Randy Hollis: Some folks rank high on our Christmas Wish List

Published: Saturday, Dec. 24 2011 9:29 p.m. MST

That glorious day we've all been waiting for is finally here.

Yes, all those months of stress, anxiety and wonderment are over at last, and the big day has arrived.

Of course, we're talking about opening day of the National Basketball Association's regular season.

Just kidding.

Actually, there's a much, much, much more important event that takes place today.

Yes, it's Christmas, the day that Christians around the world set aside each year to honor the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

But it's also a day when many of us like to shower our loved ones with gifts — or, in the case of many foolish men who like to live dangerously, make the hazardous mistake of giving their wives a new vacuum cleaner or a membership to Jenny Craig.

And while we'd love to give the BYU and Utah football teams victories in their respective bowl games this weekend, and a new offensive coordinator for the Utes, there's a few other folks on our list that need some special attention.

So this year, on our Christmas Wish List, we'd like go give:

Enes Kanter — A new mentor.

The NBA rookie from Turkey lost his new best friend when the Jazz traded away fellow-Turkish center Mehmet Okur to the New Jersey Nets on Thursday.

Since both big men play the same position and speak the same language, Okur's presence would've no doubt proved invaluable this season for Kanter, who ironically will now get more playing time with Okur gone from the rotation.

But Kanter will need to find someone else to lean on for advice as he begins navigating the NBA lifestyle on and off the court. So, does anybody else in the Jazz organization, so to speak, talk Turkey?

University of Utah basketball fans — Plenty of patience. Sure, the Utes' program is in somewhat of a shambles right now. And the timing couldn't be worse, with Utah about to embark on its first Pac-12 campaign.

In a frustrating twist of fate, this proud program would appear to have its worst-ever team while facing its toughest-ever schedule. Utah fans, spoiled by all those years of success under Rick Majerus, aren't happy right now, and they shouldn't be.

But before you jump off the bandwagon, give first-year head coach Larry Krystkowiak some time, at least two or three years, to try and rebuild this train wreck of a program before you throw in the towel.

And while we're handing out patience, Coach Krystkowiak and his staff could probably use a truckload of it right now, too.

Former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan — A happy and contented retirement.

After all he did for this franchise, and for the game of basketball in general, for so many years, he certainly deserves it.

Former Weber State/Utah football coach Ron McBride — Something to do with all his new-found spare time.

Coach Mac spent his entire adult life coaching football, and he was awfully good for the game. But now he's admittedly bored.

How 'bout a job at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii? With his affection for the Polynesian people, he'd be a great door-greeter.

Utah State football fans — Grateful appreciation, and a suitable replacement, for running back Robert Turbin.

The talented running back announced Friday he'll leave school a year early to enter the NFL Draft.

After all he accomplished at USU, and especially after he came back from a career-threatening torn ACL, Aggie fans should marvel at his great determination and spectacular performances. Replacing him will be a mighty big task.

The National Basketball Association — A decade of labor peace.

After almost seeing the entire 2011-12 season implode due to a contractual stalemate, the NBA has hopefully learned some valuable lessons that will last them over the next 10 years of their new collective bargaining agreement.

Players need to realize how blessed they are to be making millions of dollars a year to play basketball. And owners need to realize that they can't foolishly continue to spend fortunes on players who won't ever make that much difference in their franchise's success or failure.

Those are just a few of the folks in need this Christmas season, and there are too many more to mention.

But here's ho-ho-hoping that all our readers have a wonderful holiday — and remember the true reason for the season.

email: rhollis@desnews.com

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