Utah Jazz notebook: Williams' crystal ball says Sloan is a lifer
Deron Williams repeated a prediction of his Monday that made Jerry Sloan laugh out loud, even.
It isn't one, however, that's going to get the coach to start calling his point guard "Nostradamus."
When mentioned to the Jazz point guard that Sloan had agreed to come back for the 2009-10 season, Williams slightly smiled and cracked a joke.
"I told ya," he said, "I'm going to retire before he retires."
When mentioned to the Jazz coach what his 23-year-old star had said, Sloan broadly smiled and LOLed.
"That's probably not true," he said.
What is factual is that Sloan will be 68 after his newly agreed-upon contract extension ends following his 22nd season as the Jazz's head coach.
"He still has a passion for it. Why not?" Williams said.
Sloan admitted to knowing he planned on returning for a while unlike last year when he waited until after the season to renew his one-year deal but he forgot to give the paperwork back to the Jazz.
"Kevin (O'Connor) asked me what's going on and I said I left it sitting in the drawer," Sloan said, referring to a discussion he had with the Jazz's general manager.
Sloan said his mind has been a bit preoccupied recently trying to deal with all the Jazz injuries and getting his guys"to be a little more competitive."
"I wasn't worried about the contract part," Sloan said. "I'm worried more about the team."
Sloan credited the use of chartered jets instead of commercial flights for lessening some of the grind of the lengthy NBA season, making it easier to coach and play longer in this league.
The former Chicago Bulls standout player does have a surgery in his future, though.
"The problem is at my age I have a knee that needs to be replaced, I have a little problem with that," he said. "But that would be happening if I was farming. It wouldn't make any difference."
DRESS FOR SUCCESS: Jazz big man Jarron Collins is encouraging teammates to wear their finest suits to tonight's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The occasion: honoring new President Barack Obama's inauguration, which will have taken place earlier in the day.
Collins' twin brother Jason, who plays for Minnesota, is doing the same with his own teammates.
FULL COURT: A somewhat strange thing happened at the Jazz training facility Monday. Everybody was there during practice even Carlos Boozer.
Boozer is still in rehab mode from arthroscopic surgery he had performed on his left knee on Jan. 9. He didn't practice but received treatment after returning to Utah following the procedure that took place in Los Angeles.
But the rest of the team was healthy enough to participate.
The only other exception was Kyrylo Fesenko, who remains on assignment with the Utah Flash in the NBA Development League.
Deron Williams, for one, believes he has turned the corner health-wise, despite getting banged up on the court a few times during Utah's 1-2 road trip.
"I feel a lot better," Williams said. "I'm starting to get my legs back. The little nagging injuries are going away. I feel pretty good."
NO NOSTRADAMUS: Williams was asked if he thinks he'll be involved in basketball when he's 68 like his coach. In his answer, he revealed that he doesn't have a crystal ball, after all."Probably not. Who can look ahead that far?" he replied. "I hope to be living when I'm 68."
Contributing: Tim Buckley E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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