I am at a Jazz game once again with coworker Craig Low and his girlfriend. They are not basketball fans, but seem to enjoy the event. The Jazz open a big first quarter lead and roll over a bad Golden State Warrior team that is now coached by Don Nelson. In the program I notice that Nelson has 5 assistant coaches including former Final Four star Keith Smart. It doesn't matter - C.J. Miles hits for 13 first quarter points and the Jazz win easily. Everybody plays.
The Bear is inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame at half time. I am always amazed at how professional sports teams manage to make extracurricular events into events for a single game. The Bear in the mascot Hall of Fame? What is the Mascot Hall of Fame? Apparently, it's in Philadelphia, PA. Orin Hatch is somehow involved in the induction as he is running for reelection in 2 days and Larry H. Miller must be supporting him. Hatch isn't all that popular in the Delta Center as he is treated to a rash of boos.
I can sense a certain excitement building in the Delta Center as the arena is probably 80% full for an early season game against a complete also ran. On the Trax train home, several other fans agree this looks like the Jazz's best team since the 96 Finals team that lost to Michael Jordan. On 1320 KFAN Nelson says that this is one of Sloan's best teams, indicating that they don't have the star power of Malone and Stockton teams, but that they are that good and will make some noise in the West. I hope he's right. Nelson isn't one my favorite basketball coaches, but he always seems to have "basketball vision," an ability to see potential. He picked Dirk Novitzki - no one knew who Dirk was. Of course he also traded for Shawn Bradley. I hope the Jazz are more like Dirk.