My thoughts on the Utah Jazz
I love this team. They have been part of my life since the year after I graduated from high school. Once, as I was waiting for Heidi in her parents’ living room to go on one of our first dates in 1985, I watched a news clip of my dad being interviewed about buying the first half of the Jazz. Since that time I have attended nearly every home game. I have watched with joy and pain over the years as the team has gone through its ups and downs. I have developed relationships with many of the players and coaches, past and present. I have seen firsthand how important this team is to the people not only of Utah but around the world (I once had a conversation with a Turkish shopkeeper in Istanbul about his love of the Jazz). One of the greatest experiences I have ever had was at the (then) Delta Center during the finals between the Jazz and the Bulls. The Jazz are a huge part of my life. Like most Jazz fans, I get frustrated when the team performs poorly.
Now for some facts.
1. As long as I have anything to say about it, the Jazz will be committed to winning. As a family and an organization, we will do everything in our power to put a competitive team on the floor- a team fans can be proud of.
2. This organization is spending more money than ever before on player salaries. Last summer, when Boozer, Okur and Korver all opted in, we were committed to unprecedented player expense. Then on top of that, Portland made their run at Millsap. We matched their offer because we believed (and still do) that Millsap will be a player that can help our team win. We have the talent to win right now.
3. When change comes it will be well thought out and deliberate. Knee jerk changes have never been a recipe for success. We will not trade for players with contracts that saddle us with high dollar, non-productive years, even though it may help us in the short run. If the Jazz are to be successful in the long run, we need to make sound long term decisions.
4. Making trades in the NBA is very complicated. It is not as simple as calling another team and telling them to send the player you want on your team to you. There are many variables that need to line up, including the amount of the contracts, the duration of the contracts, available cap room and dozens (if not hundreds) of other considerations.
5. As a franchise, we are not sitting on our hands. We are on the constant lookout for opportunities to improve. If we have an opportunity to make a trade that makes sense, competitively and financially, we’ll make every effort to get it done. Do not assume we are not pursuing trades just because there haven’t been any.
The Utah Jazz is an extremely valuable asset. My responsibility is to preserve the value of that asset. The best way to do that is to deliver value to the fans and the sponsors, which will translate to emotional and financial support of the team, which in turn preserves the value of the asset. In the case of professional sports, value is generally synonymous with wins. It also includes many other things like quality of experience at a game, occasional access to coaches and players and the franchise giving back to the community, among others.
As a Jazz fan, I am frustrated with some of the losses of late. But I’m not ready to throw in the towel. I am committed to doing all I can to support the team, as I hope Jazz fans everywhere are. I hope fans are with us for the long haul.