Jimbo’s Mailbag – Media Day Secrets

October 2nd, 2015 | by Jimbo Rudding
Photo: Ben Dowsett

Photo: Ben Dowsett

Q: I loved your introduction to the Jazz dancers. Could you introduce us to a few members of the Jazz Dunk Team?


Wow! Thanks for reading the mailbag! That’s awesome! I’m glad you enjoyed getting to know the Jazz dancers. Their work goes largely unappreciated and I believe they add a tremendous value to the overall Jazz game experience.

Just like the Jazz dancers, the Jazz dunk team also provides fans with a spectacular display of high-flying excitement. One cannot help but oooh and aaaah and YOWZA as these young men speed across the court, bounce into the air, and examine the ground for a safe place to slam down a righteous dunk just like a falcon hunting its prey. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

So, without further adeauieaux, here is an introduction to a few of your Utah Jazz high-flyers:

Conner — Conner decided to return to the dunk team this year even though he almost quit last year after an embarrassing bout with the stomach flu caused him to miss half of a dunk performance. Luckily, Conner eventually recovered, but the blue mats had to be professionally disinfected. Conner enjoys video games, shooting off fireworks up the canyon, and watching old episodes of Small Wonder.

Jeremy — Jeremy is ecstatic to be back on the team this year after he was officially given a written warning at the end of last season for trying a reverse 720 flip dunk, which has been illegal since a guy on the Timberwolves dunk accidentally kicked an elderly woman in the face back in 1998. Jeremy enjoys video games and wearing his baseball hat backwards. Also, he HATES it when people pronounce his name “jerm-eee.”

Shiloh — “Shi,” as the other dunk dudes like to call him, is one of the more experienced dunkers on the team. He can often be seen in the tunnel mentally preparing before a dunk performance. Shiloh used to date current Jazz dancer Candace, but they broke up last spring after Candace got into an argument with Shiloh’s dad about if there was an actual guy inside the C-3PO suit or if it was just a puppet. Now that Shiloh is single he mostly spends his time playing video games, hanging out at the outlets, and looking for his phone charger cable.

Cameron — Cam is a dunk rookie this year and is super excited for the opportunity. He has been jumping on neighbor’s tramps ever since he was six years old. Despite his relentless begging, Cam’s parents never agreed to purchase a trampoline because they always said trampolines were too dangerous. So, Cam built a trampoline of his own from some old springs he took from his grandma’s porch swing and a boatload of duct tape. Cam enjoys just chillin with his homies, video games, and playing paper football.

Chad — This is Chad’s seventh year on the team. During the dunk team opening social a few weeks ago he told the group that this would be his last season as a dunk artist. As he was announcing his retirement from the dunk team, Chad broke down and began ugly-sobbing in front of the whole team as well as Julie Frompfchester, who currently serves as Vice President of Jazz Dunk Team Operations. It was horribly awkward for everyone. Chad enjoys playing video games and being loud and boisterous at mall eateries to attract the attention of mall “hotties.”

Levi — Levi was voted “hottest guy on the team” last year by the rest of the guys on the dunk team, which was pretty weird. He’s the only dunker on the team who was not born in Utah. He hails from the small town of Borf, Nebraska, which is about seven hours south of Lincoln. Levi doesn’t like to talk about it, but he used to be a HUGE fan of the TGIF lineup and even dressed up as Steve Urkel for Halloween from 1996 to 1999. He spends his free time playing video games, writing letters to Candace Cameron, and whittling decorative doorstops with his grandpa.

Hayden — Hayden LOVES to dunk. He talks about dunking more than anybody on the team and frankly, most of the dunkers are getting pretty sick of it. When he’s not talking about dunking he’s talking about how he’s always seeing and hearing ghosts in his house. He thought there was a ghost in his fridge for almost a year until his mother showed him that the sound he was hearing was just the ice maker. Hayden also enjoys playing video games, especially video games that involve ghosts or dunking or dunking ghosts.

Zack — This is Zack’s fourth season on the dunk team and it’s practically a miracle he made it this long because he is notorious for getting stage fright and missing his dunks. Zack is the one in charge of bringing the sweat bands and the special dunking balls to the performances. Zack’s dad does not appreciate Zack wasting his time with the dunk team because he would like him to one day take over the family Taekwondo business. For now Zack is content with playing video games, dunking, and doing pretty much anything outdoors, except for kayaking.

Steve — At 44 years old, Steve is the oldest dunker in the group. He has taken the fatherly role with many of the other dunkers on the team by constantly reminding them to always dunk the right way and to never take dunking or the ability to dunk for granted. Steve hurt his knee about 13 years ago and his groin still bothers him most days, but even with his ailments he is still able to serve as the team’s engineer (the first dunker in a dunk routine). Steve spends his free time playing Super Mario Brothers 2, massaging his knees, and hanging out with his wife and kids and grandkid.

