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Fisher weighs in on Williams' comments about teammates

Published: Thursday, May 31 2007 12:51 p.m. MDT

Carlos Boozer wasn't the only Jazz player who weighed in on Deron Williams' pointed comments about some of his teammates following the Jazz's elimination Wednesday from the NBA playoffs.
Veteran guard Derek Fisher, too, was asked about Williams questioning if some Jazz players "don't care if they win or lose" after Utah's Game 5 Western Conference finals loss to San Antonio.
"You know what? I can't comment on, you know, the makeup of individuals outside of myself," Fisher said. "And you don't really have to say names."
Yet Fisher did go on to essentially attach himself to the suggestion by Williams that some players figuratively made early vacation plans — and, in the case of at least one, apparently did so literally as well.
"Guys always know who they are, what they are capable of and what their purpose is," Fisher said. "You can't make people do what you need them to do on a team, and we'll see.
"It is unfortunate," he added, "because, like I said, we had a real chance to be the best team in the league right now. So, hopefully, whoever that is that had other plans for next week, then they'll be able to think about it for a long time now. Hopefully they will enjoy it."

DO TELL: Williams also offered a suggestion after Game 5 for teammates that he said he knows for a fact do not want to play in Utah.
"If they don't, he said, "tell Kevin O'Connor. Tell Larry Miller."
Miller, of course, is owner of the Jazz and O'Connor is the team's senior vice president for basketball operations."

HE SAID IT: Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, on the Jazz and Spurs in Game 5: "We lost our faith as far as anything we wanted to do. They destroyed our will to want to play."

HE SAID IT II: Sloan, on the Jazz's season ending seven victories shy of an NBA title: "There is never a happy ending if you don't win it all. You end up the season as a loser, and that's never exciting."

RIGHT ON: Despite the Jazz's apparent internal issues, two-time NBA MVP Tim Duncan of the Spurs had nothing but high regard for the job Sloan has done in Utah.
"Coach Sloan does it year in and year out," Duncan said after the Spurs advanced to the NBA Finals. "He puts together teams that play the right way, that play hard."


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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