SALT LAKE CITY — Mo Williams couldn't believe his eyes when he recently visited Al Jefferson's house and saw the mammoth-sized mattress set in the Utah Jazz center's bedroom.
In fun, Williams took a picture of himself sprawled out on top of the 12-foot-by-10-foot bed, which made the 6-foot-1 athlete look like a toddler on his parents' California Queen.
Williams then posted the snapshot on his Twitter account, setting off a chain of events that led to Jefferson's bed becoming an even bigger social-media star than Enes Kanter's antics, abs and seafood diet and to a guilt-ridden point guard offering a tongue-in-cheek mea culpa.
Because the bed is the size of an average bedroom, the photo went viral and appeared on major sports websites. (At least those with enough bandwidth to show a bed that size.)
Not surprisingly, the price tag was also a biggie.
Jefferson reportedly paid $23,287 for the bedroom set, according to Jazz fan blog Salt City Hoops, which procured and posted a copy of the itemized invoice.
Jefferson is perplexed why such a big deal is being made out of his big bed.
"I think it's real silly," the 6-foot-10 center said. "I think there's more important things going on in this world than me buying a bed that I can afford."
While leaving more important world affairs out of it, his snoozing spot is pricey, no doubt. But Jefferson is set to make $15 million this season. In comparison, it'd be like a person with a $50,000 salary spending $77.62 on a bed — a steal of a deal even at a garage sale.
"I don't regret it," Jefferson said. "I love it."
Jefferson knew he was buying a big bed — "Big guy," he reminded a reporter — but he didn't realize it was approaching the size of the key on a basketball court until it engulfed his bedroom.
"I never really think it was going to be that big," Jefferson said with a small grin. "Talking about it and actually seeing it is two different things."
Tell Williams about it.
Oh wait, don't. Big Al's Big Bed has become a sensitive subject (mostly in jest, though).
"I can't talk about it. I'm sorry," said Williams, failing to hold back laughter. "I got my big fella mad at me."
Williams then tried to formally make amends.
"I apologize publicly to Al Jefferson," he said.
Big Al, trying not to crack a smile, claimed he isn't quite ready to forgive his old Mississippi buddy.
"I'm going over to his house today, taking a bunch of pictures of everything," Jefferson said when informed of the apology. "I don’t have a Twitter account, but I'm going to start me one and I'm going to put it on Twitter."
HORNACEK BACK: Assistant coach Jeff Hornacek returned to the team Thursday after spending time with his hospitalized daughter while she battled a "really bad virus."
"She's getting better," Hornacek said of 18-year-old Abby, who plays sand volleyball for USC.
Doctors ruled out bacterial meningitis, but the exact illness hasn't been pinpointed and has resulted in two hospital stays.
Hornacek missed several practices and traveled to be with her in San Diego while the team played at Golden State on Monday.
"It's a big concern," he said, "especially at the beginning."
BIG DIFFERENCE?: Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin hopes an up-tempo style of play will create more layups for his team this season. He also wants the Jazz to have time to be "crisper" while running through multiple sets on offense if necessary.
That, he said, might be the biggest difference observers notice about his team's offense this season.
"At times, the pace may be a little faster," he said. "If things are going well, we'll push it a little bit more."
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