This article was first published as the Jazz Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Thursday.
The Utah Jazz are in a unique pickle. They have two Rudys. More so, they have two Rudy Gs, which makes things a little difficult, and now that Rudy Gay is playing, this problem needs solving.
On Thursday night, in Gay’s debut for the Utah Jazz, there was a point when head coach Quin Snyder called for Rudy. But when Gay and Rudy Gobert both were at attention, there was some minor confusion.
Gay’s jersey number is 8, and at some point somebody suggested the name “Ocho.” Out of absolute necessity, it has stuck. Snyder needs something to write on whiteboards and to yell out during practices and games. Rudy doesn’t work, RG doesn’t work, but Ocho does. It’s stuck so much that it’s printed on Gay’s practice jersey and some of the players are using it when they play.
The problem is that it’s not a good nickname.
I personally think it’s a little lazy to just go for his jersey number. Calling Gobert “Vingt-sept” isn’t original, but at least it being French would make sense. Why are we using the Spanish version of eight for Gay? Is it because just calling him “Eight” would seem lazy? It’s still the same thing! (I know I’m ranting, I really don’t like this nickname.)
Gay has had nicknames in the past, but they aren’t practical. The “Great Rudini” is not something that his teammates can easily call him on the court. “Truck” referred more to a playing style that doesn’t fit Gay anymore. Sometimes he used to go by “Big Rudy” but that doesn’t work on the Jazz for obvious reasons.
Joe Ingles agrees with me. “Ocho” is not a good nickname, but what are some good alternatives? Twitter user @a2everitt suggested “R2G2”, which I like, but when I suggested it to Ingles, he said it was too much.
“I’m not going to be running down the court saying R2G ... it’s too long,” Ingles said.
Jordan Clarkson seems to also agree that “Ocho” isn’t working, taking to Twitter on Thursday night asking for suggestions for a suitable moniker.
Many have suggested that the two Rudys just go by their last names. That’s boring, we can do better.
So I’m challenging everyone to come up with their best nickname suggestions and send them to me. You don’t have to do this today or tomorrow, there’s no need to be impulsive. Maybe watch Gay in a few more Jazz games and see what feels right. You can email your suggestions to me at email@example.com or send them to me on Twitter with the hashtag #NicknameRudyGay. I’ll run them by Gay and the rest of the team and we’ll see if we can get something to stick.
New with the Jazz
Stat of the week
Rudy Gay scored 20 points in his debut for the Utah Jazz. Not only did he lead the team in scoring on Thursday in his 18 minutes, 27 seconds off the bench, but last season Gay only managed to score 20-or-more points twice and he’s done it in his first outing with the Jazz after not playing in a single game since May 16.
This week on ‘Unsalvageable’
Check out “Unsalvageable: A Utah Jazz Podcast,” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster). This week, the crew discussed the recent rough patch of games for the Jazz and wonder why they aren’t putting in effort until it’s too late.
From the archives
This week in Jazz history
On Nov. 19, 1977, the New Orleans Jazz set a then-NBA record for fewest free throws made in a game — one. Despite 17 fouls by Houston, the Jazz went to the foul line only five times and made just one, yet still managed to defeat the Rockets, 103-101. On Jan. 9, 1996, the Toronto Raptors did not make a single free throw in a loss to the Charlotte Hornets, erasing the Jazz’s record of one free throw.
- Ryan Smith is rebranding the Utah Jazz. The state of Utah might be next (Deseret News)
- The officials are letting contact go. How are the Jazz adjusting? (KSL.com)
- Jazz rookie Jared Butler is ready to talk about his heart condition (Salt Lake Tribune)
- Utah Jazz’s Irv Roland thrilled and frustrated by ruling that spares Julius Jones’ life (Salt Lake Tribune)
Around the league
Los Angeles’ Staples Center is set to become Crypto.com arena.
NBA general mangers are working to create an association to support executives.
The Dallas Mavericks will retire Dirk Nowitzki’s number.
Nov. 20 | 8 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Sacramento Kings | AT&T SportsNet
Nov. 22 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Memphis Grizzlies | AT&T SportsNet
Nov. 24 | 6 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder | AT&T SportsNet
Nov. 26 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans | AT&T SportsNet
Nov. 27 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans | AT&T SportsNet