Jazz fans voice displeasure with NBA lockout

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SALT LAKE CITY — The latest NBA labor talks have produced mostly frustration. The entire pre-season is now cancelled.

You can tell things are getting bad, because many big- named players are signing contracts to play in other countries; Andrei Kirilenko is going to Russia, for example. A few other players announced similar deals today.

For the fans, though, all they can do is wait and complain. And boy are they doing that!

We dropped by Deseret Barber Shop and chatted with owner Dani Haskett, who was working on one of her regular customers. She's listened to a lot of NBA talk as she trims heads.

No one pays me that amount to play checkers! That's kind of a silly comparison, but they're just children, almost, on the court.

–Ben Sandgren, Jazz fan.

"Well, most of them are really upset. They think the players are being greedy," Haskett said.

Out on the sidewalk, fans certainly expressed dismay at the whole thing.

"They make millions of dollars, and then they complain they don't get enough," Jazz fan Kade Forsberg said.

"No one pays me that amount to play checkers! That's kind of a silly comparison, but they're just children, almost, on the court. They pay them so much money," said Ben Sandgren, also a Jazz fan.

Whether they attend games or just watch on TV, many fans say winter won't be the same if they don't get their NBA fix.

We visited with Ella Jean Cooper. She's a resident of the Legacy House assisted living center in Bountiful. There's no doubt that she's a huge Jazz fan — her whole place is decorated with Jazz gear. Even her cat "Sam" wears a Jazz tag on his collar.


Cooper never misses a game on TV and is paying close attention to news about the labor talks. "If it goes any further, the first two weeks of the season will be gone," she said. "I don't like that one bit."

Back at the barber shop, Jazz fan Ron Rencher said he attends a handful of Jazz games each year. He thinks more games will get cancelled but believes there will at least be a partial basketball season.

"Does it affect me so much that I'll never go to a Jazz game again? No. I'll forgive ‘em and go back. I'd like to see them get it settled," Rencher said.

Haskett, however, is resigned that the entire season will get wiped out. "I think they're all greedy. How much money do you need to be happy?" she said.

Meanwhile, if the players and owners don't reach an agreement by next Monday, the regular season schedule will be affected. But no new talks are even scheduled.

Email: kmccord@ksl.com


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