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News » Utah Jazz Notes, Quotes 2008-08-08


Utah Jazz Notes, Quotes 2008-08-08


Utah Jazz Notes, Quotes 2008-08-08
--Andrei Kirilenko was honored to be chosen as Russia's flag-bearer for the Olympic opening ceremonies. He won't be the only NBA player to have the distinction. Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), Manu Ginobili (Argentina) and Yao Ming (China) also will be front-and-center during the parade of nations.

"I just said, 'Wow,'" Kirilenko said. "I couldn't believe it at the beginning. I had heard some rumors, but when the day came and the captains of the different teams agreed to choose me, it was bigger than anything else."

--There was clearly some miscommunication between the Jazz and the NBA when it came to one game on the schedule. How else to explain how the Jazz could be playing in Minnesota on Jerry Sloan's 20th anniversary as coach.

Instead of a celebration at EnergySolutions Arena, the Jazz will mark the occasion with an ordinary Tuesday night game Dec. 9 at Target Center. Sloan is the longest-tenured coach in the four major pro sports.

"I don't care where we play," Sloan said. "It doesn't make any difference to me as long as we win. I've always felt that way... It's not about me. It's about the players anyway."

--The Jazz have never acknowledged the protection on the first-round draft pick they shipped to Philadelphia as part of the Kyle Korver trade in December. But it's likely they will send the pick next year if they enjoy another 50-win season.

According to a league source, the pick is protected Nos. 1 through 22 in 2009, 1 through 15 in 2010, 1 through 17 in 2011, 1 through 16 in 2012 and 1 through 16 in 2013. The Jazz clearly didn't want to give up a lottery pick.

The pick now belongs to Minnesota, the Jazz's division rival, after Philadelphia included it in the Rodney Carney trade that freed up the cap space necessary to sign Elton Brand as a free agent.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Deron's playing on the Olympic team at age 24. If he plays center, he should be happy. And he would be. If he's on the floor, he's happy." -- Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor, who has no problem with Williams playing off-guard with the U.S. team instead of point guard.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 8, 2008

 

 
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