Jimbo’s Mailbag – Jazz and Jimbo in Phoenix

January 20th, 2017 | by Jimbo Rudding
Barry Gossage via utahjazz.com

Barry Gossage via utahjazz.com

Some questions demand answers. Others demand Jimbo. Jimbo’s Mailbag is our regular dose of levity here at Salt City Hoops. Jimbo, by virtue of being recently featured in the Deseret News, is now the world’s most famous Utah-based basketball mailbag artist. You can submit questions to Jimbo at mailbag@saltcityhoops.com or by tweeting to @JimboRudding.

Q: Long time fan of yours. Does the Phoenix Suns arena have better hot dog condiments AND bathroom locations than Aunt Viv?

Great question Jake! Also, thanks for reading the mailbag and being a fan of mine. You and my mom should probably take a vote to decide who gets to be Jimbo Fan Club President pretty soon.

As many of you know from my Twitter nonsense, I drove down to Phoenix and saw the Jazz take on the Suns at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. Yes, you heard that right. It’s called the Talking Stick Resort Arena. Apparently Talking Stick is the name of a Native American-owned casino in the Phoenix area. For the most part, it’s a pretty nice arena. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no Nivnet HomeSmart arena, but it has a regulation-sized basketball court and bathrooms so what else do you really need?

It’s pretty strange being in an NBA arena and cheering for the away team. It’s kind of like living in Utah and, for some ridiculous reason, being a unique person and cheering for the Warriors or Cavaliers or something. It’s just weird.

This could be my introversion talking, but I was convinced that every time I clapped for the Jazz a handful of people wanted to fight me. In reality, the Suns fans in the Two Socks arena were very nice and didn’t mind when I screamed Joe Ingles’ name every six minutes or so. Some even asked who Joe Ingles was and I responded, “Oh, no one really, just a LeBron stopper!”

So back to the story, there I was in the Stands with a Fist arena in Phoenix and I’m watching the Jazz have a hard time staying with the Suns. (Not ideal if you’ve traveled 12 hours by car just for the game.) Then Joe Johnson hits that three from the corner to give the Jazz a three-point lead late in the game. I was like, “YES!” and the refs were like, “It’s good,” and the Suns fans were like, “Huh?” It was the greatest.

To answer your question, I’d pick the Vinev Smart Arena twice today and three times on Sunday.


Q: Is there a name for the face the opposing guards make driving the lane and backing up soiling their shorts seeing Rudy Gobert?

Yeah, it’s called the “Seriously?!?!” face. As in, “Seriously? I beat my guy and now I gotta deal with THIS giant human being?!?!”

Rudy’s the greatest, isn’t he? Sometimes I just think it’d be amazing to get to know him and become really close friends and then one night really open up to him and tell him all my secrets and regrets in life. Maybe he’d have some suggestions for me or maybe he’d just be a good listener and maybe that’s really all I need right now? Life just gets so overwhelming sometimes and it would really be nice to have someone tell me that there’s nothing wrong with having an incredible urge to rob every Arby’s you go into or a strong desire to set fire to my neighbor’s car whenever he parks on the street in front of my house.

Anyway, back to Rudy—he really couldn’t have come to the Jazz at a better time. Rim protectors are hard to come by these days and when you’re the Jazz and no good free agents want to come to Utah, they’re even harder to come by. I’m so glad we forced him to be on our team through the draft trade.

Can you imagine winning the human lottery and and being born with a giant body and extreme athletic ability? Instead, I was born with one ear that occasionally oozes yellow stuff onto my pillow at night when I sleep and an unhealthy obsession with hamsters.

Oh well. c’est la vie!


Q: What percent of Jimbo’s Mailbag is real vs. fake news?

Good question. It’s 100 percent REAL news. Well, maybe not 100 percent, but it’s at least in the high 70s. OK, maybe low 70s. The point is, it’s news.

Just be grateful that you even GET the news. There are people in Canada living in igloos who don’t even know what “news” is. In fact, the word “news” in their language is a three-ringed binder, so that really has no meaning to them.

Speaking of binders, my Uncle Rob made my cousins and me peddle his freshly invented one-ringed binder outside an OfficeMax back in the mid 90’s. The dumbest part about it was that he didn’t really “invent” anything. He just clipped the other two rings off of a three-ringed binder using his garden shears. Ugh, that was a long day. I only sold 11 of them and even though Uncle Rob promised us ice cream afterwards, he made us all share a McDonald’s small fry instead.


Q: Boy, Lebron sure does look dumb for not taking Gail up on that fire pit offer1, eh? 

Exactly! I’m glad my past Twitter campaigns live on in so many hearts.

I’m still not sure why LeBron turned down the Jazz. Besides having a solid coach and a young, talented roster, a brand new fire pit installed in your backyard at absolutely no cost to him whatsoever??? Who WOULDN’T want that?

Just imagine how awesome it would’ve been on a warm Utah summer night for LeBron to take Mrs. LeBron and the little LeBrons out to the backyard and roast marshmallows over his very own fire pit? That right there is the epitome of Americana. I’ll never understand that as long as I live.


Q: So, what do you think, a ten-game winning streak in the cards now?

Well, they’re well on their way. The Jazz have a four-game winning streak right now and the way they’ve been playing lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if they just win out.

OK, they’re not going to win out. They’re going to lose a few games….maybe. But they’ll probably win a lot more than they lose…and if they don’t, I will go on a hunger strike until the McRib is back.

If the Jazz stay healthy, I think that there’s a strong possibility they could have home-court advantage in the playoffs. Man, if that happened I would be so proud of them. I’d be proud enough that I’d bring them up in conversation in inappopriate times—like when my extended family is discussing where to sprinkle Uncle Rob’s ashes or when someone is receiving one of those hot rock massages.


Q: Any truth to the rumblings that Mike Brown, “The Big Brown Bear,” is actually the guy inside the big brown Bear mascot?

I would love that to be true. Mike “Brown Bear” Brown was almost like a mascot by himself, so why not give him a bear suit, a Segway, and a t-shirt cannon and send him out to give the fans a show?

I know I’ve covered this before, but the guy in the Jazz Bear suit HAS to be between 50 and 60 years old. I mean, how much longer can he keep doing this? There’s going to be a day where he tries to lift one of those heavy signs on a stick and the inside of his suit will turn brown too.

When I’m 60 years old, if I’m doing the splits, I guarantee that it won’t be because I’m entertaining thousands of people in an arena with my acrobatics. It’ll most likely be because I slipped on some ice in a Target parking lot.


Q: Mel Turpin in his prime or Tibor Pleiss in his prime. Who ya got?

Oh man. RIP Mel Turpin. And also RIP Tibor……….wait, Tibor isn’t dead, is he? Hold on….

Just checked, and good news—Tibor is alive and well, playing in the Turkish league. That’s only if you feel you can trust Wikipedia, because I’m almost positive I saw Tibor last weekend in South Salt Lake sitting outside a Chevron eating a corndog and humming “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”


Thanks for the questions, you guys! Remember to tell your aging grandparents about Jimbo’s Mailbag. Slip in a little Pig Latin just to confuse 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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