Pokémon: I Jazz You!

April 13th, 2015 | by Aaron Hefner
Pokeball Jazz Logo

Original Image: Utah Jazz logo, NBA.com


Quin Snyder

Harry How (Getty Images)

It has been a brutal few years in Jazz land, more frustrating than walking through a Zubat-infested cave bereft of a bike and max repel. Over the past several seasons an ill-equipped Bug Catcher (Ty Corbin) was at the helm of the Jazz running the show, which led to fans collectively drowning their sorrows with hyper potions and elixirs. Thankfully, Professor Oak (Dennis Lindsey) witnessed the slaughter in the arenas and used a critically-needed escape rope to flee the Bug Catcher. Since then Oak has recruited the passionate and sometimes feisty Ash Ketchum (Quin Snyder).


With added responsibility, Ash departed the depressing depths of Pallet Town in search of greater opportunity. While there have been some notable victories with his youthful lineup, there is much training yet to do, which is his cause. And so he is putting them to the test with the hope that a few of them will level-up and evolve.

Currently here is Ash Ketchum’s blossoming roster:

Rudy Gobert – Graveler

Bart Young (Getty Images)

Bart Young (Getty Images)

Bulbapedia (http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net)









Do not mistake Graveler to be a groveler, because that is the last thing Rudy is. Having been born in the dark and murky depths of a cave where he practiced the only ability he possessed; defense curls. Luckily Professor Oak noticed the tenacity of the young dude and captured him. What started out as a Nugget has evolved into quite the gem. His stone hands help reject any incoming attack, unfortunately it frequently rejects incoming aid as well, an item that will surely be addressed.

What fans have seen thus far from him is only the beginning. Time will tell if Ash can help him evolve to be more well-rounded.


Derrick Favors – Machamp

Derrick Favors

Gene Sweeney Jr (Getty Images)


Bulbapedia (http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net)














At just 19 years old, Derrick arrived in the league as a relative youngster Machop. Since then he has transformed into a powerful and intimidating force in the paint. Favors is equipped with four chiseled arms, each of which he effectively uses. Two are masterfully employed on the defensive end, having blocked the 12th most shots in the league this entire season. However, he also utilizes his other set of arms on the offensive end, shooting 3rd best among power forwards.

Undoubtedly he is going to need each one of those arms and a good Wake-Up Slap come September 23rd when he and his girlfriend Shivolli Da Silva are due to welcome twins to the family.


Gordon Hayward – Pidgeotto

Gordon Hayward

Melissa Majchrzak (Getty Images)


Bulbapedia (http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net)













Pidgeotto, in an attempt to scare off opponents, will often spread his wings and back feathers. However, much like Gordon Hayward, his cuteness renders this endeavor useless. A major contributing factor to this adorability is his frequently discussed hair. His hair is groomed so perfectly that even Fonzie would be jealous. The reason the “do” captures so much attention is the fact that it appears to never move. In spite of high speeds, clashes with enemies, and hours of fighting, his hair remains unchanged from its immaculate position.

Fans everywhere hope Hayward and his mane remain in Utah for the long haul. To hedge their bet, maybe the front office should consider clipping his wings.


Rodney Hood – Bellsprout

Rodney Hood

(Jim Mone/ AP Photo)



Bulbapedia (http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net)












Shouts of glee rang when Hood somehow fell all the way down to the Jazz at #23. His long and athletic frame was stunning. However, the joy was slowly leeched away when it became evident he was immune to nothing and was weak to all attack types. The first foot injury saddened the fan base, but optimism reigned. However, when he re-injured his foot (which apparently is as fragile as a flower root) and was shut down “indefinitely”, fans were weepin’. After what seemed to be months, he returned, brushed the pollen off, and has since played fantastically. Fan cries have ceased and the only noise heard when his name is called are bells of victree.


