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UTAH JAZZ highlights

February 10, 2014 Updates

Like many, John Lucas III was appalled when he found out Salt Lake City elementary school students had their lunches taken away and trashed a couple of weeks ago. Lucas called his agent and told him, “Hey, man, that’s not right.” Feeling annoyed and compassionate, Lucas decided to do some things that are very right. For one thing, Lucas is planning on making a financial contribution to help fund Uintah Elementary School’s lunch program. The NBA player, with a history of generosity and benevolent acts, also reached out to the family of one of the approximately 40 students whose meals were thrown in the garbage because of alleged insufficient funds in their school lunch accounts. Lucas bought Jazz jerseys for an 11-year-old, a parent and four friends and purchased tickets so they could attend last Monday’s home game against the Toronto Raptors. “I wanted them to enjoy the game because I know it’d been a rough couple of days for them,” Lucas said. “I just wanted them to forget about what was going on and just enjoy being a kid and not worrying about anything.” Deseret Morning News

February 7, 2014 Updates
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February 4, 2014 Updates

Mehmet Okur was among the blasts from the Jazz past who returned to Utah to honor Jerry Sloan last week. The retired center hopes to focus on someone else in his next trip to his old NBA stomping grounds. Enes Kanter, have some free time? “I’d like to take him out and talk to him a little bit, see what happens, try to help him a little bit more,” Okur said. “That’s what I’m going to do the next time I come to town.” Deseret News

February 3, 2014 Updates
February 2, 2014 Updates

Mehmet Okur was among the blasts from the Jazz past who returned to Utah to honor Jerry Sloan last week. The retired center hopes to focus on someone else in his next trip to his old NBA stomping grounds. Enes Kanter, have some free time? “I’d like to take him out and talk to him a little bit, see what happens, try to help him a little bit more,” Okur said. “That’s what I’m going to do the next time I come to town.” Deseret News

Memo sent Kanter a text, telling him he wants to grab a bite to eat the next time he comes to Salt Lake. Kanter said he'd be more than willing to absorb more from Okur, a learning experience that could be similar to his visit to Louisiana to train with Karl Malone last summer. “Learning from a guy like (Okur), it would be really good,” Kanter said. “We both play similar positions, shoot, and I think it would be really good.” Deseret News

Back working for the Utah Jazz this season — after more than two years away following his abrupt resignation in February 2011 — Sloan isn’t about to make any long-term promises this time. "I don’t think it’s a number of years thing," the Hall of Fame coach said Friday. "I think it’s just a day-to-day thing, as far as the way I look at the whole thing. I’m Utah Jazz, I think everybody knows that. But the light gets a little dimmer as time goes by because I’m 71 years old." Salt Lake Tribune

So far, Sloan’s job has consisted of some scouting duties and providing some insight to his replacement, Jazz coach Ty Corbin. "I’m here to help any way they might ask me and to be out of the way when it’s my time to be out of the way," Sloan said. Sloan has indeed been hesitant to impose. "Too much so," Corbin said. "The one thing especially early on that I didn’t want to happen, and I know how much he loves basketball and loves the Utah Jazz, is for him not to come around because he was afraid of getting in my way. I love having him around because he’s a great guy." Salt Lake Tribune

Asked Friday night if he had any regrets looking back on his coaching career and the Hall of Famer quipped, "I’d have called a different play when we played Chicago [in the NBA Finals] coming down the stretch." Sloan is without question of the game’s all-time greatest coaches and, after coming up short against the Bulls twice, he may be the greatest to have never won a championship. Salt Lake Tribune

January 31, 2014 Updates

Jody Genessy: Jerry Sloan once hit a recorder out of my hand while showing how to get through a screen. I'm lucky he wasn't teaching how to take a charge. The recorder hit the court and pieces scattered. Sloan: "If I broke that #%*@ing thing, I'll buy you a new one." The lesson then continued. Twitter @DJJazzyJody

January 30, 2014 Updates

Deron Williams chooses to remember his first 438 games with Jerry Sloan more than the last one. Nearly three years after a halftime dispute with Williams triggered Sloan’s resignation, the Jazz will raise a banner in the coach’s honor at EnergySolutions Arena during Friday’s game with Golden State. "A big part of my success early in my career was due to him and the things he kind of instilled in me," said Williams, who now plays for the Brooklyn Nets. "So I’m definitely happy for him, and it’s going to be a special moment. The fans there just love him to death." Salt Lake Tribune

The Nets are pretty much the opposite. Williams, the Nets’ biggest free agent signing since Vince Carter in 2007, has a unique perspective into the big market-small market debate, having played most of his career in Utah. “To me, it really wasn’t big market or small market. It was kind of my options (when I was a free agent). I got traded here. I don’t know if I would’ve looked here if I wasn’t traded here,” Williams told the Daily News. “For someone like (Durant), I think it makes a bigger difference because of the endorsements he’d command in a market like this. I mean, look at what he’s already doing in Oklahoma City. But at the same time, maybe he’s such a big name that it doesn’t matter where he’s at. If LeBron would’ve stayed in Cleveland, he still gets $150 (million) from Nike.” New York Daily News

Williams said the hardest part of playing for the Jazz was attracting free agents, although he noted that might be an issue exclusive to Utah. The Thunder drafted so well that it has to worry more about affording its own free agents, which is why OKC traded James Harden to the Rockets. “It’s hard to get free agents to come (to Utah) and play. ... People get a bad perception of Salt Lake City,” he said. “That’s what I was talking about. It’s not so much the size of the market. It’s the perception which is like, ‘Mormon, no fun.’” New York Daily News

January 28, 2014 Updates

Rubio entered Monday on one of his best three-game streaks in a Wolves uniform. In games at Utah, Golden State and Portland, he made 11 of 20 shots (55 percent), averaging 10.0 points, 12.0 assists, 3.7 steals and 3.0 rebounds in those games. Rubio, who had nine points, six rebounds and four assists Monday, said he started feeling better even before his recent three-game run. “The last four or five games have been better,” Rubio said. “I have found my rhythm, and I’m feeling pretty confident. I just have to keep doing what I’m doing.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune

January 27, 2014 Updates

Details about Utah Jazz CEO Greg Miller's upcoming appearance on the hit reality TV show "Undercover Boss" have been released. A CBS news release confirms the episode for 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, saying that Miller will "attempt to make halftime history" as he works with the Jazz dunk team. "Also," the statement adds, "the boss’ team spirit is put to the test when he is asked to become a human basketball hoop as a member of the Interactive Team." An image of Miller's disguise was also released, showing him with a dark brown beard, fake teeth, glasses and a Jazz hat, making him unrecognizable at first glance. Whether the costume fooled Miller's own employees remains to be seen. Deseret News

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN JAZZ HISTORY
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Karl Malone and John Stockton are followed by a player whose jersey was just recently retired by the Jazz and another one that gets booed when he returns to Salt Lake City.

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