Jimbo’s Mailbag – Arena Rumors and VERY Early Season Predictions

August 31st, 2017 | by Jimbo Rudding

The court is being taken away at the end of the season. (Andy Larsen)

It’s not the offseason for our resident mailbag artist. Jimbo Rudding provides our regular dose of levity here at Salt City Hoops, and he does it by answering the burning questions to which Jazz fans just must have answers. You can submit questions to Jimbo at mailbag@saltcityhoops.com or by tweeting to @JimboRudding.

Q: Do you have any sources with info about the arena renovations? I heard they’re installing a puppy barn on the top floor.


I think you misheard. It wasn’t “puppy barn” that you heard. It was “popcorn.” Meaning, they’re still planning on selling popcorn. So, rest assured, popcorn isn’t going away. Thank heaven!

The arena looks amazing so far! I’m really excited to get my first “official” tour. Sure, I’ve broken in really late at night and had a look around (who hasn’t?), but I want someone to walk me around and point things out, instead of me tripping in the dark and falling into the scaffolding. (Side note: Can you get workers’ comp if you tripped and injured yourself on something someone had at one point worked on? Let me know in the comments.)

The Jazz are notorious for keeping things close to the vest, but as an important (probably the most important) member of the Jazz media, I have a few sources who’ve been feeding me some juicy “deets” (that’s the cool way to say “details”) concerning the arena expansion. Here’s a list of some exciting things they have planned:

  • They’re secretly hanging every tube sock worn by the 1979 team in various areas around the arena so that it has the same smell that the old Salt Palace had back in the day.
  • In the corner of the new arena there’ll be a dunk tank where you can dunk former members of bad Jazz teams. First up is Jim Les, then Keith McLeod, and then Curtis Borchardt – in that order.
  • They’re scheduled to have a night where you can bring your patio furniture umbrella and see if you can successfully jump from the upper bowl to the lower bowl without injuring yourself. Not sure what that’s about, but it sounds fun.
  • Along with the new arena, they’re planning on wiping the Ty Corbin coaching era from the record books.
  • The plan is to have a fun kids-museum-type area where kids can try on Mark Eaton’s old pants, lie down in Al Jefferson’s bed, take a peek at Adam Keefe’s old W-2 forms, or sit in Kirk Snyder’s repossessed Bentley.
  • There will be a separate entrance for the visiting team’s fans. They will all enter the arena from the same portal and the rest of the crowd will repeatedly yell “SHAME!” as they find their seats.
  • There will be a Fanzz outlet where you can buy Jazz attire and memorabilia that is currently discontinued or that has a mystery stain that professional cleaners were unable to remove.

I don’t know about you, but all of these arena details are making me antsy for October. I hope to bump into you at the Fanzz outlet, Casey!


Q: What is difference between rumblings and grumblings? If I heard grumblings about a possible Jazz trade, is the trade likely or is someone just hungry?


Good question! As you know, I’ve been known to hear both rumblings AND grumblings from time to time. Here’s the difference between the two:

Rumbling – (noun) A rumor that you yourself probably started or tried to start.

Grumbling – (adnoun) A rumbling, but with a little bit of “grr” in it.

If you hear rumblings or grumblings about a Jazz trade, then mark my words, a trade is imminent. If you hear rumblings about a certain player AND their jersey is on sale at Fanzz, then that player is as good as gone. Start telling your friends and family about it and then mention it on the Internet. Hopefully you were the first to hear the rumblings/grumblings because if you were, and you end up breaking the story, they give you a trophy and a key to whichever city you reside in.


Q: Been tons of news bout tearing down statues. Not smart enough to know much about it. Any of them got a problem with shorts shorts? #12 OK?


Don’t you worry! Our precious John Stockton statue is safe from the Nazis. I’m starting a new company/organization called “UPS,” which stands for “Us Protecting Statues” and it’s basically gonna be a bunch of ex-college athletes standing guard over statues/monuments 24/7/365 or for as long as the client needs.

You’re welcome, America.


Q: Should the NBA get rid of conferences and take the top 16 teams for the playoffs?


I like this question because it’s been a hot topic as of late and I LOVE hot topics. Coincidentally, Hot Topic is also where I got all my Bob Marley t-shirts in high school…but that’s neither here nor there, so… moving on.

