Like many of the people he serves, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is a huge Utah Jazz fan.

He attends a few games each year. He TIVOs and watches most Jazz telecasts, and is a daily follower of the franchise for six-plus months a year.

And, yes, he wants the NBA lockout to be over.

That’s why Becker and 13 other mayors, including ex-NBA standout Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, recently co-signed an open letter to NBA owners and players, hoping to persuade the two sides to resolve the labor-deal impasse and get the ball rolling on the 2011-12 season.

Call it their “Occupy NBA Arenas” movement.

“I want to be able to enjoy the Jazz,” Becker said Tuesday afternoon while owners and the players’ union negotiated with a federal mediator.

“I hope on a personal level they get going, because I love following them (the Jazz) and seeing these players develop and the coaching and all the dynamics that goes on — and I hope for their success.

“But,” Becker continued, “it’s also really important in our community.”

– Reported by Jody Genessy of the Deseret News