OK, we had to redo this thread due to the limitations of only being able to have 10 pics in one post. Also, a lot of my pics are broken and are being fixed. Additionally, Gobert is actually ahead of more people and I will add them in until we are current when the season tips off for real. The Center position for the Utah Jazz has been a collection of some of the greatest scum, villainy, and heartbreakers known to the NBA. I have 58 players (59 if you count Biedrins, which I refuse to) as suiting up for the Jazz during both the New Orleans and Utah eras and I am going to document Gobert's rise to the top as he leaves these past paragons of mediocrity in his wake! For statistical purposes I am only going to count what these people did as a Jazzman. If they left after one season and became an All Star somewhere else, then you only get the one year counted, because if you did your best work for another team, then screw you. Also this counts for Hall of Famers who played just one game for the Jazz at the butt end of their career (I'm looking at you Walt Bellamy, may you rest in peace.) So here are Gobert's current Stats: Points 2273 Rebounds 2491 Blocks 547 Steals 163 Assists 291 This ranks him at #14 ahead of: #15 Felton Spencer Points 1390 Rebounds 721 Blocks 153 Steals 73 Assists 71 I guess I was young when we aquired Spencer in a trade for Big Brown Bear Mike Brown, but I remember being excited about getting a center "who could play a little offense!" Mark Eaton had just retired and didn't have near the popularity he enjoys today. Formally a #6 draft choice of the Pesky Timberwolves, he wasn't really living up to the expecations that got him drafted that high. Although he could never bring the defensive production of a Mark Eaton, he scored just under 10 points a game for three seasons for the Jazz as they transitioned from upstarts to Western Conference playoff mainstays. Unfortunately, Spencer's run was ended by a nasty achillies injury that forced the contending Jazz to go a different direction while Spencer rehabbed. Spencer landed in Orlando and the Jazz landed in the finals two years later. Spencer played 3 seasons for the Utah Jazz. #16 Greg Foster Points 1113 Rebounds 721 Blocks 78 Steals 36 Assists 132 Greg Foster was the primary backup center on what was perhaps the best bench the Utah Jazz ever had. Calling themselves "The Bench Mob" with the likes of Shandon ANderson, Antoine Carr, Adam Keefe, and Howard Eisley, Utah's bench rolled to two finals appearances in 1997 and 1998. Foster is probably best known, however, for deploying the "throat slash" gesture to the Lakers in a game toward the end of the regular season in 1998, amping things up for an eventual playoff matchup between the Lakers and the Jazz. I will always love Foster for disrespecting the Lakers. Unfortunately, Foster will also be forever known as a piece, along with Chris Morris, in the failed Ronnie Seikley trade in 1998. Ironically he won a ring with his one season the Lakers in 2001. Foster is currently an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks. Here is Foster lighting up Shaq in the aforementioned 1998 Playoff series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chIr6wHWA1Y #17 Olden Polynice Points 962 Rebounds 916 Blocks 171 Steals 61 Assists 74 Olden Polynice was supposed to be the answer once Greg Ostertag started to crawl back into his shell. Initially bringing in a shot of toughness to the Last Gasp of the Stockton and Malone era he was signed as a free agent in 1999. I seemed to remember him being more effective than he actually was, averaging less than 6 points and 1 block per game. He was an excellent offensive rebounder however and provided attitude in place of the emasculated Ostertag. Unfortunately, he is best known for his "night job" of impersonating an officer, which he did twice in 2000-2001 during apparent road rage incidents, flashing his honorary LAPD badge. His third strike came later that summer when he beat the hell out of some dude at a local golf course, pretty much sealing his exit from Utah and the NBA. He was picked up for a short time by the Clippers a few years later, but couldn't stick. He later coached in the now defunct ABA and did color commentary for the WNBA. #18 Joe Meriweather Points 694 Rebounds 556 Blocks 159 Steals 35 Assists 89 Joe Meriweather played 2 seasons with the New Orleans Jazz from 77-79. Drafted by the Rockets he received all NBA Rookie honors before settling into a 10 year journeyman career. He finished his career with the Kansas City Kings where he became a part of that community, developing his talents by coaching various women's teams at the high school, college, and semi-pro level. He also served as CEO of 3C’s Fatherhood Educational Partnership, Inc., a Kansas City-based educational program that works to develop young men into responsible fathers. He was also inducted into the SIU Saluki Hall of Fame. Joe dies suddenly back in 2013 at the age of 59 from sudden unidentified causes after a brief hospital visit. #19 Mel Counts Points 610 Rebounds 541 Blocks 51 Steals 65 Assists 220 So, Mel Counts didn't suck. He bounced back and forth between the Lakers and Celtics, before, stop if you have heard this before, ending a good career with the bad New Orleans Jazz. He won two championships with the Celtics in his first two season in 1965 and 66, and eventually ended up with the Jazz in 1974 in a trade from the Lakers for "future considerations." He was a mainstay of the Lakers teams that kept losing to the Celtics in the 60's playing backup for Wilt. Eventually he was traded straight up for Gail Goodrich to Phoenix (a move that would later be disastrous for the Jazz.) The Lakers eventually got him back, before his career died with the Jazz. Today Mel is a real estate agent in Oregon. You can buy farms from him off of youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRYuxUMGr_w Dude is still pretty darn big. #20 Tom Boswell Points 781 Rebounds 398 Blocks 30 Steals 33 Assists 133 Drafted by the Celtics in 1975, Boswell won