Jazz Go Big & White | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Jazz Go Big & White 

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In an unprecedented move, the Utah Jazz used their number 9 pick to draft the 15-year old, 6-foot-8-inch former child actor Opie Taylor. Opie, who played Sheriff Taylor’s only son—who, coincidentally, was also named Opie Taylor—on the long-running TV sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, is a child basketball prodigy and former member of the Butler University basketball team. Butler, which is coached by a 22-year-old who returned in 2009 from serving in the Pogo Pogo, Tasmania LDS mission, finished second in the most recent NCAA tournament.

Reaction to the selection by the 4,000 who heard the announcement in the EnergySolutions Area was mixed, ranging from boos, to really loud boos, to weeping, wailing and a gnashing of teeth, and finally, to people covering themselves in sackcloth and ashes. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan responded by saying that the fans didn’t understand what the team “was going for.” Later, he elaborated to a small group of close associates that, apparently, the Jazz are seeking to buck the NBA trend of the past 50 years by going “skinnier and whiter underneath the basket.” It’s Coach Sloan’s opinion that with a starting lineup of Mehmet Okur at center, Andre Kirilenko at “power” forward, and Opie Taylor at small forward, they will achieve their objective.

L. Glen Chandler
Salt Lake City

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