While Other Teams “Just Win, Baby,” Some Players Are More Concerned About Their Highlight Reels*
By Ken K. Gourdin
The Salt Lake Tribune’s Utah Jazz blog has an item quoting the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins, who says that the Jazz’s defensive standout center Rudy Gobert is “motivation” to add to his highlight reel. After last night’s loss by the Timberwolves to the Jazz, Minnesota now stands at 5-12 on the year, while the Jazz are 10-8. (Perhaps the emphasis placed by certain Timberwolves on who can beat whom one-on-one and who can make the more spectacular offensive play has something to do with the fact that they’ve only won five games as a team on the young season thus far.)
Referring to the rivalry between Timberwolves teammates Andrew Wiggins and Zach La Vine regarding who has the more spectacular offensive game, I employed a Jerry Sloanism, a term favored by the Jazz’s much-revered former head coach. See The Urban Dictionary, s.v. “jackpotting around,” (last accessed November 29, 2016 at the following address):
To the Blog post, I responded as follows:
Mr. Wiggins and Mr. La Vine:
Yes, by all means, you gentlemen enjoy jackpotting around out there seeing who can earn the higher spot in SportsCenter’s Top Ten … while the Jazz win. By all means, take a my-offense-can-beat-that-one-player’s-defense approach to the game (while you ignore what the other four guys on that player’s team are doing on the floor). Here’s a hint: Whether you “posterize” someone or not, and whether you make a dunk, a layup, or a relatively close jumpshot, they all count the same. How many times has a SportsCenter anchor, in recapping the Top Ten, said, “Great play … but his team lost”? By contrast, while I question his premise that blame for any loss or string of losses can be laid at the feet of any one player, I think your teammate, Karl-Anthony Towns, has a much wiser approach to the game. For him, in contrast to the two of you, apparently, it’s not about who “posterizes” whom or about who gets the highest spot in SportsCenter’s Top Ten; it’s about who wins and who loses. You two could learn a lot from him (if you’re willing to be taught).
*Forgive my use of this outdated term: I’m not sure what else to call it in this age of digital video.