Jimbo’s Mailbag – Coach Sloan Signed My Ticket, and WHY RUDY??

December 4th, 2015 | by Jimbo Rudding
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

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: I heard you had 9th row tickets for the Golden State game? How was that?


I’m not sure where you got that information and I would appreciate it if you stayed out of my personal affairs! OK, yes, I did sit nine rows behind the Jazz bench at the Warriors game. That’s not where I usually sit; I’m not what you would call “wealthy.” In fact, I’m so far from wealthy that I have stopped feeling guilty for snacking out of the bulk food bins at supermarkets… but ninth row is the closest I’ve ever sat for a Jazz game at the Energy Smart Center, and I’ll tell you what, it was fantastic!

The game was amazing for the following reasons:

  • I sat two rows in front of Coach Sloan and his wife. A friend asked me at halftime if I would try and get Coach to sign my friend’s ticket, so I obliged. Coach Sloan was as gracious as you’d hope he’d when approached by a compete stranger with a nervous grin on their face. When I asked him for an autograph he smiled and then he and I did this quick role play where he pretended I was a referee and I had just given him a technical foul and he called me a “Mother-&%*#@ &@#$-strapping son-of-a-&$%#” and then he told me that I should wait for a timeout to bug him. OK, I’m totally J/K-ing about all of that. In actuality, I DID wait for a timeout and Coach Sloan seemed genuinely happy to sign anything I wanted, which was cool because after he signed my friend’s ticket I had him sign the back pocket of my jeans. The whole interaction made me realize, yet again, how fortunate we all were to have him here for so long.
  • Stephen Curry is just disgusting. That guy could shoot real hair onto Donald Trump! As I sat there watching him single-handedly beat my favorite team, I couldn’t get angry at him. I just stood there in awe. Some of the things he was doing out there were just stupid.
  • It’s a whole other game when you sit that close. You can more easily pick out mistakes guys are making. Like this one guy in front of me with a Warriros jersey was trying to explain to his date who the players were. I overheard him say things like, “See that guy right there? He’s like the Kobe of the Warriors. His name is Steven Carry.” And then she asked, “So, what should I do with all those Laker clothes you bought me?” And he said, “Pfffft, you like the Lakers? They suck!”
  • Brandon Rush is one of the luckiest guys in the world.
  • You could literally replace Luke Walton with a 25-lb bag of armpit hair and I still think the Warriors would win most of their games.
  • Draymond Green is a champion. There have never been champions before him and there won’t be any after him. Do not speak of champions around him, because EFF THAT!
  • When the game is on the line and you need a crowd to get crazy, I would bet money that the fans in the Delta Home Arena could out-loud any arena in the association. It’s amazing how electric that place gets during big games. I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.


Q: Why did Rudy have to get hurt? Why is life so unfair sometimes? Please tell me you expect him back soon.


RIGHT!?!? It’s like on West Side Story right after Riff and Bernardo die in the rumble and one of the Jets cries out, “I WISH IT WAS YESTERDAY!” Why can’t we go back to the way things were, when the Jazz were playing better and looking like a playoff team? WHY, RUDY?!?! WHY, JAZZ??? WHY, LIFE!?!?

(OK, suck it up Jimbo! You can’t keep crying about this! It’s not going to help anything. You have to go to the bank today! Now finish answering the question.)

So as far as when to expect him back—I would probably guess sometime next weekend. It’s not one of those types of injuries you can just rub some dirt on and walk it off. You have to rub a special kind of oils AND dirt on it and jog it off. So, that could take about a week or so.

We were spoiled for so long here with Stockton and Malone playing through broken legs, broken fingers, hand lacerations and whatnot and etcetera. Not to mention Mark Jackson playing through his delusions and Derek Fisher playing through his dishonesty. It was so good here for so long that we tend to freak out when Boozer hears a pop and is out for six weeks or when Memo goes down in the playoffs or when Jim Les shows up and falls into Rudy during practice. (I’m not 100% certain it was him, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he walked in, tripped over the out-of-bounds line, and fell right into Rudy’s knee. Just like the kinds of things that would happen when he was playing for the Jazz. Ugh, he’s the worst!)

The point is, injuries are part of this game and we have to weather the storms and take things one game at a time and find the silver lining and learn from this and step up our game and give it all we’ve got and trust each other and play as a team and roll with the punches. If we don’t do all those things then unfortunately it is what it is… or it is going to be what it is going to be.


Q: Do you think the Jazz make the playoffs this year or is it another year of growing and getting better?


Honestly, I’m tired of the “gaining experience/getting better/focusing on growth/not skipping steps/learning how to win” mentality. The problem with that is once the team is FINALLY ready to actually start making deep playoff runs, we won’t be able to afford (or keep) any of our players anymore. It’s like in high school when the odd math problems were in the back of the text book and you’d get so frustrated with math that you’d just copy the answers on your homework. Then, once you had to take the test, you’d freak out and copy off the guy wearing the corduroy overalls next to you only to find out that he was copying off of a girl with a side-braid and glasses who smelled like dirty socks sitting next to him. Then you’d find out that all three of you got an A+ and it was all worth it! So, what I’m getting at is, maybe the Jazz should explore taking shortcuts?

If I’m Dennis Lindsey, the first thing I’m doing today besides heading over to Aéropostale and buying a new wardrobe is calling other teams and finding out what I can get for anyone on my team not named Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, and Rodney Hood. Why didn’t I include Alec Burks? Because to get something good you have to give up something good and honestly it’s really late at night and I don’t want to go back and add his name now.

Listen, I love Joe Ingles’ personality and Trevor Booker’s energy and Trey Burke’s tattoo of a baby and Elijah Millsap’s last name, but are those guys going to take you deep into the playoffs? I would like to submit to the readers of this mailbag that they will probably not.

As for the Jazz getting to the playoffs–I picked them to be the 7th seed in the West and I’m sticking with it.


Thanks for the questions, you guys! I don’t know how this happened, but apparently the NBA wants to recognize my mailbag efforts at their Christmas party this year. I am totally humbled, but at the same time, I kind of expected it because I work really hard on this thing and I deserve it. See y’all next week!

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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