Welcome to the next edition of Jimbo’s Mailbag! At Salt City Hoops, we know that covering a losing team1 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 email@example.com or tweet @JimboRudding to appear.
Q: The Jazz are suffering from a lot of injuries right now. Have you ever had a sports injury?
I was actually born with a very low tolerance for pain as well as a wild flair for the dramatic, so whenever I would play sports as a youngster, I would inevitably end up clutching a body part and screaming for somebody to take me to the ER.
Which reminds me of an experience I had while playing Little League baseball when I was maybe 10 or 11. I at first base and I specifically remember this kid in the batter’s box screaming out “MOMMY!” just before getting hit in the leg with a pitch. The kid’s mother ran onto the field and tended to her crying, frail child while the rest of us watched from the field. I had never met this kid or his mother, and by the way they were both acting, I figured his leg was either infected with a severe case of Mad Cow disease or it was just his very favorite one or something. There’s really no significance to this story, except for the fact that it weirded me out and is now seared into my memory banks forever.
I’ve had my fair share of sprained ankles and jammed fingers, but it’s never been anything close to what I would call “serious.” My uncle Dale, however, was born with an extra thumb and had it removed not all that long ago. It was pretty sick, and not “sick” like the way the kids would say, “That spoiler you got for your Jetta is sick!” I’m talking this thing was DISGUSTING. (Think Queen Bavmorda from Willow.) It was smaller than his other thumbs and had a long, skinny nail that would always get caught in curtains and other people’s shirts. (As I am writing this, I am trying my hardest not to gag.)
Uncle Dale didn’t care what people thought; he’d whip it out at family parties and bring it up in conversation. When I was little, he used to get a kick out of showing me how he could pick both of his nostrils at once, until my dad yelled “THAT’S ENOUGH!” one July 4th.
For some reason, the extra thumb didn’t have any nerve endings, so I remember he used to set it next to the burgers on the barbecue grill and say things like, “Do you want yours well done?” and then he would put a spatula underneath it and pretend he was flipping it over. I was pretty messed up.
After he had the thumb removed, he calmed down a bit. He still says crazy things at family parties, but all in all, he’s an okay guy. Even if he isn’t allowed to go into malls anymore.
Q: Did D-Will really get angry about an autograph? How did/would you react?
Wow, I feel like you really dug down deep with this question, and believe me, I appreciate it.
Deron Williams’ career here in Utah is still somewhat of an anomaly to me. I believe we all thought that he would be here for decades just like John Stockton. After all, he became the best point guard in the league while here and the Utah Jazz as a franchise is used to having the best point guard in the league. It just made sense. Alas, he chose to become furious at whatever millionaires-playing-a-kid’s-game-for-a-living get furious about and now he plays in New York.
I met Deron a few times at autograph parties for the fans and after those experiences my opinion of Deron, and maybe professional athletes in general, changed. Now, I know sitting around for an hour and a half signing your name on balls, posters, and jerseys wouldn’t be the most enjoyable thing in the world to do. However, if I made it to the NBA, made millions of dollars a year, had a black sports car, had the most bad@$$ “No Guts No Glory” tattoo on earth, and had a hairline that would recede and then return multiple times a year I think I would be okay faking happiness for 90 minutes.
There is literally NOTHING that Deron Williams (at the time) should have been mad about. I know some of you may be thinking, “Yeah, but having a bunch of money doesn’t mean you don’t have problems or disappointments in life.” To you, I say… you’re right. However, it is still possible to pretend to be happy and gracious to kids who spend most of their days after school pretending to be you on their hoops at home.
That’s my beef with Deron.
Q: Do you think the Bailey’s moving and storage team would have helped Gordon Hayward move to Charlotte had the Jazz let him go?
Those Bailey’s guys in the commercial sure aren’t very good at defense. It’s like four Al Jeffersons out there!
They seem like fine, upstanding gentlemen though. I’m sure they would have helped Gordon at least move his 38 boxes of video games and fantasy paraphernalia.
I have to admit, I was on the fence about paying Gordon Hayward all that money, but if he keeps playing the way he has the last few weeks, I’d go to every mall in Utah and collect every last cent from their fountains and leave it on Gordon’s doorstep in the middle of the night in a sackcloth.
It would be hard and take a lot of time, but I did it back in 1995 for John Stockton, so why wouldn’t I be able to do it now?
Q: Stoked to have Elijah Millsap on the squad. Any chance of signing other Jazz siblings?
I am stoked as well for Elijah. I think he deserves a shot even only if it’s an experiment to see if Paul’s tenacity is a family gene-type thing.
Other Jazz siblings who may have deserved a shot include:
I’m pretty sure Greg Ostertag’s brother Ghostertag wasn’t much into sports.
Sorry for writing so much about malls today you guys. I’ll do better next week.
Thanks for the questions!