Gordan Giricek is scheduled to have a meeting with Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor and coach Jerry Sloan this morning the first time he and Sloan will have spoken since Sloan sent him home to Salt Lake City from the eastern road trip early last week.
The two exchanged words on the bench during the game Dec. 19 at Charlotte, and Giricek was told after the game to go home while the team went on to Orlando and Miami. He was not at Jazz practice Tuesday nor at the shootaround or game against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
O'Connor, who spoke with Sloan and probably others on the coaching staff before and after the team's Christmas Day practice, refused to say the last time he talked directly with Giricek.
Today's meeting will be, "just he and coach and I," O'Connor said, "and we'll go from there.
"Could he be reinstated right away? Yeah.
"Could he be not reinstated right away? Yeah.
"I don't have an answer," said O'Connor Wednesday night.
Asked why it has taken until now for this meeting, O'Connor said, "I think it's the right time to do something. You don't do things because you have to do them like it looks bad or this or that. We did it because we think it's the right time."
Giricek has been in limbo ever since being sent home, not officially on suspension, which would require notification of the NBA as well as the players' association and him and his agent.
He isn't officially suspended.
"Here's what we didn't want to do: We don't ever want to try and take money away from somebody," O'Connor said. "That's what coach's philosophy is, and I think it's a good philosophy."
Suspension would likely mean a player would not be paid, though not necessarily. "Basically. It should," said O'Connor. "Now whether it would or not, I don't know.
"So obviously that's where we're at. If we were going to suspend him, we'd make that announcement. We didn't, so we didn't suspend him."
O'Connor said he thinks it is the team's prerogative to have Giricek in this sort of limbo while things are sorted out.
Sloan said that he had talked a couple of times with O'Connor, but, "We don't have anything at this point. Yeah, we talked. We're still talking at this point. Sometimes you can't resolve those things (quickly).
"I don't know if that solves the situation. We just have a meeting, go from there. We're going about our business, whatever rolls out of it. I don't have any idea."
O'Connor added that team owner Larry H. Miller has been involved in discussions about Giricek ever since the incident happened.
NO PLAYOFFS: Much of the Jazz team is keenly aware that its recent woes, losing nine of its last 12 games, has put it into ninth place in the Western Conference not a position to make the playoffs if the season ended now. That has definitely caught their attention.
"Yeah, I definitely think we've got to put together some wins," said point guard Deron Williams. "If you look at the standings it's hard not to and we see if the season ended today, we wouldn't be in the playoffs. We're third in our division.
"I don't think anybody expected that. I don't think we expected that. And we want to get back to the top."
"It's time for us to start winning games so we can get back in the playoffs," added Carlos Boozer. "Fight our way back into it and then maintain it for the rest of the season."
"Right now we're out of the playoff picture," said Sloan. "We're aware of that.
"We have to see who we are, how we fight back and see if all the things that people talked about before were a factor if being on the road all that time was a factor. We're at home we'll see if things change over in our favor. It won't change over until we do some things we have to be able to make some shots. We have to be able to defend. You've got to make shots at tough times. Make good plays."
FINGER POPPIN' TIME: Ronnie Brewer got his left pinky finger tangled up with Devean George with 4:16 left in the third quarter, dislocating the finger and sending him up the tunnel to get it put back into place. He returned to the game at 8:25 of the fourth quarter and said it was OK.
"I've had it before," he said. "C.J. (Miles) did it to me last year. Same finger, almost the same exact play."FINDING MEMO: Mehmet Okur said he "just can't wait" to get back playing before Wednesday's game. He had missed seven games with an injured shoulder and said he'd never had to sit out like that before in his career. "It's not me," he said. He played Wednesday and had nine points and six rebounds in nearly 41 minutes, most of any Jazz player other than Williams (42:11).