Dante Exum – Kakuna

Dante Exum

Nathaniel S. Butler (Getty Images)


Bulbapedia (http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net)













Ten months ago the Jazz drafted an adorable little larvae Weedle. He captured fans immediately with his innocent appearance along with his lightning quick speed. However, amidst the tantalizing flashes, one day he hit the rookie wall so fiercely that he actually became trapped inside it. Oh the shame! In an instant, his offensive abilities vanished. Instead, all he ever did was neutralize his opponent’s attacks. Deron Williams tried his patented crossover, but even it wasn’t effective.

Recently though, fans realized that it actually wasn’t a rookie wall, but instead it was his shell. Exum was simply practicing his harden ability. Eventually that shell will collapse and release a beautiful creature who will fly and drill his way even deeper into our hearts.

So, Kakuna Mattata, and don’t worry fans, the metamorphosis is nigh.


Trey Burke – Magikarp

Trey Burke

Noah Graham (Getty Images)


Bulbapedia (http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net)













It is said that Magikarp’s can utilize their splashing ability to scale towering mountains. However, thus far Trey Burke’s splashing has had “no effect!”

Although he comes highly touted and even carries a crown (Naismith Player of the Year), currently he is more a minnow than a dragon. His production has left fans, much like Magikarp himself, staring blankly, mouths agape, hoping and waiting. Is it possible the miniature fish could still transform into Gyrados, the epic azure serpentine, and thrust himself up the Rocky Mountains back into the hearts of Jazz fans everywhere?  To be continued…


Trevor Booker – Mankey

Trevor Booker

Joe Murphy (Getty Images)


Bulbapedia (http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net)












A question often asked by those that watch Mankey is “Man can he control himself?” Unfortunately the answer is no. There is no key to control that man. He’s like a two liter bottle of a highly carbonated drink. No matter how little you unscrew that lid, it explodes, drenching everything in its vicinity. But, however impressive and enticing this insane intensity is, inaccuracy accompanies it, which limits his overall effectiveness.


Joe Ingles – Slowpoke

Joe Ingles

Melissa Majchrzak (Getty Images)


Bulbapedia (http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net)












In addition to lacking an exuberant amount of speed, Slowpoke is the fun, charming, and relaxed guy everyone would love to go fishing with. Really, no further explanation is necessary.


Alec Burks – Scyther


Bulbapedia (http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net)

Alec Burks

Layne Murdoch (Getty Images)













It’s a shame Snyder couldn’t simply drop Burks off at a Pokémon Center to heal up. But although he hasn’t been in action, the swag of Alec Burks has been on display as he attended the games. The only question for his holy-swaggyness is why doesn’t he use his sword-arms to shave off that pubescent facial hair?


Elijah Millsap – Tentacool

Elijah Millsap

Ronald Martinez (Getty Images)


Bulbapedia (http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net)













Opponents can’t move two feet without him popping up and annoying the hell out of them.


A long journey awaits Ash and his young crew, but together, with the support of Professor Oak, great things are on the horizon.

Aaron Hefner

Aaron Hefner

Aaron Hefner, a maniacal Jazz addict, currently resides in Austin, Texas. He is a recent BYU business grad and a current supply chain project manager. When not working, he enjoys quality time with his pregnant wife and his daughter. Aaron writes about the Jazz to avoid annoying his family and coworkers with NBA propaganda.
Aaron Hefner
Aaron Hefner

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  1. Paul SIlotti says:

    Pretty funny if you ask me.

  2. Andrew says:

    Burke is way too accurate. You missed a great one, though:

    Enes Kanter: Muk: Toxic to any defense he touches. Luckily, Professor Oak was able to trick someone into giving him some extra Pokéballs for him.

    It’s too bad Jeremy Evans doesn’t play more, I feel like there has to be a good Pokémon for him.

  3. roar2k says:

    Incredible first sentence

  4. Crabbers says:

    I absolutely cannot stand Pokemon, but this was hilarious. Well done.

  5. casey says:

    This is my new favorite Saltcityhoops article. I’m dying. Great job Aaron.

  6. muzin says:

    Graveler need be traded to evolve…


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