For fans, All-Star Weekend is all about the show.
For NBA players — most of whom aren't invited to the show — it's all about the vacation.
Those invited to the party, the all-stars, participate in a weekend of non-stop fanfare and hoopla. The event features the league's best players on a stage meant to showcase them and entertain those who buy their jerseys.
So while Utah's representative on the team, Deron Williams, lays sod in a Los Angeles neighborhood, signs autographs, practices with his Western Conference teammates — his Jazz teammates are enjoying some downtime. While he plays in the league's East vs. West contest, his teammates are watching movies, enjoying the beach or eating some home cooking.
It's only four days off, but most of those who wear a Jazz uniform are hoping it's enough to help them shake off the funk of the last two months and make a serious run at the playoffs.
A quick poll of the players after Wednesday's loss to Golden State showed most of the players are looking to spend a little quality time with family and friends.
Only C.J. Miles said he was staying in Utah for the break, which began after Wednesday's loss to Golden State and ends with practice on Monday.
"I'm staying right here," he said, while icing both knees. "Two of my best friends are coming to town and we'll probably catch up on some movies after I get some rest."
Asked why he didn't leave town for a mini-vacation, he smiled.
"I have access to a gym here," he said, "I'm going to practice my shooting."
He said he wants to relax, but he also wants to figure out why his shot isn't falling.
"I will get a little rest, but I want to put a lot of shots up," he said. "All of these in-and-outs I'm shooting, that's breaking my heart."
He said the physical and emotional toll of the last two weeks has the entire team feeling tired. It doesn't help that they had to play with just nine guys due to injuries to Andrei Kirilenko, Ronnie Price, Raja Bell and Mehmet Okur.
"This break will be great for us," he said. "Everybody looks forward to it. We can clear your mind and let your body heal."
While Deron Williams represents the team in the All-Star Game, most all of the other Jazzmen left the state in search of time with family and/or fun.
For rookies Jeremy Evans and Gordon Hayward, the break means they get to see their girlfriends.
Evans said he is going to Kentucky, where he went to school at Western Kentucky, for a visit with his girlfriend.
Hayward is going to L.A. for league meetings, and said he is taking his girlfriend with him.
Earl Watson said he was "going home to just relax." He is from Kansas City.
Kyrylo Fesenko said he's headed to Las Vegas. When pressed about what he was going to do, he said, "Linkin Park Concert."
Only Francisco Elson is leaving the country. He's flying to Cabo San Lucas, and before he left, Deron Williams was giving him advice on things he should do while in the Caribbean.
Paul Millsap plans to visit one of his three brothers in Illinois, and Al Jefferson is heading home to Mississippi to visit his grandmother.
"I just want to go home and get some rest," said Jefferson. "I'm looking forward to this break."3 comments on this story
Williams, who won't really have time to rest, said he hopes the break will just help him and his teammates recover from what has been an emotionally draining stretch.
"It's a tough situation," he said. "Hopefully this will be a transition for us. ... Things haven't gone our way on or off the court."
"We need to refocus, clear our heads," he said. "Hopefully we can turn things around. ... I still believe in everybody."
NBA All-Star weekend
Today: Shooting Challenge, Skills Challenge, 3-Point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest, 6 p.m., TNT
Sunday: All-Star Game, 6 p.m., TNT