Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated did an in-depth piece to look at how black Utah Jazz players have embraced Salt Lake City. Spears spoke to players, both past and present, to find out about their experiences while living in Utah, including food, religious aspects, black barbershops and entertainment off the court.
"For most of the team’s black newcomers, there was some worry upon arrival," wrote Spears. He then quoted Derrick Favors about the transition from New Jersey to Utah, saying, "To get traded to Utah, that was a big culture change. A lot of people in Atlanta heard of Utah, but they don’t know nothing about Utah. It was a big culture change and a big change for me in general
"I was like, Utah? I didn’t know anything about Utah. What was out there or what to do out there. I didn’t know about the culture or the people. I didn’t know anything about Utah."
After getting a handle on things from a player's perspective, Spears turned to the cultural aspects that Utah has to offer before focusing on what players had to say about their experience overall.
He quoted George Hill, who said, "The fans are phenomenal. They’ve embraced me with open arms and act like I’ve been here for 10 years when I’ve only been here for a couple of months. That has been a great blessing for me."
Garett Bolles, Marcus Williams ranked among top NFL draft prospects
Dane Brugler ranked the top 100 NFL draft prospects for CBS Sports, and Utes Garett Bolles and Marcus Williams were ranked in the top 50.
Of Bolles, who landed at No. 36, Brugler wrote, "An older prospect, Bolles was out of football after high school before turning around his personal life and rediscovering his love for football. He needs core strength and technique work, but his athleticism is outstanding and will help mask his other deficiencies."
Of Williams, who came in at No. 48, Brugler said, "The only player from a power-five conference with five or more interceptions each of the past two seasons, Williams has the athletic range that allows him to cover a lot of green. He is a prototypical centerfield safety who can be a playmaker from his single-high perch."
Rudy Gobert the new 'Alpha Dog' for the Utah Jazz
Dan Favale of Bleacher Report looked at eight NBA teams with new leading men and the Utah Jazz made the list thanks to the play of Rudy Gobert.
Favale first looked at Gordon Hayward and George Hill as possible key pieces for the Jazz before turning his attention to Gobert, saying, "Sure, there's his defense. He has saved more points within six feet of the basket than any other player and places third overall in total defensive value, according to NBA Math. Utah ranks third in points allowed per 100 possessions and gets stingier when he's in the lineup."