Utah Jazz App Mistakenly Tells Fans They Won Free Tickets

A major blunder by the Utah Jazz has left some of its fans angry. According to the Deseret News, all fans who entered a mobile app drawing for free tickets to the Jazz-Mavericks game last Thursday received a notification telling them they had won. The problem is that message was sent in error and only a certain number of the fans received the tickets.

Apparently a technical malfunction by the third-party company that runs the app caused the error. The Jazz are trying to make it up to fans by offering them two tickets to a Salt Lake Bees minor league baseball game in April or May. They’re also automatically entered into a drawing for tickets to a Jazz game next week.

Understandably, that resolution didn’t sit well with some fans.

“Big let down after hearing I didn’t actually get the Jazz tickets,” fan @sput_nick wrote on Twitter. “Bees tickets just aren’t the same.”

The Jazz posted a note on the team website to explain the situation (click twice to enlarge):

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Utah Jazz: From Contender to Pretender in Only One Year

It’s really quite incredible: the Utah Jazz lost their face of the franchise and best player in the franchise in a span of just two weeks. This is the same team that has been a Western Conference playoff mainstay since 1983, making the post-season in 24 of the 27 years since I was born. They’ve reached the Western Conference Finals six times and got Michael Jordaned twice. And now, a team that had won over 50 games in three of the previous four seasons is on a five-game losing streak, only four games over .500, and falling out of the playoff race.

It was only two weeks ago when longtime head coach Jerry Sloan “resigned” because he was tired of the coaching grind or something like that. It was clear that management was taking point guard Deron Williams’ side in the dispute between the two, so Sloan walked. The blame for Sloan’s departure fell on Williams, and Deron didn’t like that. A week later, it slipped out that Williams wanted to leave Utah when he became a free agent in 2012. And earlier this week, he was traded to New Jersey in a move that caught everyone off guard.

And just like that, the Jazz became a sub-par team for just the second time in 27 years.

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Utah Jazz Seemingly Choosing Deron Williams Over Coach Jerry Sloan

Things didn’t seem right Wednesday night after Utah’s home loss to Chicago 91-86. The Jazz dropped to 31-23 with the loss, while point guard Deron Williams had just 11 points and a game-high five turnovers. We knew something was wrong after the game because Jazz beat reporter Brian Smith was tweeting about a meeting Sloan was having with the team’s GM. This particular tweet suggested something wasn’t right: “Jazz’s Sloan appeared shaken up after game. Said he had a conversation with GM O’Connor. Would not discuss it.”

Sloan did say on Wednesday that we would find out Thursday what happened in the meeting, and we did when we heard that Sloan would be resigning. That obviously is code for “being forced out” as head coach of the Jazz.

Sloan led Utah for 23 years and was the longest-tenured coach in the NBA by far. It appears as if the reason for his dismissal as the team’s head coach is a year-long feud brewing with point guard Deron Williams.

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Utah Jazz: Best Comeback Team in NBA

The Utah Jazz came back from at least an 18-point deficit for a win in its third straight game. Down 74-56 with a minute left in the third quarter Wednesday night, the Jazz rallied to outscore the Magic in Orlando by 19 points in the 4th quarter and win 104-94. Point guard Deron Williams scored 22 of his 30 points after they fell behind by 18, lighting it up with jump shots and threes and making free throws. Al Jefferson came on strong as well, scoring nine points in the final four and a half minutes.

What makes Utah’s accomplishment on Wednesday even more notable is that they just had a 22-point comeback the night before in Miami. Take into account how difficult it is to beat the Heat in Miami, get little sleep, and travel to play a rested Magic team, and their feat becomes even more impressive. Paul Millsap had a career night going for 46 points including three three pointers (another career-high). In addition to the comebacks on Tuesday and Wednesday, on the road, on back-to-back nights, against two of the top teams in the league, the Jazz also beat the Clippers in comeback fashion on Saturday night.

Utah was down 18 late in the second quarter at home against the Clippers before narrowing the margin in the third. It was quite Clipper-like to blow the lead, but it still took Utah double overtime to get the win. The Jazz’s main four scorers got it done that game with Deron Williams, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, and Andrei Kirilenko combining to score 91 of their 109 points.

As much praise as the Jazz deserve for never giving up and coming back in these games, one has to wonder why they fall so far behind in the first place. If Utah is good enough to beat top teams like the Heat and Magic, why are they bad enough to fall behind by 18 or 22 points during their games?

Photo Credit: Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Is Andrei Kirilenko Asking for a Trade?

Site contributor and saddened Dodger fan, Chris, emails in with the tip that Andrei Kirilenko, fresh off a Eurobasket 2007 win, would like to be traded from the Jazz. Here’s the deal: AK47 wrote the words in his Russian blog, so the best I can offer is the google translation. According to the translation, AK feels unsatisfied with his role under Coach Sloan:

I am convinced that the methods Sloan had a negative impact on me. His main method of motivating players – care guilt. Our wages, our mistakes in the games, our actions outside the track is always cause for criticism. I want to play basketball, I want to enjoy it and not be a robot, piece of Sloan. Therefore, do not see their future in the team, “Utah Jazz.

I did not say that to anyone before, but a few weeks ago I spoke with the general manager “Yuty” Kevin O ‘Connor. I told him do not see themselves in a team and want to leave. It is clear that we are “different” Yutoy look at my place and role in the team. I do not want that, I and my contract was drag club, I would like to take its course. This is his choice. And I have only one request-let me go in the direction where I want. I do not want to serve the number mechanically perform the contract.Unfortunately, the past week more, and the leaders of “Jazz” no response, no negative or positive. And his silence is another example of me. Nevertheless, it is hope, the “Concept” still understand that our relationship has exhausted itself and us is to part.

Wow. I have no idea how legitimate that is since I don’t read Russian. I would like to see an additional source reach out to AK to find out if that’s what he’s indeed asking for, but I’ll say I’m not surprised if that is the case. Think about it — Kirilenko is a world-class player, one of the best defensive players in the NBA. Yet it doesn’t seem like he’s been able to thrive in the Utah system. If he’s really asking for a trade, I would not be surprised one bit.

UPDATE: The Salt Lake Tribune confirms Kirilenko’s trade demands, thanks to Matt W. for the link.

Are You Kidding Me Derek Fisher

Wow. Talk about wow. I cannot believe the story from Wednesday night. The Jazz beat the Warriors 127-117 in OT, taking a 2-0 series advantage. Putting aside the stellar performances of Mehmet Okur and Carlos Boozer, Derek Fisher did something incredible. Despite spending the entire day with his 10 month old daughter Tatum, whose case of retinoblastoma required a three hour combination of surgery and chemotherapy at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital, Fisher showed up in Utah in time to help the Jazz win the game.

Fisher missed most of the first three quarters, then ran straight from the tunnel onto the court late in the third period to a standing ovation and a few high-fives and hugs from teammates, as well as Golden State’s Baron Davis.

“He got off the plane. He didn’t warm up. He didn’t stretch. He didn’t shoot a shot,” said Utah’s Deron Williams, who had 17 points and 14 assists. “As soon as he came into the arena, he went straight to the scorers’ table.”

You know how they say a good baseball player can roll out of bed and get a hit? I guess Derek Fisher can literally get off a plane and hit a 3 point shot. Fisher made the game 123-117 with his long ball in OT, and sealed it off with a pair of FTs to make it 127-117. Talk about an incredible story. And I truly mean it when I say couldn’t happen to a better guy. He’s been a fan-favorite everywhere he’s played because he’s such a good guy. Serious congrats to him on the big night.