Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

The Utah Jazz all-time 'Dream Team' (12 items)

By , For the Deseret News

June 10, 2014

We are right in the middle of the 2014 NBA Finals and there are fantastic players carrying their respective teams to success including the likes of LeBron James and Tim Duncan. These are the kind of players that the Utah Jazz have a hard time competing with at this time and hope to have on the roster in the near future.

That hasn't always been the case though. The Jazz have had some amazing players on their roster since they arrived in Utah and throughout franchise history.

Even with all the all-stars and hall of famers who have donned a Jazz jersey throughout their illustrious history there are some who have elevated themselves to even greater heights as team players. Guys who would do whatever it took to win both on and off the floor. Players who played the role assigned to them with near perfection for the good of the team.

This is a look at the all-time team for the Jazz since they arrived in Utah. The all-time Utah Jazz team consists of 12 players and is built like you would a regular NBA roster. There is an equal balance of guards and forwards along with a couple of centers with only the best of the best in Jazz history make the team.

Note: only what each player did on the floor with the Jazz was taken into consideration since it is the Ultimate Utah Jazz team.

1 of 12. The reserves: Mehmet Okur, center (2004-11)

Okur was one of the best shooting big men in the NBA during his time with the Jazz and he hit so many big shots that it's hard to keep track of them all. He signed with the Jazz as a free agent after winning a ring with the Detroit Pistons and played 474 games over seven seasons. His most impressive statistical season came in 2005-06 when he averaged 18 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 82 games. A year later, he made his only all-star game appearance after averaging 17.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in 80 games.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 15.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists.

2 of 12. The reserves: Darrell Griffith, shooting guard (1980-91)

Griffith was one of the best scorers during the early days of the Jazz. He came to the Jazz with the second overall pick in the 1980 draft out of Louisville. He played his entire 11-year career with the Jazz and appeared in 765 games. One of his best seasons came in 1984-85 when he averaged a career-high 22.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.7 steals in 78 games.

For his career, he averaged 16.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals.

3 of 12. The reserves: Andrei Kirilenko, small forward (2001-11)

Kirilenko played 681 games over 10 seasons after being selected with the 24th overall pick in the 1999 draft. He was one of the best all-around players the Jazz have ever had. One of his best seasons came in 2003-04 when he made the all-star game when he averaged a career-high 16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.9 steals and 2.8 blocks in 78 games.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 12.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals and two blocks a game and was named to the all-defensive first- or second-team three times.

4 of 12. The reserves: Paul Millsap, power forward (2006-13)

Millsap came to the Jazz as the 17th pick of the second round (47th overall) in the 2006 draft. He played 540 games over seven seasons in Utah and was the heart and soul of the team for much of his time because of his hustle. One of his best seasons came in 2010-11 when he averaged 17.3 points on 53.1 percent shooting from the floor, 7.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 76 games.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 12.4 points, seven rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals and one block a game.

5 of 12. The reserves: Deron Williams, point guard (2005-11)

Williams landed with the Jazz with the third overall pick in the 2005 draft. He played 439 games over five-plus seasons in Utah and was a great lead guard until the day he was traded. One of his most productive seasons with the Jazz came in 2007-08 when he averaged 18.8 points on 50.7 percent shooting from the floor to go along with three rebounds, 10.5 assists and 1.1 steals in the only season where he played all 82 games.

For his Jazz career, he made two all-star games and averaged 17.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 9.1 assists and 1.1 steals.

1. dgdrummin
Ogden, UT,
June 10, 2014

Love Hornacek but how do you not put Darrell Griffith at the starting two?

2. BleedCougarBlue
Enid, OK,
June 10, 2014

Yeah, wouldn't it be AWESOME to have a starting lineup like THAT!

That lineup would have won us at least 2 or 3 NBA championships!

Go Jazz!

3. dhsalum
Saint George, UT,
June 10, 2014

I'm too young to remember Griffith, but I think the best starting 5 would have D-Will at the 2.

4. Pipes
Salt Lake City, UT,
June 10, 2014

I can see Wes Mathews in that group as well.

5. water rocket
Magna, UT,
June 10, 2014

Stockton was not the premier scorer that other point guards were, and because of his size, often got "posted up," but if heart and team player define a great player, Stockton had a corner on the market. John Wooden, the famed and storied UCLA coach called Stockton the purest point guard ever, and he should know (and I agree with him). His records for steals and assists will probably never be broken.