Jimbo’s Mailbag – Who Was Jerry Sloan’s Favorite Player?

May 22nd, 2015 | by Jimbo Rudding


Former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan's former pupil, John Stockton, may be interested in his old seat. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

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: Aside from #12, #32 and John Amaechi, who was Jerry Sloan’s favorite player ever?


Man, I miss Jerry Sloan. He was everything a man and coach should be. No hugs, no handshakes, no nonsense. You got up in the morning, you played basketball as hard as you could and then you went home and tried not to drink too much and kick the dog. Ahhh life.

I would have to bet Jeff Hornacek was one of his favorites. In fact, anybody who did what he asked and didn’t talk back too much was probably always on his good side. I have it on good authority that he couldn’t stand Jim Les, which makes two of us.

One thing that I think flies under the radar when it comes to Jerry Sloan is that he understands the fan. He may be absolutely livid that the team didn’t win or played selfishly, but if you approached him and said, “Good game coach!” he’d give you a smile and a “Thank you” every time.

I met Jerry Sloan once at a sporting goods store and he was extremely kind. In fact, he was so kind and gracious with his time, it crossed my mind that in some demented way he may be making fun of me. I’m almost positive he wasn’t making fun of me, but I half-expected him to yell at me for lazily setting a pick or something.

I don’t know if I was just worried about asking him a dumb question or if it was his serious demeanor, but this is what I thought he was thinking as we had our short conversation:

Me: “Nice to meet you Jerry!”

Jerry: “Hi” — (Thinking: “Why is this moron wearing two fanny packs?)

Me: “I’ve been a fan for years.”

Jerry: “Good.” — (Thinking: “Oh you’ve been a fan for years??? Wow, thanks for influencing the world for good, you worthless piece of crud.”)

Me: “Stockton to Malone were some of the greatest years of my life.”

Jerry: “Those were fun times.” — (Thinking: “Man, I hope he doesn’t have a gun in one of those fanny packs.”)

Me: “Thanks for everything you did.”

Jerry: “You’re welcome.” — (“Ugh, this guy smells like mustard. I hope he doesn’t try and hug me.”)

Annnnnnnnd scene!


Q: Need a new list? How about: Impossible to look sexy while…Air-balling a free throw? Eating nachos?


GREAT question! I agree about air-balling a free throw. That has to be one of the more embarrassing things that a player can do during a game.

You know me, I love making lists. So, without further adiauexx1, here’s a list of things it is impossible to look sexy while doing:

  • Separating two grocery carts that are stuck together.
  • Picking out dress socks at Target.
  • Eating a sleeve of Oreos.
  • Working at Hot Dog on a Stick.
  • Fishing through the garbage trying to find your watch after you accidentally threw it away.
  • Hanging vinyl lettering that says, “Go big or go home.”
  • Waving a flag that is obviously too big for your body type.
  • Being firmly told that you’ve had your share of Costco samples.

The more I think about it, everything above is really just a list of things that happened to me in high school. It’s no wonder I never went to prom. I DID go to Sadie Hawkins, though. But that was only because I was home schooled and my mom made my sister ask me.


Q: So Jack in the Box sells as much stuff it can pack in a box covered with cheese to stoners for $6? Can I borrow $6?


Ha ha. LOL LOL LOL…no, you can’t. I don’t have that kind of money. You think money just grows on trees?! I’m only kidding; you can borrow as much as you can find in my couch cushions or my car.

I’m actually a little bit of a fast food snob. I refuse to set foot in a Burger King again after I ate a lukewarm Whopper at 11:15 a.m. back in 2002. I won’t eat at Carl’s Jr. because I gag whenever I see the burger bounce in their commercials. Taco Time grosses me out because one time I found an M&M in their salsa bar. McDonald’s I only frequent in emergency situations. Like if I’m in Battle Mountain, Nevada, and it’s the only thing open and I haven’t eaten for three days straight. Even then, I would only order fries and a McFlurry.

That being said, I have to admit that the Sourdough Jack at Jack in the Box is crazy delicious. It’s not to die for, but it’s to be beat up for, that’s for sure. I know some of you will say that it seems backwards that I flat out refuse Burger King, McDonald’s, and Taco Time, but will still eat Jack in the Box. I totally understand that; it makes absolutely zero sense to me as well. It’s almost like trying to explain why I put the Spin Doctor’s “Two Princes” song on repeat whenever I vacuum. It’s just something I do.

So, to bring this full-circle back to the Jazz…if the arena had a Jack in the Box, I would be pretty stoked. Even if the Sourdough Jack cost me 14 bucks a pop, I’d probably eat at least one or four a game. Maybe I’d even start a Jack in the Box game where every time Dante Exum shoots inside the paint, I eat a Sourdough Jack.

I’ll make some phone calls and see what we can work out.


Q: Any new ideas for halftime acts for next year?


I actually get this question quite often. I don’t mind though because it keeps the ideas flowing and I need to keep my mind active so that I don’t go all weird when I get older and start writing crazy things on the internet.

As a matter of fact, I DO have a few new ideas for halftime acts. Here’s a little taste of what you could see at halftime during Jazz game next year:

  • I shoot off 20 bottle rockets at once and the first person who comes down to the floor and can prove that they were hit by one gets a free Utah Jazz lighter.
  • I juggle three tennis balls. There’s nothing really special about this one except I have Serena and Venus Williams lookalikes who I pay to swat me on the butt as hard as they can with tennis rackets while I juggle.
  • I do some freestyle wheelbarrowing. Basically it’s just me pushing a wheelbarrow quickly around the arena floor with small, domesticated animals inside. For the grand finale, I take a specially designed wheelbarrow with 20 kittens off a jump I built in my garage.
  • I throw out Utah Jazz coffee mugs into the crowd. The coffee mugs will NOT have hot coffee in them at the time they are thrown. I learned my lesson back in 2008.
  • Using only descriptive imagery and a few puppets, I tell the story of when my uncle’s shoes were stolen while he was using the bathroom in a Wendover casino.
  • I’m working on a beatboxing show where I don’t use my mouth at all. I only use my arm pit and a couple of empty Pringles cans.

I’ll let you know when the Utah Jazz give me the approval to try one of these out next year. I have my fingers crossed for the Lakers or Cavs game, but I’m willing to take any open slot. I’d even cancel some gigs if I have to.


Thanks for the questions everyone! Keep them coming!

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. I say at least two prayers a year that Jack in the Box comes to Utah. And yes, I make random drives to Pocatello just for the Sourdough Jack. And their Heartattacks (the pet name my wife and I gave the Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges).

  2. jazzberries says:

    I disagree about looking sexy while working at Hot Dog on a Stick. I used to go to one just to flirt with the girl there. This girl was so hot she would have been sexy in anything though. Katy Perry might disagree with you as well.

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