SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz are having one of its best seasons in franchise history. The team has the NBA's best record; and with the Western Conference essentially wide open, 2021 could see the Jazz going very deep into the playoffs — maybe even the NBA Finals.
But what if they go all the way and win the NBA championship? That dream would finally become a reality for all Jazz fans, including Utah Gov. Spencer Cox.
When asked if there would be a parade if the Jazz end up hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy this summer, Cox said he is ready to throw the biggest party in Utah history.
"The answer is a resounding yes! There is no question! We will have the biggest parade in our state's history if the Jazz win the NBA Finals," Cox said during a Thursday interview with KSL.com's The Know Podcast.
"I don't want to jinx it, you know, but someday we're going to win an NBA title," the governor also said. "We do have the best record in the NBA this year. We got an incredible team."
In February, as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout began to ramp up both in Utah and across the nation, Cox said he was "extremely optimistic" about the state's future with the pandemic, saying by summertime he hopes to be maskless at a Fourth of July parade.
Cox added that Donovan Mitchell has been on a tear right now, and Rudy Gobert is playing at the top of his game.
"I'm so excited for this team," he said.
"Spida" is averaging a career-high 26.5 points per game this season, while Gobert continues to make averaging a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double per game look like clockwork.
More fans (safely) allowed at Jazz games for playoff run?
During the interview, Cox mentioned he has been to a couple of Jazz games since a limited number of fans were allowed back to games at Vivint Arena this season. He acknowledged that it is "very strange" to go to games and see fewer fans due to COVID-19 restrictions.
"Some of the games feel like a Summer League game because there aren't as many people there and the coaches dress much more casually now," Cox said. "It's a different atmosphere, for sure. Obviously a little strange, but (it's been) such a fun year."
He said it was fun to hear the Jazz fans affecting the game while watching Utah play against the Washington Wizards from home the other night.
Cox said he has talked with new Jazz owner Ryan Smith about how they could get the NBA to allow more fans into the arena safely. The governor is hopeful more fans will be allowed at Jazz games in time for the playoffs in late May.
"We have the best home-court advantage in the league, and we want to make sure we maintain that through the playoffs," Cox said.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox's full The Know Podcast interview — talking COVID-19, the future of the Republican Party, affordable housing in Utah, and more — debuts this Monday on KSL.com.