Are the Utah Jazz getting a fair shake from the referees?

Seerat Sohi
·1-min read

Utah Jazz-related schadenfreude has spread at an exponential rate this week. On Wednesday, the Jazz fell to the Philadelphia 76ers, and after essentially getting trolled by Joel Embiid, both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert took to the podium to plead their case for a fair shake from the referees. Mitchell ($25,000) and Gobert ($20,000) were both fined by the league for public criticism of the officiating.

Twenty-four hours later, Mitchell and Gobert were the last players picked for LeBron James’ and Kevin Durant’s respective All-Star teams. James cut to the equally deep-seated and irrational core of Jazz disrespect on TNT after, saying, "There is no slander to the Utah Jazz. You guys got to understand, just like in video games growing up, we never played with Utah. Even as great as Karl Malone and John Stockton was, we never picked those guys in video games.”

In a way, James proved the Jazz right. They are disrespected for reasons out of their control. Hell, I even made the highly regrettable prediction that they would miss the playoffs (I know).

The Jazz have a point, but does it matter that they’re right? If they want to win a championship, they’re likely just going to have to push against their lot in life.

I broke down a few key plays in the final stretch of Wednesday’s game, reinforcing the most enduring cliche in sports: You can only control what you can control.

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