Utah Jazz Fans Most Classless in All of Sports?

| by Alex Groberman

The Los Angeles Lakers have the Utah Jazz down 3-0 in their second round NBA Playoff series.

Maybe karmic justice does exist.

No one has ever accused sports fans of being classy. Be it Philadelphia fans booing Santa Claus or Nuggets’ fans taunting Kobe Bryant, there are numerous examples of idiot fans reaching personal lows with their behavior.

But it looks like Jazz supporters took the lows of other teams’ fans as a personal challenge.

Throughout the entire slow-but-steady massacre that has been the Lakers killing the Jazz, Utah fans have had to resort to not-so-nice behavior to keep themselves entertained.

One Jazz Jerk decided to clutch his eye every time Derek Fisher got the ball.

In 2007 Fisher left the Jazz to return to the Lakers to be closer to the specific type of health care necessary for his ailing daughter (now age 4). Diagnosed with eye cancer, Fisher’s daughter could only receive treatment in a few big-city locations. Since his return to Los Angeles, Fisher’s daughter has recovered 50% vision in her eye.

Some Jazz fans suspected that Fisher used the condition as an excuse to return to the Lakers. The same Lakers who, at the time, were a horrible basketball team and had Kobe Bryant demanding a trade.

Let’s suppose for a moment Jazz fans are right. That Fisher is such a terrible human being that he would use his daughter’s illness as a way to return to a purple and gold uniform that would cost him an $8 million loss in salary. Does that make mocking a little girl who suffered from cancer alright?

It’s a shame that Fisher couldn’t meet the fan after the game and give him a real reason to clutch his eye.

Unfortunately, the eye-clutching clown wasn’t the only problem in the stands. It appears a lot of Jazz Jerks have a personal vendetta against a man taking care of his daughter. Fisher Sucks chants rang loudly through EnergySolutions Arena.

How soon foolish fans forget.

The Jazz don’t have too many shining moments in their team’s history. The biggest NBA highlight involving the franchise is probably Michael Jordan abusing them in his final game with the Chicago Bulls, before hitting a game winning jumper that clinched the championship.

While his daughter was laying sick in the hospital three years ago, Derek Fisher arrived at a Jazz-Golden State Warriors second round game during halftime. He suited up then proceeded to enter the game in the fourth quarter. What happened after that goes down as one of the great moments in NBA history.

Despite his heart being heavy and his sick daughter on his mind, Fisher hit two clutch jumpers and played suffocating defense to secure a win for his team. The Jazz would go on to win the series and advance to the next round.

To Jazz fans, however, that highlight in their otherwise mediocre and uninteresting history means nothing.

Fisher is far too classy a player to ever speak negatively of the Jazz fans who once cheered for him. Instead, he let his play do the talking. During Game 3, he made a number of key plays including a clutch three-pointer with less than 30 seconds remaining to put the Lakers up by one.

The Lakers ended up winning the game and have taken a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. In one or two games they will advance to the Conference Finals to play the Phoenix Suns, while Jazz fans get to watch yet another playoffs series from the comfort of their home.

It certainly feels like karmic justice.

Fans are expected to cheer for their teams. Sporting events are a place to let loose. Neither of those two things are excuses to lose all sense of right and wrong.