Jimbo’s Mailbag: Rookie Leading the Way, Jazz White Elephant, and Jerseys

December 16th, 2017 | by Jimbo Rudding

Jimbo Rudding provides our regular dose of levity here at Salt City Hoops, and he does it by answering the burning questions to which Jazz fans just must have answers. You can submit questions to Jimbo at mailbag@saltcityhoops.com or by tweeting to @JimboRudding.

Q: When’s the last time a team made the playoffs with a rookie as their leading scorer? What happens first, (Donovan) Mitchell becomes an All-Star or Hayward calls Gail?


Without looking at official NBA records, I would guess the last team to make the playoffs with a rookie leading scorer was probably the 1956 Portland TrailBeavers’ Chuck Hooperff. “Chucky Hoops,” as his teammates used to call him, was a 7-footer from middlestate New York. Originally an elementary school four-square champion, Chuck never really played organized basketball until a few minutes before his first NBA game. His coaches were astounded by Chucks abilities right out of the gate (the NBA in those days used gates) and were super excited that his four-square skills translated to the NBA. He averaged 44 points and 41 rebounds a game his rookie year while leading the “Beavs” to the 1956 NBA Finals.

Now for your second question—I’m gonna go ahead and say that Mitchell becoming an All-Star would happen first. I’ve given up on Hayward calling Gail. That’s something a decent, mature person would do and that’s just not who Hayward is. He’s more of a fedora-wearing, Zupa-vomiting, hair-checking, video game-playing, timid little boy who does NOT enjoy talking in person let alone on a telephone device.


Q: Is the air so bad in Utah because of Rodney Hood’s stomach problems?


I was wondering why I couldn’t stop coughing!

I feel bad for Rodney. I have a similar issue and it is NOT ideal. It affects a lot of things that non-IBSers take for granted, like going camping, eating ethnic foods, taking hot air balloon rides, going on most roller coasters, tap dancing, driving through deserts, staying for all of the Sadie Hawkins dance, participating in the mosh pit at a concert, jogging, playing an intense game of charades, using a pogo stick, going trick-or-treating more than a block away from your house, swimming in a public pool, LARPing in a wooded area, doing cartwheels, playing musical chairs, and bending over.

I’m still holding out for a cure… for both IBS and Utah’s air quality.


Q: If there is a Utah Jazz white elephant gift exchange, who would gift the most interesting item?


Definitely Joe Ingles. But sometimes those you would never suspect bring the craziest gifts to white elephant parties. Like, one time my 92-year-old grandma brought a birdbath and when my uncle opened it a few birds flew out. And boy did those birds look happy to be out of that box.

So, it wouldn’t surprise me if Tony Bradley was the one who brought a diaper with milk duds in it or a giant brazier.


Q: What gifts will Dennis Lindsey be giving to each of the players for Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanza?


I’m going to think of Lindsey more as a wizard than a regular, present-giving human on this one, that OK? Anyway, here’s a gift I think Dennis would give every player for the holidays:

  • Dante Exum – A stronger skeletal structure
  • Raul Neto – More playing time
  • Ricky Rubio – The ability to be good at offense
  • Alec Burks – Health
  • Mitchell – Three more inches of height
  • Royce O’Neale – Time
  • Joe Johnson – Youth
  • Ingles – Quickness
  • Derrick Favors – Aggression
  • Rudy Gobert – A reliable baby hook shot
  • Ekpe Udoh – Better hands
  • Jonas Jerebko – Some muscles
  • Thabo Sefolosha – Better shot
  • Bradley – A draft swap for Jordan Bell/Kyle Kuzma
  • Nate Wolters – Who?


Q: Is the S or the C silent in the word scent?


Great question! You know what they say? “S before C, when silently spelling.” So, the answer is S.


Q: Can you think of a question I could ask you about the Jazz that would derive an answer from you that would end up being bulletin board material that would motivate them to beat crappy teams some of the time?


I hear ya, man. It’s so hard to be a sports fan. It always has been, always will be. There are just too many teams and too many players and WAY too many possibilities. The odds of your team winning it all is like, one in ten billion… or something like that. I don’t know, I got kicked out of my pre-algebra class a lot for singing Newsies and other show tunes.

