Jimbo’s Mailbag – Haywood Who?

July 14th, 2017 | by Jimbo Rudding

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

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: Any truth to the rumor Gordon Haywood demanded his own locker away from weird teammates? Also, that 49th Street Galleria will be rebuilt?


I hadn’t heard the rumor about the weird teammates. Who were the weird ones? My guess is Trey Lyles.

I think Haywood was weird in his own right. The guy just didn’t have much of a personality… at least not that he showed the media and fans. The only real emotion we ever saw from him was in his game-winners and when he yelled a little “howdy doody” at Chris Paul in the playoffs. Other than that, he usually had his business face on.

I mean, it’s cool that we all knew he liked video games and tennis, but what else did we really even know about the guy? He had nice hair? He liked Subway and Olive Garden? Ha ha, I like Subway too! I guess maybe that’s why Gordon and I hit it off so well the one time I met him and he totally ignored me even though I was looking and speaking right in the direction of his face.

Can you imagine going on a date with the guy? Well, you shouldn’t. He’s a married man! No, but really, I just don’t think there was a lot going on personality-wise and that’s OK. …actually, it’s NOT OK. It’s 2017, get a personality why dontcha!?

The truth is, we’re all a little weird in our own way. I mean, take me for example: whenever I look at myself in a bathroom mirror, I say, “Man, look at you! You are one disgusting nincompoop.” Not sure why I do that. I don’t even care if the stalls or urinals are occupied, it’s just something I do. There’s no rational explanation for it; it’s just a weakness I have. But it’s MY weakness and mine alone. I 100 percent own it.

Now, for the 49th Street Galleria1 (one of my favorite topics). One time in front of a group of friends I actually uttered the words, “What street is the 49th Street Galleria on?” Like, those words came out of my mouth. Definitely not my finest moment, but what do you do? You just keep on keeping on and hope people will eventually forget.

I hope one day they DO rebuild the Galleria. It was an amazing place where you could hang out in an arcade or, you know, bowl and whatnot. They just don’t have places like that anymore. Also, the inside smelled like onions for some reason, but that’s literally the only thing I didn’t like about the place.

I just hope they build the galleria a little more south. Like, say, around 123rd or something. That’s DEFINITELY the best spot for the 49th Street Galleria.


Q: Let’s put a “Coward” billboard up. Crowd-funded. Who’s with me?


I thought the #Stayward fan campaign was a good idea and well thought out. I applaud the fan who put the time and effort into that idea. It brought us Jazz fans closer and showed us that we have power and influence in a world as foreign and untouchable as the NBA. It proved that people, joined together in a good cause, CAN make a difference. It showed that if you care about someone, you don’t just tell them, you go show them every single day.

Buuuuuuut it also didn’t work, so WHAT A WASTE! …OK, no, it wasn’t a waste for all the reasons I stated above. But also, it kind of was a waste.

I foolishly thought that the billboard was something that would ultimately make a difference in Hayward’s decision. I thought he was human, like the rest of us. I thought that our billboards and Gatorade and letters and videos would pull on his heartstrings. You know, the strings attached to everyone’s heart that proves they have feelings and care for others? Yep, those strings. Little did we all know, Haywood’s heart didn’t have strings. It just had flaky tissue and a lot of tiny black lumps. He should really get that checked out.

There are so many sad parts to this story. The franchise gave him everything he needed to succeed at his job. They assigned assistant coaches to work with him so that he could reach his individual goals. They made him an NBA All-Star. They put his face on the front of the arena. They gently let him know that it was time to change hair styles because shaggy hair was “so 2004.” They paid him millions of dollars for seven years to put a ball through a hole.

And what about the fans??? We spent thousands of our own dollars to watch him play and to quickly eat all the nachos before the cheese cooled and hardened and got gross. We spent our own money to wear his jersey so that our friends and family wouldn’t laugh at our old baby blue Gordan Giricek jersey anymore. We drove hours to the arena, stood in lines, stayed up late, followed him on social media, read the articles on his website that someone else wrote. We yelled at our TVs during the Big O Tires commercial, we yelled at our families when they lost, we yelled from our porches when they won. We talked about him with our co-workers, defended him when the critics were unfair, we tried getting his phone number so that we could invite him to a VERY important business opportunity at our house. We simply loved him like he was one of us.

And then there were the kids. Our kids wrote letters to he and his family, cheered their hearts out, and even dropped off a case of Gatorade after he puked up Zupa’s all day. I wouldn’t have done that for my own grandma. Even if she pleaded with me. I’d be like, “Get your own Gatorade, Grandma. These mailbags don’t write themselves!”

Hayward could have owned this state. He could have owned parts of Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada too. Not only because he would’ve had $176 million (enough to buy most of the state of Nevada alone), but because Utah and surrounding states would have loved him like their own adopted brother.

Listen, I’m as irritated and hurt as the next fan, but I’m not going to let my hurt turn to anger or malicious deeds. Sure, I’ll razz him on Twitter until the day I die, but he deserves it. I hate him. (I really don’t though. I just said that for the joke.) But also, I really do.

No, I’m kidding, I don’t hate Gordon Haywood. I’m just disappointed in him. I thought he was different. Or at least I thought he was better than that.


