EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Jazz big man Jarron Collins and twin brother Jason of the New Jersey Nets have gone head-to-head five times now in their NBA careers.
After New Jersey's 91-83 victory over Utah on Wednesday, Jason has the edge in wins, 3-2. Jason leads in scoring, 33-25. But Jarron has more rebounds, 20-14.
One category that cannot be quantified, however, is the looks.
Normally, it's a push.
Wednesday, though, Jason had seven stitches and a shiner over his right eye, sustained in a Monday loss at Miami. Still, Jarron isn't holding either that or Jason's edgy corn rows against his brother.
"He's a good-looking guy out there," Jarron said.If that seems like the safe thing to say, it only makes sense. The two, after all, are twins.
CHANGE OF PLANS: In August, ex-Jazz forward Scott Padgett a free agent at the time thought he was leaving Houston for Phoenix. But that never happened, which helps explain why Padgett was on the floor Wednesday.
"A 'miscommunication between both sides' is the best way put it," Padgett said.
Cue Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, who telephoned Nets coach Lawrence Frank on Padgett's behalf and helped get the University of Kentucky product a job in New Jersey.
"I got along real well with Jeff, and I feel like we have a very good relationship," said Padgett, who opted out of his contract with the Rockets in order to become a free agent. "I was 98 percent sure they (the Rockets) were going after one of the 'big' power forwards . . . a Donyell Marshall, Stromile Swift . . . and if I knew they weren't going to get one of them I probably wouldn't have opted out in the first place."
Padgett has been used only sparingly in New Jersey so far this season and has not yet cracked Frank's regular rotation. Going into Wednesday's game, he had logged only seven minutes over three games.
"Obviously I'd like to be playing more," said Padgett, one of the Jazz's three 1999 first-round draft choices along with Quincy Lewis, now out of the league, and current Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko. "I guess I have to just keep working, hope I get an opportunity and make the most of it."Padgett and ex-Jazz point Jacque Vaughn, also not in New Jersey's regular rotation, both played only 27 seconds' worth of garbage time Wednesday.
STUNNING: Folks in New Jersey seem as stunned by ex-Jazz assistant Gordie Chiesa's surprise departure from the Nets' coaching staff as do those in Utah.
Chiesa left the Jazz in the offseason to become Frank's top assistant in Jersey, but he unexpectedly resigned shortly before the season started, leaving behind a two-year, $800,000 deal.
Chiesa cited family reasons for his departure, but it's widely believed by some in New Jersey that he was frustrated by having less of a coaching voice here than he did with the Jazz."Gordie knows his basketball," Padgett said, "and I thought he was definitely a good influence to have here, and I wish him nothing but the best."
CLASS ACT: Former Salt Lake City and current CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz hosted lunch Wednesday for two Jazz broadcasters, TV play-by-play man Craig Bolerjack and radio play-by-play man Hot Rod Hundley.
Both Nantz and Bolerjack once worked as analysts for Hundley, and Nantz and Bolerjack are current CBS colleagues who formerly worked for KSL-TV. Nantz not only sent a car for Bolerjack and Hundley but also had them out for lunch at nearby Winged Foot Golf Club, home of the 2006 U.S. Open."It was a nice little reunion," Hundley said.
MISC.: Jazz forward Carlos Boozer (strained hamstring) again did not play . . . Jazz inactives, again: C.J. Miles, Robert Whaley . . . In the house: rapper Jay-Z and Master P, sitting on opposite sides of the court. After the game, Master P was seen talking with Jazz rookie Andre Owens.