Sloan decides Snyder will sit

Rookie will not play today after taunting incident vs. Houston

Published: Wednesday, March 30 2005 9:23 a.m. MST

Kirk Snyder's tongue-wagging visit Monday to the Houston Rockets bench has prompted more than a mere tongue-lashing from Jazz coach Jerry Sloan.

Sloan on Tuesday said he will bench the rookie guard for tonight's Delta Center game against Denver as a result of his actions in Monday night's loss to the Rockets.

It's believed Snyder will not be docked any pay, but it's uncertain whether or not he will dress for the game. Either way, the first-round draft choice from the University of Nevada will not play.

"I don't think his conduct," Sloan said, "was good for basketball."

Sloan made the call after watching on videotape Tuesday what Snyder, who started at shooting guard against Houston, did Monday.

With the Jazz trailing by six points in the third quarter, Snyder converted a Scott Padgett turnover into a nifty layup.

The 21-year-old then raced to the Houston bench, where he taunted the Rockets with emotional gestures that included a waggle of his tongue. Snyder did so as he stood in front of Rockets assistant coach Steve Clifford, who was seated next to Houston head coach Jeff Van Gundy.

"He went right to their bench," Sloan said.

"You just can't do that," the Jazz coach added Tuesday. "You've got to learn that's not what we do. You play basketball, and it's not a matter of talking or doing all that stuff. Just go play. That's all we ask you to do."

Sloan suggested he did not buy Snyder's assertion that he was reacting to a fan seated in the second row: "If you go watch it on film," he said, "he went right between those two coaches. And they were in the first row."

Sloan also said he does not believe the notion that momentum carried Snyder to the bench area.

"He was off-balance a little bit," he said, "but he wasn't that off-balance."

The Jazz coach wants to see, and hear, less over-the-top emotion from the occasionally demonstrative Snyder.

"In his case," Sloan said, "he talks a little bit too much in those situations. He's got to learn that we're not asking him to be a motor-mouth out there.

"Just play basketball."

Van Gundy received a technical foul because of the way he protested Snyder's actions, but the Jazz never led after the incident and wound up losing 99-85.

Van Gundy said little about the incident after the game, but Houston star Tracy McGrady said the "disrespectful" display "riled" the Rockets.

Sloan yanked Snyder immediately, yelled at him a bit, then but put him back in the game for the fourth quarter.

The Jazz coach, though, said Tuesday he did know if his message had been received by Snyder.

"I can't make it any more plain," Sloan said. "I told him after the game, and I told him when the game was happening."

Then he said it again Tuesday, informing Snyder in front of the entire team prior to practice why he will not play tonight.

"If that's not enough," Sloan said, "I'll do it again."

Snyder seemed to realize right away that what he had done would not be received well by Sloan, but afterward he offered no formal apology for the Rockets.

"That isn't supposed to happen," he said. "It was something that happened, it was unfortunate we lost, and we'll move on."

Sloan, however, did what he could to apologize to both Van Gundy and Clifford, sending messages through both Houston trainer Keith Jones and a former Jazz player now with the Rockets.

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