When the Utah Jazz acquired Al Jefferson I was excited that the team was able to find a replacement for Carlos Boozer. In particular, I was thrilled because he was only 25 years old and had a ton of potential waiting to be unlocked in the future. However, after hearing Jefferson talk to the media, I have an even better reason to be ecstatic about Utah’s new 6”10 power forward.
First off, when Jefferson talks about playing for the Utah Jazz, you can see that he is genuinely excited about his new team. Everybody knows when people are excited about something, they perform at a higher level. This, in turn, could bode very well for the Utah Jazz.
Secondly, you can see that he knows about the team’s history, as he said that he would like to grow old with Deron Williams ala John Stockton and Karl Malone. Now, that might seem to be an insignificant piece of information, but I don’t see it that way. By Jefferson showing that he is a fan of the game, and he is aware of the rich history that the Utah Jazz have as a franchise, he will push himself very hard to try to cement his legacy with the team. Because he is the guy who can basically fill the shoes of Karl Malone if he delivers for the Jazz, he knows that his work is cut out for him, and he will have an added incentive to perform at his best every time he steps on the court.
A lot of times, teams get players who know nothing about the history of the game, and all they concern themselves with is their own game. Although the concentration on trying to build their own games up can be a positive thing, their lack of overall knowledge can be a detriment. Having the ability to try an outperform somebody you looked up to growing up can be a huge boost for continuing to work hard because you have that goal that you are trying to achieve. So, when a player knows nothing about the old-timers, he never has the ability to have that boost. Of course, it isn’t a requirement for success (to know the history of the game), but it can definitely give you a leg up in the motivational sense. Based on what I am hearing from Jefferson’s mouth, he definitely has that.
So, of course, I can’t wait to see what Al Jefferson could bring to the Utah Jazz. He’s young, athletic, dominant, and he is feeling much better since tearing his ACL a couple of years ago. But what I am truly excited about is the hard work and commitment that he is going to put into this team. The type of hard work and commitment that it takes to hopefully one day become a world champion.