Farewell, Favs: Goodbye To Longest Tenured Jazzman
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – How about the last 24 hours? It’s hard to encompass the emotion Jazz fans are feeling.
Yeah, it’s a weird mix, but June 30, 2019 is a pivotal day in Jazz history. The franchise is now a legitimate contender for an NBA title with the additions of Bojan Bogdanovic and Ed Davis. The Jazz have a projected starting five of Rudy Gobert, Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley.
But it came at a cost.
The Cost – Our Fav
To make the moves, the Jazz had to part ways with Derrick Favors, the longest-tenured Jazzman who came to Utah in exchange for franchise point guard Deron Williams in 2010.
Fans love Favors. He embraced Utah. He was part of the community. He left his all on the court – blood, sweat and tears during his nine seasons in Utah. He played through injuries and endured the lowest of lows and the highest of highs.
He went through the Tyrone Corbin era, was the last member of the long-forgotten “Core Four”, is third in franchise history in rebounds (4250), seventh in blocks (772), eighth in seasons played (nine) and 10th in games played and started (576 & 413).
Favors entered the league as a power forward in 2010, but as the game evolved, he became more of a five than a four. Unfortunately-for-him, he shared a frontcourt with one of the most valuable bigs in the league.
While his role with the Jazz diminished over the years, his contributions didn’t. He stepped up when he was needed and accepted any role coaches asked of him.
He was central to the Jazz playoff runs over the last three seasons.
Think of the biggest Jazz wins in that time, Favs was a warrior. The Clippers series where he played on one leg with a bad back to fill in for an injured Gobert, the 2018 playoffs against the Thunder where he turned the tides in game two with 20 points and 16 rebounds, the win against the Bucks this season where he earned the nickname “Hulk Mode” for his dunk over Ersan Ilyasova and the game four win over Houston in this season’s playoffs.
But his days in Utah are over. He heads to the Big Easy leaving behind a team that could end the season as world champions. A team that he helped build.
- Reports: Jazz Sign Bojan Bogdanovic To Four-Year Deal
- NBA Free Agency Tracker
- NBA Media Predicts Jazz To Contend For Western Conference Title
- Reports: Jazz Sending Derrick Favors To New Orleans
The Price of a Championship
But championships come at a cost. Look no further than Toronto who parted ways with Demar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard. Less than a year later, the Raptors won their first NBA title.
As hard of a move as it was for the Raptors to say goodbye to a guy that was the face of their franchise, it paid off.
For the Jazz, the move was one fans were likely prepared for, but now that the day is here, Favors’ departure is filled with sorrow.
Jazz fans will always appreciate his contributions to the franchise and I hope the feeling is mutual. When he returns to Vivint SmartHome Arena, my hope is that he returns to a crowd that will embrace him once again.
Until then – farewell, Favs.
Listen below to get caught up on all of the free agency frenzy with Sportsbeat Afterhours.
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