Utah Jazz Extra: Pondering a Jimmer signing, sane All-Star voting and ping-pong balls
It's tempting to do one more all-decade list, if only to send those who rebuked me last week about the millenium's first decade supposedly not being over until 2010 ends into another tizzy.
But I'll resist.
Instead, here are five key dates for Jazz fans:
1. Contract-related dates
Jan. 5:When Jazz must sign 13th player. Team hoping Jimmer Fredette, BYU fans' new favorite "49er," will turn pro by then.
Jan. 5:Teams can sign 10-day contracts. Jazz fans fondly recall ex-10-day guys Brad Davis (the first), Darren Morningstar (lasted three days, two points), Stephen Howard (team-record four 10-day deals), Rusty LaRue (cool name), Ben Handlogten (even slicker name), Mikki Moore (best-ever 10-day pick-up?).
Jan. 10:Contracts become guaranteed, including that of an undrafted rookie on Jazz roster. Gov. Herbert should make it Wesley Matthews Day in Utah.
2. All-Star Game-related dates
Jan. 10/18:When paper balloting (10th) and wireless/NBA.com voting (18th) for All-Star starters ends. FYI: Fans who don't want Tracy McGrady voted in — taking a spot from a deserving player like, say, Deron Williams — must vote en masse for Steve Nash or Chris Paul, the only two close enough to surpass him.)
Jan. 28:All-Star reserves announced. (Struggling Jazz might be hardpressed to get two, even if Williams and Carlos Boozer have All-Star-worthy stats.)
Feb. 15:All-Star Game, Dallas. Don't. Let. McGrady. Happen.
3. Let's make a deal deadline
Feb. 18:Either deal 'em (him) or learn to deal with 'em (him) for the season. For those counting, only 45 days of rumormongering and backseat Kevin O'Connoring remain.
4. Ping-pong ball watch dates
April 14:Season ends. Imagine this possible scenario: Jazz win 48, miss playoffs, end up in lottery; N.Y. has 35 Ws, makes playoffs, gives Jazz a mid-first-round pick after all the fuss.
May 18:Draft lottery. Or imagine this: Jazz, Knicks both make playoffs; Utah brass watches highly anticipated event on TV.
June 24:NBA Draft. With the 15th and 16th picks, the Jazz select Jimmer and a European dude you've never heard of ...
5. New Year's Eve 2010
Decade purists celebrate supposed real end of millenium's first decade, chant "There was no Year Zero!" and make plans to give sports writers grief in nine years for next all-decade stories.
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