Thurl Bailey Rumors
Individually, it probably goes down as the single biggest shot in the history of the franchise. It’s the shot that got the Jazz over the playoff hump, the shot that allowed that era of the Jazz to prove they were more than postseason flameouts. “His statue is up there (outside of Vivint Arena) for a reason,” said Thurl Bailey, who played with Stockton and is now an announcer with the Jazz. “You can’t even think about the history of the Utah Jazz without including John Stockton. He was the head of the snake. He was the brains of the operation on the court. It will be hard to see that kind of longevity on the court again from the point guard position.”
Thurl Bailey: Mark Eaton… My protector, my mentor, my friend, my brother. I’m devastated you’ve left us too soon. Thank you for what you left with me. Red heartFolded handsRight-facing fist
He leaves behind a legacy of kindness, a work ethic that so many admired and a man who made himself a basketball player from basically a lump of clay and then made himself into a visible businessman in the Utah community. Eaton was accessible, and could often be seen at games, just behind the Jazz bench. He consistently made himself available for autographs and pictures and random conversation. He was someone who treated everybody the same, no matter who that person happened to be.
“God could not have put a gentler, kinder soul in a big body than Mark Eaton,” Bailey told The Athletic. “I have a lot of great basketball memories because his story is so unique. He worked his tail off to be one of the best. He learned how to protect the paint, and he saved his teammates. We relied on him sometimes too much.” “He was the Rudy Gobert of our time.”
“He had an effect on winning with us,” Bailey said. “Before Mark came, we didn’t have that much success as a team. But he was always mentoring me. He was always optimistic. We just developed a really great relationship. The moments that mark and I had, we would just go have a beer and talk about life. That was the difference. We talked about family, about things we wanted to do during the summer. We talked about music. We had very intellectual conversations. Mark was like a family member to me.”
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced today the reelection and naming of officers Johnny Davis (Chairman), Dave Cowens (Vice Chairman), Sam Perkins (Treasurer), and Grant Hill (Secretary) to its Board of Directors for 2021. They join Board of Directors members Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Shawn Marion, Dave Naves, Sheryl Swoopes and Jerome Williams. Dave Cowens has also been elevated from Director to the position of Vice Chairman. “The retention of these members on our Board of Directors provides us with an amazing opportunity to leverage the experience and continuity in our leadership,” said President and CEO NBRPA Scott Rochelle. “These officers, will no doubt, continue to represent the various viewpoints from across our membership, set an example of strong leadership, and provide the highest professional standards to best serve our members.”