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News » Sloan willing to help players if asked


Sloan willing to help players if asked


Sloan willing to help players if asked
In nearly 21 seasons as coach of the Jazz, Jerry Sloan has tried to be available if players need help with personal problems.

Like divorce.

In light of the news that Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer had filed for a divorce from his wife, Sloan was asked what role he assumes if a player comes to him for advice.

"Anybody has a personal problem, we do anything we can," Sloan said. "If there is something we can do, we try to make that known to the player: 'If we can help you, we'll try.' That's our first concern."

It's been a difficult week for Boozer, to say the least.

On the court, he has found himself in the unfamiliar position of watching from the bench in the final minutes of close games.

In Tuesday's 99-86 win over Houston, Boozer played the first 6:19 of the fourth quarter.

In Wednesday's 118-114 loss at Phoenix, he played only 4:20 of the fourth quarter.

"I don't like that," Boozer said. "I like to be out there helping out my teammates, whatever that means. Rebounding. Defense. Scoring. Whatever the case may be. At the same time, he's the coach and he's going to do what he needs to do. But I'd like be out there trying to help."

After a pause, Boozer added, "Warriors want to be in the battle and I'm a warrior. I want to be out there trying to help us win."

?

Siding with brother

Minnesota's Jason Collins , the twin brother of Jazz center Jarron Collins , got plenty of attention on SportsCenter and in newspapers around the country after Friday's hard foul on Cleveland's LeBron James .

In the Cavs' 107-85 win over the Timberwolves, James split a double-team and was barreling down the lane when Collins stepped up and knocked him to the floor.

James stayed down for a couple of minutes and, afterward, he called the play "borderline dirty."

Jarron Collins disagreed.

"My brother had a split-second decision to make," he said. "'Do I take the charge or do I foul him? But if I take the charge, LeBron will probably still dunk on me.' So he decided to foul him. ...

"He didn't mean it to be malicious or anything. He just wanted to stop his penetration. And he stopped it. It was just a foul."

So why the backlash?

"It's just the way the NBA is now, when guys fall to the floor -- especially that particular guy falling to the floor," Jarron Collins said. "I know everybody in Cleveland really held their breath, but it was just a foul."

?

Bad timing

Sloan turned 67 on Saturday.

According to his players, nobody sang "Happy Birthday" at the morning shootaround because only one who could have been forced to do so, rookie Kosta Koufos , is now playing for the Utah Flash of the NBA Developmental League.

There was cake in the locker room, however.

Before the game against Phoenix, the Jazz owned an all-time record of 7-3 on Sloan's birthday, including wins the last two years over Minnesota (108-102) and the L.A. Clippers (121-101).

luhm@sltrib.com


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 30, 2009

 

 
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