Chase — Last but not least is Chase. Chase is the highest-flyer of the dunkers. His highest jump was measured at 76 feet last year, which is the second highest dunk ever recorded. A few doctors at the University of Utah conducted a physical examination and questioned him about his medical history in an effort to find out how he is able to dunk the way he does. They found out that he got mono after sharing a can of Pepsi with a girl in 4th grade, but they’re pretty sure that doesn’t have anything to do with his dunking abilities today. Not only is Chase the highest flyer, he is also the one who dunks with the most authority. He loves spending time with his buddies talking about how easy it would be to steal stuff at Target, playing video games, and learning Korean.

I hope that gives you a good idea of the caliber of young men we have on our Utah Jazz Dunk Team. If you would like to be a member of the dunk team, just send a video of your dunks to dunkyouverymuch@hotmail.com.


Q: If each Jazzman was on a Chuck-A-Rama ad, what would each say is their favorite dish there?


Ah Chuck-A-Rama, Utah’s contribution to the grand masterpiece of Americana. Since the majority of us in Utah don’t consume alcohol, tobacco, or illegal substances, we turn to food for our daily buzz. I love the Chuck! In fact, the only thing I DON’T love about it is how they always ask if you would like a beverage refill when the glasses and drink machines are RIGHT THERE. It’s like, I just paid 18 bucks for this fried chicken. I come here once a year for my dad’s birthday, I can’t tip you an extra five bucks!?

Sorry for the rant. Back to your original question — I would say every single player’s favorite dish would most likely be the sticky buns. If it’s not their favorite, then it’s only because they haven’t tried them yet.


Q: I’m teaching my 2 year old son about Jazz history. Anything I should focus on/avoid? (Don’t worry, he won’t know about Jim Les)


Good job teaching your son about the greatest basketball organization on earth! It’s so important to teach children about the good things in life. After all, the children are our future. We need to teach them well and then let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty the ESA possesses inside.

Here are things I would focus on:

  • Stockton was the greatest point guard to ever play the game.
  • Magic Johnson wasn’t a point guard.
  • Karl Malone was the greatest power forward of all time.
  • Tim Duncan is and always has been a center.
  • Hot Rod Hundley was the greatest play-by-play man in the game.
  • Jerry Sloan is a genius and should have a statue in front of the ESA.
  • Bryon Russell was underrated.

Here are some things I would try to avoid:

  • Derek Fisher. He never played for the Jazz.
  • Jim Les… oh right, you covered that.
  • Gordan Giricek, Deron Williams, and DeShawn Stevenson’s arguments with Jerry Sloan.
  • Mark Jackson also never played for the Jazz.
  • Bryon Russell vs. Michael Jordan one-on-one game in Orem.
  • Bolerjack calling Milt Palacio “Captain Crunch.”
  • Al Jefferson and Enes Kanter’s defense.
  • Robert Whaley

Hope this helps!


Q: Did you find any tidbits of interesting information during media day?


YES! While the media was busy talking to the players, I had my sources spend some time with Randy Rigby to ask him what some of the plans are for enhancing the Jazz game experience this season. I know I covered a few of these before in a previous mailbag, but now I have additional information that I think deserves to be shared.

Here is what I found out:

  • When the Knicks come to town in December the Jazz are going to push hard to have Coach Derek Fisher give a formal apology to all Jazz fans.
  • They are planning on having a “Mark Jackson Voodoo Doll” night where everyone will be encouraged to bring any Mark Jackson voodoo dolls they may have created in their spare time. These dolls will be on display at the ESA during the month of February. Fans will be strongly advised not to touch or throw anything at the dolls.
  • The Jazz Bear will be have an alternate costume with a shorn head and stilts that make him exactly seven feet three inches tall and will wear a jersey that says “Go-Bear” on the back.
  • The Jazz are going to experiment with allowing kids ages 7–13 come down to the floor during a time out and make fun of all three of the refs.
  • This year, if at any point during a game there is a clock malfunction, every single fan will get a $20 gift card to Lowes.
  • One lucky fan will be chosen every game to move down to the front row and watch the game in a loveseat with Dick Norse. The soft, leather loveseat will be provided courtesy of RC Willey.
  • There is going to be a cutest baby contest before a game sometime in January. The cutest baby wins a free night stay in Wendover. Don’t worry, the rest of the ugly babies won’t go home empty handed. They will each get a Utah Jazz shot glass.
  • Whenever there is a play in question, instead of a video feed of a few guys in a dark room in Secaucus New Jersey, they will show short clips of the show “When Animals Attack!”

I thought I was excited for the season BEFORE I found out about all of these cool secrets. Now, I am so excited for the season I can hardly stand it.


Thanks for the questions, you guys! Good news — last week’s mailbag was just three clicks from going viral! Tell your friends and together we can change the world this 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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