Open Letter: Basketball Jersey Treatment

It’s not a smart idea to burn basketball jerseys. Gordon Hayward is the latest to see his Utah Jazz jerseys burn. Photo Credit: Danny Bollinger,

Dear basketball fans,

Being upset that one of your favorite players is one thing. Setting his jersey on fire is another.

We’ve seen this kind of treatment before. The latest victim is Gordon Hayward, who announced on The Players’ Tribune that he’s signing with the Boston Celtics. The deal is for four years worth $128 million.

Hayward played his first few NBA seasons with the Utah Jazz. The short version is that Jazz fans aren’t happy. Videos surfaced of some fans burning Hayward’s Jazz jersey.

It’s one thing to be upset, but this is taking it too far.

The most prominent jersey burning began with LeBron James when he first left to join the Miami Heat. Disgruntled Cleveland Cavalier fans set fire to James’ jerseys.

Some of Miami’s fans took the same action to James’ Heat jerseys. James leaving Miami to return to Cleveland set a horrible example of karma.

Even in Oklahoma City, some of the Thunder’s fans set Kevin Durant jerseys ablaze after he went to Golden State.

One question comes to mind. Why is this still a thing?

Does anything go through a fan’s mind when they set a jersey on fire? Let’s forget the fact that they can simply give it away or sell it if they want nothing to do with it.

Actually, that sounds like a better idea.

Let’s also forget that those jerseys might actually be worth something. It’s not like those players have great careers after they move on to their new teams.

Wait a minute; that does happen.

James won with both Miami and Cleveland while making personal history. Durant won while obtaining the NBA Finals MVP. Yeah, it’s such a smart decision to burn a jersey.

Now put sarcasm aside. Condemn the action of setting a jersey on fire. However, have sympathy for the franchise.

The Utah Jazz is not known as being winners. Recent memory proves that.

Utah had many great players compete for them, but they have no championships to show for it. The closet they came was in 1997 and 1998. That Jazz team led by the tandem of Karl Malone and John Stockton fell to the Chicago Bulls in both years.

Anger builds up over time. The Jazz is not a winner in the NBA, which is why it’s heartbreaking for Heyward to leave.

Just remember it’s only a game. Think of NBA players as workers. If they’re not happy where they are, then they won’t play as hard.

Free agents are players that decide where their future resides. They can either get rich and play or vie for a championship. That’s the reality we’ve always lived in. It’s just that loyalty is scarce these days in the NBA.

Hayward will be put as another scapegoat as a traitor, but he really shouldn’t be. Certain Jazz fans have let their voices be heard, and they really shouldn’t have.

After all, perhaps Hayward becomes the next big star for the NBA in Boston. It would be pretty foolish to get rid of his Jazz jersey, now wouldn’t it?

Remember to check out the Facebook page for the Update. You can also check out my professional website for my other works and accomplishments. Don’t forget to like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and keep on reading. Until then, watch sports you knuckleheads!

Yours Truly,

Sebastian Maldonado

Copyright @ 2007


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