Markkanen, Hardy Excited To Play In Front Of Jazz Fans

Oct 6, 2022, 3:01 PM
A general view of Game Two of the Western Conference first-round playoff series between the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies at Vivint Smart Home Arena on May 26, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz newcomers Will Hardy and Lauri Markkanen are both excited to experience the team’s fans in person for the first time at Saturday’s open scrimmage.

The Jazz opened the preseason in Edmonton against the Toronto Raptors where they fell 114-82 before earning Hardy’s first win of his coaching career over the Trail Blazers 118-101 on Tuesday in Portland.

Though the team will officially make their preseason debut at Vivint Arena next Tuesday against the San Antonio Spurs, Saturday’s scrimmage will serve as a test run for the new-look Jazz.

Markkanen, Hardy Excited For Jazz Scrimmage

The Jazz have traditionally held an open scrimmage before the season to grant extra access to the die-hard fanbase, but the pandemic in recent years has limited those opportunities.

Last season the Jazz broadcast a live scrimmage from the Zions Bank Basketball Campus, though no fans were in attendance.

“We’re really excited, I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for our fans to get to know our team, which will be great,” Hardy said.

The event will be held at 11 am at Vivint Arena, with doors opening at 10:30 am, and will be free to the public.

“This is a really fun group of guys,” Hardy said. “High energy, really competitive — I think you’ve seen that in the first two preseason games.”

Markkanen was the Jazz leading scorer in their preseason opener against the Raptors dropping in 20 points on 7-12 shooting and said he was well aware of the Utah crowds from his previous stops in the NBA.

“This has always been a great crowd and obviously they have been good, they’ve had a good team,” Markkanen remembered of his visits to Utah.

The Finnish forward has played in Utah four times in his career and has won a road game in the state only once. Markkanen and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Jazz last January as the high-scoring big man scored 20 points on 8-11 shots from the field.

“It’s been a tough place to come in and play as a visiting team,” Markkanen said, “so I’m excited to have them on our side.”

Jazz To Debut New Court

The Jazz will unveil one of two new basketball courts at the scrimmage according to the team.

“With the debut of the new court, the iconic Jazz Note is featured in the center with a black apron and yellow UTAH JAZZ wordmark,” the team announced. “The wood paneling is uniquely angled rather than the typical horizontal look, flowing in conjunction with the Jazz Note that is rendered in chrome.”

Complimentary parking is available at Park Place, which is located northeast of the main arena entrance according to the team. Select concession stands will be open on the main concourse for fans looking to eat at the scrimmage.

The open scrimmage will also be streamed live on UtahJazz.com and the Utah Jazz YouTube channel.

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