21 July 2009

Do you realize that nothing has really happened?

The other day, my dad left a voicemail on my cellular that said, "I need you to call me back and update me on everything that is happening with the Jazz." See, he had spent the previous week-plus in the mountains.

I called him back, and as the phone was ringing, I started to categorize the happenings in order of importance, so that in the case a tragedy happened to our phones or us, at least he would know the important stuff. I was really glad when he didn't answer because, by the time his voicemail answered, I had come to the realization that pretty much nothing had happened.

I finally did get a hold of him about 15 minutes later, and the conversation went something like this: "Hey, Dad. You need the update on the Jazz? Well, nothing really happened. Just a bunch of talking about stuff that could happen. Millsap re-signed, so there's that. There have been a lot of trade rumors about Boozer, but none of them make any sense. So, yeah, nothing happened."

"Oh, okay. Well, thanks for letting me know," he said.

He seemed as embarrassed that he had asked as I was with the answer that I had to give him. It was really awkward, kind of like this off-season has been for the Utah Jazz organization and its fans.

The organization seems to be a mess under the new leadership. I'm making promises to myself that I will give this Greg Miller a chance, despite his Livestrong Bracelet, slimy goatee and spiked 'do that still remembers the good not-so-old times when it was accentuated with frosted tips. And even though I once had an acquaintance who worked under him at a car dealership call him "the worst leader I have ever seen." And even though he has been begging to take over LHM's empire for years, according to an interview I heard with Larry last fall, which has to make one wonder if he respects the position he holds. A smart person might be more hesitant to jump into that fire, or at least approach it with a respectful fear.

I'm really keeping an open mind. But, it has to be asked: Would things be this chaotic if Larry H. Miller was still wearing the crown? Would LHM have let Boozer get away with being on radio shows in Chicago and Miami (and not in SLC), talking about how great those teams could be with him and how much he loves those cities? Would he let Boozer get away with announcing that the Jazz told him they were going to trade him -- whether it was true or not? Would he have allowed the situation to get so nuts that the Jazz now have no option BUT to trade their leading scorer? There's no way LHM would let his team lose their leverage or control of the scenario.

I trust Kevin O'Connor, and I have few doubts that he is doing his best to keep control of Utah's options. Everything else has gotten so crazy, though, that the fans seem to be in charge, leaving O'Connor with little power to make sure the Utah Jazz are still a playoff team. Boozer for Tyrus Thomas? Come on.

It's been awkward for fans too. I'm so sick and tired of having to have Twitter up all day, and refreshing it at least five time per hour, so I can know when a trade happens -- if one ever does happen. I'm now more connected than I need to be. Sure, ?uestlove's twits are respectable and there aren't too many, but I don't need to know anymore about Wale (though his new album will undoubtedly be awesone -- thanks to Twitter, I can tell you that it is called Attention Deficit and it comes out on Sept. 22). Did you know that Kevin Durrant and Dwight Howard, two of my favorite NBA players, do absolutely nothing all day every day? It's true, and they have no qualms about mentioning what they are not doing. And don't even get me started on CJ Miles. (I will mention this: He is joining or starting some kind of club that advocates wearing more socks or something like that. For real.)

Then there's the Millsap deal. Some Jazz fans are devoted to him like he is a future Hall of Famer. Most Jazz fans thought he was the PF of the future until he got significant time last year and wore down, got hurt, played for a contract. No wait, that was Boozer...oh, uh, no, it was Millsap too. These people still like that he's a worker, so they were happy when it appeared the Jazz were going to get him for a little bit more than the mid-level, on account of nobody else making him an offer. Things were looking good. Then, Portland got shrewd and messed things up. They couldn't let a division rival avoid over-paying for a cherish role player. So, they signed him to an offer. This also freed up Boozer, in case Portland wanted to pursue him, which it seems they don't.

Jazz fans were left trying to pretend that paying him that much money isn't a horrible thing.

In the long run, though, Portland's brilliant move will have little impact. I strongly believe that a team should let a role player walk away before they should extremely over-pay him. Millsap is a role player. Millsap is not a $10MIL player. Millsap is about a $6MIL player, and that is about what he will be getting the last three years of the contract he just signed.

But, by signing Millsap to the offer, Portland forced the Utah's hand, and made the world a ton more messy place for the Jazz organization and little more awkward place for the fans. Now that it seems to be a given that the Jazz will be without their one big-time scorer next year, everyone is holding their breath until a trade actually does happen, killing brain cells and thereby making it more and more inevitable that the impending trade will be a terrible one. It isn't because the Jazz don't know any better, it's just that they've left themselves with no choice.


  1. Hey, now it's almost Media Day, and Boozer's still on the team. I can't wait to hear the questions he's asked tomorrow, and his answers.

  2. I can. It will be terrible. Boozer will think he can smooth it over, but he can't. He should just be straight and say, "I messed up, but I think I learned from it."

    I'm glad he's still around, though.