Salt City Hoops’ Team and 2018-19 Utah Jazz Coverage

October 17th, 2018 | by Dan Clayton

#Teamwork. You know this team, now meet ours. (Melissa Majchrzak via

A little over five years ago, I shared a secret with my press row pal Spencer Hall up by our Portal J seats. And then he shared an idea with me.

I had just concluded the postgame show on the Jazz’s Spanish radio broadcast, and Spencer had just wrapped up one of the chats he hosted in those days for the Salt Lake Tribune. After discussing the game for a few minutes, I confided in him some news that very few people knew at that point: I’d be moving to New York City at some point in the year ahead. I was excited about the move, I told Spencer, but was disappointed that it would mean I’d no longer have a platform to stay involved in the discussion around the Jazz and the NBA.

“Well, come write for us,” Spencer said.

That turned out to be an important moment for me, providing me an avenue to remain in the conversation, continue my relationships with the franchise, and connect with thousands of readers and NBA fans. More importantly, that moment is emblematic of what Salt City Hoops has always done best: amplifying the voice of people who are passionate about basketball and writing.

In that same spirit, I’m delighted to introduce our 2018-19 staff, which includes several awesome returning writers as well as some new voices that are going to bring fresh perspectives to the site and our readers.


For the perfect example of how this site gives smart people a way to elevate their voices, look no further than Andy Larsen.

It is no surprise to those who know him that Andy, who is talented, whip smart, hungry and humble, has parlayed each of his reporting/writing jobs into something bigger. His fingerprints are all over this site, in every way imaginable, from putting the bones of the actual website in place to elevating the SCH brand. And on a personal note, I feel fortunate to have worked with Andy. He cares deeply about producing good work, doing it the right way, and helping others get what they want out of the experience.

His day-to-day contributions here at SCH will be missed, but we’re all thrilled to see what he’ll do on the Tribune’s Jazz beat. I’ll be taking the reins as managing editor, and I’ll do my best to do justice to all the work Andy has done to build the site, staff and brand of Salt City Hoops.

Spencer remains involved behind the scenes — and in many ways, in front of them. Spencer launched the site in 2009 as the Utah Jazz affiliate in the ESPN TrueHoop Network. He has covered the NBA, Team USA and the NBA’s developmental league since 2007. While serving as the site’s editor, Spencer contributed regularly to the NBA coverage on, hosted post-game chats for the Tribune and anchored a weekly radio show on the Jazz’s flagship radio network. Spencer has also resumed tweeting on the @saltcityhoops handle.

Frequent Contributors

Here are the writers you can expect to hear from often throughout the 2018-19 season. 

We’re excited to have Jimbo Rudding back and providing our regular dose of humor and fun with his hilarious mailbags. Jimbo, by virtue of having been featured in the Deseret News, is now the world’s most famous Utah-based basketball mailbag artist. Interested in submitting a question to Jimbo’s mailbag? Email it to Jimbo at or tweet @JimboRudding to appear. The mailbag will appear regularly throughout the season, usually on Mondays/Tuesdays.

I’ve said it before, but Clint Johnson‘s writing has become as much a part of Salt City Hoops’ identity as anyone’s. Clint has become a familiar and trusted voice by bringing games to life, analyzing players and more. Clint is a professional author, writing educator, and editor. In addition to his writing center work at Salt Lake Community College, he designed, coordinates, and teaches in an experimental author residency program for a West Valley City public charter school. He is also a frequent presenter at both writing and educational conferences. You will most often catch Clint’s work on Tuesdays this season.

I’m excited to welcome Tyler Crandall to the team. Tyler is one of our newest additions, having previously written at The J-Notes. Tyler grew up in Utah watching the Stockton-to-Malone Jazz. He now lives in Brooklyn, NY, which means he and I are bringing up the Jazz-writers-per-capita figure in the borough. It also means we’re frequent teammates/opponents in the Thursday night game at Congregation Beth Elohim, where Tyler nails way too many threes over my sloppy closeouts. Tyler is an active tweeter at @tjcranman, and his columns will typically drop on Wednesdays.

