Jimbo Mailbag – How to Replace Dante Exum

August 7th, 2015 | by Jimbo Rudding
Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Here at Salt City Hoops, we’re occasionally accused of being too analytical. Basketball is a fun sport, they say, and we’re being too objective about it. Jumbo Rudding, on the other hand, is not analytical. He is zany. He is infamous for his out-of-left-field basketball jokes and opinions. We’re thrilled to have him contribute a mailbag each week on Salt City Hoops. Interested in submitting a question to Jimbo’s mailbag? Email it to Jimbo at mailbag@saltcityhoops.com or tweet @JimboRudding to appear.

Q: So, Exum is probably out for the year. What did you do when you heard the news and what do you think will happen now?


Ugh, what a blow that was to hear the news this week. It’s just a huge bummer because this was going to be the year he finally found the confidence to take the ball to the rim and get a layup.

When I heard the news, I was like, “Huh?… eh, maybe he just tweaked it?” Then when I saw the video I was all, “No no no no no no… please, no… well, maybe he just tweaked it… but his knee is bending sideways a little… please, no?… ugh, Trey, you better be awesome this year!… please, no?… no no no no… no… please?… maybe he just tweaked it a little… what if Neto is the next John Stockton?… it could be worse, we could still have Jim Les… please, no?… Cotton is a quick, little firecracker point guard… please no no no no… he probably just tweaked it.”

In all honesty, I feel horrible for Dante. I also feel bad for Dante’s family, Dennis Lindsey, the Miller family, Australia, Jazz fans, dingos, myself, shrimp, barbies, myself, and also Jazz fans. I promise I’m not trying to be cold-hearted about the whole thing. A weak attempt at ridiculous humor is the manner in which I have chosen to healthily process my internal pain and sorrow.

So, what’s next? I could see the Jazz will exploring some trade scenarios, although I’m not sure why they would do that when it looked like they were going to have four point guards on the roster to start the season anyway. I wouldn’t mind if they started the season with Burke, Neto, and Cotton and let that run for the first 10-15 games. If it’s clear the Jazz would be winning if only for lackluster point guard performance, then I think you go hard after a veteran via trade.


Q: If the Jazz name and/or mascot (Bear) ever became offensive or non-PC, what would be an appropriate replacement?


I LOVE this question! It’s been a long time since I’ve been asked about changing the Jazz name or the Jazz mascot.

I, for one, am in favor of keeping the Jazz name and mascot the way it is. I know “Utah Jazz” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it’s not like there are nice lakes in L.A. or giant hornets in Charlotte or scary Newsies wearing knickerbockers in New York either. Don’t even get me started on the lack of 76ers in Philadelphia.

However, if the Jazz were forced to change their name, here are a few suggestions I would have:

  1. Utah Smash – Because Utah women smash a lot of stuff if they don’t have their Diet Coke in the morning. Plus, if people realize that we Utahns like to enjoy cool, refreshing beverages such as Diet Coke, maybe big-name free agents will finally want to come here?
  2. Salt Lake Utahns – Maybe if we change the name to just “Utahns,” people will realize that we are terribly nice folks who just happen to live in the best state in the country and then big-name free agents will finally want to come here?
  3. Utah Partiers – Maybe if we’re the “Partiers” people will realize that we like to party and big-name free agents will finally want to come here?
  4. Utah Classics – Maybe if people see how much we love Classic Skating and how good we are at roller skating, big-name free agents will finally want to come here?
  5. Utah Pirates – But what do pirates have to do with Utah, you ask? Well, I’m refering to the Dread Pirate Roberts, a fictional character from the movie “The Princess Bride,” which is a movie Utahns are VERY good at quoting. Maybe if people see how good we are at quoting movies, big-name free agents will finally want to come here?

