Kyle Korver was one of the last guys to leave the Utah Jazz locker room Saturday. This season's only trade acquisition has made himself at home in his new surroundings fitting into a contributing role since arriving in Utah from Philadelphia on Dec. 29 for Gordan Giricek and a protected first-round draft pick.
"The people, the team, the coaches and the fans here made the whole transition really easy for me," said Korver. "I feel like I've been here for a whole lot longer than the four months or whatever it's been."
Korver, a five-year veteran, likes where he's landed.
"I really enjoyed it," he said of his initial campaign in Utah. "And I'm looking forward to being part of this team for a long time."
Another happy newcomer to the franchise is former UVSC star Ronnie Price, who signed a free-agent deal with the Jazz last July after two seasons with Sacramento.
While noting that basketball has taken him a lot of places, Price acknowledged his initial season with Utah has been amazing and special. He considers Jerry Sloan a Hall of Fame coach."We won more games than I've ever won in the NBA," Price said. "The group of guys and coaching staff are great."
BONUS BUCKS: The Jazz players divided a playoff pool consisting of $109,074 for finishing fifth in the Western Conference during the regular season, $164,168 for participating in the first round and $195,337 for reaching the conference semifinals.
BURGER RUN: In keeping with tradition, the Jazz rookies were sent to Crown Burger to buy lunch for the veterans during locker cleanout. Kyrylo Fesenko took orders while many of his teammates were being interviewed by the media.
After interrupting veteran Matt Harpring, the rookie center received some friendly banter.
"No Crown Burger," said Harpring. "And no Crown Burger for you."Harpring then suggested that the 7-foot-1, 288-pound Ukrainian opt for a protein shake.
GOOD ADVICE: Early in his playing career, Sloan recalled some advice he received from former Chicago Bulls coach Johnny Kerr. Sloan was told that he had better "learn to shoot or he'd be back on the farm."Sloan listened and played 11 seasons with a career shooting percentage of .427 up from a career low of .385 in his third year.
UNIFORM COSTS: A handwritten note on the message boards inside the Jazz locker room informed the players that they could each keep a complete set of gear (home and away). Extras could be purchased at the following prices: $178 for game jerseys and $135 for game shorts.
BABY ON THE WAY: Reserve center Jarron Collins told teammates that his wife Elsa is 5 1/2 months pregnant. They plan to name their daughter Alessandra.
CALLING HOFFA: For all the talk about their physical play, point guard Deron Williams thinks the Jazz need to add toughness next season especially for use in the playoffs.
When center Rafael Araujo was mentioned the BYU product played for the Jazz during the 2006-07 season but spent this season in Russia Williams suggested it wasn't the first time his name has come up in that regard."Bring back Hoffa," Williams said. "I think Matt Harpring said we should sign Hoffa for a one-hour contract."
GOOD KNEE: Harpring's right knee which has been surgically repaired three times held up just fine this season, he said."The knee did very well," the veteran forward said. "I'm kind of happy about it, actually. ... I worked extremely hard at strengthening it, and it paid off. My knee came back."
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