All is well in Zion.
No, no, really.
As Jazz players and coaches put punctuation on a 25-57 season by packing up and clearing out on an occasion so magnificently utilitarian in its name — locker-clean-out day — there was good news.
This team is exactly where it figured to be at this point in the plan.
You could have put the whole thing in the books last October.
Even Ty Corbin uttered these words: "It was what I expected."
Where precisely are the Jazz? Right here: in fine position to add more young talent to their roster.
No telling precisely which draft pick the Jazz will get, seeing that that’s the business of the lottery gods and their ping pong balls, but at least they’re in the game, having lost enough to give them a shot at something — someone — who can do more than barely nudge them along. They simply have to pick the right guy.
So, now, the plan moves on to that next step.
And it’s all good.
As defeat stacked up this season, too many people around here lost hope and lost faith alongside those losses to the Bucks, the Lakers, the Grizzlies, the Nuggets, the Clippers, the Blazers, the Cavs, the Mavs, the Suns, the … (fill in the blank).
That same frustration was evident on the faces and in the words of the players as they pondered their accomplishments and spoke about their shortcomings on Thursday. Nobody seemed thrilled. Not the least of which was Corbin.
"It was a long season," he said. "A lot of ups and downs. … With young guys you have more of those rollercoaster rides. And your emotions go with it."
There was no hint given about the coach’s status. But the mystery shouldn’t last much longer, maybe just a couple of days. If the Jazz keep Corbin, it behooves them to go fast. If they don’t keep him, it behooves them to go faster. There are subsequent decisions to make, schemes to set, lumber to get into the shed as the lottery draws near (May 20), and the draft and free-agent-signing period approach. Fiddling in the middle does no good. Speculation and conjecture helps no one, including — but not exclusive to — the people who will or might slap good money down now to buy tickets to watch this team play next year.
Asked if he thought, in his heart of hearts, he would be back, Corbin said: "I always think I’ll be where I am. Always."
And I always think I look like Brad Pitt. Always.
Doesn’t make it so.
On clean-out day, the players were bumming, but also seeing the bright side.
"It was a learning experience for everyone involved," Gordon Hayward said. "We’ll all be better basketball players because of it. Obviously, there was a lot of frustration involved in the season, but, at the end of the day, it was good for us as individuals to get these experiences."Next Page >
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