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Utah Jazz has handled national attention

Published: Friday, Sept. 4 2015 12:48 p.m. MDT

They went into Tuesday night's late-starting TNT-televised game against Houston 5-0 on major national cable TV networks so far this season, including 3-0 on TNT and 2-0 on ESPN.

When they play Phoenix tonight in another late-starting game, the Jazz again will be in the spotlight, this time on ESPN.

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan believes firmly that it's no mistake his club typically gets up for such games.

"I think that's the natural reaction you have, when you have the opportunity to do that," he said. "But we've always tried to encourage people to play that way all time. That's what they get paid to do."

Power forward Carlos Boozer, for one, refutes the notion that TNT and ESPN bring out more in the Jazz than games that merely are televised locally.

"We play well at home, regardless," he said, "and we try to play well whether we're on (national) TV or not."

But even he's among a group of players who readily admit they very much prefer for eyes from coast to coast — even if a game like Wednesday's started at nearly 11 p.m. in the East, which it did — to be tuned in.

"We don't get that many of them, but it's an opportunity to show the world that we're a good team," Boozer said. "You know, we have a small market here, but we're trying to get more publicity, and become a good team, so we can get some more TV games."

The way they see it, the more the merrier.

"We like these games," point guard Deron Williams said.

"Everybody knows that everybody's watching," small forward C.J. Miles added, "so everybody's excited to be able to kind of 'put on' for their home town."

EUROPE TRIP: The NBA this morning will join Euro?league Basketball and sponsor EA Sports in announcing via conference call details of NBA Europe Live 2009.

It will mark the fourth straight year that NBA teams have played in Europe, and this year that group — as has been known for quite some time, and reported previously — will include the Jazz.

According to multiple reports, Utah will face the Chicago Bulls in a preseason game scheduled for early October in London.

The Jazz have no current ties, but Luol Deng of the Bulls is a citizen of Great Britain and Chicago's Ben Gordon is a London native.

The Jazz will play at least one other game while overseas, with Berlin and Madrid among the possible sites.

"It will be fun," Williams said. "I've heard since my rookie year we're supposed to be going overseas, so it's definitely good to be going over there."

Because they're being made to go, it's expected the Jazz won't make their usual trip to Boise to open training camp.

The Jazz's last game in a non-NBA locale outside of the United States was a 2003 exhibition win over Dallas in Mexico City.

They had a previously planned trip to Russia canceled for security reasons, and won't be going to Turkey, as was previously known to be a possibility.

FINALLY: Both Boozer and Williams were presented prior to Tuesday's game with rings in recognition of their gold medal-winning participation with Team USA at last summer's Olympic Games in China.

EMAIL: tbuckley@desnews.com

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