Posted by: Landon J on August 1st, 2011The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
This topic has been discussed lightly several times on this site already. But I believe it could be expanded upon. I was thinking today about Andrei Kirilenko, and whether or not the Jazz will resign him when the lockout ends. If they don’t, and he plays for another team, how long would he play until he retired? He’s 30 years old, and really there’s plenty of players who have played in their 30’s. But we all know that Kirilenko is very injury prone and who knows how much longer he’ll be in the league. So if he retired after a couple years after playing for a different team, it would make sense that his jersey would eventually hang back in Salt Lake City, where the best days of his career happened. That is, if his jersey is hung anywhere.
It’s kind of interesting to think about the NBA in the future, even as little as twenty years. Which players will we call legends? Some are obvious and others probably won’t be considered as great until after retirement. So which jerseys will the EnergySolutions Arena be adding to its rafters? And which ones would have been? Here’s my thoughts:
- Matt Harpring – He played quite well in Utah and obviously this is where he will be most remembered, especially since this was where he retired. If he continues to work with the Jazz as far as commentating or even coaching goes, I plan on seeing his jersey up high in somewhat distant future.
- Andrei Kirilenko – His jersey seems like one that would definitely be considered. He had some great seasons here in Utah and has still remained loyal after ten years. He’s always been in a Jazz uniform and has been a great example of a foreign player coming to the NBA. Save a spot for 47.
- Mehmet Okur – The thing is, none of these players obviously compare to the greatness of those who are already hanging up, but if they were looking for another jersey to hang, he would be next on my list.
- Uhh… Anybody else? – The Jazz have a very young team now. We haven’t really had the opportunity to see if any players will be remembered for major contributions to the Jazz. That will come within the next few years. But if the following players remain loyal to the Jazz and reach their highest potential, I could eventually see them as worthy contenders of a spot: Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, Gordon Hayward, and even Derrick Favors.
Would’ve Been’s -
- Deron Williams – Let’s be honest, most Jazz fans thought he’d be here for much longer, maybe even his whole career. I thought Chris Paul would leave NO before Deron left Utah. It didn’t make any sense until after it happened. But, if D-Will would have stayed here, no doubt, his jersey would eventually hang. Right next to Stockton’s? What an honor.
- Carlos Boozer – I would imagine that this is where most people would disagree with this article. But I believe he would have been a good choice. He did a lot for the Jazz, and think of how much more he could have done if he hadn’t missed so many games. His attitude maybe didn’t deserve a spot, but his game did.
So what does anybody else think? Trust me, I know it’s odd to talk about hanging a player’s jersey before he even retires, but we’ve got nothing else to talk about during this lockout! I’ve got nothing better!
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