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Gordon Monson

Columnist, Sports

801-257-8733, gmonson@sltrib.com


  • Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James heads to the bench during a timeout against the Denver Nuggets in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 22, 2017, in Denver. The Nuggets won 126-113. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Monson: An easy answer to NBA’s most complicated problem
    NBA fans are getting screwed over. And if that was the worst of it, that’s the way it would stay. It’s not, at least not as far as the league’s powers...
    Updated Mar 24 2017 06:47 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Tribune file photo)    Utah Jazz’s John Stockton is lifted on the shoulders of his teammates after sinking a three-point shot at the buzzer to beat the Houston Rockets 103-100 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals Thursday, May 29, 1997, in Houston. The Jazz advanced to play the Chicago Bulls in The NBA Finals. Monson: Disappointment wrapped in dignity — the Jazz’s 1996-97 season is worth celebrating
    John Stockton walked off the court that last night in Chicago, sweat rolling down his face, his body spent, his work put in, the bitterness of elimina...
    Updated Mar 23 2017 05:19 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Northwestern players sit in their locker room after losing to Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Monson: Cinderella gets in a bar fight — and loses
    The NCAA Tournament can be one mean, fickle sucker. It creates and celebrates Cinderellas and sweethearts, and then, in the space of a couple of hours...
    Updated Mar 18 2017 08:10 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller speaks during a press conference at Vivint Smart Home Arena Friday March 17, 2017. Monson: A tale of two Western teams — Saint Mary’s and Arizona — and one high-stakes meeting
    The sincerity flowed freely from Jock Landale as he explained why he loves playing basketball for Saint Mary’s College, a small school with a big game...
    Updated Mar 17 2017 07:47 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    South Dakota State Jackrabbits forward Mike Daum (24), Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Silas Melson (0) and Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jordan Mathews (4) fight for the ball during first round of the NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Monson: Is Gonzaga really a No. 1? Is it?
    After No. 1-seeded Gonzaga breathed deep and beat South Dakota State at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Thursday, Zags coach Mark Few was asked if the Jack...
    Updated Mar 16 2017 08:31 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    South Dakota State Jackrabbits forward Mike Daum (24) warms up during South Dakota State’s practice at the NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Monson: Tragedy, losing streaks, injuries and brutal cold have brought South Dakota State together
    It’s easy to feel affinity for a team like the South Dakota State Jackrabbits — for all kinds of reasons. They aren’t exactly playing on Broadway. Th...
    Updated Mar 15 2017 07:30 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Utah Jazz guard George Hill (3) tries to get by LA Clippers guard Chris Paul (3), in NBA action Utah Jazz vs. LA Clippers, in Salt Lake City, Monday, March 13, 2017.   Monson: Jazz-Clippers feud is a beautiful thing
    I love this stuff. The Jazz and Clippers mixing it up in their game Monday night. It’s what the NBA needs more of, what the Jazz need more of. Enough ...
    Updated Mar 14 2017 03:23 pm   |     |   Share

  • Gonzaga’s Josh Perkins, left, speaks with coach Mark Few during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Saint Mary’s Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, in Moraga, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Monson: NCAA Tournament field at Vivint Arena offers a crap du jour
    What’s my motivation? What’s my reason to root? Without a whole lot of passion for or connection to any particular school playing here — seeing that ...
    Updated Mar 14 2017 08:37 pm   |     |   Share

  • Northwestern head coach Chris Collins, center, and players react during a NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Selection Show watch party, Sunday, March 12, 2017 at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Illinois. This is the first time that Northwestern Men’s Basketball team has been selected to play in the NCAA Tournament. Northwestern will play against Vanderbilt in the first round. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) Monson: From the familiar to the never-been-done to the lucky, SLC’s NCAA tourney field has it all
    Let’s admit it. The state of Utah is better at doing some things than others, and we don’t need to get all specific and comprehensive and political an...
    Updated Mar 12 2017 09:17 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah quarterback Troy Williams looks to throw against California during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Monson: For Utah football, there’s good news, better news, and the best news at QB
    After years of substandard play at the most important position on the field at Utah, there’s good news and better news and the best news of all for th...
    Updated Mar 11 2017 05:58 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Head coach Kyle Whittingham watches Utah football practice, Thursday, March 9, 2017. Monson: Utah spring football brings hope for a better tomorrow
    Spring is good for a lot of profound things — renewal, hope, optimism, the turn of a page, the warmth of a new season. Spring football at Utah, which...
    Updated Mar 22 2017 09:50 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Lennie Mahler  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Rudy Gobert takes center court before tip-off of a game between the Utah Jazz and the LA Clippers at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. Monson: Sacre bleu! Rudy Gobert’s climb is just beginning
    There is no ending to Rudy Gobert’s story. Not yet. And that’s what makes it so intriguing. Many pages have yet to be turned, yet to be written. He r...
    Updated Mar 12 2017 05:16 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20) runs past Brooklyn Nets forward Quincy Acy (13) and Brooklyn Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick (6) during the game at Vivint Smart Home Arena Friday March 3, 2017. Utah Jazz defeated Brooklyn Nets 112-97. Monson: Jazz G.M. Dennis Lindsey offers up his reasonable sales pitch to Gordon Hayward
    Exactly where Gordon Hayward ranks in the pantheon of NBA stars is arguable, but one thing is not: He is the Jazz’s top player, an invaluable piece in...
    Updated Mar 09 2017 06:10 pm   |     |   Share

