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Old 09-01-2010, 06:55 AM   #106
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Default Re: The off-season

Better than Fessenko at least.
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:11 AM   #107
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Default Re: The off-season

Tomic looked pretty good. Not as good as Koufos or worth the price it would cost to get him over next season though.
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:13 AM   #108
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Default Re: The off-season

Hard to believe Elson is the best they could do but if it means no more Fessenko I'm all for it.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:36 AM   #109
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Default Re: The off-season

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When Al Jefferson grew up in his small Mississippi town of Prentice, school supplies weren't easy to come by.

Now a successful adult one with millions of dollars, at that the newest member of the Utah Jazz is making sure a few dozen underprivileged Utah children and their parents no longer have a similar concern.

On Thursday, Jefferson met, chatted with and delivered scholastic-friendly backpacks loaded with pencils, notebooks, scissors, glue and the like to about 40 pumped-up kids and dozens of equally pumped-up parents who live at The Road Home-sponsored Palmer Court.

"I just figure," Jefferson said, "it's one less thing for them to worry about ... (so they can) focus more on school."

It was Jefferson who paid for the supplies and whose camp contacted organizers of the affordable housing facility, which provides permanent shelter for formerly homeless families in a transformed hotel on Main Street.

"I love kids. They (are) our future. It's all about them, so why not give back to help them?" the 25-year-old big man said. "I've been blessed. It's my turn to bless people that's the way I look at it."

"Thrill of a lifetime" was the way those attending seemed to look at it after they got to rub shoulders with Jefferson, who continues to win over fans in Utah since being traded from Minnesota.

"I think it's a really big deal for our kids who've struggled and had such adversity in their lives to have such a prominent community figure come down and want to do something special for them," Celeste Eggert, the Road Home's director of development, said. "It's just a great opportunity."

Emmanuel Hale, a 14-year-old East High student, was among the many smiling kids who got a chance to meet one of their new favorite Jazz players. Along with handing out the new backpacks in a balloon-decorated gathering room, Jefferson participated in a Q and A session with the youngsters, posed for pictures with each child and autographed photos for the youths.

"This is going in a picture frame on my wall. I'm serious," Hale told his friends after receiving his signed prize.

Hale called the experience "awesome" and didn't feel much remorse for skipping out on football practice.

"It means a lot because he actually cares about other people besides himself," Hale said. "(He's) in that rich, high-society life, (but) he also cares about the people in the ghetto."

This was the first of multiple trips to Palmer Court that Jefferson plans to make throughout the year. He has offered to provide more school supplies and hopes to play basketball on the outdoor court the Jazz previously donated to the center.

"That is really exciting for these kids to know that somebody cares enough to invest some time in them," Eggert said. "And it's not just a one-time thing. He wants to come back and do some things with kids."

As for his job, Jefferson said he and his teammates continue to "bond." Many Jazz players, who begin fall camp in 21/2 weeks, recently spent time working out together at the Peak Performance Project training facility in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Added Jefferson: "We're feeling more and more like a family every day."








http://www.deseretnews.com/article/7...big-heart.html
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:47 AM   #110
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Default Re: The off-season

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Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson walked into a room Thursday afternoon and, after a short introduction, got peppered with question after question from curious minds.

This, however, wasn't your typical press conference. Heck, it wasn't even a press conference. The questions Jefferson fielded came from the dozens of kids who had a rare opportunity to ask an NBA player anything they wanted while he spent some time with them at Palmer Court, an affordable housing center for formerly homeless families in Salt Lake City.

Between the intro and the Q&A - and before he gave them backpacks loaded with school supplies - here are some of the tidbits those tots and teens learned about the Jazz center:

- He's 25 years old, 6-foot-10, wears size 18 shoes, was raised in a small town in Mississippi called Prentice and likes fishing, listening to music and watching movies in his spare time.

- He grew up as a fan of the Chicago Bulls - even (gasp!) rooted against the Jazz in the 1997 and '98 NBA Finals.

- His favorite NBA player was not Michael Jordan - it was/is a large non-Bull: Shaquille O'Neal.

- He was "always the biggest one in class" growing up, was a whopping 6-foot-7 in the ninth grade and entered the NBA straight out of high school. And, Jefferson added, "I knew from the beginning I was going to be a basketball player."

- He has one son. (He definitely loves kids, which was evident by how he interacted with them, including giving high-fives and hugs and even holding a 6-month-old baby, who gazed up at him with a curious stare and big brown eyes, much to the delight of the onlooking adults.)

- The former Minnesota and Boston player didn't expect to be on the Jazz but considers the trade of fate "a dream come true."

- He also considers it "a blessing" to be on any team.

- He laughs when asked if he knows what SpiderMan's first name is.

- His friends call him "Big Al," so he wants the 40 kids at The Road Home-sponsored center to call him that because they're his friends.

- He remembers first trying to play basketball with an older cousin when he was 5 years old.

- He predicts "a lot of practice coming up in two weeks" (when the Jazz begin training camp).

