Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Favorite Jazz Players

Since the Jazz had such a bad year last year and are still struggling this season, I thought I'd reminisce a little about better times. The following are my favorite Jazz players that I grew up watching. I am only including my top 10 favorite players who I have personally watched so that is why Pete Maravich as well as any other player prior to 1980 is not on my list.

1) Karl Malone- Karl earned my respect for being one of the hardest working players in the NBA. He was a machine and only missed a handful of games over his long career and outworked everyone in the off season. I wish he would have milked his career for all it was worth because he could have beaten Kareem's scoring record if he stuck around a little longer. He was definitely in good enough shape to play several more years.

2) John Stockton- Stockton was tough competitor. His steals and assists records are ridiculous and make me wonder if any one will ever come close to putting up the career numbers he did in those categories. I also appreciate the fact that had any scandal or PR problems off the court during his career which many players can't say. He was a humble and reserved guy, especially when you consider all that he accomplished on the court.

3) Darrell Griffith- I didn't get to watch Griffith for many years, but I loved watching Dr. Dunkenstein's exciting play. He could elevate and dunk with the best of them during his time. He also had the highest arcing rainbow three pointers I've ever seen. I would have loved to see more of Griffith.

4) Adrian Dantley- Dantley was only 6'4" or 6'5" at best but he played like a 6'10" player. I was amazed at how effective his post moves were against bigger defenders. He used his body well and was the NBA scoring champion in 1981 and 1984.

5) Mark Eaton- Big Mark sometimes took some flack for his offensive play, but he was one of the greatest shot blockers in NBA history. Only 3 players: Hakeem, Kareem, and Dikembe, have blocked more shots. In the 84-85 season he blocked 456 shots. That's an NBA record.

6) Deron Williams- Williams was a bright spot of entertainment for a while after the Malone and Stockton departure. It was fun to watch his crossovers while we had him. Since he went to Brooklyn he hasn't played on the same level that he did with the Jazz but he was fun to watch.

7) Ricky Green-"the fastest of them all" was one of the most under appreciated point guards in the league. He was chosen to play in the 1984 All Star Game.

8) Andrei Kirilinko- I've had a love hate relationship with AK for a while. I loved his effort and hustle on the court but got tired of the post season trade drama each year.

9) Jeff Hornacek- Jeff was a somewhat quiet player but he was a sharp shooter that brought out the best in his teammates.

10) Thurl Bailey- Big T was always solid and is also a great guy so how can you not like him?

Honorable Mentions:
Memhet Okur, Matt Harpring, Blue Edwards, Paul Milsap, Kyle Korver.