Jazz Players & Their Halloween Monster Alter Egos

Oct 16, 2020, 11:49 AM | Updated: Oct 31, 2020, 9:32 am
Jazz Guard Joe Ingles (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) and Pennywise the Clown (Photo by Mar...
Jazz Guard Joe Ingles (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) and Pennywise the Clown (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It’s spooky season, and in honor of the looming Halloween holiday, and no basketball on the immediate horizon, it seems like a fun exercise to reimagine the current Utah Jazz top rotation players with their closest monster alter egos.

The horror film genre is loaded with fun monster characters much like this Jazz roster, albeit the team that plays in Utah is usually less frightening. This list examines the player and the villain’s personalities, and their impact on the floor and genre.

Donovan Mitchell: Freddy Krueger – Nightmare On Elm Street

When you think of the Jazz roster, you likely think of Donovan Mitchell first. He’s the star of the show, he’s the most exciting to watch, and he has a ton of personality off the floor.

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Donovan Mitchell is Freddy Krueger #JazzHorror

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All the same things can be said about Freddy Krueger in the modern horror canon. Kreuger is one of, if not the first face you think of when contemplating scary movies of our lifetime. He’s also probably the most playful, and exciting villain over the last few decades, always finding new creative ways to attack his victims.

Krueger is an all-timer, just like Mitchell with the Jazz, and there’s still a lot more these two should offer their respected universes.

Rudy Gobert: Jason Vorhees – Friday The 13th

If Mitchell is Kreuger, there’s no doubt Rudy Gobert is Jason Vorhees. If polled on who the best player on the Jazz is, half the audience might say Mitchell, the other half would say Gobert.

The same can be said of Freddy and Jason in their standing in modern horror. For every Nightmare On Elm Street fan, there is an equal number of Friday The 13th fans ready to argue their place in the standings.

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Rudy Gobert is Jason Vorhees #JazzHorror

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To top it off, Jason is easily the tallest character in all of horror and haunts his victims with an eerie silence. Just as Gobert hides relentlessly pursues the ball on defense, Jason is undeniable chasing his prey.

Did I mention there’s a bit of an ongoing drama between Freddy and Jason? That feel’s slightly relevant.

Bojan Bogdanovic: Count Orlok – Nosferatu

Do many people know the story of Nosferatu? Director F. W. Murnau adapted Bram Stoker’s 19th-century horror classic Dracula into an unauthorized film adaptation. After Stoker’s family sued Murnau, he changed the title of the movie to Nosferatu and changed Count Dracula to Count Orlok.

The result was one of the scariest, most exciting characters in 20th-century horror, even if most fans couldn’t tell you the origins, or even the character’s real name.

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Bojan Bogdanovic is Count Orlok #JazzHorror

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The same can be said of Bojan Bogdanovic. It’s easy even to forget at times that Bogdanovic is on the Jazz, especially after missing all of the season’s restart in Orlando. But for those in the know, Bogdanovic is absolutely one of the deadliest players in all of the NBA, and truthfully one of the best shooters of all time.

Most people don’t know much about Bogdanovic as he remains silent like his horror counterpart, but he’s a star in his own right. Just stay out of his castle.

Mike Conley: Mister Babadook – The Babadook

The Babadook is the last new movie that truly scared me. I consider myself a bit of a horror connoisseur, I have no problems watching horror movies alone at midnight, but Mister Babadook just felt different. He mysteriously shows up on a mother’s doorstep one day, she reads the book to her son, without knowing what creature she was letting into her house.

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Mike Conley is Mister Babadook #JazzHorror

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The same can be said of Mike Conley on the Jazz. No, not that he’s an unwelcome creature, but that he has been a bit of a mystery so far. Conley arrived somewhat mysteriously, his presence was a little curious early on, but when he hit his stride in Orlando he was truly one of the most terrifying players in recent Jazz memory.

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen The Babadook, it ends somewhat peacefully with the creature finding a happy existence with the family… kind of. Similarly, Conley seems to have found his home in Utah, let’s see if they can continue to make it work.

Royce O’Neale: Lawrence Talbot – The Wolfman

Finishing out the starting lineup, Royce O’Neale earns his title as Lawrence Talbot, more commonly known as The Wolfman.

Here’s the think about The Wolfman, we know he belongs in the same conversation with horror heroes like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man, but he always tends to play a supporting role.

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Royce O’Neale is The Wolfman #JazzHorror

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The same goes for O’Neale, he’s inarguably a piece that belongs on the Jazz, and like The Wolfman monster, he’s tasked with bringing chaos mixed and quiet dignity into his world, even if he isn’t ever the star.

Joe Ingles: Pennywise The Dancing Clown – It

Pennywise The Dancing Clown, known better simply as ‘It’ looks approachable to his victims, then after luring them in, he makes them his prey.

That isn’t unlike Joe Ingles who at first glance isn’t terribly intimidating. He more closely resembles your average rec league player than he does a borderline top 10 player at his position in the NBA, but that’s what Ingles has turned himself into.

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Joe Ingles is Pennywise #JazzHorror

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Pennywise’s best skill is his ability to morph into different roles to his haunt his targets, which isn’t terribly different from Ingles ultra-versatile skillset that allows him to fill in nearly anywhere on the court.

Jordan Clarkson: Headless Horseman – The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow

Headless Horseman tends to get left out of the conversation when we talk about the best villains in all of horror. And yet everyone knows exactly who he is and understands exactly what makes him so terrifying. With no head to be found (though sometimes seen with a flaming jack-o-lantern), Headless Horseman is absolutely relentless and unconscious in his pursuit.

The same goes for Jordan Clarkson. He doesn’t get talked about among the league’s best scorers, but is a deadly threat anytime he has the ball in his hands. He has zero conscience in his pursuit to score, and simply never lets up.

Like the Horseman, Clarkson also showed up unexpectedly, but Jazz fans are hoping their killer doesn’t vanish so quickly.

Georges Niang: Jekyll & Hyde: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Yes, simply put Georges Niang earned this character comparison due to the duality of his game. Unfortunately, that is the role of the specialist. Sometime’s it’s all or nothing.

At his best, he’s Dr. Jekyll, a welcome piece among the Jazz puzzle that knocks down threes, spaces the floor, and moves the ball.

Other times for the Jazz, when his shot isn’t falling, he’s the monster Mr. Hyde. Like Robert Louis Stevenson’s title character, Niang isn’t trying to be Mr. Hyde. He wants to remain in his best form as a deadly shooter. Unfortunately, sometimes Hyde takes over. Let’s hope he has a happier ending to his story.

Tony Bradley: Frankenstein’s Monster – Frankenstein

There are multiple versions of the Frankenstein monster we could examine, but my favorite is the original “Creature” from Mary Shelley’s 1818 masterpiece. Victor Frankenstein assembles a body from multiple corpses to reanimate a larger than life human.

Once Universal Pictures got ahold of the story, they turned the Creature into a bumbling, green, killing machine with bolts protruding from his neck But in the original novel, the giant man is soft-spoken, intelligent, and unsure of his own powers.

That gentle giant is the perfect counterpart for Tony Bradley. The third-year Jazz center is a behemoth of a man but has one of the kindest, most unassuming personalities across the entire NBA. All the Monster wanted was a female counterpart and maybe the innocent people of Geneva could have been saved.

Maybe if Bradley can find his ideal partner, he’ll have a more enjoyable journey with the Jazz than Victor Frankenstein and his monster.

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Jazz Players & Their Halloween Monster Alter Egos