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Utah Jazz: Bell meets with Corbin, O'Connor to discuss dispute

Published: Monday, March 12 2012 1:51 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Raja Bell did not participate in this morning's shootaround with the Utah Jazz, but he met with coach Tyrone Corbin and general manager Kevin O'Connor following the team's strategy session.

Bell was sent home after having a verbal dispute with Corbin following the Jazz's loss at Philadelphia on Friday, and the veteran guard missed Saturday's game at Chicago.

"It's business as usual. We had a good conversation," Bell said after the meeting with management. "We talked over a few things. You keep it moving."

Bell didn't discuss what he, Corbin and O'Connor talked about specifically, but he said he will rejoin the team tonight for the Jazz's game against the Detroit Pistons at EnergySolutions Arena.

On a side note, the Jazz might be without starting center Al Jefferson, who is dealing with a family matter today that kept him out of shootaround. The team provided no more details.

As for the Bell situation, O'Connor cautioned media not to make too big of deal out of this, and he feels good going forward after the meeting.

"That chapter's closed. We're moving on and Raja will be in uniform tonight," O'Connor said. "I think you understand that we're committed. Raja's a competitor. Coach is a competitor and we're going to figure out a way to try and get to the sixth or fifth place in the league. That's our goal, and that's what we talked about in there — what's the best way to do that."

Bell will not be fined for his actions.

For his part, Bell isn't sure if he'll be allowed to play tonight, but not just because of his situation with Corbin.

The 35-year-old is getting an MRI on his left knee for precautionary purposes this afternoon, although he doesn't believe the injury is serious.

"I can't speculate on that (playing). I don't really know," Bell said. "Those aren't my calls. I'll be here. In whatever capacity I can help, I will."

Corbin has said little about what happened in the locker room Friday night, and he kept comments about Bell short this morning.

Corbin, when asked if Bell could play tonight: "Any scenario, I don't know. But we'll see."

Corbin paused when asked about his relationship with Bell and then said: "He's a player. I'm the coach. ... I've known him for a while. It is what it is."

Though he's had disagreements with Corbin, Bell said that he has confidence in the second-year coach.

"Yes," Bell said. "I've never questioned him as the right coach for the job."

O'Connor declined to comment when asked if Bell requested a trade, but the shooting guard said he could see himself staying with the Jazz through the end of his contract that expires at the end of the 2012-13 season.

"Yeah. I bought into coming here and doing my best to help this team win, so that's what I've tried to do all year, and until that's not my job anymore that's what I'll do," Bell said. "I told them in there I like Salt Lake. My family likes Salt Lake. I really enjoy my teammates and so from my perspective I'm fine."

Even though his playing time has been limited since he returned from a groin injury early last week, Bell said his minutes wasn't the source of his outburst or aggravation.

"It wasn't like that," Bell said. "I think it was just general frustration. =85 You play a lot of games. Everybody is a competitor. Everybody wants to do their best to help a team win. Sometimes our frustrations come to a head."

Bell and O'Connor seemed positive that things would move in the right direction. After the meeting — which came following his usually shootaround interview — Corbin told waiting reporters that he will speak again tonight as usual before the game.

"It was a good conversation," Bell added. "I think we left it on good terms, so we'll see where we go from here."

Email: jody@desnews.com

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