Jimbo’s Mailbag – How is Hayward’s Finger?

October 14th, 2016 | by Jimbo Rudding
Utahjazz.com/Sam Forencich

Utahjazz.com/Sam Forencich

Welcome to the next edition of Jimbo’s Mailbag, our regular dose of levity here at Salt City Hoops. In each mailbag, Jimbo answers your burning questions with his unique outlook on 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: INJURIES! Why do the basketball gods hate us?


Right?!?! I know how you feel. It seems like the injury bug has taken a giant bite out of our arses the last few years, doesn’t it? Last year, specifically, was horrible. There was Favors with the “two-month back injury,” Gobert with the “Elijah Millsap knee debacle,” Alec Burks with the “Paul Pierce assault and battery,” Gordon Hayward with the “planting fascism-itis,” and me with the “slipping on some ice and falling behind my car in front of my coworkers.” I don’t want to relive ANY of that.

Of course, you also have to take into account that Stockton and Malone virtually played together for 20 years and hardly missed a game. Before Stockton’s knee surgery back in 1997, he had only missed four (4) [cuatro] {fyra (that’s Swedish for four)} games in his entire career. FOUR! Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell that, but hot dang! That’s like superhuman health. Mark my words, there will never be another point guard that durable ever again.

So, to answer your question, the basketball gods haven’t always hated us. They just hate us now. And guess what… we hate them too, because basketball is dumb.


Q: Do you think Hayward will be back earlier than expected? Also, what is your injury history?  


First, let’s talk about Hayward’s injury. The most promising thing is that his finger is not in a cast; it’s in a black Velcro wrap-thingy that is designed to help fingers heal quicker than casts. Like, everything should be back to normal in about three weeks. So, he should be good to go right around opening night. So THAT’S a relief.

The media and Jazz front office are trying to convince us that it could be six weeks before we see Hayward back on the court, but we all know they’re just saying that to try and throw off other NBA team’s scouting. The fact is, fingers heal quickly. I mean, I jammed my finger trying to open a Go-Gurt the other day and it hurt really bad, but I was at back at work bright and early the next morning. So, I think Hayward will be just fine.

Side note–can you imagine how stinky his finger is gonna be after three whole weeks in that black wrap? Gah! He’s never going to live that down. His teammates will be calling him “Tommy Stinkfinger” at least until the end of this season. Gross!

Now, onto my injury history. I consider myself a fairly healthy human being; I’m pretty much just your average, run-of-the-mill dude with a kickin’ body and a hecka-dope style. However, like everyone, I’ve had my fair share of injuries. Here are a just a few:

  • One time I sliced my hand open on a tuna can lid. While it was healing I developed what my doctor called “a fish-like orifice” behind one of my ears. I found out while taking a bath that I was able to hold my breath for a VERY long time. Also, my swim team took state that year!
  • I tweaked my knee once in high school after jumping off my own rolling backpack to do a trick with a hacky sack.
  • On New Year’s Eve (Y2K) I fell out of a tree and hurt my back because I was trying to be the first one to climb a tree in the year 2000. I got back up and climbed the whole thing. I was the first. It’s documented.
  • I got dysentery once after drinking stream water on a hike. The worst part–it was during prom. So needless to say, that night was one of the worst nights of my life. I still don’t like to talk about it. It took me three years to completely pay off the tuxedo rental place.
  • I accidentally swallowed an ice cube whole. It didn’t actually injure me, but the feeling kind of weirded me out enough that I left work early that day.
  • I rolled my ankle during a little league game. I was in right field and I was throwing my glove in the air and trying to spin completely around and then catch it again. My coach yelled at me, but I’d like to see HIM try it! It’s harder than you’d think.
  • When I was 12 I tried to do that move that Kevin Bacon does in Footloose where he runs and slides on his knees. I did it on carpet and messed up my knees and my chin really bad. Plus, I did it at my grandma and grandpa’s house in the room with the white couches that no one was allowed to go in.
  • I got a nosebleed in my junior high geology class. I don’t actually remember getting hit or anything. It just all of the sudden started bleeding right after we learned about volcanoes.


Q: With the Jazz cuts this week, who do you see making the team and are there any lesser-known players the Jazz have their eye on?


Glad you asked this question. Even though he’s played really well lately, I still don’t think Chris Johnson makes the team. If it were me, I’d keep Jeff Withey and Joel Bolomboy around. The problem is I like all four of our point guards too much. I’m not ready to give up on Raul Neto and Shelvin Mack.

