Special to The Utah Jazz Blog, friend of Utah Jazz president Randy Rigby, and Jazz fanatic, Alan "Jedi" Zaugg shares his thoughts with us on the path of the Utah franchise. You can find Jedi frequently talking Utah Jazz on the afternoon show KFAN Live Blog as well as follow him on Twitter at @JediZaugg, something I recommend for fans that like a well-thought-out, common sense approach to Jazz fandom. Enjoy!


As I sat and watched the Utah Jazz at OKC Thunder Wednesday night, I couldn't help but take a moment to reflect on the season and take a peek into the future, take a look at what the future can hold. Jazz fans you gotta work with me here and be patient.

Lets begin with this season.

This has quite possibly been the worst season I’ve witnessed in my recent memory  (yes worse than the lottery bound ‘04-’05 season). Mostly because of the expectations coming into the season. This team went from a 27-13 start to a 36-36 in a matter of two months. Nine wins in the last 33 games. UGH! And right about now we’ve all probably repeated over and over again the phrase, “Can this get any worse”. Right?

And as we have come to realize, yes it can. And it has.

Enough about this ugly season. As I sat watching another loss to the Thunder, I heard something uttered by our friends Bolerjack and Harpring on FSN. They spoke of Oklahoma City and how they are the “3rd youngest team in the NBA”. And where is this 3rd youngest team ranked right now? Division leaders by a lot of games and 4th in the Western Conference. And exciting to watch!

How? Through the draft. 


Image: Playing the ESPN Draft Lottery generator

Yeah, some trades and free agent signings along the way happened as well. But the core: Westbrook, Durant, James Harden, and even Jeff Green (now traded back to the Celtics, from who the Thunder originally acquired his rights) all top five picks. That’s right lottery picks. And not all acquired in the same draft either. OKC had to have some patience, some down years, in order to get where they are now.

How does this relate to the Jazz?

We're used to two words here in Utah: Consistency and Stability. And in two short months both of those have gone out the window.

It’s time to start over, to begin again. This team hasn’t had to rebuild in 26 years. And no, I’m sorry getting Deron Williams in the draft was not completely a rebuild mode. This will take time, patience, and...fan support, to see this through. The Jazz are in full rebuild mode.

The Jazz have some very important pieces already in place: a young and extremely talented PF Favors, a young but extremely smart Hayward, and Al Jefferson your center piece. And let’s not forget a still young, talented CJ Miles. They’ve got a great core of guys, now they just need to add some more young pieces. And before you know it the Jazz will be the next OKC Thunder team.

The future is BRIGHT Jazz fans. Don’t give up hope. As a very good friend of mine, Randy Rigby, said to me the other day:

“Go Jazz. We are going to keep fighting.”

As long as they keep that fighting edge about them, there’s always something to be excited about. And I will keep cheering them on.

Are you with me?