It's apparently never too late to get started on next year. Jazz Director of Player Personnel Scott Layden spent most of November on the road scouting CBA teams. Jazz scouts have seen all but one of the league's 15 teams play already.
In December they move to the college scene. During this month Layden says he will see six games the first week, two the second, four the third and four the last.BIG BUCKS IN MILWAUKEE: They should be so lucky in Salt Lake City. While Jazz owner Larry Miller worked for months to get a loan to build a new Salt Lake arena, in Milwaukee the money for its new building was donated.
The new Bradley Center, which is said to be a prototype for the one the Jazz are scheduled to have next October, was the result of a $71 million gift. The donors were Jane Pettit and her husband, Lloyd, in honor of Mrs. Pettit's father, Harry Lynde Bradley.
Bradley was one of the founders of the Allen-Bradley Co., a national manufacturer of electrical controls.
FILL 'ER UP: The season may only be 14 games old, but one title has already been decided.
The Charlotte Hornets , for the second time in three years, will be the attendance leaders in the NBA. The 23,901-seat Charlotte Coliseum is sold out for the season, with the exception of what publicists are calling "a few single-game tickets for a handful of games."
BACKPEDALING: Jazz star Karl Malone isn't the only guy in the league who has had to do some backpedaling lately.
Malone, who one day in Boston said there needed to be some trades to make the Jazz a contender, and the next day blamed himself for speaking out of frustration, has some company in the "let me rephrase that" department.
Portland backup guard Drazen Petrovic got in hot water last week when he threatened to leave the team if he wasn't traded. A few days later he apologized and said he was withdrawing the comments he had made. As a result, the Blazers rescinded the $500 fine levied against him.
Last year, Petrovic was a backup guard to Clyde Drexler. But when the Blazers acquired Danny Ainge in the off-season, Petrovic found himself becoming permanently attached to the bench.
Portland officials say they don't have Petrovic on the trading block.
BUZZING IN CHARLOTTE: The quick Charlotte start on the season (8-7 in the Hornets' first 15 games) hasn't been missed by the Hornet fans - or the league's coaches. Last year Charlotte didn't get its fifth win until Dec. 28. The team's second road win didn't come until March 18.
After beating the Hornets in overtime, Knicks' Coach Stu Jackson gushed, "It's time to take the word 'expansion' away from the name of the Hornets," he said. "Charlotte has a talented bunch of players, and if there is a better young player in this league than (rookie guard) Kendall Gill, you will have to show him to me."
NO RESPECT DEPT.: Respect is hard to come by when you're a rookie. On a recent flight, guard Andy Toolson asked an attendant for some apple juice. "I'm sorry," said the attendant, "but I think the basketball players drank it all."
BIG BOSSES: One category the Dallas Mavericks certainly lead the league in is administration. Fat Lever and Rolando Blackman are VPs in the NBA Players' Association. When you add past President Alex English and player rep Herb Williams, the team has serious at the bargaining table.
"We've got so many union guys," says Coach Richie Adubato, "that they'll probably only let us have two fast breaks an hour."
SPEAKING FRANKLY: Jazz President Frank Layden upon noting that guard Andy Toolson missed Thursday's practice to attend his daughter's birth: "Doesn't that baby know we've got practice?"
DREAM SHOT: One might think dunkmaster Blue Edwards dreams at night of his acrobatic dunk shots. Not so, says Blue. His favorite shot isn't even all that close to the rim.
"Actually, the dunk never was my favorite," says Edwards, who is out this week with a broken nose. "I think it's kinda boring. My favorite shot is to catch the ball 10 or 20 feet out, pump fake, and get inside."