists and you can now watch this clip from Revenge of the Ninja:
Warning: There’s a semi-gruesome kill scene at the end of this clip, so don’t watch it if you don’t like 80s ninja violence on the top of SLC buildings.