Jimbo’s Mailbag – Are Blake Griffin’s Tantrums a Stat Category?

November 27th, 2015 | by Jimbo Rudding
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Welcome to the next edition of Jimbo’s Mailbag! At Salt City Hoops, we know that covering a team without any humor can be dreary. As such, we decided to add a little bit more levity to our site via Jimbo’s unique outlook on the world of Jazz basketball. Jimbo, by virtue of being recently featured in the Deseret News, is now the world’s most famous Utah-based basketball mailbag artist. Interested in submitting a question to Jimbo’s mailbag? Email it to Jimbo at mailbag@saltcityhoops.com or tweet @JimboRudding to appear.

Q: Are tantrums a stat category? If so, Blake Griffin just logged a sweet triple double!


Tell me about it! Blake Griffin complains to the referees more than any NBA player… well… except for Tim Duncan… oh, and Kobe Bryant… and maybe Carmelo. OK, so pretty much every NBA player complains, but Blake does it more frequently than others.

If I wasn’t such a huge Jazz fan, I don’t think I would watch the NBA much. The superstar calls drive me crazy. I just don’t understand why if a player goes up for a shot and gets touched on the elbow it’s a foul most of the time, but if you’re Kobe, Durant, Harden etc. it’s a foul EVERY time. Also, there’s a select few in the league who are immune to the traveling call. It’s like, if Jim Les travels, then so does LeBron James, ya know?

I wonder if the refs are more apt to give players favorable calls when the player is more subdued and doesn’t complain as much as others. Derrick Favors has been more vocal in the first 14 games of this season than he has in the previous five seasons combined. I both love and hate this about him. Unfortunately, you have to bark at the referees to get their attention. However, it is so refreshing to see a player just play the game without getting caught up in the “grooming the refs” part of the game.

If I were a referee, I’d hand out technical fouls like they were going out of style. If a player started giving me the business, I’d probably say something like, “Look, you fouled him. I have eyes. I was standing right over there.” Then if he kept it up I’d hold my fingers up like I was going to give him a technical and say, “Don’t make me do it. Be smart. Don’t make me…” with a warning-type tone in my voice. If he kept it up, I’d signal a tech with extremely exaggerated hand movements. If he STILL had problems controlling his anger, I could definitely see myself handing him another one fairly quickly. I’d be like the teacher in charge of detention on “The Breakfast Club.” I’d be like, “You want another one? Just say the word. Just say it!”

Aw man, I’m getting worked up just thinking about this. I think I need to go for a run.


Q: Did Kanter seem to enjoy playing NBA basketball in his OKC jersey? Apparently he didn’t before that!


Kanter really took it to us the other night. When that game ended with the Jazz losing by 78 points I was like, “Well, at least we have those beautiful mountains!”

I’m just glad someone was smart enough to prep him before he came into SLC and said some ridiculously stupid things again. What he said last year about the coaches and franchise pretty much cost his team the playoffs.

The thing I don’t understand is why Kanter wanted out so bad. He was starting in Utah and now he comes off the bench in OKC. He was at least a little part of the offense in Utah and now he’s the fourth or fifth offensive option in OKC. He was enjoying mountains in Utah and now he has to use a compass to find which way is north in OKC.

I get it. Playing next to Durant, Westbrook, and Ibaka would be awesome. There’d be no pressure to score and Ibaka would make you look pretty good on defense. So if you think about it that way, I understand why he would be enjoying basketball now.

Plus, he just got a max contract and doesn’t have to deal with Ty Corbin anymore; that right there would make anyone content with life.


Q: Any truth to the rumor that Milt Palacio was seen working out for the Jazz as a possible answer to the point guard woes?


I LOVED Milt Palacio! He was our Cap’n Crunch in crunch time.

I’m pretty sure you submitted this questions before the Clipper game the other night, correct? Because if there was a game in which Raul Neto looked like he deserved more playing time, it was that one.

Neto flat out took over the third quarter. Chris Paul — that’s right, C3PO himself — couldn’t guard Neto with a ten-foot pole. Neto was getting steals and assists like they were free samples at Costco. He scored 10 points like he’d been in the NBA for years. I don’t want to go overboard here, but it was Stockton-esque the way he was breaking down the defense and seeing the floor. I know I shouldn’t compare him in his rookie season to the greatest to ever play point guard, but it’s been so long since we’ve seen a pass-first mentality like that. I know it’s early, but ’ll take it.


Q: During the OKC game the Jazz seemed scared. What do they need to do to get that “bada**” attitude winning teams have?


Oh boy, did they ever look scared. I should know too, because I had lower-bowl seats for that game and I could see their faces pretty well. There were a few signs right from the start that things were headed in a dangerous direction. Here is a list of things that could have contributed to the loss that night:

  • I forgot to wear my lucky jacket. I was wearing it for the Hawks and Pacers games on the road, but for some reason I forgot it that night. The jacket I was wearing was promptly burned after the game and the ashes were dumped into a display toilet at Home Depot.
  • The girl who sang the National Anthem before the game started in a key that was a little out of her range. She did a good job, but with my musically trained ear and perfect pitch, it was easy to spot the mistakes. When someone messes up the anthem, it always has a negative effect on the players. You could tell that Trey Burke was bothered by it for the whole first half.
  • The arena was filthy compared to how it normally looks. I noticed a few places where they could’ve swept and mopped a little better. Plus, it smelled like dirty socks as I was leaving.
  • The Jazz started the first quarter with a lot of good deflections and steals for easy buckets. We all know that a good start to a game is not always the way you want to go. Mentally it can cause a TON of problems. What you’d like to see is a few early turnovers and air-balls so they’re out of your system early.
  • Rodney Hood was not the Prince of Threes. He was 0-2 from three-point land, which would make him the Peasant of Threes. Very far from the prince he usually is.
  • It was turnover city. It’s always hard to win a game against the Thunder, but it’s near impossible when you turn the ball over 21 times.
  • The refs were turds. There were so many bone-headed calls in this game. I don’t like to blame the refs for losses, but that game was TOTALLY on the refs. The Jazz would’ve won if it weren’t for those horrible refs. Trust me, I was in the lower bowl. I saw everything.
  • The fog machine wasn’t producing as much fog as it usually does during player introductions. I can’t get excited for a game when there’s a third of the fog as what I’m used to.


Q: Which three NBA players (retired or active) would you take to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving and why?


Good question! By the way, I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with turkey and yams and great dinner discussion. It’s an amazing time of year where family comes together and then usually one family member gets offended goes and sits in her car. Ahhh, holiday tradition!

Here are the three players I would invite to my grandma’s for Thanksgiving:

  1. Matt Harpring – Because he would spend the evening asking about her instead of talking about himself.
  2. Derrick Favors – Because he would have the “Three P’s.” “Punctual,” “Politeness,” and “Playing it cool” even though it’s hard to eat because of my grandma’s goiter.
  3. Big Baby Davis – Because he would eat anything my grandma cooked and wouldn’t say that some of it “smelled gross.”


Thanks for the questions, Jimbronies! You guys are the best! I hope that you have a safe Black Friday today.

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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