The Utah Jazz holds a free open scrimmage every year for the fans. This year the Utah Jazz open scrimmage was held October 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM, with the doors opening at 3:15 PM. Fans started gathering at Energy Solutions Arena to see the Utah Jazz open scrimmage as early at 12:00 PM. Long lines formed up early at each entrance. For some fans it would be the first time to get to even sit in the lower bowl close to the court.
While in line the fans clamored with excitement, talking about everything from speculating on how good the team will be this year, to who we drafted. The air was electric with the expectations. Just after 3:15 PM the doors opened and fans rushed into the arena. With no assigned seating for the free event, people raced to get the best seat possible.
It wasn’t long before Energy Solutions began to swell as an estimated 6,200 fans entered the lower bowl. It was a fantastic to see the rich mixture of diehard fans young and old. Mo Williams would comment on the event by saying, “Al was joking saying to me, ‘Hey, shoot man, there’s as many people in the gym right now as used to be at Minnesota games when (I) played.”
It only felt like a few minutes before the players ran onto the court. The players took a seat on chairs setup on the court. One at a time they took turns being introduced. Fans would learn things like Randy Foye lead the NBA in three pointers made last season, and Marvin Williams is in the process of building a community center in Washington. Enes Kanter stole the show when he snatched up the microphone and ask “What’s up everybody?” and energizing the crowd. Though Enes didn’t answer any questions he would remain in the spotlight as they kept their tradition as the rookies would have their dance off. Though Kanter is not a rookie, he took part in the dance off because he didn’t participate last year. Enes would strut around the floor and show off his best version of the worm.
With the introductions out of the way, the Jazz split into two teams, and took to the floor. It was clear that even though the players were on the same team, they were not holding back. Every shot was challenged, and no one drove to the hoop without being challenged. Gordon Hayward was one of the players who would stand out, showing a lot of confidence he drove the lane hard. Kanter would again take the stage using his upgraded stature to muscle his way around the hoop.
At the end of the night, it was the white team that would triumph. However it was both the fans and the entire team that would win. At first glance the Utah Jazz looks good this year, improving in every area of the game. Though some would say that you can’t judge the team from a scrimmage or the preseason games, I would disagree. I think it is easy to see the improvements the Jazz have made, and it will be fun to see what combinations Coach Corbin tries out in the preseason, to set up the regular season.