Steve Godfrey joined us last season and did great work in recapping games and highlighting players — like his guy Joe Ingles. Steve studied journalism and English, and now teaches high school in Northern Utah. He started his own blog, The Tortured Fan, and then joined the Salt City Hoops team at the start of the 2017-18 season to connect with more Jazz fans and to continue to apply his passion for writing and for basketball. His work will most often appear on Thursdays, and you can connect with Steve at @stgodfrey12.

To get to know these four, their backgrounds as fans and writers, and their perspectives on the current Jazz, catch last Monday’s podcast, where I welcome each one on for a few minutes of introduction and discussion.

I’ll still be writing my weekly columns, as well as bringing back the popular Salt City Seven series — with a slight tweak. Instead of combining the SC7 with a hurried version of my weekly column, I’ll be separating the two. This season, a “lite” version of the SC7 (without the lengthy opening section) will drop every Monday, and then I’ll post a separate regular column, usually on Fridays.

Ken Clayton has made regular appearances on Salt City Hoops podcasts for a while now, and he’ll be expanding his writing duties during the upcoming season. Ken’s connection to the Jazz started in the mid 1980s in the old Salt Palace and hasn’t really missed a beat since. He’s a salary cap guru and possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of the Jazz from the pre-Stockton to Malone days to now. He lives in the Phoenix area, where he and his wife operate their own business. Ken tweets at @k_clayt.

Dane Coles debuts this season, bringing his passion for basketball and writing to SCH. He discovered a love of writing while attending Utah Valley University. Dane is the founder and CEO of his own company, and an avid outdoorsman who loves the beautiful Beehive State. He grew up idolizing John Stockton and playing on the plastic hoop he’d hang on the pantry door. Dane tweets at @_danecoles.

Regular Writers & Extended Staff

But that’s not all. We’ll also have writers who will help us provide coverage with occasional contributions as their other commitments allow. This includes keeping longtime writers like Clark SchmutzDavid J. Smith and Laura Thompson with posts every month or so, and introducing the very talented Riley Gisseman, who first debuted for us last spring.

Clark is a Jazz fan living in North Carolina who has been blogging about the Jazz for nearly a decade at various sites. Just like with religion, politics and good deals on the internet, Clark likes to talk NBA basketball to find more truth and learning. Find him on twitter @clarkpojo.

David is a longtime contributor to Salt City Hoops, and his work has also been seen at the Deseret News,, and He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria. You can find him on Twitter at @DavidJSmith1232.

Laura is a long-time Jazz fan writing from California. She graduated from BYU in 2008 and has worked in marketing, writing, and proofreading positions ever since. She’s been a radio guest on sports radio and tweets her thoughts at @hoopslaureate

Riley is a talented artist, an analytical thinker, and a moderator in the Jazz Reddit community. He’s been part of the Jazz online community since he was posting at the age of 12 on He tweets a combination of graphic art, analytical insights and smart takes at @rgiss11.

In addition to these regular writers, several SCH alumni plan to stay connected so they weigh in on group posts and also write occasionally articles when other commitments allow. This includes Allen Reihmann, Allen Schowengerdt, Andrew JohnDenim Millward, Jonathan TurnbowJulia Mecham and Thatcher OlsonTaylor Bentley will continue to provide editing support.


We’re excited to feature so many different voices, styles and perspectives on our deep writing staff. Having worked with each of the talented people listed above, I can tell you that a lot of energy and passion is going into our 2018-19 Jazz coverage.

We’re lucky to have each and every one of these folks involved with our site, and our goal is to work together to build on the reputation of Salt City Hoops as an outlet in a class of its own, bringing quality coverage, smart analysis and fun features to our readers.

As always, let us know what you’d like to see more or less of, and how our team can enhance your experience following the 2018-19 Jazz.

Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton

Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City, but contributes regularly to Salt City Hoops, FanRag and BBALLBreakdown.
Dan Clayton

One Comment

  1. Larry K, Anderson says:

    Have not commented in quite a while. Enjoy reading the articles. A lot of study goes into them and the knowledge of the writers is great. A lot of sights have nothing but filthy language and trolls. Hate to see Andy gone and I shy away from the Trib completely. This is the best sight anyway. Glad to see my favorite player Burks doing so well. I said weeks ago that he and Exum are the x factors on the Jazz this year. Look forward to all the articles.

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