Jimbo’s Mailbag: Top 15, Arena Food and a Million Windbreakers

December 17th, 2016 | by Jimbo Rudding
Harry How - Getty Images

Harry How – Getty Images

Some questions demand answers. Others demand Jimbo. Jimbo’s Mailbag is our regular dose of levity here at Salt City Hoops. Jimbo, by virtue of being recently featured in the Deseret News, is now the world’s most famous Utah-based basketball mailbag artist. You can submit questions to Jimbo at mailbag@saltcityhoops.com or by tweeting to @JimboRudding.

Q: Do you think giving Gordon Hayward a max contract will cripple the Jazz chances at a championship?

OK, first off, let me say that Gordon Hayward has been as honest and professional as Jazz fans could ever ask for. He’s given 110% (sometimes even 111%) for the last six years and he should be commended for that. Things are getting better, but it was a rough go there for a while and for someone who loves winning and is used to success it had to be frustrating at times. With the right players around him the Jazz could enjoy long-lasting success for years to come.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to explain my opinion about what part Gordon could play to make sure the Jazz have the assets that for a championship run. Here is the answer–take less money.

At the end of this season, Gordon Hayward will have made over $40 million since he was drafted back in 2010. For those of you who maybe didn’t read that right, that was 40 million dollars or $40,000,000. If you still don’t get it, just imagine you spent $40 on a nice windbreaker. Now, imagine you have a million of that same windbreaker. Get it now? That’s a lot of money and taking less on his new contract would give the Jazz more salary cap room to work with.

I know what y’all are saying in your mind: “Well, if the Jazz are willing to give it to him, why not?” And “Don’t you like raises? Wouldn’t you take the most money you could get from your employer?” And “What’s wrong with you? You’re living in a fantasy world, Jimbo.” So, let me address each of these questions one by one.

  1. ”Well, if the Jazz are willing to give it to him, why not?” – The Jazz are only willing to give Hayward that much money because they are afraid of losing him to free agency. Losing Hayward would be detrimental to the franchise at this juncture in their existence and would mean the Jazz would be skipping steps—steps DOWN (see what I did there?). It would definitely add another 5–10 years to their journey of being a championship contender. The Jazz know that, which is why they will give him a max contract. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Gordon could tell his agent to take less (whatever “less” means) so that the Jazz can add even more depth. The point is, Gordon is in control here. He makes the decisions.
  2. “Don’t you like raises? Wouldn’t you take the most money you could get from your employer?” Short answer—of course I would take the most money I could get. However, the Jazz are not just another employer and Hayward definitely isn’t close to being one of my colleagues. We’re talking about the difference between real-world money and Monopoly money. It’s like the number for pie. We all get it, but we don’t really GET it. It’s all fake; it isn’t real. That analogy doesn’t work. Sorry. We’d all have to invest a mortgage payment a month in a good mutual fund for over 7–15 years before we’d even be sniffing one million dollars. So how much is enough? Is $4o million not enough yet? If he invested a third of his income since being drafted he would never need to worry about what his salary is going to be for  the rest of his life. So if money isn’t a worry, then what is? A championship? Hmmm.
  3. “What’s wrong with you? You’re living in a fantasy world, Jimbo.” What’s wrong with ME? What’s wrong with YOU! Maybe I AM living in a fantasy world, but at least I don’t pick fights on the internet!!! I bust my butt every day just like you do. Sure I’d love to be good at bouncing a ball quickly and throwing it into a circle, but that wasn’t my calling. I was born for different things, like making dumb jokes on the internet and trolling people in chat rooms. I’ve accepted it and I’m moving forward.

Don’t get me wrong, I love watching basketball, in particular Hayward, and I will watch him play no matter how much money he makes. I guess all of this is moot if I attend games and buy his jersey and hire Bailey’s Moving and Storage for all my moving needs because in a way I am paying a small part of his salary. So, you know, circle of life and whatnot.


Q: Would it be OK to mention how cool Craig Sager was and wish his family the best in your mailbag? Seemed like a good dude.

Would that be OK? That would be more than OK. How is OK squared? Because that’s how OK it is.

Cancer is the turd that refuses to go down. It affects us all. There probably isn’t a human on earth who hasn’t been affected by that horrible disease. The worst part is that cancer is no respecter of persons. No matter how much you would like it to respect certain people and just move on, it doesn’t and it won’t.