It’s extra hard when your team won’t live up to your expectations. You do all that you can to help out. You buy tickets, jerseys, hats, and sweatpants. You get a hot dog and nachos at the game and immediately regret it. You cheer so loud that your voice is gone for the rest of the night and your throat hurts the next morning. You argue with other people because they chose to be a fan of a team that has better odds at winning it all. While shopping, you follow a guy wearing a LeBron jersey home and spontaneously decide to plow over his mailbox with your car. You know every player’s birthday and send them a birthday card with a Polaroid of you flexing with no shirt on. You stare at your team’s poster for almost an hour straight before every game because you think you may have a super power that enables your mind to control the player’s bodies. You honestly deep down believe that you could coach the team a little bit better than the current head coach. You hold a stapler in your hand during every game because one time the stapler was near you when they won a playoff series.

So, the question you could ask me would be: “Why are the Jazz?” And I would understand exactly what you mean, the Jazz would win every game, and all would be right with the world.


Q: How long until Mitchell replaces (Andrei) Kirilenko as number 1 in my all-time most likable players list?


How long? Not long. Cuz what you reap is what you sow… sorry, I’m a big fan of the 90s.

I’d say by the end of this season Mitchell will be your number one. Know why? Because Mitchell actually likes to play basketball and uses his time before games to warm up instead of reading Russian novels. That right there is enough for him to be my number one… and I’m not the kinda girl who gives up just like that. Oh no!… whoops, now I’m doing the 80s? My bad.


Q: If Lebron were to somehow land in Houston, what would be the likelihood of the Jazz targeting Ryan Anderson?


There is a 100% likelihood. By that time, Anderson will probably have something wrong with his shot and/or a bad knee.

By the way, if Houston wins it all this year and Lebron STILL signs with Houston, I think I may be done watching the NBA for 3-5 years. That wouldn’t be a super team, that would be a MEGA team and I’m just not into that sort of thing.


Q: Thoughts on the new uniform that was leaked on 2K?


Besides it looking like someone peed on my old Hyper Color t-shirt from 1993 and then put white lettering on it, I’d say they’re pretty cool.

I don’t absolutely hate them, but I would never buy one. I just think they could’ve done SO much better. Just put some mountains on it and a silhouette of a woman taking a plate of goodies to the neighbors and that’s all you need. That captures Utah pretty well. I don’t know, maybe add the Great Salt Lake smell?


Q: Why did Derek Fisher lie to get out of three contracts?

@TrueAggieFan, @utahjazzman47, @alaric1224

I get this question a lot. I mean, A LOT. But it’s fine; I deserve it. Plus, it needs to be addressed consistently to educate the younger fans.

So, to answer your question–Derek Fisher lied because he isn’t a very good person. It started with the first lie and then it grew into another, then another, and then another. Next thing we knew, he left his family for another man’s wife and drove drunk and rolled his SUV.

The fact is, Derek Fisher didn’t turn out to be as trustworthy as the media said he was. But, I guess it happens to the worst of us, right? Oh well, time to move on. Onward and upward, that’s what I always say. Forgive and forget. Bury the hatchet. Live and let die. Every rose has its thorn. If it hadn’t been for Cotton-Eye Joe, I’d been married a long time ago. That deaf, dumb, and blind kid sure played a mean pinball.

The lesson we all need to learn from this is do NOT lie to three teams to get out of your contract.


Q: Did the FCC’s Ajit Pai help Derek Fisher get out of three contracts, or just two?


Sorry to debunk your conspiracy theory, Amar, but Fisher got out of all three contracts on his own. In fact, once he got out of the third contract, the FCC, FBI, CIA, NSA, and SMU got involved and did their own private investigation. To this day it remains a mystery how we all just stood by and let it happen. We should all be ashamed of ourselves.


Q: If Joe Johnson gets traded, what happens to the hot yoga room in the new Jazz fitness facilities?


Nothing really. From what I’ve been told, they would just turn down the temperature and change it into a cold yoga room.

The Jazz are pretty set on staying with yoga. It’s a great way to stay in shape, retain flexibility, and get centered emotionally. Plus, I’ve heard the Jazz are fans of the late Yankees catcher Yoga Berra, who was himself VERY flexible and also full of numerous inspirational quotes.


Thanks for submitting questions, you guys! Remember to tell all your siblings at the Christmas party about Jimbo’s Mailbag. Maybe do it while wearing WAY too much garland as a scarf. 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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