Q: How long until the Jazz start looking at talent like Air Bud?


How long? Not long. Cause what you reap is what you sow.


Q: Do you think Spencer Haywood will take the league minimum? He brings hall of fame and championship experience. It would confuse Boston fans.


Gotta admit, I had to go look up Spencer Haywood on the internets. The name sounded familiar, but I couldn’t remember the Haywood deets. I apologize for that. I’ll do better in the future.

As for Boston fans, I’m all for pranking and confusing them. They deserve it. They’d be like, “Wait, I thought Haywood was going to sign here?!?!” Ha ha, you don’t even know what Gordon looks like?! And you call yourself fans?

What do Boston fans know? What have they had to suffer through? The Patriots are awesome and have been for some time; the Celtics don’t have room in their arena for their numerous championship banners; the Red Sox had a long drought but have been great for a decade; and the Bruins are a hockey team (I think) that may or may not have had recent success. Plus, they have Cheers and crazy tea parties and a cool accent.

What do we Utahns have? Sure, we just had our first playoff run in forever, but then our best scorer kicked us in the gentles on his way out of town. Ummm, let’s see…we have a really salty lake that stinks so bad no one wants to swim in it? We have polygamists? The Osmonds? We have Classic Skating and pyramid schemes? … Oh yeah, we have hiking!…… OK, I’m moving to Boston.


Q: Has Haywood worked his way onto your all-time Utah Jazz Bottom Ten List?


Today, I would say Haywood is for sure on my bottom ten former Jazz players list. That doesn’t mean he’ll stay there forever, but the wound is fresh and still stings a ton. Especially when I pick at it.

It’s not so much THAT he left, it’s HOW he left. If you’ve followed me on Twitter for any amount of time, you’ll know that I really don’t like being lied to. So, when Haywood comes out and says he’s undecided so that his ghostwriter can finish writing his lame thank you note, even after multiple agencies have confirmed he already made a decision, I have a hard time with that. Plus he ruined most of my July 4th. That was probably the most selfish part about the whole thing.

For reference, here’s my all-time bottom ten former Jazz player list:

  1. Derek Fisher
  2. Gordon Haywood
  3. Mark Jackson
  4. Trey Burke
  5. Trey Lyles
  6. Jim Les
  7. Jason Hart
  8. Enes Kanter
  9. John Lucas III
  10. Robert Whaley
  11. Jim Les

(Note: I, as the author of this mailbag, reserve the right to change or modify this list at any time and without warning.)


Q: Any truth to the rumblings that Haywood would have stayed if Hillary had won the election?


Yes. My sources told me that all the way back in September 2015 that Gordon Haywood would only stay in Utah if Hillary Crichton won the election. The Haywoods were avid Hillary supporters and also loved Jurassic Park, so this doesn’t come as a surprise. They had buttons and bumper stickers and listened to her speeches on their iPods. Sad!


Q: Who do you see replacing Trey Lyles as lead bench celebrator next season?


Great question!

Even though he laughed at us when Haywood chose to leave, Lyles will still go down in history as the guy who bricked a butt-load of threes in garbage minutes. I WILL miss him flexing his tiny muscles on the bench. Good luck in Denver, Trey.

Hate to say it, but I think Joel Bolomboy may be the favorite to do the most celebrating on the bench this season. He seems like a good dude, though. I just hope his flex-game is ready to go by opening night.


Q: How will Boston react to their first loss because Haywood dribbles off his leg in crunch time?


Ha, I’ve thought of this exact thing. In reality, I don’t think Haywood will be the go-to guy in crunch time; I think it’ll be Isaiah Thomas taking those shots with his tiny arms and tiny hands.

Gordon’s gonna get eaten alive by the Boston media and you know what? Don’t feel bad for him. That was the “new challenge” he chose. That was what was best for he and his family.


Q: Who are you more upset about losing, Haywood or Diaw?


Diaw was a nice, down-to-earth guy, but Haywood was a budding superstar. He was budding; you could totally see it. Budding all over the court. Budding all over Olive Garden. Just totally budding without shame.

Anywho, Haywood with a few key additions to this team could’ve overtaken third, maybe even second place in the West next season. Obviously health plays a major role in that prediction, but I really believe that. And one thing about my predictions — they ALWAYS come true. Remember how those Chilean miners got out? I predicted that at my family reunion that year.

Continuity is underrated in this league. When you play together with the same guys for that long, the chemistry can be palpable. Seriously, one time when Stockton and Malone were playing, their chemistry was so palpable, I could feel it in my armpits. Seriously. Palpable the ENTIRE game. Palpable!


Thanks for submitting questions, you guys. Remember to tell your crazy neighbors about Jimbo’s Mailbag. You know the ones. They leave articles of clothing on their lawn for days. They scream at their kids at 10:00 p.m. Maybe tell them outside on your lawn? After you tell them, spray your garden hose in an arc, get underneath it, and say, “Come underneath the rainbow.” 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


  1. Paul Johnson says:

    Hayward is kind of like that LDS returned missionary that comes home, grows a beard and gets weird hair and then goes “less active.”

    He’s our “less active” Jazz player now.

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