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8:30 PM MDT, May 10, 2010
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
By now you all know the details. You’ve come down off the ledge after Saturday’s instant-classic-with-the-wrong-ending. So what do you think about tonight? I think the Jazz come out flat but end up fighting back and eventually win the game on pride alone. There is no empirical basis for that prediction, only one man’s wish to not have to watch a sweep.
In the meantime, let’s talk Derek Fisher for a minute. All the reports of the game are going crazy about Jazz fans booing Fish, which is clearly a euphemism for the nasty, personal, taunting things that are hurled his way every time he plays in SLC, post-Jazz. The booing alone is no reason for people to be upset; Carmelo was booed, Kobe gets booed, Dirk gets booed, even the Red Panda would get booed if she came out to perform wearing a Lakers jersey.
As someone in attendance during the game, I can honestly say it didn’t seem like Fisher was getting booed any worse than any of the other visiting players. Arash Markazi heard some things that he described thusly: “To say their taunts are personal and crossing the line would be a massive understatement.”
I have my opinions on the circumstances surrounding Fisher’s departure from Utah a few years ago, but it seems irrelevant anyway. I can’t, and won’t, defend the actions of the fans who choose to yell personal insults at the players, no matter the back story. It’s always unnerving, in any arena, to watch a fan scream at a player with the kind of venom that reveals nasty things about our society. Pardon the metaphor, but it’s like watching a 14-year old kid shaking cages in a pet store. He’s always tough when they can’t bite back.
I’d like to see the day when the whole “____ sucks” chant is completely forgotten. It’s just embarrassing and isn’t even original. Any chanting that happens should be original at least, and funny at best. Good fan work is exactly that: it’s work. The geniuses sitting behind the basket in Game 3 wearing the same clothes as Kobe from his exotic East India pictures for the LA Times Magazine? Perfect.
Personally, I just want to be entertained. AND ARE WE NOT ENTERTAINED? Fisher may have ripped out the hearts of Jazz fans with his performance in Game 3, but it wasn’t long ago that he gave us one of the greatest moments in Jazz history when he checked into the game straight from the airport and hit a huge 3 to push the Jazz to victory. Few players in the history of the game have had as many big moments in the playoffs as Fisher, and I appreciate it. All I want from a game, or a movie, or a concert, is to be entertained, and Fisher has done more that his fair share of that over the years.
Anyway, let’s bring the noise tonight and keep it interesting and funny. And obviously cancer- and kid-free, sheesh. We probably shouldn’t even have to set that as a baseline. As an olive branch to Fisher, here’s a clip from his website offering some insight into what was going on when he was released from his contract with the Jazz by the late owner Larry Miller.
If you’d like a little pick-me-up, check out the nice post by nice post by JL Cauvin on why we follow the Jazz. There are a few factual errors, but it’s the sentiment I enjoy.
Follow the game on the ESPN Daily Dime Live Chat. I’ll be taking questions and posting your comments. Stop in and say what’s on your mind.