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News » Miller sheds light on state of Jazz

Miller sheds light on state of Jazz

Miller sheds light on state of Jazz He sat somewhat awkwardly in studio, wearing a No. 5 Carlos Boozer jersey. Publicity stunt? Attempt to try to get Jazz fans and fellow NBA movers-and-shakers to actually believe Boozer is wanted in Utah? Or just an easy pick because the price of Boozer jerseys has been slashed at family-owned Fanzz stores? Jazz CEO Greg Miller suggests his wardrobe decision for an appearance Sunday night on KSL-TV Ch.

5's Sportsbeat was merely a gesture of good will. It comes about four months after Boozer surprisingly opted in for the final season and $12.67 million on his current six-year, $68 million contract with the Jazz , a controversial decision that the two-time NBA All-Star almost immediately followed with a supposed trade request and very public expressions of desire to play elsewhere, namely Chicago or Miami. It also comes three-plus months after a supposed telephone conversation in which Miller ? depending whom you believe ? either did or did not tell Boozer his trade call would be accommodated. The Jazz did spent the summer trying to deal Boozer, but no trade was ever made. "This is just a 'Welcome back Carlos,'?" Miller told show host Tom Kirkland. "I want to make him feel welcome. I'm glad he's here. I want to let him know that whatever happened over the summer is water under the bridge and it's all about winning going forward." If Boozer was impressed, he didn't let it be known Monday morning. "Didn't watch it. Didn't watch it. I was watching football," Boozer said when a KSL reporter asked about Miller's outfit. Never mind that there was no football on when the live interview was being aired at almost 11 p.m. After all, he could have been using TiVo. Told of Miller's comments, Boozer responded somewhat dismissively, saying "Everything's good. We're looking forward to (Monday night's) game against Houston. I'm looking forward to playing them. They're playing well." Miller did address several other Jazz -related issues during the KSL interview, including: The status of active contract extension talks with coach Jerry Sloan: "I'm a big fan of Jerry. I love his no-nonsense approach. I love his work ethic. "A lot of people criticize us as a family, criticize me. A lot of people have some bad things to say about Jerry. But what I would say to that is that I'd rather be criticized for being consistent, and building on a foundation that's worked for us over the years, and trying to improve on that, than I would be for being hair-triggered and just doing the flavor-of-the-month club." The team's $82 million payroll, which has it poised to pay a $12 million luxury-tax penalty: "That's just the way things lined up. We knew that there was a chance that that would happen when we signed Memo (Okur) and Boozer and (Kyle) Korver and Deron (Williams) and so on. "Fortunately, we're in a position where we can handle it economically. (But) it's not something that we would seek to do going forward." If he considers the Jazz to be an NBA title-contender: "Absolutely. One thing that I can assure you of is that there has never been a day in our family ownership of the Jazz when we haven't considered every option to improve the team and put the highest quality product on the court that we could. "And obviously there's an eternal balance between trying to be competitive and trying to be fiscally responsible, and we right now have the best team we can within the economic parameters that are imposed on us, and I think if we can be healthy ... we have a very good chance at being competitive." Most of the Miller's talk Sunday, however, centered on Boozer. "Everything I've seen, the conversations ? short as they are ? that I've had with Carlos have been very favorable," Miller said. "I believe that Carlos has done whatever fence-mending needed to be done. "I think ... his teammates have embraced him. I think the coaches have embraced him. And I think that his attitude's good, and I think he's going to help us win ball games this year." Miller even was asked about possibility of a new contract for Boozer next offseason ? something seemingly unfathomable last summer. "I wouldn't rule it out," he said, "and it's ... (because) we always want to be as competitive as we can be. "There's no personal hard feelings against Carlos," Miller added, "and if we could come to terms economically, and Carlos wanted to be here, and we felt that Carlos was still in a point in his career where he could help us win, we would absolutely entertain an opportunity to bring him back." Boozer's response to that after Monday's morning shootaround: "We'll wait 'til the season's over to talk about it then, if that's what the case is. We're gonna worry about the season right now, get wins and look forward to playing our best Basketball, and we'll take care of the rest of it later." e-mail:

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Added: November 4, 2009


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