CHARLOTTE — Sent to the locker room by coach Jerry Sloan during the Jazz's loss at Charlotte on Wednesday night, reserve shooting guard Gordan Giricek later was ordered back home to Salt Lake City to serve what amounts to a suspension of undeclared length.

"I didn't do anything wrong," Giricek said three different times after leaving the locker room, "and I don't have no comment for anything."

Whether or not the veteran from Croatia has played his last game for the Jazz remains to be seen.

"No. I don't know," Giricek said after being asked if he wants out of Utah — and before he was informed he would not be permitted to travel with the team to Orlando, where the Jazz visit the Magic on Friday.

"My agent (Marc Fleisher)," Giricek added, "is going to talk to Kevin (O'Connor, the Jazz's general manager). ... It's actually gonna be taken care of, right? Everything can be fixed, right? So, we'll see."

O'Connor said by telephone late Wednesday that he had no comment on the matter, and Sloan suggested the same, saying "I don't have any comments on that right now."

Giricek, a frequent visitor to Sloan's doghouse, exchanged words with the longtime Jazz coach during a heated timeout with seven minutes and 50 seconds remaining in Wednesday's second quarter.

Jazz assistant coach Tyrone Corbin tried to keep Giricek away, but a standing Giricek and a kneeling Sloan nevertheless engaged in an animated discussion that ended with Sloan pointing to the locker room.

Giricek had knocked down a jumper a couple of Jazz possessions prior to the timeout but got beat by Charlotte's Jason Richardson on the Bobcats' ensuing trip down the court.

Giricek denied that was what had Sloan so mad and suggested he didn't know what he did.

"I have no idea," he said.

If other Jazz players did, they weren't saying.

"We'll talk about that in-house," Carlos Boozer said.

"That's between Coach and Giri," fellow co-captain Deron Williams added.

SLOAN ON JORDAN: After speaking to and working out personally with the team on Tuesday, NBA legend and current front-office member Michael Jordan was given a nod of credit for Charlotte's win Wednesday.

"The 'School of Jordan' was good to us," Bobcats coach Sam Mitchell said.

It's an academy worth attending, suggested Sloan, whose Jazz twice lost to Jordan's Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals.

"If I was a basketball player, I think I'd try to find out as much as I could from him," said Sloan, who took time out of his postgame news conference to greet Jordan as he walked past. "Obviously, he's such a great player — how can you go wrong?"

SLOAN ON TNT: Sloan recently sat down with TNT's John Thompson, the ex-Georgetown coach, for a "Timeout With Thompson" segment that will air during tonight's TNT's postgame show, "Inside the NBA."

A sampling of Sloan's remarks:

• On Frank Layden, whom he succeeded as Jazz coach in 1988: "I'd be working for him still if he didn't step down. His coaching was never recognized as much as it should because he was so popular, but I've never been around a guy who could teach what was important on and off the floor the way he did. No one challenged him. He loved to have fun, but he got guys to play as hard as anyone, and in coaching you are very lucky if you can get guys to play hard."

• On his players: " ... when I have a problem with a player, I see how he gets on the bus the next morning to see who he is deep down."

• On the Hall of Fame: "I'm not worried about it. Never think about it, and don't think of me as that. Never have and never will."

MISC.: Backup center Jarron Collins made a fourth straight start in place of Mehmet Okur, who has missed five straight games with a strained left shoulder. ... Collins sustained a slight muscle strain on his right hip-area side Wednesday, but finished the game. ... Okur's status for Friday is uncertain. ... Backup forward Matt Harpring, who missed his third straight game due to gastrointestinal issues, still is expected to rejoin the team in time for Friday's game.


E-mail: [email protected]