Utah Jazz: Kevin Murphy rejoins Jazz after 'whirlwind' tour; DeMarre Carroll to start
Jae Hong, AP
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kevin Murphy admitted he's been in "a little whirlwind" the past 18 hours.
After being called up by the Utah Jazz from his D-League assignment, Murphy flew out of Reno at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. He then went from Salt Lake City to Atlanta this morning, and then finished off his cross-country journey to reunite with his NBA team by taking one last commuter flight to North Carolina.
The rookie shooting guard even made in time to participate in his first shootaround with the Jazz since the end of November.
"I'm actually cool," he said, sporting his No. 55 practice jersey. "I'm going to take me a nap after shootaround, get rejuvenated and I'll be all right. I'm just glad to be back up."
Murphy was also happy to be told his contract with the Jazz will be guaranteed through the rest of the season. The deadline for contracts becoming guaranteed is Thursday.
Coach Tyrone Corbin said he hopes to be able to find Murphy some playing time now that he's back with the Jazz.
Murphy's call up was made necessary because the Jazz were left with only 11 healthy players in the wake of Mo Williams' thumb surgery and Marvin Williams' ongoing issues with right knee inflammation.
With Marvin Williams out for at least three games, the Jazz will again start DeMarre Carroll in the small forward position tonight when they take on the nine-win Charlotte Bobcats. Utah, by the way, is 0-4 with Carroll in the starting lineup.
Other short shots from shootaround:
Coach Corbin on having Murphy, the team's only rookie, back in the fold:
"First of all, we're happy to have him back. I thought that he did a great job in Reno, growing his game, getting an opportunity to play on the floor, paying attention to the things that we talked to him about getting better at."
Murphy on his 14-game D-League assignment with Reno:
"I'm just trying to be a complete player, pay hard, hustle on both ends of the floor, be a team guy, be like a glue guy for the guys down there. (Jazz GM) Dennis (Lindsey) told me he didn't want to just go down there just to be a scorer, because they know I can score. They wanted to see what else I could do, and I think I did a good job of that."
Seven-year veteran Randy Foye to Murphy after shootaround:
"Hey, rook!" (Foye then handed his just-used basketball shoes to the rookie to carry to the team bus.)
Murphy: "Everybody welcomed me back with some open arms. Everybody was happy. I'm just glad to be here."
Corbin, a South Carolina native, when jokingly asked if he was going to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame before the Jazz game:
"No. I'm going to head on to some soul food."
Marvin Williams on his nagging knee injury:
"They gave me another injection, kind of like I got before to kind of help ease the pain in my knee.
"No player ever wants to miss time, but this is about the bigger picture. Our trainers and our coaches have been around this game long enough to know it's not about right now. We're all playing for the playoffs. Hopefully, if they can rest me and my knee can get better and hopefully it'll knock this whole thing and I'll be better for the rest of the season."
Corbin on the Jazz (18-18) taking on the Bobcats (9-24) in this 5 p.m. MT tipoff:
"These guys, they're not going to lay down. It's not going to be an easy game for us. we have to make sure we pay attention to detail and really try and force our will on them because they're going to play hard.
"They're going to compete against you, so we've got to make sure we don't let them hang around.
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