Statue Potential: Who Gets a Statue Outside of ESA?

May 31st, 2013 | by Scott Stevens
burks-season-opener

Will this guy get a statue outside of ESA? Spoiler alert: probably not. (Photo credit: @utahjazz Instagram)

Before the start of last season, there was a lot of hubbub surrounding the delayed decision to finally give Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a statue outside the Staples Center. While there may have been a few reasons as to why it took so long, most people outside of the regular LA community might have even been surprised to learn that Kareem wasn’t already immortalized in bronze.

But it got me thinking. Will there ever be another statue to keep John and Karl company outside ESA? If so, who? And when? Are any of those players on our current roster?

So I decided to have some fun with it and create my own, completely fictitious stat I’m calling “Statue Potential,” referred to as SP from here forward.

Due to the nature of our current roster and the uncertainty of seemingly every contract situation, and since I don’t have a crystal ball to determine future Jazz prospects, or know which of these 3-year old YouTube sensations making baskets on their Fisher Price hoops will actually pan out, I decided to judge the SP of those players that finished the 2012-13 season in a Jazz uniform.

My criteria for the SP scale breaks down as follows (each with a scale of 1-5):

  • Individual success
  • Team success
  • Fan response (we all have our fan favorites)
  • Durability (combination of health and total time spent in Jazz uniform)
  • All-star appearances (only category allowed to be 0)
  • Clutch (who do you want with the ball in his hands to close a game?)
  • Potential** (a piece you build your franchise around)

**This category is also completely biased and skews the voting to our younger players. But I’m writing the rules here.  

Think of the point system based loosely on the following guidelines:
5 – future hall of famer
4 – all-star
3 – solid NBA starter
2 – role player
1 – bench warmer

In case of a tie, edge goes to players with higher Fan Response number. In the event of another tie, Potential ranking will decide.

First, let me give you a couple of examples to show how this works:

John Stockton

Individual success – 5
Team success – 4
Fan response – 5
Durability – 5
All star appearances – 5
Clutch – 5
Potential – 5

If you can’t tell, most of these rankings are based around the type of player that Stockton was. That’s why he nearly aced every category. I chose to represent at least one area with a below-perfect score to demonstrate that these players don’t have to receive flawless marks to bronzify themselves, only near perfect ones. The Stockton-to-Malone era came as close as possible without ever winning that elusive championship, and thus receives a 4 on team success.

Karl Malone 

Individual success – 5
Team success – 4
Fan response – 4
Durability – 5
All star appearances – 5
Clutch – 5
Potential – 5

Again, it doesn’t get much better than Malone. He receives the same score on team success as Stockton, since the tandem spent close to 95% of their careers together. However, Karl notched another 4 under fan response for his repetitive off-season feuds with Larry Miller, as well as his sporadic history of not showing up for certain playoff series. Although, I could have bumped him back to a 5 purely for giving the diamond cutter to Rodman during his WCW premiere.  Who does that?!

Hopefully you can start to see the methodology behind this. Now, let’s get to the current roster.

Alec Burks

Individual success – 1
Team success – 2
Fan response – 4
Durability – 2
All star appearances – 0
Clutch – 1
Potential – 3

Burks could be an all-star in the category for “flashes of brilliance.” This season, he surprised in many areas while underperforming in others. I’ll credit the 4 on Fan Response simply because of #freeBurks. Unless he gets minutes, we may never know his true SP.

DeMarre Carroll 

Individual success – 2
Team success – 2
Fan response – 5
Durability – 2
All star appearances – 0
Clutch – 1
Potential – 3

I imagine players like DeMarre are every coach’s simultaneous dream and nightmare. You have to love the hustle and intangibles that he brings to the game, but that’s not always enough. His grittiness on the defensive end and energy (not to mention the fantastic dreadlocks) make him a fan favorite. I let my emotions get involved on this one and gave him a 5 in Fan Response for that very reason. SMD.

Jeremy Evans 

Individual success – 1
Team success – 2
Fan response – 3
Durability – 1
All star appearances – 1 (throwing him a bone here for the dunk contest)
Clutch – 1
Potential – 2

#LetJeremyDunk might be the career highlight for this guy. But I bet he could paint himself as a statue. So there’s that.

Derrick Favors

Individual success – 3
Team success – 2
Fan response – 4
Durability – 3
All star appearances – 0
Clutch – 3
Potential – 5

This guy is the future of our franchise, and the fans know it. The only reason he’s probably not a 5 in fan response is because of his needed development on the offensive end. He’s young, he’s raw, but fans have the tendency to want results yesterday. That might affect his SP. The foreseeable future of our franchise is on your shoulders. No pressure.

Randy Foye

Individual success – 3
Team success – 1
Fan response – 3
Durability – 2
All star appearances – 0
Clutch – 2
Potential – 3

Being the new record holder for total 3′s in a season has got to mean something. But given that he’s only providing a 3 point shot, I’d say Korver has a higher SP in Utah (Well, maybe not since his marriage). Foye claims he enjoys being here, though. He may not get a statue, but look at everything Horny did while in a Jazz uniform. His number will always hang in the rafters. Good luck in Phoenix, Horny! Are we still talking about Foye?

