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"I would not anticipate the relish of any happiness, nor feel the weight of any misery, before it actually arrives."
No one has any clue who said those words, seeing that they are attributed to Anonymous, but they could all but have been spoken by any member of the Utah Jazz on the day camp opened for the belated 2011-12 NBA season.
OK, not those exact words.
Al Jefferson won't be scratching up the phrases "relish of any happiness" or "weight of any misery" in any context anytime soon, but you get the point. He, like all of his teammates, has no real idea what the Jazz are in for this year, and he wasn't about to throw down any great expectation on the first day for that one very good reason.
"I don't know," he said.
Can the Jazz make the playoffs?
"I'm not going to jinx myself, but we're going to play hard every night," he said. "I got to say, we took some games off last year. We can't afford that this year. We have to stay consistent from Day 1, from the beginning to the end."
Gordon Hayward backed up Big Al:
"I expect us to go out and compete every game. I really don't know what to expect, except for that. We're going to go out and put it all on the line, and the results will probably take care of themselves."
Notice the qualifier probably and then read into it what you will. Possibly? With any luck? If Derrick Favors grows into the league's next great power forward? If all the planets in all the solar systems in all the universes align?
There's space for vast interpretation in whatever it is the Jazz might do this season, and most of the players would rather keep their imaginations compacted, just like the games themselves, and be surprised rather than let their imaginations stretch too far and be disappointed.
"Making the playoffs, I don't think anything else is acceptable here," said the freshly re-signed Earl Watson. "But we haven't practiced yet, so I don't know."
Welcome, then, to the Jazz's Magical Mystery Tour, a 66-game regular season that could be a thrill ride or a death march, depending on how a group of young and yet-undeveloped talent progresses and meshes with a smattering of veterans, most of whom haven't even hit their prime.
"We're all interested to find out what we've got," Raja Bell said. "We've got a lot of youth. Even the guys who were here last year haven't played that much together. It's going to be really interesting to see what Ty [Corbin] and his staff are looking for out of us in terms of offense and defense and to see how we connect with that. We're all pretty excited, but it is a mystery."
Added Paul Millsap: "It's a fresh start for us. We're headed in a new direction, a different direction."
The destination at the end of that direction, Millsap didn't name. But he did say the Jazz are going to … yeah, work hard.
"We'll see what happens," he said.
Maybe it's a good thing for the Jazz that they are uncertain how far they can go. A year ago, Deron Williams said Utah could win an NBA title, and that bit of misguided confidence blew like a heated canister of nitro as, game by game, harsh reality lit up unfulfilled follies.
It's not as though the Jazz are aiming low, intending to quit often and make excuses, and expecting the worst. They are simply allowing themselves room to grow, without blowing the kind of blistering sunshine bound to kill off the crop before it has a chance to take root and flourish.
"It's always an issue of bringing it all together when you have young guys, older guys, rookies and seasoned veterans," said assistant coach Jeff Hornacek. "We think with the talent we have on this team, we have a chance to have a great season. Where it all ends up depends on how they work and how they mesh. We expect our young guys to become stars. A lot of it's on them. They have tremendous potential."
Favors is foremost among them. The 20-year-old power forward, starting his second season, believes the Jazz's young legs will help them when the games come fast in the shorter schedule. And he said his young legs are ready to carry whatever load Corbin puts upon them.
"If coach wants me to be a star, that's what I'll be," he said, adding that getting 20 points and 10 rebounds a night is already well within his reach. "Of course, if they give me the minutes."
Corbin said he is undecided on how many minutes players will get or how he'll use those players.
It's all part of the great unknown into which the Jazz are now running.
Will they, after last season's trauma and collapse, after this year's reassemblage and growth, make those playoffs this time around?
"Possibly," said Bell.
"Don't know yet," said Watson.
"Maybe," C.J. Miles said. "I think so. For sure."
Anticipate no happiness, feel no weight of misery.
Just wait and see.
GORDON MONSON hosts "The Gordon Monson Show" weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on 97.5 FM/1280 AM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.