I’m a traditionalist at heart. For the most part, I like things to stay the way they’ve always been. For instance, I grew up with a Fuddruckers just down the street from my house. For reasons unbeknownst to me, Fuddruckers folded and now it’s a mattress store. It changed pretty much overnight and I was halfway through eating a twin mattress before I realized what I was doing. The store manager was surprisingly lenient and promised not to call the authorities if I agreed to spin their sign outside on the sidewalk for the next four hours. OK, none of that’s true…or IS it???…no, it’s not.

There’s a reason things have been a certain way and worked for 50+ years. I mean, look how interleague play ruined baseball. OK, it didn’t “ruin” baseball, but it kind of took the fun out of seeing two teams, who would NEVER play each other, square off in the World Series.

That being said, I would love it if the Utah Jazz made the playoffs every year and I guarantee they WOULD make the playoffs if the top 16 teams made it. However, I just can’t allow myself to sacrifice tradition for convenience… but what do I know? I still have yet to conquer Super Mario 2.


Q: What is love?


Love is never having to say, “I understand your decision. You were doing what was best for you and your family.”


Q: What’s a jimbronie? Do you has a blog where these mailbag answers go? Can the Utes pass? If you could steal 1 rookie for Jazz this year who?


Welcome Gage! Thanks for submitting a question to the most talked-about, most crazy, and most interesting Utah Jazz mailbag out there. I know it can be confusing on your first pass-through, but once you get the hang of things, it can be addicting…but rewarding…it can be a VERY rewarding addiction. At least that’s what the “experts” say.

Let me answer your questions one at a time:

1. What is a Jimbroni?

“Jimbroni” (noun) – a faithful Jimbo’s Mailbag reader. One who understands and appreciates nonsense centered around the Utah Jazz.

2. Do you has a blog where these mailbag answers go?

I DO has a blog! This is it! You’re here. No need to search any longer, because THIS is the blog. Like, you’re literally reading it right now. Seriously though, don’t go searching for another blog place because you made it, man! Congrats! We’re glad you came our way… and when I say “we’re” I mean me… and my many personalities. (Benjamin is the one who’s typing this.)

3. Can the Utes pass?

Sure they can! I don’t think anyone signs up for college thinking they couldn’t pass. That would be ridiculous. I mean, they already passed 12 years of schooling. What’s four more?

4. If you could steal one rookie for Jazz this year who?

I’m not entirely sure I understand your question, but hopefully it’s “if I could steal another team’s rookie (drafted in the 2017 NBA draft) and put them on the Jazz, who would it be?” If that was your real question, then that’s a hard one to answer. I really like that Jordan Bell kid out of Oregon. Not sure if he’ll turn into anything, but he looks good. Maybe I’d steal Lonzo Ball from the Lakers and then trade him to the Magic. Orlando looks like they need some positive direction over there. The Josh Jackson kid looks good too. Ugh, there are so many to choose from and all of them could be amazing or could be busts. I hereby plead the 5th.


Q: What is your prediction for the Jazz season record?


Glad you asked! Well, I guess I’m not “glad,” I’m just fine with it in general. But I appreciate you submitting the question nonetheless!

This has been a rough offseason; and when I say “rough” I mean it was like a professional soccer player simultaneously kicked us all in the underbits. Sure, Ricky Rubio could be fun, but dude has never even been to the playoffs and supposedly can’t shoot.

The reasons this season could be fun:

  • Favors could be healthy and back to his old self.
  • Burks could be healthy and have two good legs so that he can healthily fall down again.
  • Hood has been on the “Hayward workout plan” and could make a big jump.
  • Exum is in a contract year and has had a full offseason to work on his weaknesses.
  • Mitchell could be an amazing defender, driver, scorer, shooter right off the bat.
  • Sefolosha could lead the team in steals and be dominant on back cuts and corner threes.
  • Udoh could be “Rudy lite” off the bench.
  • Jerebko could be a knockdown open-three guy and help me find a barber who doesn’t accidentally nick my ear every time I get a cut.
  • Hayward could get homesick, apologize to Gail Miller in person, and ask to get out of his contract with Boston so that he can come back.