  • Brigham Young University head coach Jeff Judkins passes the ball during practice for the NCAA women’s college basketball tournament on Friday, March 21, 2014, in Los Angeles. BYU is scheduled to play North Carolina State in a first-round game on Saturday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Jeff Judkins grew up wearing the red of Utah. Now as BYU women’s basketball coach, he’s true blue
    Jeff Judkins had big plans, big hoop dreams 40 years ago. He still does, in a place, in a role, he did not imagine, a place and a role that have trav...
    Updated Mar 09 2017 05:59 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah Jazz’s Derrick Favors (15) and Milwaukee Bucks’ Matthew Dellavedova (8) reach for the ball in the second half during an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Benny Sieu) Monson: Where have you gone, Derrick Favors? And where will you go?
    Derrick Favors paused, but not for long, as he considered the answer to a question that was posed to him shortly after he arrived in Salt Lake City, a...
    Updated Feb 28 2017 05:01 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah Jazz’s Derrick Favors (15) and Milwaukee Bucks’ Matthew Dellavedova (8) reach for the ball in the second half during an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Benny Sieu) Monson: Jazz make a loud statement by standing pat at the trade deadline
    As the trade deadline came and went, accompanied by nothing more audible or eventful around here than the sounds of silence, the Jazz started in on th...
    Updated Mar 09 2017 05:41 pm   |     |   Share

  • Monson: Greg Ostertag has learned from his substantial Jazz regrets
    Greg Ostertag has gone and grown up. It’s a couple of decades too late to help the Jazz, but there should be some satisfaction in knowing the enigmat...
    Updated Feb 23 2017 11:43 pm   |     |   Share

  • Eastern Conference LeBron James of the Cleveland Caveliers (23) goes to the basket during the first half of the NBA All-Star basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) Monson: NBA All-Stars should honor the game that makes them great
    I don’t dislike the NBA All-Star Game. I hate it. I hate it for what it’s become. I watch it because it’s a part of the job, but I can’t stand it. No...
    Updated Feb 21 2017 07:12 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Utah Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak talks with his team during the first half. The Utes played their 6th straight game with at least 13 turnovers. University of Utah’s men’s basketball team leads University of Washington, 44-28 at halftime, February 11, 2017 at Utah’s Jon M. Huntsman Center. Monson: NCAA Tournament odds for BYU and Utah are a long stretch of the imagination
    It’s not a pretty picture, the collective image of college basketball in the state this year. Not as far as prospects for the postseason go. The March...
    Updated Feb 18 2017 10:29 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Central Davis Junior High wrestler Gabi Serrao, 14, won her match against her Mueller Park Junior High opponent February 14, 2017. Davis County School District has temporarily allowed girls to compete with the team. Monson: It’s long past time for chauvinistic and paranoid school officials to let girls compete
    It was 21 years ago that I interviewed a 17-year-old athlete named Blanca, who saw herself not as any kind of revolutionary, pioneer or a force for ch...
    Updated Feb 16 2017 05:30 pm   |     |   Share

  • Monson: Jazz sully their uniform, Utah’s sports flag, not at all with this new pitch
    It was bad enough when, a number of years ago, Disney started butting in on one of the few pure things left in sports — the seconds immediately follow...
    Updated Feb 14 2017 07:55 pm   |     |   Share

  • FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, file photo, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talks on his headset on the sideline during the second half of the AFC championship NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Foxborough, Mass. Belichick may seem like one-of-a-kind, and he will set himself apart with a win Sunday in Super Bowl 51, which would make him the first coach to capture five Super Bowl rings. But he has much in common with Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, John Wooden and any other coach to put himself among the Mount Rushmore of the best to ever run a team. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File) Monson: There are reasons to love the Patriots in Super Bowl LI
    At this point, we’re all past breaking down every detail of Super Bowl LI to figure out who’s going to win the darn thing. Patriots-Falcons, Falcons-P...
    Updated Feb 04 2017 03:43 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin / The Salt Lake Tribune)    Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell (21) grabs a rebound over the outstretched arms of Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20) during NBA game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City Wednesday February 1, 2017. Monson: 50 games in, the Jazz aren’t far off the pace of great Jazz teams of the past
    The Jazz stand at 31-19 with 32 games left in their regular season. And the intriguing questions are: How many of those will they win and where will ...
    Updated Feb 02 2017 11:14 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Brigham Young Cougars forward Eric Mika (12) guards the inbound pass during the game at the Marriott Center Thursday January 12, 2017. Monson: Try to ask it with a straight face: Can BYU beat the country’s top team?
    The question sounds stupid. It sounds outrageous. Even worse, it sounds hilarious. Like it was written into a cartoon. Like you get the squirt of a s...
    Updated Feb 01 2017 07:37 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) warms up before the game at Vivint Smart Home Arena Thursday January 26, 2017. Monson: Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey fires off on Rudy Gobert All-Star snub
    Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey typically is a measured interview. He dispenses good information but chooses his words carefully and understands t...
    Updated Mar 09 2017 06:06 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Utah Utes forward Kyle Kuzma (35) and Utah Utes guard Lorenzo Bonam (15) collide during a rebound attempt against the Oregon Ducks during the first half of the NCAA college basketball game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Monson: Utes sweat one out against Oregon, now they must sweat out the rest of the season
    As the Utes left the floor late Thursday night, they looked as though they wanted to slip on out the back door and get away from the heartbreak of the...
    Updated Feb 15 2017 07:45 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20) drives against Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews (23) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. The Jazz won in overtime, 112-107. (AP Photo/LM Otero) Monson: Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward should both be named All-Stars
    There’s an irony to the Jazz’s ascension this season and it has created an argument over who — beyond the team itself — should reap a tangible reward ...
    Updated Jan 24 2017 02:36 pm   |     |   Share