Gordon Hayward 

Individual success – 4
Team success – 2
Fan response – 4
Durability – 3
All star appearances – 0
Clutch – 3
Potential – 4

I honestly think I could have given G-Time a higher score in a few areas if it weren’t for Paul George. George’s presence has cast a shadow over an otherwise surprisingly strong career. But it’s impossible not to like this baby-faced youngster. He plays out of control from time to time, but there is a reason people respect his game: he does it all. He’s another cornerstone of this franchise. In my opinion, he’ll be an all-star soon. Gordon, it’s time to step up and be a leader now.

Al Jefferson 

Individual success – 4
Team success – 2
Fan response – 3
Durability – 3
All star appearances – 0
Clutch – 4
Potential – 2

His touch around the basket may always be overshadowed by his lack of defensive presence. As fans, we tend to focus on the bad rather than the good. He has done some pretty impressive things late in the game the past few seasons, but it’s time to pass the torch; and if you have to pass the torch before you retire, you probably won’t end up in bronze.

Enes Kanter

Individual success – 3
Team success – 2
Fan response – 5
Durability – 2
All star appearances – 0
Clutch – 2
Potential – 4

I never thought we’d see another NBA star flirt with wrestling ring again, but after a short time, I think I might be wrong. You can only hope that his flirtatious nature with the media and quirky behavior doesn’t set him up to be seduced away by a larger market. Somewhere like, oh, I don’t know, Hollywood. His offensive strides have been remarkable. Hopefully this shoulder injury doesn’t linger, and he can continue to impress all of us with that superhuman physique. At his age and with his limited experience to the game, he has a lot of potential to develop into a dangerous threat to opposing teams. Plus, he’s keeping so many Utah girls happy at the Cheesecake Factory.

Paul Millsap

Individual success – 3
Team success – 3
Fan response – 3
Durability – 4
All star appearances – 0
Clutch – 3
Potential – 2

When Millsap decides to go all Man-sap and give Chuck Norris a run for his money, there might not be a more beloved player in Utah. But Paul seems like the perfect example of a player that gets more support as a reserve than a starter, just as the backup QB is often the most popular player on a football team. As a low draft pick with even lower expectations, he won us over with his hustle and work ethic. He’s been an awesome stronghold for the fans here, but might also be losing some value because his earned minutes stand in the way of the development of our next generation of bigs. Paul’s not getting a statue, but maybe I could get him a bottle of Windex to compensate for all the glass he’s cleaned during his memorable run here.

Kevin Murphy 
(Not sufficient data)

Jamaal Tinsley
(Sufficient data – he’s just never getting a statue)

Earl Watson 
(See Jamaal Tinsley – but always throwing oops to Evans is duly noted)

Marvin Williams

Individual success – 1
Team success – 1
Fan response – 2
Durability – 2
All star appearances – 0
Clutch – 1
Potential – 2

He’s had a tough go. I like the guy, I really do. But I don’t want him to start anymore, which definitely rules out any SP. I would, however, like to be the first to nominate him as a replacement to Ronnie Brewer should they decide to remake the chocolate milk commercials.

Mo Williams 

Individual success – 3
Team success – 2
Fan response – 3
Durability – 1
All star appearances – 1* (not with Utah)
Clutch – 3
Potential – 3

A rookie season and half of another here in Utah don’t necessarily qualify someone for a statue. Playing with LeBron on those regular-season-dominant Cavs teams might have been his highlight, but that’s still more than most people will ever get. I won’t rule the statue out because crazier things have happened, but I’m not holding my breath.

So where do these players rank? Applying the tiebreakers from earlier:

The final top three:

  1. Derrick Favors – 2.86
  2. Gordon Hayward – 2.86
  3. Enes Kanter – 2.57

Is it coincidence that these three would show up here? Probably not, especially because I created these categories and rankings myself out of sheer entertainment. But this is where our future is. They all have a long way to go to catch Stockton and Malone, whose averages were 4.86 and 4.71, respectively. Let’s not slate their future in bronze just yet.

The bottom dweller happens to be Marvin Williams with an average of 1.29. Sorry, bud.

So what can we learn from all this? One, that statue-deserving players are hard to come by. Two, the next person to get a statue should be Jerry Sloan, not any of these guys. You don’t need fictitious numbers to see that. Who knows if he’ll ever come back and coach somewhere else, but once he’s good and ready, he should have a resting place between John and Karl.

Scott Stevens

A voice of the everyday Jazz fan. Scott works as a creative writer at an advertising agency in Los Angeles. Sticking it to Laker fans every chance he gets. A former "Jazz Rowdy" and avid interneter with production and writing experience on global sports brands. He has lived everywhere from Texas to DC, and all the way to Thailand. He now happens to live on a boat.

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