Jimbo’s Mailbag – Warning the Utah Jazz About Stuff

August 21st, 2015 | by Jimbo Rudding
Photo: http://sport24.lefigaro.fr/

Photo: http://sport24.lefigaro.fr/

Here at Salt City Hoops, we’re occasionally accused of being too analytical. Basketball is a fun sport, they say, and we’re being too objective about it. Jumbo Rudding, on the other hand, is not analytical. He is zany. He is infamous for his out-of-left-field basketball jokes and opinions. We’re thrilled to have him contribute a mailbag each week on Salt City Hoops. Interested in submitting a question to Jimbo’s mailbag? Email it to Jimbo at mailbag@saltcityhoops.com or tweet @JimboRudding to appear.

Q: If you could go back in time and warn one member of the Jazz about anything; when, what about, and who would you tell?


This is an awesome question. Seriously, I love this question so much that I almost feel like I could awkwardly ask it out on a date and then nervously tell it about my dreams of becoming a helicopter pilot.

I guess if I could warn one member of the Jazz about something, I would have to go with Kevin O’Connor. He’s been “the guy” ever since the Finals losses and I assume all of the decision-making in regards to team roster ultimately fell on his shoulders.

Here is a list of things I would warn Kevin O’Connor about if I could go back in time:

  • Mark Jackson thinks he’s better than John Stockton and is going to screw up team chemistry.
  • I know you’re not working for the Jazz yet, but Dick Bavetta has made a deal with the devil and will make multiple calls that will change games in the 1998 NBA Finals. Please phone the league.
  • Deron Williams is going to be grouchy during autograph sessions. Please put him in time out.
  • Nice swindling of Carlos Boozer, but he is going to be hurt for roughly half of his stint with the Jazz.
  • I am going to eat some bad nachos at a game in 2007 that will make me violently ill and will cause me to gag whenever I smell nachos.
  • Don’t trade for Derek Fisher. Take your chances with Andre Owens. Trust me on this one.
  • You may want to keep Kyle Korver and Wes Matthews.
  • I’m pretty sure Allen Handy is wearing a wig.
  • Please somehow have Jim Les’ name wiped from the records of the Jazz organization.
  • There are a TON of guys outside before games that say they need tickets, but they DON’T. They’re trying to SELL tickets.
  • Do NOT draft Raul Lopez, Mo Almond, Kirk Snyder, or Ryan Humphrey.
  • Please draft Tony Parker, Tony Allen, Tiago Splitter, and Serge Ibaka.

Those are the big ones. Let me know if I missed some.


Q: Was stoked for Karl Malone to influence the bigs, but no LA Gear, running w/parachutes, or speaking 3rd person by Rudy and Favors. What gives?


Maybe Karl Malone hasn’t spent enough time with the bigs yet? I would bet speaking in the third person isn’t like when your southern accent comes back the second you go back to the south. It just takes more time than we think. We need to be more patient.

What I would LOVE to have happen is for Karl to come down before the season starts and smack Tibor Pleiss around a little bit just to toughen him up. I don’t want Karl to hurt him, but whatever Karl does, I think it would be beneficial to put a TON of stank on it.

I don’t have anything against Tibor… yet. Like all rookie bigs, I’m sure his biggest criticism once the season starts will be that he’s not strong enough and needs to gain weight and toughness. Malone can definitely help with that; it just may take a season or two. Let’s just say I don’t anticipate Bolerjack and Harpring screaming “The PLEISS IS RIGHT!” or “BIG TOBLERONE THROWS IT DOWN!” anytime this season.


Q: Your top 10 Jazz-related commercials? Top 10 most irrationally beloved Jazzmen? Top 10 Jim Les highlights?


Wow, so many top 10 lists to choose from. I don’t think I can even remember 10 Jazz commercials, so I guess I’ll take top 10 most irrationally beloved Jazzmen.

Now, before all three of you reading this get all hot under the collar about the players I chose, you have to first understand that love causes all of us to be irrational every now and then. One time in second grade I had a crush on a girl in my class so I threw one of her shoes on the roof of the school. Couldn’t explain it then, can’t explain it now.

