by Nico Fiscella
Each Throwback Thursday post has discussed either a birthday, historic performance, or a feature story. However, this week’s throwback Thursday post is going to be different than most. It is only fitting that since Thursday falls on the first of April, we discuss the best pranks in Utah Jazz history.
Rookie Gobert gets Pranked by Teammates
Back in February of 2014, rookie center Rudy Gobert was headed to an early Monday shooting around with the team. Since he was a rookie, he was assigned the task of bringing doughnuts for the team, and unfortunately, Gobert showed up to practice with no sweet treats for his team.
After practice, Gobert’s teammates rewarded him for his efforts that day. As Gobert opened the door to his Range Rover, he was welcomed to a car full of popcorn.
As the buttery popcorn spilled out of Gobert’s car, teammates walking by could do nothing but laugh at the rookie while Gobert tried to figure out who was the culprit.
Surprisingly, Rudy Gobert does not have the nickname “The Kernel”.
Utah Jazz Owner Fools Joe Ingles
After diving into a crowd for a ball, Joe Ingles accidentally landed on Utah Jazz Owner Gail Miller. Ingles did not realize who he stumbled onto, and got right back up and continued with the game.
Once the game ended, Miller decided to give Jingles a little scare. Quin Snyder, Gail Miller, and other Jazz Executives all joined together on a great prank. Snyder and others pulled Ingles into a room where Gail Miller was sitting.
Miller was already planning on getting surgery, however, he acted as if Ingles was the reason he was injured. Miller saw the opportunity to get a quick laugh and did not fail to disappoint. Ingles explained this all on the Lowe Post Podcast back in January 2020.
An Accidental Prank by the Jazz
Six years ago today, the Utah Jazz faced off against the Denver Nuggets on April Fools Day. This game came not too long after former Jazz center Enes Kanter made his return to Salt Lake City. While his return was not exactly the reunion players wish to have, Utah ended up getting the last laugh.
When fans went to grab their tickets for the upcoming game against the Nuggets, they were treated to Enes Kanter on their tickets.
“This is the best, unintentional April Fools Joke you will see today,” Brandon Garside said on Twitter.
While trading away Enes Kanter opened the door for now all-star Rudy Gobert, Jazz fans were treated to a small chuckle seeing Kanter on Utah Jazz tickets after being traded away.
The Best April Fools joke of All-Time
If you have not seen the pictures from the 2003 NBA draft, it is always a fun time seeing stars like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony wearing baggy three-button suits.
The NBA fashion has had many facelifts over the years, and Utah attempted to bring back the classic long shorts.
“The Utah Jazz are excited to announce an addition to the team’s uniform set,” said the Jazz on the NBA.com website. “Beginning next season, the Jazz will be the first NBA team to officially introduce Three-Quarter Court Pants, which the team will feature during select games.”
Fans filled the comments of this post with disgust, as they were afraid the Jazz would turn into the laughing stock of the NBA. Fans like Stephanie Turner shared their opinions in the comments.
“Umm no,” Turner said. “Ewwww. Please let this be an April’s Fools joke!!”
The Jazz had their fanbase completely lost, and they kept the joke going for as long as possible.
The Jazz explained how they wanted to expand on the extended jerseys, as during this time some NBA teams incorporated short-sleeved jerseys into their rotation. They went as far as to mention that they had hired Giovanni Cavellini, an Italian designer to help convince fans that the long shorts were returning.
However, the Jazz could not keep the joke up forever and later announced the new kit would be available on September 31, 2015. That is a day that does not exist.
Photo courtesy Gene Sweeney Jr. via ESPN