UTAH JAZZ

Jason Terry Goes Undercover To Surprise Markkanen, Kessler

Mar 24, 2023, 1:57 PM | Updated: 2:05 pm

Utah Jazz assistant coach Jason Terry...

Utah Jazz assistant coach Jason Terry (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz assistant coach Jason Terry went undercover to surprise Walker Kessler and Lauri Markkanen.

The Jazz are launching end-of-season award campaigns for Kessler as an All-Rookie team member and potential Rookie of the Year while promoting Markkanen as the league’s Most Improved Player worthy of an All-NBA selection.

The team created comic books featuring Kessler and Markkanen to send to media members who vote for the end-of-season awards, while having the frontcourt stars visit Dr. Volt’s Comic Connection in Salt Lake City to advertise the campaign.

While Kessler and Markkanen were visiting with fans at Dr. Volt’s, Terry dropped into the shop in full costume.

The first-year Jazz assistant donned a weight suit, a full beard, glasses, and a hat as he sought autographs from Markkanen and Kessler, much to the delight of Jazz head coach Will Hardy.

At the comic book shop, Terry mumbled to Markkanen to address his autograph to ‘Oscar’ as he remained incognito for the prank.

Eventually, Kessler caught on, finally asking Markkanen if he knew for whom he was signing the comic book.

Kessler is a shoo-in for the All-Rookie team having averaged 8.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.3 rebounds so far this season, while Oklahoma City Thunder guard Jalen Williams and Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero are viewed as the frontrunners for Rookie of the Year.

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Markkanen, averaging 25.7 points and 8.6 rebounds is competing with Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for the Most Improved Player, and has a strong chance to be named to an All-NBA team.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayston Tatum are locks for the two forward spots on the All-NBA First Team. The Jazz forward is competing with LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Julius Randle, Jimmy Butler, Jalen Brown, Domantas Sabonis, Paul George, and Jaren Jackson Jr. for four total spots on the All-NBA second and third teams.

The first 1,000 fans in attendance at Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks will receive copies of the Kessler and Markkanen comic books.

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Jason Terry Goes Undercover To Surprise Markkanen, Kessler