Jimbo’s Mailbag – Raul Neto is the Next John Stockton!

October 9th, 2015 | by Jimbo Rudding
(Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

Q: I watched a very late preseason game. I fist pumped when Booker slapped Hibbert. I want a Neto Fathead. Do I have a problem?


Do you have a problem? No way! That was as crazy a game as you’ll see in the preseason. I too was fist pumping and grunting at the TV like it was a regular season game. While watching, the thoughts occurred to me, “If I care this much about winning a preseason game, the regular season is going to give me a stroke… did I leave the garage door open? I want some chips.” Hopefully I can keep my cool and refrain from throwing mini-pumpkins at passing cars like I did the beginning of last season.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself here, but from what I saw in the first two preseason games, I believe the Utah Jazz have a legit shot at a championship this year. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of things would have to fall into place for that to happen, including significant injuries on every other team, LeBron and Steph Curry getting chronic kidney stones, a genie granting three wishes to a a bunch of Jazz fans, and James Harden getting called for traveling/flopping a few times. I will never give up hope.

I know it’s only two preseason games, but here are my overreactions:

  • There is NEVER going to be another John Stockton. I want to point that out right away. That being said, Raul Neto is crazy scrappy on defense and his play is going to demand minutes from day one.
  • With Gordon Hayward’s new look, Booker’s ruggedness, and Raul Neto’s… everything, it’s about time we’ve had some “lookers” on the team. Remember years ago when we had Brevin Knight, Kosta Koufos, and Fesenko? If it weren’t for Kyle Korver that year, women wouldn’t have touched that team with a ten-foot pole. We Jazz fans simply can’t have that anymore.
  • Jack Cooley seems like a cool guy to hang out with, but I just can’t see any way he makes the team.
  • Alec Burks didn’t look great in the first game, but he looked amazing in the second game. What does that mean? His season could be streaky. I’m anticipating a good season from him, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if he has a lot of nights where he just disappears.
  • Listen, I really WANT to believe that Trey Burke did some crazy soul-searching and maturing during the offseason, but he is still trailing his man on defense 92 percent of the time. That, plus a bag of chips, will get you a borderline second string point guard eating a bag of chips.
  • Hayward, Favors, and Gobert are the big three. Where they go, the Jazz go. If any of these guys has a significant injury this season, the Jazz will find themselves in the draft lottery yet again.
  • Trevor Booker is undersized, but he is a stud. If I was forced into a tag team death match and I had to choose a tag team partner currently on the Jazz, I’d choose Book.
  • How great would it have been if the Dante Exum injury never happened? Sorry to bring it up, but sometimes I have a hard time letting things go (see Derek Fisher, Mark Jackson, Jim Les, my Aunt Debra, and Fuddruckers).
  • The Jazz dancers are going to mail it in again. They weren’t in Hawaii (that I could tell), but I just have a feeling that their routines will be a half-step slow again this year. Hopefully Candace, Avery, and the rest of the dancers can get their act together and seriously train for next season.


Q: Is Matt Barnes your new favorite non-Jazz player?


Ha! I understand where you’re going with this, but I can’t fathom a world where I would ever like Matt Barnes. I’m more indifferent than anything. I’ve never really enjoyed his game. Plus, he’s always been a member of good Warriors, Lakers, or Clippers teams who were always battling it out when the Jazz were decent.

But I know what you’re getting at — Matt Barnes allegedly beat up New York Knickerbocker head coach Derek Fisher because Fisher is dating Barnes’ ex-wife and Barnes does NOT like that. Plus, I guess Fisher has been telling people that Barnes is racist because he hates Greek food, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you ask me.

What I find most interesting about this whole situation is Derek’s giant fall from grace in the last six months. According to the wide wide world of webs, which is the greatest thing ever invented, he filed for divorce last March and left his family in the middle of the night taking all the computers and even the Beanie Baby collection. How cold is that? You blindside your wife and family without so much as a goodbye in the middle of the night? Dang! I mean, at least leave a note. Plus, give those Beanie Babies a few more years and they could be worth millions!

I have concluded that I don’t know this Derek Fisher. The Derek Fisher I knew raced back from his sick child’s bedside in New York to win playoff games. The Derek Fisher I knew turned down millions of dollars to play for a mediocre team because he missed his family and they lived in a city with a better team. The Derek Fisher I knew was all class.

Say it ain’t so, Derek!


Q: How much time would Booker need to spend in Hawaii to chill down to Jack Johnson levels?


I’ve met Jack Johnson in real life and he is a sweetheart of a guy. The problem is, all of his 643 songs sound the same. How many songs can you write about dreams and eyes and pancakes? I can’t be falling asleep while at work, Jack. You’re going to get me fired!

If “chilling down” is what Hawaii does to you, then I would like to keep Booker as far away from the Aloha state as possible. The best thing about Booker is his “I don’t care who you are, this gonna be a battle, son” attitude. It doesn’t bother me if he gets into fights and gets suspended, as long as he never backs down to anyone. The Jazz have needed this kind of tenacity on the team since we had to rely on Earl Watson and John Lucas III to duke it out for us.

On a side note, how awesome was it to see Rodney Hood: Prince of Threes get into it with Kobe? I love Hood even more now that I saw him battle hard against someone he probably watched play when he was a kid. I just hope he does that to Harden and Thompson and all the other guys he’s going to have to guard.


Q: If you were head coach, what would your starting lineup opening night look like?


IF I were head coach??? Don’t you mean WHEN I am head coach? Actually… yeah, I know very little about basketball, so there’s absolutely no way I would ever be hired to coach it professionally.

If I were the coach this year, my starting lineup would include Dante Exum, which is still a big-time bummer to think about. OK, back to reality. Here would be my starting lineup for opening night:

PG – Raul Neto

SG – Alec Burks

SF – Gordon Hayward

PF – Derrick Favors

C – Rudy Gobert

Why would I start Neto? Because I’m a genius, that’s why! Besides that though, I think that Burke takes shots away from Hayward, Burks, and Favors. Plus, I’ve seen enough of Neto in two preseason games to know that he is a better defender than Burke and would get more steals.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if at some point in the season Rodney Hood replaces Alec Burks in the starting lineup. However, I also think that both Hood and Burks will finish a ton of games together this year.


Q: Do you do parties? How much does it cost to book you and who would you bring as your supporting cast?


I’ve been know to ruin a party or two in my day. Especially if you call family reunions “parties.” One time I put on an impromptu one-man show that had my grandpa crying and then laughing so hard he fell out of his wheelchair. Some of my family still hasn’t forgiven me for that. RIP grandpa.

I’ve been performing at parties for about four years now. I have a bunch of semi-famous people that perform with me. We mostly do adult versions of scout camp skits, and by “adult version” I don’t mean adult-themed, I just mean scout camp skits with adults instead of kids.

The cast includes myself, the guy who played Ben Seaver on Growing Pains, Michael J. Fox’s cousin, Sanjaya from American Idol, an older guy I met at Lowes with messed up fingers, and my Uncle Dale. Book us anytime. We only charge $11,000 per event.


Thanks for the questions again you guys! I’ve been doing this mailbag for over a year now and you guys are the reason it is the most successful Utah Jazz/crazy weird mailbag on the internet!

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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