Utah Jazz Youngster Unveils Original Art Collection Before Game

Stephen BabbFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2014

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Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans is best known as the winner of the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest who dunked over a portrait of himself dunking over a portrait of himself, but that may change soon enough. The 26-year-old has added a mean artistic ability to his off-court repertoire, establishing himself as a multitalented bench player who probably sees more of the canvas than he does game time.

Here's a rundown of some of Evans' other highlights, courtesy of the Deseret News' Jody Genessy.

That's some impressive stuff. The paintings were put on display at Utah's EnergySolutions Arena. Said Evans of the show (per The Salt Lake Tribune's Aaron Falk): "I’m excited, just so everybody can see it."

Genessy offers a rundown of Evans' various exploits:

Evans, whose non-hoops hobbies also include playing the guitar and carving, plans on drawing more LDS temples. As it is, his art collection includes a cherished painting of a lion, an airbrushed Tupac piece and a pastel of Michael Jordan — not to overlook a Jerry Sloan portrait he gave the retired coach.

Evans' teammates have taken notice. Per Genessy, Jazz point guard Earl Watson says, "He's an amazing artist. I think that a lot of people don't realize how great he really is, how talented he is off the court as well."

Evans' contributions on the court have been less impressive, but his leaping ability certainly qualifies as a work of art in its own right. Just last week, he left us with quite the reminder, according to NBA.com's Zettler Clay:

Whenever Jeremy Evans’ name is mentioned around these parts, it’s because of his deft ability to defy gravity and complete jams no human has a right to complete. He is tall (6-foot-9), so he’s supposed to be able to dunk, right? Fair point. But Friday night against the Pelicans, he might have outdone himself on a feed from Ian Clark. Regardless of his height, this took a deal of hand-eye coordination, body control and flexibility to pull off.

Behold the masterpiece.

It's a good thing Evans is such an artist both on and off the floor, because his production doesn't stand out nearly as much.

The fourth-year forward is averaging just 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, both career highs. He has just one more season on his contract, so time is running short for Evans to prove he's more than a rare athletic specimen.

An outside shot would certainly help his case. At the moment, Evans takes well over half of his field-goal attempts in the paint:

Evans' shot distribution.
Evans' shot distribution.NBA.com

As much as his artistic range makes him something of a renaissance man, it will take improved range on the court to secure a lucrative long-term deal. That's the versatility that will count the most in contractual terms.