After an offseason during which the Jazz offloaded their three best players, when the question — Why would the Jazz do that? — became a piece of American pop culture, when the only race in which prognosticators made the Jazz a favorite was the rush to tank, and then a surprising home opener on Wednesday night that saw the Jazz ragamuffins throw down hard on the supposedly explosive Denver Nuggets, there are two questions to ask: How you hanging on? Where are you?
There’s one way to find out.
This will tell you what kind of Jazz fan you are.
Complete the following sentences with the response that most accurately reflects your state of mind, and not just what you want to see happen and what you think will happen, but also what you think is actually happening during the 2022-23 season.
1. The Jazz’s No. 1 priority between now and April is to …
a) win an NBA championship.
b) win as many games as possible.
c) eschew in all its forms victory, dropping the y, so as to better their chances at Victor … as in Wembanyama.
d) win just enough games to keep the fans from rioting or worse, keep them from turning their affections back to college basketball, while not allowing the San Antonio Spurs to lose more than they do.
2. Your No. 1 priority between now and April is to …
a) watch fantastic NBA basketball regardless of whether the Jazz win or lose.
b) pay as little as possible for devalued tickets in Vivint Arena’s lower bowl.
c) learn the names of all the players on the Jazz roster — before Danny Ainge trades away half of them for Portland’s and Charlotte’s and Boston’s first-round draft picks later this decade.
d) all of the above.
3. You will continue to pay $200 for tickets, $20 for parking, 12 bucks for a beer, $9.50 for a hot dog at Jazz games because …
a) the Jazz are great, come what may.
b) their master plan for success will work quicker than anyone figured.
c) NBA basketball is fun.
d) you’re a freaking idiot.
e) all of the above.
f) none of the above.
4. The Jazz will win 50 games this season when …
a) Will Hardy gets his players to work together to maximize their individual abilities.
b) they truly come to believe in themselves.
c) Mike Conley plays in all 82 games.
d) bats fly out of their butts.
5. When during the Jazz-Nuggets broadcast general manager Justin Zanik used the euphemistic term “future possibilities” describing his team’s outlook, he was referring to …
a) outcomes of games next week.
b) outcomes of games next month.
c) outcomes of games in April.
d) outcomes of games in the 2027 season.
6. Conley’s top goal this season is to …
a) prove he’s still a legitimate NBA point guard.
b) demonstrate he can lead a disparate group of league rookies, no-names, cast-offs and wannabes to respectability.
c) show everyone that Donovan Mitchell never should have been handling the ball and initiating the attack at the offensive end as much as he did.
d) get his handicap down to a 2.
7. Jordan Clarkson’s top goal this season is to …
a) put up as many shots as humanly possible in as short a time as possible.
b) play a spot of defense.
c) make even yellow-and-black uniforms look good.
d) become an even cooler dude than he was last season, become the coolest dude on God’s green earth.
8. Walker Kessler will …
a) struggle through a rookie season as he learns the intricacies of the NBA low post.
b) impress everyone with his acumen and athleticism around the basket.
c) confuse Jazz fans with his facial resemblance to Will Hardy.
d) show more promise than Rudy Gobert did in his first year.
9. Jarred Vanderbilt will …
a) lead the Jazz in rebounding.
b) provide a rawboned presence.
c) tempt teams to give up a high draft pick for him.
d) foul out of every game in which he plays.
10. The Jazz’s leading scorer this season will be …
a) Collin Sexton.
b) Collin Sexton.
c) Collin Sexton.
d) all of the above.
11. The organization’s selling of its fresh new but unknown start without Gobert, Mitchell and Bogdanovic as “exciting” by late January will transform into …
a) sustained excitement.
b) a surprisingly decent, consistent, hey-this-ain’t-so-bad level of play.
c) a baseline for promising development with this group and a thousand upcoming first-round draft picks.
d) oh, lord, Ainge has sunk this poor team down to the depths of hell.
12. The Jazz locker room, with so many new faces, and a new collective attitude, will be a congenial space in which …
a) rookies will learn the ways and means of what it is to be an NBA player.
b) teammates, without any proven superstars, can enjoy a sense of esprit de corps, of authentic egalitarianism.
c) Hardy can earn allegiance of veterans and rookies alike.
d) Rudy Gay will act as though he wants to be in Utah.
13. Lauri Markkanen will …
a) play joyful basketball.
b) play more minutes and score more points than at any time during his previous handful of seasons in Chicago and Cleveland.
c) fit right in in Utah.
d) teach his teammates a few Finnish words, such as “pysahtykka,” which means stop, “auttakaa,” which means help, “saippuakivikauppias,” which means soap salesman, and “lentokonesuihkuturabiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas,” which means airplane mechanic trainee. Good luck, fellas.
14. Speaking of Finnish, the Jazz will finish the regular season with …
a) 50 or more wins.
b) 40 or more wins.
c) 20 or more wins.
d) the best shot at the most important victory of all … yeah, drop the y ... Victor What’s-His-Name.
15. The Jazz’s highest moment this season will come when …
a) they blow everyone away by making the playoffs.
b) they host the All-Star Game.
c) they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers.
d) it ends.
16. The Jazz’s search for emerging All-Stars this season stirs quaint memories of …
a) when John Stockton and Karl Malone played here.
b) when the team had three of them just a couple seasons ago.
c) the old quote by former Sacramento Kings executive Jerry Reynolds, who — sub in the word All-Star for center, once said, “If we had one more center, we’d have … one.”