On Monday, November 7, the Pro Player Charity Classic was held at the Lifetime Activities Center on the Taylorsville Redwood Campus. The game featured almost every member of the Utah Jazz, as well as Chauncey Billups, Stephen Curry, Corey Maggette, Jimmer Fredette and a couple others. There were many big names but the game itself was a joke, as the effort of the players was laughable and borderline embarrassing.
The first noticeable glitch of the evening was that the doors opened about 20 minutes late. The ticket said specifically that the gates opened at 6:00 p.m. and thousands of people were out in the cold waiting for that to happen. The game itself started a half of an hour late because there were only two doors to enter the LAC. In order to please the fans who showed up late, organizers delayed the start time.
The best part of the night was the pregame, where an impromptu dunk fest occurred between Ronnie Price, C.J. Miles and about four others. I was surprised at how high Miles could jump. Miles has been a polarizing player for the Jazz because of his inconsistent play. One night it’s 22 points and the next it’s four. All I can say is that Miles showed up in good shape and I feel that for the affordable price of four million dollars, he produces on enough nights for the Jazz that I think he should return as the backup small forward.
The intriguing parts of the night were the appearances of Jazz first round pick Enes Kanter, former Brigham Young University star Jimmer Fredette and former Jazzman Wesley Matthews.
Kanter’s size is very similar to Al Jefferson’s, as he is about 6 foot 11 inches tall and 265 pounds. During the first quarter, Jefferson and Kanter went at it one on one and Kanter held his own in the paint. He has a good 15-foot jump shot, but unfortunately he left the game midway through the first quarter with a cut on his face and received stitches.
Jimmer’s underrated quickness and great shooting ability will keep him in the league for quite a while. Defense remains a question, but in this game no one played any defense.
Wesley Matthews performed very well for Portland last year, and with the Jazz need for a 2 guard, I wish they would have brought him back regardless of the size of the contract the Blazers offered.
Also, Alec Burks, the 12th overall pick in the draft, looked good for the Jazz. The 6 foot 6 inch shooting guard may be a keeper.
As for the game itself, there was no defense and no effort, which was to be expected at a game like this. There were a few good dunks and 3-point shooting. The best dunk was Al Jefferson posterizing Jeremy Evans in the 2nd quarter. I left at halftime wondering why I spent 30 bucks to watch great athletes give no effort.
The only real positive was that we saw familiar faces in an unfamiliar place, and it’s about time we get back to basketball.