I never had the chance to meet Craig Sager, so the only thing I have to go on is what I saw of him on TV and what people are saying about him after his passing. He seemed like a very genuine and kind man and those qualities seem to be harder and harder to come by these days. I respect that.

One thing I did love about him is that he was comfortable with who he was as a person. His trademark suits and colorful ties will always be just his. The way he smiled his way through interviewing cranky athletes and coaches and his willingness and determination to fight through this hurricane of a trial was inspiring. His suits were great, but those are the things he should really be remembered for.


Q: How can we be sure that the arena nachos are GMO free, organic, sustainable, and locally sourced?

GMO? Isn’t that health insurance? Wait… no… that’s HMO. OK, I just looked it up. It stands for “genetically modified organism.” OK, so I don’t understand what any of those words mean. Science was never my thing. Usually I’d sit in science class and think about weird stuff like how many Oreos would fit in the trunk of my dad’s Chrysler LeBaron or how my neighbors would react if I left a piece of toast in their mailbox every morning for a month.

People who are way into eating organic foods are just in denial that one day their body will shut down and die. It’s like, wake up and smell the coffee… good, but now don’t drink the coffee because that coffee was made in a warehouse in Delaware with chemicals from old tires.

Long story short, I guess we can’t be totally sure that the nachos sold in the arena are the healthy kind of nachos. I did however find out that the nacho cheese they use is from grain-fed Norwegian cows that are massaged regularly. So, that’s good news.


Q: Cheering for a missed free throw is cute. Can we up it a level? Crowd removes shoes and all simultaneously clip big toe nail?

Sorry, but your question made me dry heave. I have this thing with feet and… I can’t… oh boy… OK Jimbo, think about something else… free samples at Costco… yeah… wait, warm soy milk… ugh no, that doesn’t help… OK, I’m in the year 1996 and Hootie and the Blowfish are coming out with a new album………. OK, I’m better now.

I really enjoy the fourth quarter frenzy for chicken. It’s fun watching on TV and it’s fun being in the arena when it happens. All in all it’s a good marketing idea. Plus, who doesn’t like Chik-fil-A? No one doesn’t like Chik-fil-A! Wait, no, that’s Sara Lee. Anyway, you get it.

I turned my ticket in from the Warriors game and got my free chicken sandwich, thanks to Draymond Green’s two missed fourth quarter free throws. By the way, tangential question: Green is a big dummy, right? OK, back to chicken: I gave the ticket to the kid at the counter fully expecting to be given some tiny, kid’s meal-type nonsense, but it was actually pretty big. It was also the most delicious chicken on a bun since 8th grade when Miss Susan, the lunch lady, tried out a new recipe. Props to Chik-fil-A and Susan for some killer chicken!


Q: Who are your top 15 all-time Jazz players by position?

I like this question a lot. I like it so much that I want to take it for an all-expenses-paid trip to Scipio, Utah.

Before I delve into my top 15, here are a few things I want you to understand before you rip me apart for my selections:

  • Even though I look 15 years older than I am (thanks for nothing, Hostess Donettes!) and I wear striped tube socks daily, I never actually saw Pete Maravich, Adrian Dantley, or Rickey Green play for the Jazz. I’m sure they were spectacular and they probably all deserve to be on the top 15 Jazz players list, they’re just not on MY top 15 list.
  • Jim Les is the worst and deserves to be on the bottom 15 Jazz player list.
  • This is based off of their prime as a Jazz player, NOT in the NBA itself. For instance, Richard Jefferson was a great NBA player, but not necessarily a dominant Jazz player.
  • I don’t really know all that much about basketball. I just recently learned that you’re not allowed to dribble the ball with both hands at the same time.

So without further adieauoo, here is my top all-time Jazz 15-player roster:

Point Guard: John Stockton, Deron Williams

Shooting Guard: Jeff Hornacek, Bryon Russell, Darrell Griffith

Small Forward: Andrei Kirilenko, Gordon Hayward, Matt Harpring

Power Forward: Karl Malone, Carlos Boozer, Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap

Center: Mark Eaton, Rudy Gobert, Mehmet Okur

Some notables left off my list include Mo Williams, Thurl Bailey, Kyle Korver, Rodney Hood, and Greg Ostertag.

That was fun! What are your top 15?


Thanks for the questions this week, you guys! Remember to tell Santa Claus all about Jimbo’s Mailbag. Do it while sitting on his lap, feeding him cookies, and gently caressing his earlobes. Make it weird.

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

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