Now that the NBA Summer League is officially over, we really are in the “off-season”. There is no more NBA Basketball until the month of October. As much as I am looking forward to the upcoming season for the Utah Jazz, I would like to take the time to relive on of my favorite childhood memories as a Jazz fan.
The year was 1997. I was the ripe old age of 8. Even at that age, I was a Jazz fanatic. I knew everything about the team and would never miss a game. I was so into the team that my dad would let me stay up and finish watching games because he knew if I didn’t finish watching, I would be a very angry little boy.
Game 6. Western Conference Finals. The Jazz are 1 win away from punching there ticket to the NBA Finals. With 2 minutes left in the game, the Jazz find themselves down 98-91 to Charles Barkley and the Houston Rockets. Not only are the Jazz losing, this guy finds himself in trouble with dad.
Dad was mad at me for not going to bed. The Jazz are losing. They aren’t out of the series. They will play again in a couple nights. Cody, go to bed. However, I didn’t and it resulted in me being sent down to my room and told if I came out, I would be grounded.
I couldn’t help it though. I found myself sneaking up to the top of the stairs and peeking around the corner to just see the corner of the television. I didn’t care though. After all these years, I think my dad knew I was watching because with 2.8 seconds left, the game now tied at 100, and in a time-out, without even looking away from the tv, my dad just says in a normal voice, “Cody, come on out and watch the last bit of the game.” I was sure glad I did.
Bryon Russell is set to inbound the ball. Karl Malone sets a screen. The defender tries to jump the screen and John Stockton pops back out above the 3 point line. Stockton catches the ball, dribbles once into a pull up 3, and “JOHN STOCKTON SENDS THE UTAH JAZZ TO THE NBA FINALS!”
I jumped all around the house. I was ecstatic about the Jazz finally making it to the Finals. Also, because my dad never really showed much emotion during the games, I finally saw him jump up off the couch and laugh and cheer, and then followed by, “Ok Cody, now really, go to bed.”
For my entire life, I will never forget that moment. I will ALWAYS remember where I was when Stockton hit “the shot.” I know that it is a story that I can share with my kids and hopefully, I can have the same opportunity to share that kind of moment with them.
I love to relive that moment. I’ve attached a video of the final moments of that game. Enjoy it with me. Then leave a comment and tell me about your favorite Jazz memory. Happy Off-Season Jazz Fans!