I remember joining Jr. Jazz and the excitement I had when I would get to go to that one Jazz game a year! Just as exciting was when a member of the team would come locally and we could meet them and they would talk to all of us. It was such a simple thing for them to do, to take an hour or two here and there, but it meant a lot to us.
The Jazz made it cool to pass, they valued hard work and dedication. Players would come here and have the best years of their career. It was team basketball. We weren't always the most talented, but you knew we were going to give our all.
I was able to meet every Jazz player during the finals runs. My dad even won tickets to the game that John Stockton broke the steals record. Later I was even able to get John to autograph my certificate from the game.
There are moments that you will never forget. John Stockton making the shot to send the Utah Jazz into the NBA Finals will always be one of mine.
My fond memories do not conclude with Stockton and Malone, but continue to grow today. I am as big a fan as ever. Technology has brought us together in ways I could never have imagined. I may be doing a Google+ Hangout with David Locke in the morning, tweeting during the game, and then listening to the @utahjazzpodcast after.
Not only do we have more access to other fans, but to the players as well! They might even wish us a happy birthday! (Although the RSL team had the edge on that one)
I love this team as much as ever. I love that when it would have been easy to follow the Warriors model and tank, our team would rather develop a winning culture and play in meaningful games. While many teams are unbearable for me to watch, we still play team basketball. Even with injuries, we haven't gone down without a fight. All of our players have weaknesses, but I feel like they are truly trying to work on them, and to use the strengths that they do have. Our end of games have been a little scary, but we have come through almost every time.
Those values that I loved as a child, hard work and dedication, are still just as important. It's team basketball, it has to be we don't have a star. We aren't the most talented, but you know we are going to give our all.
Is out team perfect? NO! However, I am still proud to call the Jazz my team. Our team is full of great guys, guys that play the game right. We have a coach that has been able to keep everyone together, even with contracts expiring, and playing time not always being where players would like it. We have an organization that scouts as well as anyone, and has put ourselves in a great situation this upcoming summer.
We should always want the best, we have the right to voice our opinions, but maybe we can enjoy the ride a little bit more and remember how lucky we are to be a part of such a great team. #WeAreUtahJazz