Oct 4, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; General view of the Utah state capitol building before the NCAA football game between the Southern California Trojans and the Utah Utes. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Jazz: The Beehive State

It wasn’t long ago that players refused to come to Utah.  Players like Rony Seikaly and Derek Harper would have helped the Jazz for sure but didn’t want to come.  Derek Harper went as far as to say:

You go live in Utah”

Not that anything has changed but it seems like over the past decade that players attitude of Utah has been changing.  I’m not saying players want to come here like Miami or Los Angeles, but it’s not a place many players would refuse to come to any more.  Players today like their egos to be stroked and paraded about and Utah is one of the best places for that.  You’re a celebrity in Utah when you play for the Jazz and the whole community revolves around the team.

Other players like that Utah is a “family-oriented” place as Randy Foye pointed out many times in his stay here.  Most people when they think of Utah they think of Mormons, mountains and snow but what most players come to find out is Utah really is one of the most beautiful states to be in.  The lack of night life deters a few players away and probably always will but I’ll tell you one thing I’d rather live in Utah than Oklahoma and I’ve lived in both.  Why aren’t more players refusing to go there?

The point is that even though Utah is a place where big name free agents don’t necessarily choose neither is 90% of the other places.  Players will come to Utah because of the winning atmosphere that the Jazz have maintained and also the fans that are referred to as the best and loudest in the NBA by many.  No Utah won’t lure LeBron James but as far as players turning Utah down, it doesn’t happen any more or at least not that I’ve heard of.

Other notables about Utah that people seem to be gravitating towards Utah for:

Forbes ranks Salt Lake the 3rd best big city to work in.

moneyunder30.com has Salt Lake 2nd on their best places to start a career.

Salt Lake is also the #5 healthiest city in America according to bestplaces.com


Tags: Utah Utah Jazz

  • tck62

    One of the main reason athletes wouldn’t want to come here is the amount of advertising dollars they can make on the side.

    In my opinion this is an underrated factor in the large/small market debate. If you play for the Knicks your agents phone is ringing off the hook with offers to tout this or that companies product.

    • Josh Haslam

      Very good point, I agree that definitely sways some guys for sure.

  • NightyKnight13

    Kirilenko said it was hard for him at first, coming to Utah. I think a lot of the luster of Utah’s “winning culture” left when Sloan quit. Unfortunately, any of the years of serious playoff contention in Jazz history were built primarily with players acquired through trades or the Draft, not through free agents. FA’s go to Oklahoma City because they’ve got Durant and Westbrook. If those two ever left (for whatever reason) the free agent interest would dry up pretty quick.