12 May 2012
The last guy on the bench, but the first guy off it.
On April 10th, 2012 the Utah Jazz signed Blake Ahearn to a ten day contract, and then extended that contract through the end of the year on April 20th. For those of you that watch the Jazz games regularly you may have noticed something about Blake Ahearn. He is a high energy guy that pops off the bench when a huge play is made. He is the first player off the bench when a timeout out is called. He is one of our biggest fans. Statistically, you aren’t going to get “Sloaned” by Ahearn unless you look at his D-league stats. Even then, it’s hard to analyze because of the lack of advanced stats.
The biggest part of the Blake Ahearn story is the narrative itself.
Blake has been in and out of the NBA three separate times: Miami 08’, San Antonio 09’, and the Jazz in 2012. The salaries in the NBADL are close to an hourly salary: 12,000, 18,000, and 24,000 per season. The cap for a D-League season is 24,000. It is safe to assume that Blake has other sources of income; whether that is a job, a side business, or using his Missouri State degree. The unofficial amount of the two 10 days contracts is 120,000 dollars. Possibly, ten times the amount that he is making in the D-League. How would you act if you just increases your salary by 5-10 times. It’s also safe to say that the salary helps, but it is more about achieved a childhood dream.
I would imagine that his perseverance on the basketball court is due to a dream that started when he was a little kid. While we know that it is not anyone’s dream to sit on the end of the bench and cheer other players on, Blake truly relished the role. He understood the “brotherhood” of the NBA, and played his part on the team. His part was to stay positive, upbeat, and support the other players, and be ready if needs be.
Blake Ahearn probably has a lot of questions running around in his mind as the season ends. He probably has a lot of fears as well. There are a few things that we can’t take away from him.
First, he was on one of the franchise’s greatest playoff runs and had an important role of the court. It has been 20 years since we ended a season with five or more straight wins.
Second, he earned enough money to continue chasing his dreams of playing in the NBA. Whether on the Jazz or not, he has some wiggle room.
Third, and maybe the most important, he showed us that it’s ok to be a crazy Utah Jazz fan. Because, for 21 days in the spring of 2012, he was just like us, a fan cheering for his favorite team.
We are Utah Jazz
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