Each year before the NBA season starts, ESPN’s Zach Lowe ranks all 30 of the league’s teams in terms of what he thinks their watchability will be in the coming season. He calls the resulting list his League Pass rankings after the subscription that can be bought to watch most league games.
Lowe gives each squad a score of 1-10 in five categories: zeitgeist, highlight potential (“Do you linger on games in case a superstar does something amazing?”), style, League Pass minutia and unintentional comedy.
On Tuesday morning, Lowe unveiled Nos. 30-11 for the 2022-23 campaign, and he has the Utah Jazz dead last.
“The Jazz aren’t really a basketball team after detonating the Donovan Mitchell-Rudy Gobert-Quin Snyder-Making-Amazing-Faces era,” Lowe began in his explanation of why he voted Utah last.
“They are an airport waiting area for players, only those players have to play together a bit because the NBA mandates the Jazz field a team instead of working together ‘Ocean’s Eleven’-style to rig the lottery,” he wrote.
Lowe specifically noted how the Jazz have tons of shoot-first combo guards.
“Poor Mike Conley can bring the ball up, pass it once and head into the stands for a drink,” he said. He did add that he’s “excited” to watch Collin Sexton.
As part of his analysis, Lowe critiques each team’s local broadcasters, and of Utah’s he wrote, “I can’t wait to hear how the Jazz are not really tanking, how dare anyone suggest it, the honorable caretakers of this community treasure would never allow that toxin to infect your beloved Jazz Men.”
And on the scale of how much a person cares about the looks of a team’s court and uniforms, Lowe definitely cares a lot, so perhaps it should come as little surprise that he wrote, “The new uniforms are a crime against NBA art,” calling the black and yellow ones “high school gym class-level.”
Lowe closed with two semi-compliments. First, “The new court at least has the smoky white-gray shadow of that note along the sidelines,” and second, “Jarred Vanderbilt is cool.”