The NBA record for the most career assists -- 15,806. And who is responsible for this tremendous record? John Stockton, one of the Utah Jazz's very own players. He is also the NBA's all-time leader in career steals and has many other records.
We are lucky enough to live in a state where we have a professional basketball team within close range of our homes. This isn't just any other average team either; we have had remarkable and widely known players such as Karl Malone and John Stockton.
Although we are lucky to have a hometown team, I must confess that I've lived in Utah for my entire life and during these 15 years have maybe watched a total of three Jazz games from start to finish. Needless to say, I'm not the biggest basketball fan.
My own so-so attitude toward the Jazz made me wonder how other Top of Utah teens feel about the team. Do they claim them as their favorite professional basketball team simply because it's convenient, or do people genuinely support and like the Jazz?
"It's where I'm from, so I feel like I should support them," said Brad Taylor, a senior at Murray High School. "But I'll admit that I do get on the bandwagon when they are doing well. When they have a bad game, I'm not so excited to be a fan."
Lindsay Smith, a junior at East High in Salt Lake City, says, "I think it's just easier to follow them than anyone else. I don't really think it's an obligation, exactly. It's more like a convenience thing. They're there, so we support them."
"You grow up with the Jazz, so they're the people you want to support; it's a way to represent the state," says Kyle Joynt, a Bonneville High senior.
Recently, I decided to see for myself what I have to say about the team. So what did I do? I went to a Jazz game. The seats were far from the greatest, but just being there I felt like I had the best seat in the house. Even though I was hundreds of rows up, I could see everything like I was sitting in the front row.
Being there was a whole different experience than watching on television. What I hadn't seen on TV were the amount of fans and the passion shared between them. Some people were so into it, it was as if their own career was riding on the line. People yelled at the players like they knew them personally and like the players could actually hear their advice. Everyone was yelling at No. 20, Gordon Hayward, the rookie of the team. Hayward ended up delivering some serious talent that night in the game against Memphis. Star point guard D-Will (Deron Williams) also made an impression on me with his talent.
Five minutes or so before the end of the game, people started leaving to beat the crowds to their cars. At this moment I realized I had thoroughly enjoyed myself. I didn't want to leave early; I wanted to get in every last second of the game. Going to the Jazz game really gave me a change of heart. Hundreds of jerseys worn, thousands of people cheering with one common cause in mind, hot dogs and Dippin' Dots galore all added to the experience to make me officially become a fan.
Now I find myself wanting to keep up with Jazz games, even on TV. I'm angered when refs make a bad call, and I've caught myself yelling at the TV like the players can hear me. I've started researching more about the team and wearing my own Jazz T-shirt. The experience made me appreciate that we have our own NBA team here in Utah and that they are so convenient to follow.
Yes, the Jazz have their ups and downs, but all teams do. Being a fan you can't just support them through the good; you need to support them through the bad, too. Living in Utah, the Jazz are a part of us. I thought because I don't like playing basketball myself I wouldn't be into supporting the Jazz, but I was wrong -- I'm completely hooked.
So go ahead and give the Jazz a shot; you never know what you might fall in love with.
Caitlynn Kindall is a sophomore at Ogden High who enjoys softball and debate. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.