a championship with the Celtics in 76, eventually moving to the Nuggets, then making his way over the Jazz in 79. He left after one year to play in Italy and returned to the Jazz in for the 83-84 season. I was able to find an old clipping from the Denver news paper covering the news that Boswell had been dealt to the Jazz, from the Denver General manager. "We think that Tom is a good player, but by making this deal, we have the opportunity to add another good player to our roster. (Boswell was traded for a second round pick.) In addition this will allow George Johnson a chance to play more. (that dude certainly tore it up, right?) I might add that we're building for the future by stockpiling some draft choices. Don't forget we received second and third round picks from Utah earlier in a trade for Robert Smith." Evidently the financially struggling Jazz just hated draft picks back in the day. If you read further in the article it talks about how Boswell got in altercation with his assistant coach in Denver and got suspended and fined. Probably why he was shuttled to the Jazz where he didn't stick. His numbers weren't bad so I would guess attitude was the problem. #21 Eric Leckner Points 670 Rebounds 401 Blocks 45 Steals 23 Assists 37 Eric Leckner played for Wyoming and tore up the WAC. He was the 3 time MVP of the conference tournament and led the Cowboys to the sweet 16 in 1987. He was drafted by the Jazz in 1988 played in Utah for two seasons of his eventual 8 in the NBA. Evidently, Dave Checketts wanted Thunder Dan instead, but the rest of the Jazz brass went with size in an effort to back up Mark Eaton who was now in his 30's. He went on to play less and less as his term in Utah grew longer. Said Karl Malone of Leckner, Leckner went on to be a piece in the trade that landed Jeff Malone in Utah. #22 Wayne Cooper Points 489 Rebounds 440 Blocks 51 Steals 18 Assists 52 Wayne Cooper is perhaps the most boring player on the entire list. He was drafted out of the University of New Orleans by Golden State and was traded to Utah after two years for Bernard King in 1980 (wait, what? Bernard King played for the Jazz?) He played one season for the Jazz. He played in the NBA for 14 seasons retiring in 1992. He then went on to a couple of front office jobs, mostly for the Sacramento Kings where he remained employed for 17 years before being let go in 2013. The Jazz team he played on also included Ron Boone, Adrian Dantley, Rickey Greene, and Jeff Judkins. Awesome! #23 Mel Turpin Points 470 Rebounds 236 Blocks 68 Steals 26 Assists 32 Kentucky All-American Mel Turpin was drafted 6th in the greatest draft of all time in 1984, and never really lived up to the billing. Plagued by weight problems stretching back to his college days when the coaches hired students to turn away the pizza delivery man (Turpin had them meet him at his window) Mel was deridingly named "Dinner Bell Mel" or the "Mealman." By the time he got to Utah, he was pretty much on his last chance in the league. He would still, however, show shines of greatness. Generally, however, he spent a lot of time in Coach Frank Layden's doghouse. Turpin was also known to be a talker and was once involved in fisticuffs with a player from the opposing team about how ugly his girlfriend was. He was also a prized and humorous interview. After he finished the 87-88 season with the Jazz, he was "traded" to Spain for Jose Ortiz. Actually, Turpin needed a new Team and the Jazz arranging his transfer to Spain, made Ortiz's club look kindly upon waving the restrictions they had placed on Ortiz. After a year in Europe, Turpin played one year of minor league ball before calling it quits. He later became a security guard, and reportedly enjoyed the work, eventually working for his alma mater of Kentucky. Turpin died of an apparent suicide in 2010. Nobody could point to any particular issue with money, drugs, or unhappiness, but his wife had been hospitalized with a severe stroke the week before. #24 Neal Walk Points 366 Rebounds 262 Blocks 20 Steals 30 Assists 101 So Neal Walk was the #2 pick in the 1969 draft. He turned out to be a decent player, but Phoenix had to settle for the #2 pick after they lost a coin flip and watched Milwaukee snag college phenom Lew Alcindor. He played 1 season for the New Orleans Jazz in 74-75 and averaged 10 and 7 before being moved on the New York Knicks. He played 8 years in the NBA. In 1988 Walk was discovered to have a tumor enveloping his spine and surgery to remove it left him in a wheelchair. He used this as an opportunity and played in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. In 1990, Walk was awarded "National Wheelchair Athlete of the Year" by George HW Bush. He currently works in the Phoenix Suns archive department, and gives motivational speeches to young people about overcoming adversity. #25 Kyrylo Fesenko Points 329 Rebounds 299 Blocks 58 Steals 17 Assists 51 Yep, that time has arrived when Rudy puts Fes into the rearview mirror. If the Jazz had an all time quote team, Fes would be on there. Dude was flat out hilarious, and had mad athletic skills for his size, he just never seemed like he was able to play basketball. He would show marvelous flashes where he seemed unstoppable and a possible future cornerstone then would just slide into Ameachiville. In that sense he was the anti-Gobert getting career highs in points and rebounds (12 and 11, respectively in one game against Houston in 2008. I really thought it was better than that. . .) and never reaching either total again. He signed a three year contract starting in 2007 as a second round pick traded from the 76'rs, and spurned a multi-year contract from Houston to play for the Jazz for one more season in 2010. That was a bad decision as he soon found himself out of the league. I last saw him playing for the Wolves Summer League team this year, but he didn't stick. It appears that his goal for getting back into the league was to get his family out of the Ukraine where he fears for their safety. I'll cheer for him whatever life brings.