- He has an optimistic response to a girl's question, "Think we can make it?" Jefferson: "I think we have a great chance. I really do." He's also "so excited" to play with Deron Williams, whom he calls "the best point guard in the league."

- He considers himself a "homebody." And, no, he is not married.

- His favorite NFL team is the Patriots (because of his three years in Boston, no doubt), but he doesn't envision a football career in the future. "I like to watch it, but I don't like to play it. Those guys hit too hard." He doesn't see himself pursuing any other sporting career, either. Basketball is his thing. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

- He'll wear No. 25 for the Jazz (and he eagerly signed a Jefferson jersey on a kid no taller than his waist).

- Yes, he's played the Lakers, who've eliminated Utah in three consecutive playoffs, and looks forward to the challenge again. "Yeah, we're going to beat 'em this year."

- Good news for Jazz fans - Jefferson plans on sticking around. "I would love to. I hope this will be my final team."

- His favorite Hall of Fame player - not counting the future HOFer Shaq - is Karl Malone. Jefferson likes The Mailman because he grew up not too far from him in Louisiana and was also raised in a small town. He hopes to carve out a career in Utah similar to what Malone did. He also thinks Malone was impressive in how he responded to his Hall of Fame enshrinement. "To see a big man get emotional to get accepted like that, that means a lot."

- So, why did Jefferson show up to give backpacks and school supplies and spend time with 40 underprivileged children? "It's a wonderful thing going in here. I wanted to give you one less thing to worry about."

And in doing so, he gave them a whole lot more interesting info about himself to think about.

http://www.deseretnews.com/blog/18/1...Jefferson.html
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:55 PM   #111
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Default Re: The off-season

Nba All access Al Jefferson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kipko0Gr96k
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:52 AM   #112
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http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/bal...n= nba-268768

Good luck Tag!
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:29 AM   #113
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Default Re: The off-season

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Multiple sources said @Utah_Jazz are targeting Dec.-Jan. timeframe for Okur's return from Achilles tendon surgery
Quote:
.

Can they possibly survive that long without him standing at the 3 point line?

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Other #NBA teams have shown recent interest in Fesenko

Hard to believe.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:38 PM   #114
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Default Re: The off-season

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Interview: O'Connor discusses Jazz's offseason, future part I
Published on Sep 15, 2010 01:28PM 0 Comments
Transcript of an interview with Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor conducted Wednesday at the team's practice facility.

O'Connor on where the team is at after a hectic summer, and with less than two weeks remaining before training camp for the 2010-11 season:

I'll let the court of public opinion evaluate it. The biggest thing is how it'll translate into wins and losses. That's really the only thing that your report card is judged on. Obviously, adding Al Jefferson is a big key. We lost some good players, and I think we got some good players coming into replace them. Now, how that translates into team efficiency, playing in close games and playing on the road, we don't know yet. But I don't the cupboard's bare. And the Miller family stepped up to the plate, obviously, and spent the money to put us in a situation where we can keep some continuity for a team that's got a good core.

On the Jazz's realistic ability to compete with teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat:

Nobody's been able to compete with the Lakers over the last three years in the [Western Conference]. We've gotten beaten by them the last three years [in the playoffs], and everybody else has. It's not just us. We just have happened to see them earlier in the schedule than we wanted to. In the last four years I think when we've been in the playoffs, we've gotten beat by the world champions three times and by the runner up once. We've also won three away series give coach [Jerry Sloan] credit. Last year, I don't think anybody in the league would have given us a [chance] once [Mehmet] Okur went down. Especially after having him and [Andrei] Kirilenko out; we lose the first game over in Denver, then win in six. And I think that's a credit to Deron Williams and a credit to our coaching staff; we were able to do that. How do we overcome the Lakers? We keep trying to get better. And we keep trying to get better from within. And that's one of the things that I don't think people understand. I expect Paul Millsap to be a better player this year. He's 26. I expect Deron to be better. I expect C.J. [Miles] to be better. I expect Fesenko to be better. I hope Andrei can play the way he played before he got hurt. And if he does that and we add those other pieces, then we can be pretty good. All indications are the guy's had a good summer, so we'll wait and see.

On Kirilenko's future with the team and his $17.8 million expiring contract:

I think the key thing is, Andrei's got to play this year. He's got to worry about his contract mentally. And we all understand that, and that's part of it. If he plays well, it helps us, it helps him. We don't talk to Andrei about his contract. But Andrei's a key for us. And he's a big key. I think we went 20-4 at one point last season when he was playing very well. And he's been hurt the last two years. He's a key. We expect Andrei to have a big season for us. ... He's on our team. If we can improve our team and I've said this from day one if we can improve our team, we'll look at doing that. But we're not looking to make any moves.

On the Jazz now being Williams' team after Carlos Boozer's departure:

I think it's [owner] Greg Miller's team. I think Greg Miller owns the team. I think Deron's leadership skills have improved and will continue to improve. He's now quote, unquote a 'young veteran' that's accomplished an awful lot in his six years that he's been in the league. And we expect more from him.

