Eternity is a long time, and for expert advice on the subject, we introduce you to Utah Jazz, the Warriors’ opponent at the Chase Center on Sunday afternoon. To say they have an inferiority complex would be cruel, but they can get a little self-conscious.

If there’s a tendency to dismiss the Jazz, it’s because they haven’t won an NBA championship since their inception in 1974, spending five seasons in New Orleans before moving to Salt Lake City. It’s zero titles in 29 playoff appearances, but it’s curious: people don’t talk about this drought like the Boston Red Sox, or the Chicago Cubs, who have been suffering for a long time, because in the together – deep inside the NBA community – Utah doesn’t seem to matter.

When James lebron and Kevin Durant picked his side for the recent All-Star Game, the last two caps came down to Donovan mitchell and Rudy Gobert, guys from Utah. The TNT team called this a “slander,” a direct insult, but James explained, “There is no such thing as“ slander ”towards Utah Jazz. You have to understand that in video games growing up, we never played with Utah. Even as tall as Karl Malone and John stockton was, we never picked these guys in video games. Never.”

Then he and Durant shared a nasty laugh. Whether it was a slight intentional or a simple circumstance, this was vintage Utah, the land of the disrespectful. And that was after LeBron, thinking “I need a certain size”, chose Indiana Domantas sabonis on 7-1-1 Gobert, the league’s top shot-blocker and standing contender for Defensive Player of the Year.

Then there was Shaquille O’nealTNT’s interview with Mitchell after the Jazz guard scored 36 points in a victory over New Orleans on Jan.21. Shaq can be an unbearable bully at times, and that’s how he started their conversation: tune: You don’t have what it takes to level up. I said it on purpose, and I wanted you to hear it.

Well, first of all, to Classes Mitchell has what it takes. He is improving week by week and, in addition to his spectacular performances on the field, he has become the clear leader of the Utah team. “I’ve been hearing this since my rookie year,” Mitchell replied, stunned. “I just wanna get better, do what I’m doing.” A few days later, “It didn’t really bother me,” Mitchell said. “Shaq is not my trainer. If he doesn’t agree that I’m a superstar, that’s cool. I just have to go out and make sure I play for my teammates.

They are an exceptional jazz team, perhaps the best of all time, coming out of the All-Star break with a 27-9 record, the best in the league. Six of their spin players hovered around 40% shooting at 3 points, Gobert is a worthy anchor at both ends of the floor, and Quin Snyder is widely admired for its coaching strategy. You’d think all of this would promote a bit of bluster, but Jazz harbors too many conspiratorial thoughts. After a March 3 loss to Philadelphia, Mitchell complained that “we keep getting screwed (by the officials). It’s really, really, really out of control.

It might be better to just watch this cohesive, fluid team and forget about the excesses. The Jazz might be on to something. Maybe this year they’ve put the brakes on forever.

Changes take a hit

Of the many rule changes to be implemented in minor league baseball this season, the most refreshing are the anti-change measures that will apply to the entire Double-A ball. All four infielders will need to have both feet on infield soil – or infield grass, if they are playing – while the field is delivered. And the door will be left open for a future tenure requiring two infielders on either side of second base. It sounds terribly restrictive and really shouldn’t come to that, but that is the dominating impact of the analysis, creating these ridiculous scenes where the outfield crowds like a neighborhood barbecue. Aesthetically and fundamentally, it’s a very tired look. … Would it kill NBC Sports Bay Area to televise more exhibition games of the Giants? This Monday through Friday was a complete void, and with each game starting at noon, the station was broadcasting Sky Sports News (twice) and Trackside Live (three times). For fans sheltering at home, watching games live or replayed, it would be a blessing to watch the Giants’ cherished prospects more than a handful of times. … Vintage “Hey, what page are we on?” from MLB: The Texas Rangers plan to sell every seat for their home opener on April 5. The Washington Nationals don’t allow any fans at all, at least as it is now. None of these plans make much sense, and the Rangers idea is blatantly reckless… It’s good to hear that Kate scott got such a terrific break, assigned by 95.7 The Game to call play-by-play radio on the Warriors’ March 29 game against Chicago. It will be an all-female crew with Mary murphy (an ace on Pac-12 shows) providing analysis and Kerith Burke manage the pre- and post-game shows. We’ve always expected big things from Scott, who co-hosts The Morning Roast on 95.7 and has made inroads with NFL and NHL assignments. This one is particularly promising. … A tweet from a famous baseball historian Bill James: “I have studied baseball professionally for 50 years; do you know what i have never seen before? The ’60s Giants lost 4 pennants because they had crappy shortstops. They had (Eddie) Bressoud, (Jose) Pagan, (Tail) Schofield, (Tito) Fuentes, (Hal) Lanier. None of them were what you would call ‘average’. Questionable in some cases, but the man is right.

Bruce Jenkins is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @ Bruce_Jenkins1



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