Again, I am not in favor of changing the Jazz mascot, but if we were forced to do so by either the NBA or foreign terrorists, here is a list of my suggestions for a new Jazz mascot:

  1. Jazz Treble Cliff – It would be a guy dressed as a treble clef only his name is Cliff. It goes along with jazz music and whatnot and would be an absolute hit with the elderly.
  2. Jazz Elk – They could do so many hilarious bits about the Jazz Elk getting hit by a car, but being super strong and dragging one or both of its hind legs as it scurries away. The crowd could blow their elk callers after every three pointer, maybe? I don’t know. I’m not a hunter.
  3. Panhandlin’ Pete – It’s a guy named Pete who goes up to opposing players during warmups and does hilarious bits where he asks them for change and they just ignore him and keep warming up. Pete will be at Pioneer Park every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night so kids can come hang out and interact with him and get pictures and whatnot.
  4. Jazz Olympian – This is a guy dressed as the little ice skating boy with the torch from the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic opening ceremonies. He throws old 2002 eyeglasses into the crowd during timeouts. I’m not sure how he would benefit the Utah Jazz basketball team, but he will FOR SURE make you proud to be a Utahn!
  5. 5 Dollar Fred – It’s a guy dressed as the 5 dollar DVD bin at Wal Mart. All you can see are his feet and he does a funny dance during timeouts all while shooting out DVD copies of The Client and Cocktail into the crowd.
  6. Spaghetti Bowl – It would be a guy dressed up as a literal bowl of spaghetti, but he would represent how, much like the Jazz’ defense, that spaghetti bowl area of the freeway is a beast to get through during rush hour sometimes.
  7. Plain Shane – Shane is just a regular dude in Jazz gear. The cool part is, you don’t know for sure where he is or what he looks like. He may even be the stranger sitting next to you at a game. The lucky fan who correctly identifies Shane wins season tickets to Utah Grizzlies hockey.
  8. Bobby Williams – It’s a big guy who carries a broken beer bottle around as a weapon and constantly tries to start fights with the opposing players and coaches. He will regularly get into it with the refs as well. Sometimes he will be accompanied by his sidekick (the current little Jazz Bear) Torry Ellis.


Q: Yeah, why does Golden Crisp make your pee smell like cereal? Thanks


I’m not totally sure why Golden Crisp is doing that to you. My advice would be to either visit your doctor as soon as possible or try to get a hold of Trevor Booker and ask him if he has experienced this before. Maybe it’s totally normal? If you find out that that’s the case, congratulations!!!


Q: Your mailbag needs a theme song. Something to listen to while enjoying your sweet poetry. Suggestions?


First things first, thank you for calling the mailbag “poetry.” The last time anyone ever called anything I wrote “poetry” was in 10th grade when Michelle Barron yelled out at a school assembly, “CHECK OUT THIS GUY’S POETRY!” and then everyone pointed and laughed at me. What can I say? I was 17 and in love and when you’re 17 and in love you do strange things like write poetry and hand it over to the girl of your dreams hoping that that will be enough for her to look past your acne and weird personality.

I LOVE the idea of a theme song so much! I’ve often thought to myself that the mailbag would be so much more enjoyable if it was preceded by a theme song. In fact, I’ve been working on a theme song for the past 15 minutes. Here are the lyrics I have so far:


“It’s time for the Jimbo Mailbag,

It cures everything from depression to jet lag,

So if you feel like you’re smile is starting to sag,

Just hold up your Utah Jazz flag,

And enjoy a new Jimbo Mailbag!”


I don’t know. It’s a first draft and it sounds so much better sung to the ukulele. The acoustics in my bathroom are pretty awesome.

I’ll keep working on it, but in the meantime I suggest going with Pearl Jam.


Thanks for the questions, everyone! I really appreciate you all taking the time to read. Remember, tell your friends, neighbors, and second cousins so we can get this mailbag to go viral!!!

Jimbo Rudding

Jimbo Rudding

I am a typical Jazz fan. I think Jordan pushed off, Derek Fisher lied, Bavetta cost us at least one game in the Finals, we should have drafted Tony Parker instead of Raul Lopez, and there will never be anything better than the Stockton to Malone days. I, along with Spencer Campbell @SCampbellSBN, started the first and longest-running Utah Jazz podcast on earth. I enjoy the in-of-doors and telling people a better way of doing whatever it is they're currently doing.
Jimbo Rudding

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *