Monday night's game will mark the return of Paul Millsap to Utah where he spent the first seven years of his career before signing as a free agent in Atlanta over the summer. Millsap talked about his return Monday morning with Jazz radio broadcaster David Locke and expressed his appreciation for Utah.
Paul Millsap "I am very grateful, very grateful. This is my home for 7 years. I love this place. It was a perfect fit."— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) March 10, 2014
Millsap was drafted by the Jazz in the second round of the 2006 draft. He played in 540 regular season games with the Jazz and finished with career-averages of 12.9 points and 7.1 rebounds. He averaged double figure scoring in five of his seven seasons and helped get the Jazz to the playoffs five times. The Jazz will honor him
Millsap was quoted on Sunday saying that the Utah crowd should boo him. He addressed that comment again on Monday with Locke:
Paul Millsap "I am on the opposing team now,it wouldn't hurt my feelings if they booed me. It goes beyond basketball here, it's like family"— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) March 10, 2014
He is going to have to listen hard to hear any boos from the Jazz faithful. SB Nation's Jazz blog SLC Dunk posted a nice retrospective from Millsap's time in Utah and call him "the last real Utah Jazz player."
We love you Paul. You are the last link to the Jazz franchise we loved so much. You worked hard, never made excuses, and got better ever year. You were coached by Jerry Sloan, and Larry H. Miller made sure you were always in our plans when he was alive, matching even the most toxic of contracts. Because you are so old school you've even said that, in principle, Jazz fans should boo you because you are the road team. But by being so old school, by being so many things we love, we could never boo you.
Millsap has taken his game to a new level this season and that resulted in his first trip to the NBA All-Star game. He formed a solid 1-2 punch with Al Horford before he lost for the season due to injury. More so he is that guy that shows up each and every game with the same effort. He's done everything that could have been asked of him and could very well be the best value signing of this past offseason.