The Utah Jazz and Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment announced today a partnership through the 2017-18 season with FanDuel, the leader in one-day fantasy sports. The fully integrated marketing agreement will prominently feature FanDuel at EnergySolutions Arena, Smith’s Ballpark and on The Zone Sports Network (1280 AM, 97.5 FM). “FanDuel provides another level of engagement for our fans, using technology to enhance their connection with the team,” said Miller Sports & Entertainment Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships Chris Baum. “This collaboration with an industry leader will provide more opportunities for followers of the Jazz and the NBA to experience the thrill of sports.”
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Jody Genessy: A big, 7-foot-2 German — center Tibor Pleiss — arrived in Salt Lake City late Saturday night, an airport source informed me. 7-foot-2 center Tibor Pleiss is in town to discuss his future with the Jazz. The fact he’s here obviously shows there’s mutual interest. Interesting tidbit about Tibor Pleiss. He was among top Europeans in free-throw shooting (85%). He’s an excellent shooter and big finisher. Tibor Pleiss could play for the German national team this summer. Nice Jazz connection, considering Alex Jensen will help coach that team. Haven’t been told if Tibor Pleiss will play with the Jazz in summer league, but he’s here so they might as well put him to work.
The NBA’s free agency period begins this week, and the Utah Jazz front office will hit the phones hard as soon as it begins Tuesday night at 10:01 p.m. (July 1 back East). “I don’t want to build up expectations and under-deliver, but we’ll have those conversations very aggressively,” Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said. “We feel like we have a unique city and organization to sell with some really good players.”
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National team coach Ergin Ataman said Kanter was left out of the 20-man initial squad because “he did not apologize” for incidents in the past, while the 23-year-old player, an open supporter of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, claimed the decision was based on his political views. “I wish that the decision and statement on this subject had been a professional one that suited the national team,” Kanter wrote on his Twitter account late on June 23 after the squad was announced. “The reasons presented do not reflect the truth, the reason I was not included in the squad is the values I believe in and my political stance,” he added.
Coach Ataman said the decision was not political. “I wanted to have a close relationship with Enes since I took over the job last year, but could not get any response,” he said after announcing the squad, which includes NBA players Ersan Ilyasova, Ömer Asik and Furkan Aldemir. “He still has not apologized to his teammates for past incidents, but he may be a part of the squad in the future,” Ataman added.