On filling out open roster spots during training camp:

When you have roster spots, guys are interested in them when you don't have guaranteed contracts. I think we would have the opportunity to give players a chance to compete. This week and next week are kind of the weeks that you can fill that out a little bit. We've got some young players that we'll take a look at.

Brian T. Smith

Quote:
Interview: O'Connor discusses Jazz's offseason, future part II
Published on Sep 15, 2010 01:33PM 0 Comments
Part two of a transcript of an interview with Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor conducted Wednesday at the team's practice facility.

On Fesenko's future with the team:

It's his decision. Because he's got a contract a qualifying offer which he has yet to accept. When he makes that decision if he makes the decision to accept it then he's back on the team. And I think the franchise has had patience with big players, and especially with him. He's going into his fourth year, and this could be a productive year for him. He also knows that if he signs the qualifying offer he can be an unrestricted free agent [in 2011-12], and how does this play out for him? But you always take risks, and you always have more patience with big players than you do with little players.

On the addition of Raja Bell and what he can bring to the team if he stays healthy:

Well, you know, one of the things that's interesting if he stays healthy he missed a lot of last year, but he missed it with a wrist [injury] and surgery on the wrist. It's not like he's got a history of injuries. He wasn't injured when he was here. He wasn't injured in Phoenix. So, his history tells you that he hasn't been. He hasn't logged a lot of minutes in the NBA, comparable to a starter. ... He's 33. He's going to be 34, but he's 33. I mean, I look at him as being, really, a productive player. If you look at him even during the beginning of last year when he was playing with Charlotte, I just think what you're saying is accurate. We expect him to be really a big piece of our team.

On Miles' improvement and where his game is at:

He should be [a key component] and we're expecting him to be. If you look at him and you remember; if you go back and remember this: He was really headed for a pretty good season last year, and then tore a ligament in his thumb, I think it was, is what it was. And he had to have the surgery. In training camp and before that, we were really like, 'Oh, OK. He's turned a corner. Let's keep the corner turned and let's step on the gas in the straightaway.' But he hurt himself, and it was very difficult for him to get back into rhythm until the end of the season.

Brian T. Smith

Twitter: tribjazz

baaaaaaaa
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:06 AM   #115
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Default Re: The off-season

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Last year, I don't think anybody in the league would have given us a [chance] once [Mehmet] Okur went down. Especially after having him and [Andrei] Kirilenko out; we lose the first game over in Denver, then win in six.

You think it's a coincidence that the Jazz beat Denver without Okur and Turkey took 2nd without Okur? They didn't even qualify for the World's 4 years ago with Okur.

Quote:
We keep trying to get better.

Loading up at one position when you have huge weaknesses at others is the way you do that? Trading away talent to play stiffs is the way you do that?

Quote:
I expect C.J. [Miles] to be better. I expect Fesenko to be better.

Could Fessenko get any worse? CJ is the one guy that has greatly improved every year and everyones been wanting him traded. LOL!

Quote:
I hope Andrei can play the way he played before he got hurt.

He's hurt every year. What is he talking about here?

Quote:
On the Jazz now being Williams' team after Carlos Boozer's departure:

It's been Deron's team since Palacio and McCleod were finally benched by the genius. Might have been Boozer's team briefly before his first injury.

Quote:
When you have roster spots, guys are interested in them when you don't have guaranteed contracts. I think we would have the opportunity to give players a chance to compete. This week and next week are kind of the weeks that you can fill that out a little bit. We've got some young players that we'll take a look at.

I believe they've got 3 guys with unguaranteed contracts, the two D-leaguers from last year and their 2nd round pick. They better make them earn a spot. Their contracts could be valuable to a team trying to unload a guaranteed contract too.
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:56 AM   #116
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Default Re: The off-season

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogs/j...ckets.html.csp

Quote:
Houston is one of three Western Conference teams who have shown recent interest in Fesenko.

Hard for me to believe. Hopefully someone else gets him!
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:27 AM   #117
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Default Re: The off-season

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Originally Posted by Xiao Yao You
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogs/j...ckets.html.csp



Hard for me to believe. Hopefully someone else gets him!
Rockets seem to be looking at every big body left. They've been talking about limiting Yao to 24 minutes a game for the season. Makes me wonder why they traded David Anderson away.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:45 AM   #118
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Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Supposedly they did it for salary reasons but he's soft and they have other options if they want to go that way.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:08 AM   #119
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Default Re: The off-season

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Hornets, Houston Rockets, Cavs and Warriors have all shown interest in Fesenko. But UtahJazz are still the most likely option.

Can't see him making much sense for any of those teams other than the Hornets.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:12 AM   #120
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Still a chance veteran point guard Earl Watson ends up with Utah Jazz. But Watson is in a holding pattern, and considering two other teams.

Who are the other teams? He'd be a huge upgrade over what they have now that's for sure. Surprised they want him. Maybe they consider him 3rd string. LOL!
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