NEW ORLEANS Jazz guard Ronnie Brewer wore a headband, harkening back to his college days at the University of Arkansas. He even doubled up his socks, wearing different colors, and had rubber bands on his wrist.
Clearly, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan is not in town for NBA All-Star Weekend.
"I'm probably gonna get fined when I go back to Utah," said Brewer, who scored 13 points with 6-of-6 field shooting off the bench mostly on dunks in the Sophomores' 136-109 Challenge Game win over the NBA's Rookies here Friday night.
"Tried to have a good time, tried to do something different," said Brewer, who felt stiff to start but ultimately wasn't bothered by the bruised tailbone that caused him to miss two of Utah's three games before the All-Star break. "It was all fun. ... I know we're not allowed to do it in Utah, but we're away from home, so ..."
Brewer didn't plan to wear the headband until finding it in his locker, but many noticed including teammate Deron Williams, who watched from the sideline when he did.
"D-Will was giving me a little about it," Brewer said. "Like he said, 'Last time you'll be able to do that."'
Brewer's Jazz teammate on the sophomore team, Louisiana native Paul Millsap, went sans headband.
"I'm old-school, you know," said Millsap, who played 23 minutes but scored just two points on 1-for-4 shooting.
Cleveland's Daniel Gibson earned MVP honors, scoring 33 points and hitting 11-of-20 from 3-point range for the Sophomores.
BOWLING FOR BOOZER: Jazz All-Star Carlos Boozer will soon announce plans for a fundraiser to benefit those who suffer from the same disease as his son Carmani, sickle cell anemia.
"I'm gonna have a huge event in Salt Lake in a couple months," he said. "Every dime will go to sickle cell, helping kids that need the research or need the procedure or need the medicine."
The format: a night of bowling.
"Because I like to bowl. You like to bowl. Everybody likes to bowl," said Boozer, whose best game is a 236.
LOW EXPECTATIONS: Deron Williams will take part in this evening's skills challenge, part of the TNT-televised NBA Saturday Night festivities.
He doesn't have high expectations for the contest, which includes a timed course of shooting and passing.
"I just don't want to trip, or fall, or use up all the balls trying to pass it through the hole, or miss all the shots," he said. "I'm just concerned about that."16 comments on this story
PONY SHOW: Jazz-assigned Utah Flash rookie Morris Almond made it to the finals of the NBA Development League's H-O-R-S-E shooting contest Friday, but ultimately lost to former Weber State and University of Utah big man Lance Allred of the Idaho Stampede.
Almond and fellow Jazz-assigned Flash teammate Kyrylo Fesenko both play today in the D-League's All-Star Game, as does Allred, ex-Weber State/NBA guard Eddie Gill and former Jazz guard Randy Livingston.
HE SAID IT: Boozer, asked by a reporter from Chinese television which NBA player he would put in a Jazz band: "I'll put Memo Okur in there, because I think he'd have a good time. He could let loose, he could let his mullet grow back out."MISC.: Williams watched Friday's Rookie-Sophomore game seated next to supposed rival but actual friend Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets. Williams also attended a Paul-hosted party in New Orleans on Thursday night. ... Also in the house Friday: retired Jazz star and Louisiana native Karl Malone, who is tied with Jerry West and Shaquille O'Neal for the most consecutive All-Star Game selections in NBA history. ... Millsap used the occasion of All-Star weekend to launch his new Web site, pmillsap.com.