In the throes of a lockout, everything can become complicated. Such is the case for the Utah Jazz and its fans.
Jazz followers haven’t seen their team since last summer, the same year that saw the Jazz lose their best player, Deron Williams. Then their Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan resigned, and a new coach and influx of players acquired through Williams’ trade to New Jersey came through the front door.
The 2010-11 version of the Jazz did not reach the playoffs, instead suffering through its first losing season since 2004-05.
You can imagine how interesting that all was for a team used to keeping things simple and uncomplicated.
Everything from last fall to now has been complex for the Jazz and try as it might, the lockout–now reaching its umpteenth month–has not helped.
Pro Player Charity Classic
Salt Lake Community College
Date: Monday Nov. 7, 2011
Time: 7:00 PM
Ticket Price: $22.50-$50
Special Information: Proceeds from the game will be distributed among charities including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Special Olympics, Ronald McDonald House and Ol Foundation.
Though Monday’s charity basketball game at Salt Lake Community College is merely an exhibition, it is one way for Jazz fans to see what the team might look like when the lockout is over–and the teams are back to playing NBA basketball.
For now, all of these so-called “all-star games” look like a cross between street ball and a pickup game. Sloppy defense, no system to speak of, and gobs of points for all involved.
Fans can expect high-flying acrobatics and run n’ gun basketball in a non-threatening atmosphere designed to entertain fans of all ages.
If you’re coming to see Jimmer chuck up a prayer shot from 50 feet out, or Jazz rookie Enes Kanter muscle his way through the lane for a few tap dunks, you might not go home disappointed.
If it sounds like a traveling road show reminiscent of the Harlem Globetrotters, that’s because it might be.
What makes it nice for Jazz fans is that they get to see some of their their favorite players in action, and the ticket prices are fairly reasonable, compared to what you might have to pay at the Energy Solutions Arena.
The charity game will be held at a venue that was accustomed to hosting the former “Rocky Mountain Revue,” the summer tournament that featured NBA rookies, draftees and free agents before all summer leagues moved to warmer locales like Orlando and Las Vegas.
Expected to play for the Jazz team in the Pro Player Charity Classic are 2011 NBA draft picks Kanter and Alec Burks of Colorado, as well as relative newcomers Derrick Favors and Devin Harris–both acquired in the Williams trade–and veterans like Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Ronnie Price.
Pro Player Charity Classic Jazz Roster
Jazz fans will even notice a familiar face or two on the other side of the court wearing a different jersey. Jimmer will play for the visitors, as will former Jazzmen Wesley Matthews (now with Portland) and Earl Watson (now a free agent).
Pro Player Charity Classic Visiting Roster
Other notables expected to play at press time were Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors (son of former Jazz great Dell Curry) and Chauncey Billups.