Despite having the best record in the NBA, the last two players remaining on the 2021 All-Star draft list were Utah Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Amid questions about why those players, in particular, were the last two picked, LeBron James gave an honest and candid answer.
“There’s no slander to the Utah Jazz,” James said on Thursday night. “You guys have to understand, just like in video games growing up we never played with Utah. Even as great as Karl Malone and John Stockton was we would never pick those guys in video games.”
It's a pretty harsh tune, but one that's hard to argue against.
Despite how good the Jazz have played this season, they draw very little attention. The small market that is Utah, and the forgettable franchise the Jazz have been throughout their history have created an "underdog" culture for the organization, and there's really no going back. Even LeBron James, of all people, doesn't really hang with the Jazz.
The only way to earn respect, at this point, is to hoist that Larry O'Brien trophy this summer.