I’m proud of the fact that recently, and in the past, Jazz fans have been called “nastier than others.” At least when an opponent comes to the ESA, it knows they’re playing in a hostile territory. As the D-News article states, we’re probably no different than most crowds. Yes, we cheer loud and yell emphatically, but so do others. I doubt our “cat-calls” are much nastier than other arenas.
What I’m more worried about though is how nasty our players are. Stockton was known for being one of the “dirtiest” sons-a-guns in the NBA during his time. His screens –some say- were beyond illegal and cheap. The Mailman was a tough sucker. Everyone remembers the time he elbowed Isaiah Thomas in the head, causing major damage and stitches to repair. The Mailman was bull-strong and “nasty” like that. Players were afraid to play against him in the paint.
This past season’s version of the Jazz was soft and weak. That’s one of the primary reasons why we’ve had an early exit from the playoffs.
As we go down the roster, it’s easy to pin-point the players who don’t measure up in the toughness department (both mental and physical). The only three players that pass the toughness test are Deron Williams, Paul Millsap, and Matt Harpring. AK47?... Soft as charmin! Carlos the Boozer?... Lacking mental fortitude. CJ Miles?... Absolute softie. Kyle Korver?... Good shot, not tough.
Where are the pit-bulls on this team? We have to give the Houston Rockets a ton of credit because they battled the Lakers to the finish line. Something we couldn’t do. And they did it with guys, such as Chuck Hayes, Luis Scola, Carl Landry, Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowery (not to mention Battier and Artest). How did they do it (force a game 7)? They’re TOUGH as nails. They play with heart, passion and aggression. We need tougher players. We need fighters. We need pit-bulls. Until then, we probably won’t be making much “run” through the playoff season. We could use this guy. Don’t you think?