Posted by: JC on August 23rd, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
When you close your eyes and clear your mind, who do the Utah Jazz line up as their rival?
Are you seeing a clear picture of any one team? The University of Utah has the lowly BYU Coug’s, but, whom do the Jazz have?
What about the Denver Nuggets? In my mind they should be our top rival – we share a border, share ideals in the ski industry. Shouldn’t this be the queen mother of them all? However, I’m not so sure that the Salt Lake Jazz even exist in the eyes of the Nuggz. It seems as though they barely got up out of their beds to play us during the Playoffs, nor were they very full of the venom that true rivals possess for each other during the series.
Maybe it’s because they think the Nuggets are rivals with the Lakers (at least that’s what the NBA says about them); laughable. How long can they hold on to one good series in the Playoffs a few years ago?
Lets see now … who’s next … how about the Phoenix Suns? Well, we also share a state border with them, and in fact once back in the old days, Karl Malone even goal tended a “potential” game winner by Kevin Johnson during the All-Star game (we all know it was going in). Should this not be the perfect rivalry? Alas, for whatever reason the NBA has seemingly asked the Gorilla of Phoenix to quit hanging out with the Bear of Salt Lake, thus killing the competition between good and evil.
Oh, I know, what about the Portland Trail Blazers? I mean, didn’t they tried to steal Paul Millsap from us, then following that up with the successful “steal” of Wesley Matthews, dastardly indeed! Well, until the Jazz fans start to fill the ESA up when the Blazers come to town, I’m not going to buy into this “should be” rivalry – will the theft of our beloved Wesley be enough gas on the fire to accomplish a task seemingly impossible for the past several years? Only time will tell. But, just for a second, let us imagine it: conservative right-wing Utah versus those dirty liberal left-wing Blazers; politicians can’t even dream up this stuff. (NOTE: have I heard correctly that the GOP convention is to be held in SLC – 2011/12?)
Well guess what, it seems like we were given a rivalry due to something called “history”.
Wasn’t it sure fun when we were matching up with the Houston Rockets in the Playoffs and knocking them around; I imagined to myself that we had a rivalry again, but, has their lotto filled season taken them from the ranks of a true rival? Can we hitch our ponies to the Yao Ming vs. the Utah Jazz Rivalry Hitch? For years we watched Karl Malone slug it out under the hoop with Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, only to continually get beat down until Stockton hit “the shot”, and we left them in the dust. For years the rivalry sat there on the shelf gathering dust, only sputtering back to life in recent history. Where will it go from here? Can a Kevin Martin, Aaron Brooks combo bring new life to this rivalry, or, is it really just a sign that it died with Yao’s broken foot?
*** SUB PLOT ***
According to Webster’s, a rivalry is defined as: the act of rivaling : the state of being a rival; Competition.
So, what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate; I mean, that isn’t much of a definition now is it? … In fact, it sounds like an overgeneralized watered down definition that many people would froth at the mouth in conjunction with due to it’s ability to be overused and under-analyzed.
Well, let’s just talk some classic rivalries, before we (I) don’t get carried away …
San Antonio Spurs vs Phoenix Suns – who could forget Robert “big shot” Horry sending Steve Nash into the scores table, bloodying up the little Canadians nose, thus prompting Amar’e Stoudemire to leave the bench, thus prompting a suspension, and thus prompting more prompting and as a result, another losing series for the Suns at the hands of the Spurs.
Pacers vs Knicks – you ever see that movie “Reggie Miller versus the New York Knicks“? Well, it pretty much sums up this fantastic, and sometimes nasty rivalry from 90’s. I mean, who could forget the Davis twins mixing it up in the painted area. Brutal era in basketball; I miss it and I truly loved it.
Celtics vs Lakers - before you try to hang me for this one, recall if you will the fact that Magic and Bird came out of college at the same time, challenged each other year after year for the prize – this may be the truest form of a rivalry we have ever seen in the NBA.
Given a few examples of “Classic Rivalries”, where do you see the Jazz / Rockets rivalry sitting? Granted it has some roots in the “classic era” of basketball, but is it the strongest example of a rivalry the Utah Jazz may have?
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.