I too was, and still am to some extent, still “in love” with some of these players — or at least with the memories they left behind. So, without further adiéauxeáo, here is my list and further explanation of who I think are the most irrationally beloved Jazzmen:

  1. Andrei Kirilenko – Listen, we all had a love/hate relationship with AK. We hated his contract, his shooting, his crying, his wife’s commercial jingle, and the publicity about his free pass. However, he did some things on the basketball court that I don’t know if we will ever see a Jazzman do again. That’s where the love comes from, but that alone doesn’t merit retiring his number.
  2. Al Jefferson – Ugh, Big Al. I never understood why there were so many fans who wanted to re-sign Al. Sure he was decent on offense, but he was absolutely horrid on defense, and as we all know, defense wins championships. I guess that’s why Al has never sniffed the second round of the playoffs.
  3. Jim Les – If there’s anyone left who still loves Jim Les, I will meet them at the flag pole any time, any day of the year.
  4. Ronnie Brewer – Ronnie was a soft, little teddy bear… a soft, little teddy bear with a broken arm and weird-looking shot. Great guy, but not a great player. Remember kids, no running by the pool or goofing off at the water park!
  5. Dee Brown – Bless his heart, not many tried harder than good ol’ Dee, and that’s why people loved him. It’s too bad too that every time I think of Dee Brown I think of Memo falling on top of him and folding his body like an old futon mattress. He was tiny and not a true point guard, but a heck of a nice guy.
  6. Sundiata Gaines – Sure, no one will ever forget the Sundiata Gaines shot where Reggie Miller pretty much bullied the Jazz into signing him for the rest of that season. It’s a great Jazz memory. But it was one good game and one GREAT shot. That’s it.
  7. Mehmet Okur – Before you start writing me hate mail, let me clarify. I will be the first to acknowledge that Memo is a huge part of Jazz history and made some incredible shots over the years. However, I also acknowledge that he couldn’t come close to stopping Tim Duncan and Pau Gasol in the playoffs. Who did, you ask? No one. That’s why they’re both NBA champions. But maybe “coming close” was all the Jazz needed to make things more interesting in those serieses’s. Still love you Memo, even if it’s irrationally.
  8. Earl Watson – Earl was a fighter and a worker and that alone will get you a boatload of Jazz fans. It’s just that he was older and wasn’t great at… well, playing basketball.
  9. Marvin Williams – Marvin has to be one of the best players with a perma-limp I’ve ever seen play in the NBA. He played major minutes in front of younger and arguably better players and it ultimately did nothing for anybody.
  10. Jim Les – Oh my, don’t get me started on Jim Les! Jazz fans are always like, “I just wish Jim Les would come back and be a part of the organization again.” Guess what, Jazz fans? No you don’t! This guy was the worst!

I will say that one player Jazz fans have an irrational hate for is Greg Ostertag. I understand a little bit of the disdain for Greg because he could’ve been great if he had enjoyed the game of basketball and/or worked hard. However, I think Ostertag wasn’t as bad as people remember. He was a big body in the paint on defense, blocking or altering a ton of shots and making it hard for teams to score. He was also a big body out of the paint on offense, facilitating the Stockton to Malone pick and roll.

Let me conclude this by reminding you that you should take all of this with a grain of salt because I don’t know how the NBA really works nor do I know a whole lot about basketball.


Q: What do you think Kevin O’Conner is actually doing now that Dennis Lindsey is around?


I’m glad you asked this. I too have been wondering what he is up to now that his old duties are being handled by someone else. I would probably guess he is doing what we all would be doing if we had extra time on our hands — watching Netflix, eating brownies, and learning how to play the banjo.


Thanks for the questions, everybody! I really appreciate all of you who read till the end. It was a great mailbag, wouldn’t you say? One for our posterity to cherish!

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


  1. Richard Sleight says:

    Ostertag… who hates him? I would love to see a dysfunctional father/son type of relationship unfold like we had with Sloan and Ostertag. What other player has been able to throw his partials in disgust?

  2. Rick Saldaña says:

    Jimbo, you did a great job in answering this question:

    Q: If you could go back in time and warn one member of the Jazz about anything; when, what about, and who would you tell?

    However, there are two additional ones I would like to add.

    1. I would warn Sam Battistone not to trade for Gail Goodrich. Why? Because the New Orleans Jazz gave up their 1979 first round pick that Los Angeles used to draft Magic Johnson.

    2. To make matters worse, the Jazz also gave up their rights to Moses Malone in 1977 in order to regain one of the three first-round picks used for the Goodrich trade, adding insult to injury. (Definitely worth a second-warning to Battistone.)

    Can you imagine the Jazz with Moses Malone and Magic Johnson on the same team? Those two players would have changed the future outlook for the Jazz for years to come. As it turned out, the Lakers won the NBA Championship in 1980 with Magic Johnson on their team.

    Malone and Johnson went on to become Hall-of-Famers, while Goodrich never regained the form he had when he led the the Lakers in scoring from 1971 to 1975. Goodrich’s final three years in the NBA, with the Jazz were unspectacular – blowing an Achilles tendon early in the 1976-77 season – coming back and playing decently in the 1977-78 season, but then retiring after the 1978-79 season. The Goodrich trade has to go down as one of the worst NBA trades ever made.

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