Jimbo’s Mailbag – Who is the Jazz Bear?

November 22nd, 2014 | by Jimbo Rudding
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

Q: Have you ever wondered who the Jazz Bear is? My top three guesses are: John Stockton, Governor Herbert, and my 3rd grade teacher Miss Jenkins.

– @BardenPembleton

Good question! I think about this at least once a game.

I’m pretty sure it isn’t Stockton; I think I’ve seen them both in the same building together once or twice. It could be Governor Herbert because I’ve heard he owns numerous t-shirt cannons and does the splits in his office every once in a while to relieve stress.

I dream about one day being able to put the Bear head on one time to see if it’s as stinky as I imagine it to be. Seriously, the dude’s been hit in the crotch and head so many times, he’s HAD to have vomited at least once in that thing. It could have old blood stains or pieces of scalp, not to mention the sweat and Dorito burps.

I don’t condemn him for the current state of his costume. That’s just unfortunately a part of mascot life that we will probably never fully understand.

What would be awesome is if the Jazz did a “Sprite Jazz Bear Unveiling Night” where they invited the season ticket holders to come to the arena to eat sloppy joes and meet the man behind the Bear mask. But when the Jazz Bear removes his Bear head, he instantly disappears just like Obi-Wan Kenobi. All that’s left is an empty pile of Jazz fur. The Jazz front office and employees are just as baffled as the season ticket holders, but eventually everyone finishes their sloppy joes and leaves and the mystery is never solved.

I’m not sure why that would be awesome. If you don’t think it’s awesome, then maybe we can meet sometime and I can describe it to you in person, because it’s pretty awesome the way I picture it in my head.


Q:  Could the Jazz trade with the Chinese team to get Metta World Peace? Who has rights to Adam Keefe?

– @the6bees

Part of me thinks having Metta would be kind of fun. Like, the kind of fun you have when adults start arguing during Thanksgiving dinner and you try to guess which one will start to cry and go sit in their car for a while.

The Jazz could have a “Sprite Metta Naming Challenge” where a few lucky fans could sleep over at the ESA and decide what Metta’s new name would be. Here is a list of names I would suggest to the slumber party group:

  • Crown Burger Steve
  • Les Olsen Jingler
  • I Got Your Energy’s Solution Right Here
  • Bill Cosby is Innocent
  • New Milt Salt Palacio
  • The Ghost of Tom Joad
  • Dave Christensen
  • Florp
  • Genghis V-to-the-F Factory Outlet

One of those is a winner, I can feel it.


Q: Which Jazz player would you like to see shave their head? Or if they’re already bald, wear a weave?

– @Jake_Higgins

Just when I thought I was going to get through a mailbag without having to talk about a player’s hair, you had to go and ask a hair question Jake. It’s all good. I forgive you.

I’m actually pretty satisfied with the players’ hair at the moment. It’s the facial hair that I can’t get over sometimes. I’m totally fine with James Harden’s beard. It is full, complete, luscious, and comforting. Paul Pierce’s patches on the other hand…

I honestly think that there should be a league rule that says each player needs to apply to the league office before growing any facial hair. Seriously, the players don’t know the severity of this situation. They are scaring our children and grossing out our women. Something HAS to be done about this! We can’t just sit around waiting for it to fix itself. It’s been a problem for decades. Who’s with me?


Q: Which Jazz players would you like to see have their jerseys retired and why?

– @TravisBruerton

If you’re talking about past players, then not many. If you’re talking about current players, then…not many. It would be nice to see Hayward and Favors numbers in the rafters once they are done playing. That would mean that their careers were good enough and long enough in Utah to be permanently recognized.

The Jazz have done a good pretty job in determining which players deserve to have their numbers retired. I was a little iffy on Darrell Griffith, but I’m over it now. I get it. Hot Rod called him “golden,” so we were kind of forced into that one.

Since Memo leads the franchise in three-pointers made, he should eventually be up there. But if you put Memo up there, then what about Bryon Russell? He was good at threes.

And if you put Russell up there, then why not Jim Les? See, it’s a carousel of possibilities and it will keep turning and sinking until we finally give in and hang up John Lucas III’s number…which was probably his plan all along.


Q:  Brandon Marshall offered a fan $25,000 to fight him. Which NBA players would you fight if they offered you $25,000 on Twitter?

– @Clarkpojo

I’m actually a lover and not a fighter. And when I say “lover,” what I mean is “lover of bowling by myself on a Friday night.”

I wouldn’t think any amount of money would convince me to fight an NBA player. Although that being said, I wouldn’t mind taking a few swings at:

  • JJ Barea – Because he tried to “freeze” Hayward at the free throw line one year and I was NOT happy about that.
  • Ricky Davis – He’s not in the league anymore, but I’d still take the $25,000 and fight him.
  • Derek Fisher – Even if I won the fight, he would tell everyone he won.

What would be amazing is to see JJ Barea fight Beno Udrih, since they are the same person and all.


Thanks again for all the questions!

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. INeverGive OutMyEmailAddress says:

    Here is my Jazz Bear story:

    Earlier this year I was at the Minneapolis airport waiting for my flight home. Some guy noticed my Jazz hat and asked if I was a fan of the Jazz (of course I am). We chatted for a minute or two before I had to run to the restroom before the flight. When I came back the place started filling up and I had lost my seat to the guy. Around him was 4 or 5 guys and about 6 or 7 girls. They were all chatting like they were one big group. I could have swore 1 of the girls was a Jazz cheerleader, but I wasn’t totally sure. One thing I did notice is all the guys/girls were fairly young (probably younger 20’s) – except 1 guy they kept conversing with. He was definitely older (around 40ish) and built. He didn’t fit in, but was trying to fit in. I didn’t think much about it at the time.

    Anyway, a few days later while a Jazz game, I noticed all 6/7 girls were in fact cheerleaders, and I bet that older 40ish guy was the Jazz Bear. A good friend of mine told me the Jazz Bear and the cheerleaders were doing a photoshoot and NBA charity work a few days before.

  2. Paul Johnson says:

    My suggestions for a new name for Metta World Peace as a Jazz player would be “Elder Artest,” “Latter Day Saint Ron,” “Days of 47” or “Metta Deseret.”

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