One of my favorite things to do is contact my source inside the Jazz organization and get the scoop on who the Jazz have interest in. So that’s what I did. My source (we’ll call him Craiggers) gave me a list of young, promising players. Here’s a list of the lesser-known guys they’re tracking at the moment:

  • Hank Truman – Truman is a 5’ 4” freshman at Hungry Grizzly Community College in Alaska. Last year he averaged 77 points per game during his team’s three-game season. He pulled down a total of 674 boards during the season. They were from a couple of old barns around town and he’s going to use the boards to build a sailboat.
  • Lucky Cart – Lucky was born in the southern tip of the Oregon peninsula to Mike and Rachel Cart. He’s been playing competitive basketball since the age of eight and non-competitive basketball since the age of around 17 months. He has a good handle and also a beautiful tan.
  • Gerch Flemming – Gerch is a 7’12” goliath of a point guard. His father claims that Gerch has always been a terror in the paint since the day he got into the paint cans in the garage when he was little.
  • Chizuko Horuhito – “Chiz” is one of those good ol’ boys from down Alabama way. He patterns his game after Michael Jordan, just like everyone else. He once hit 17 half-court shots in a row. He loves hunting and fishing and painting on canvas.
  • Jeff Geoff – His teammates call him “Jeff squared,” and he is one of the strongest players the Jazz front office has ever seen. He once took a 13 year old by his belt and the back of his shirt and threw him over a softball backstop. Everyone clapped because it was such an incredible display of strength and also because the kid was being super annoying.

I’m not sure if any of these fellas will ever turn out to be professional basketball players, but they sure do have interesting stories.


Q: If you could trick-or-treat with any current Jazz player, who do you go with, where do you go, and what’s your costume?


This is a hard question because I would LOVE to go trick-or-treating with pretty much any Jazz player. I just think it sounds fun walking around, getting TONS of candy and then when we’re out of view of our parent’s house maybe go and toilet paper Missy Trainer’s house. She and I were an “item” in ninth grade. At least, I THOUGHT we were an item, before she dumped me for Seth Grover just because, as she put it, he “owns cool Hypercolor t-shirts and doesn’t spit a little bit when he talks.”

If you had a gun to my head and made me choose a Jazz player to go trick-or-treating with, I’d probably smack it out of your hand, pull your thumb back, kick you in the knee, and then grab your gun. NOW who’s asking the questions?!

OK, but seriously, I would probably choose Alec Burks because he seems like a riot to hang out with. Plus, I don’t think he’d ever tell the cops what we were doing with all that toilet paper by Missy Trainer’s house. AB ain’t no snitch.


Q: What’s the Jazz’es record going to be after the first 10 games?


The answer to this question changed a little bit in the last week, eh? I know most of you will read this and be like, “Dang Jimbo, optimistic much?” But you know what? I AM optimistic and I don’t have to justify that to you or anybody. I’d rather be an optimist than a pessimist or worse, a realist like all you bozos.

Here’s the schedule and my prediction:

  • @ Blazers – This is a trap game. The Jazz arguably have more talent, but Portland could be stoked about the new season and emotions could take over. Jazz lose.
  • vs. Lakers – Probably one of the ultimate trap games. I don’t see any way the Jazz lose this game. However, we all saw the Kobe show to end last season. I say Favors repays the favor. Jazz WIN.
  • @ Clippers – This’ll be a tough one. It’s good to get these types of trap games out of the way early, though. The Jazz always play the Clippers tough and I’m gonna be bold here and say that continues. Jazz WIN.
  • @ Spurs – The Spurs are dangerous no matter if the Jazz play them on the road or at home. Jazz teams tend to look flustered when playing the Spurs. Trap games will do that to teams. Even without Timmy D, I can’t see this being a win. Jazz lose.
  • vs. Mavs  – Hard to believe that this is Dirk’s 29th season in the league. What a warrior! From the outside looking in, this looks like one of those trap games. However, an aging Dirk and an overpaid Harrison Barnes can’t stop the new-look Jazz. Jazz WIN.
  • vs. Spurs  – This will be the first real test of the season for this Jazz team; a trap game, if you will. I’m not convinced that Pau Gasol is an upgrade over Diaw. There, I said it. Don’t talk to me. I’m a dummy and I don’t know anything about basketball. Plus, I’m a fatso. Jazz WIN.
  • @ Knicks – My first instinct is to say that this could be a trap game, but really, when this game happens, Derrick Rose will most-likely be on a witness stand somewhere and Joakim Noah will probably be out for 2-4 months with a sprained something-or-other. Jazz WIN.
  • @ 76ers – Potential trap game, but Jazz WIN.
  • @ Hornets – I could see this being a huge trap game. The Hornets really turned it on at the end of last season and they could be dangerous. They lost Al Jefferson in the offseason, so that will help them defensively. Jazz lose.
  • @ Magic – The addition of Serge Ibaka makes this the ultimate trap game. However, I think Rudy goes right at Serge and the other Magic players (whatever their names are) and carries the team to a win. Jazz WIN.

So, if my calculations are correct, the Jazz will be 7–3 after 10 games this season. I’d be ecstatic if that really happened. I’d kiss all my neighbor’s pets if they went 10–0.


Thanks for all the questions, Jimbronies! Remember to tell your bank and credit union tellers about Jimbo’s Maibag. Maybe wear a bandana, write it on a note, and slowly slide it across the counter to them. 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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