The reasons this season could be frustrating:

  • Favors could hurt his knee/back/quad/leg and have another mediocre year.
  • Burks might never be the same thanks to Paul Pierce and his stupid wheelchair.
  • Hood could play 58 games this season and not be able to take the next step.
  • Exum could just be who he is — a guy with great talent and upside who can’t get out of his own head.
  • Mitchell could have a rookie learning year and turn out to be a better version of Mo Almond.
  • Sefolosha could be on the downside of his career and shoot 28% on threes.
  • Udoh could prove that he is a VERY good European basketball player.
  • Jerebko could show up with a Luke Babbitt haircut and be out of shape.
  • Hayward could never make an effort to talk to Gail Miller and publicly say he hates Utah and that Classic Skating is “boring.”

All that being said, I’m gonna say the Jazz end the season 45-37. That should be enough to get the 8th seed in the playoffs and get the crud kicked out of them by the Warriors… again.


Q: Which is greater, the sum of Derek Fisher and Gordon Hayward’s lies, or the total number of good shots Trey Burke took in a jazz uniform?


That’s SO many lies and shots. Is that more than a guguplex? Last time I thought about a number that high, my brain circuits started to overheat and I passed out and had an intense dream about Hanson (the band) and how they wanted me to play the tambourine in their band and insisted that I wear jean overalls.


Q: During the eclipse, I thought I saw Adam Keefe getting a rebound in the stars. What does this mean?


Uh oh. That same thing happened to me except it wasn’t Adam Keefe, it was Marty Feldman from Young Frankenstein. 

There’s a chance this may mean that your next child will be a redhead. Sorry.


Q: Do you think the people at my preferred barber shop will know the subtle differences between the Jerebko cut and the Haywood cut?


I don’t know. The last time I went to Dollar Cuts it looked like a blind person with the palsy gave me a haircut. My left ear was bleeding for almost a week. It may have been my fault because I asked for the “Van Gogh.”


Q: Do I have to try to re-sculpt the Gordon Haywood lego I burned since LeBron James got “not mad, but disappointed” at us?


You probably should at least try to reform the legs so that they can snap into a Lego floor, right? I mean, that would be the decent thing to do.

Actually, on second thought, don’t do that. Burn the rest of it so that it is unrecognizable as a lego man. Take video of it and send it to LeBron and say, “Guess what? You’re a millionaire athlete and you have no idea how many hours I had to work to pay for that jersey, so I’ll do whatever I feel like with it. OK… DAD?!?!”

That should shut him up for a few seconds.


Q: Do you have any recent stories from hanging out with Dick Nourse?


Wow, this question shows that you’re a long-time Jimbo’s Mailbag reader and I appreciate that from the bottom of the dark recesses of my heart. For reals, though, thank you!

The Ruddings and Nourses go back a long way. Dick and my dad fought in Korea. Not the Korean War, it was just a shoving match after my dad bought the last of the Reebok Pump knock offs on the street. They had already apologized to each other by the time they both returned from the trip. In fact, Dick would eat dinner at our house a few nights a week for most of the 1980s. He’d always call around 4 p.m. and ask what we were having and if it was soup or fish sticks, he’d always say he had to work late.

I ran into Dick Nourse once at the 49th Street Galleria in 1993. We exchanged pleasantries and then he bet me $10 I couldn’t beat him at air hockey. After he beat me, I paid up and then he turned around and walked straight over to the Gravitron virtual reality ride. Dick then bribed the kid running the ride to let him ride it sitting on the top instead of inside the Gravitron spaceship.

As I stood there watching Mr. Dick Nourse ride the Gravitron bareback, I thought to myself, “Now here’s a man who knows how to have fun!” Just then, Dick Nourse slid off the back of the ride and landed in a group of onlookers.

Luckily, the onlookers and Dick Nourse left the 49th Street Galleria with just a few minor scratches and bruises and also a few major gashes and multiple broken bones and one detached retina, but we ALL left the Galleria with a new heightened sense of fun and adventure!



Thanks for submitting questions, you guys. Remember to tell all the crazy college football fans about Jimbo’s Mailbag. Tell them during the commercials and at halftime so as not to disturb their game watching. Then, during a particularly intense part of the game, say, “I hid 13 baby carrots in different parts of your sectional.” 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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