Utah Jazz notebook: Logistical headaches aside, Sloan happy team made trip

Published: Friday, Oct. 9 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

MADRID — It was something of a logistical headache, and his body clock won't be quite right for a while longer.

But Jerry Sloan — whose Jazz were one of the pioneers of NBA globalization when they visited Japan in 1990 for two regular-season games against the Phoenix Suns — seemed genuinely appreciative Thursday for the opportunity to coach this week in both England and Spain.

"We went to Japan a few years ago, and got a chance to go to Mexico. But these last two games have been something I'll always remember," he said. "You're always skeptical about taking the trip, because you're out the road for so long, and the travel is longer, but it's been actually more exciting than I thought it would be."

The Jazz beat Spanish League power Real Madrid in an exhibition Thursday here in front of 13,703 at mostly full Palacio de Deportes, and — also part of the NBA's EuropeLive 2009 tour — lost a preseason game to the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday at London's sold-out O2 Arena.

"That's the thing that's kind of interesting to me is the fact I have been Japan; basketball took me there, and I probably never would have been there (otherwise)," he said. "I probably never would have been here (in Europe) if it weren't for basketball, so ... I'm glad I got an opportunity to do it.

"There's always something you can learn from it, and kind of remember."

EXPANSION PLANS: After addressing reporters prior to the Jazz's preseason loss in London, NBA commissioner David Stern moved on to the Taiwanese capital of Taipei and shed further light there on the league's global expansion plans.

Stern reiterated that the NBA envisions having teams in European cities some day, but he offered no timetable as to when that will be.

"There's some good possibility over the course of many years that, if there's appropriate arena development in Europe, there could be actual NBA franchises in Europe," he said, according to the Associated Press. "That's the way we see the development of basketball in the world."

Stern also addressed the possibility of having NBA-affiliated leagues elsewhere around the world.

"The model in Asia, probably in Latin America, possibly in Africa, will lead us — if there's adequate arena development — to having NBA affiliated leagues, with partners in local basketball federations," Stern said, AP reported.

Stern was in Taipei to promote Denver's preseason win there Thursday there over Indiana.

INJURY UPDATES: Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor confirmed Thursday that swingman C.J. Miles underwent surgery in New York on Wednesday to repair the left, shooting-hand thumb ligament that he ruptured during practice in London earlier this week, but as of game time in Madrid he didn't have any details as to how the operation went.

Swingman Kyle Korver, meanwhile, played Thursday and finished with two points on 1-for-1 shooting in 14 minutes. He's been bothered throughout training camp by inflammation in his left knee, and did not play in Utah's first two preseason games.

Guard Ronnie Price, who bruised his right calf in Tuesday's game, did not dress Thursday.

Center Kyrylo Fesenko did dress here, but did not play. He missed Tuesday's game because of a heel sprained in practice earlier in the week in London.

TV TALK: Contrary to a non-newspaper Internet report elsewhere, team president Randy Rigby said Thursday in Madrid that no decision has been made regarding the issue of whether or not any Jazz regular-season games will be carried by KJZZ-TV this season.

All 82, except those aired nationally on TNT or ABC, will be shown on FSN Utah, according the Jazz's published pocket schedule.

HONORED: Late Real Madrid big man Fernando Martin Espina was honored during a special ceremony at halftime.

An Olympic silver medalist from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, he played 24 games for the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1986-87 season and became the first player from Spain to play in the NBA. The ex-Blazer died at the age 28 in 1989, when he crashed his own car, a limited edition Lancia Thema with a Ferrari engine.

e-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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