The Utah Jazz players may have had new teammate Kyle Korver to thank for their later-than-usual practice time Wednesday 11 a.m. instead of 10.
With the team having Tuesday off, Korver had the opportunity to go to Omaha to join his father in watching two of his brothers play against each other in the Creighton-Drake collegiate basketball game Tuesday night.
"I talked to Coach Sloan, and Coach Sloan said it was OK that I went," said Korver. "I got the first flight out (from Omaha) this morning, and he pushed practice back an hour so I could still come and practice, and I was very appreciative of that."
Klayton Korver and Drake won the battle of the brothers over Kaleb and Creighton, 68-60, with Kyle and his father watching from a suite.
"It's just fun to watch. I wasn't pulling for one or the other," said Korver.
But in a way, he was pleased Drake beat his own alma mater. "Drake's having a great year," he said. "I'm not pulling for one school or the other, but my brother at Drake, he's gone through two massive knee surgeries, three coaching changes, three system changes.
"I just want him to have a good year, where he can enjoy it and have fun, and he's having that this year, so I was really happy for him.
"I enjoyed the game, and we went out for a little bit afterward and got to hang out. It was cool."
It was kind of a last-minute trip. Korver who says he flies in coach and not first-class or by charter like some professional sports stars had investigated attending the game when he was still with the Philadelphia 76ers, but they had a game the next day, so he gave up the idea.
"I did not even think about it after the trade," he said, until someone brought it up to him recently that Utah had the day off and wouldn't play again until Friday night, when Sacramento visits EnergySolutions Arena. "And I was like, 'really?'" he said.Korver's mother stayed home in Pella, Iowa , to watch another son play a high school game. "I think that was kind of a blessing in disguise," said Kyle. "I don't think she wanted to go to the game. Me and my dad looked at it as kind of a fun thing. She looked at it as one of the brothers was going to lose, and she didn't want to be there for that."
STILL HERE: Rookie guard Morris Almond was still with the Jazz Wednesday instead of being sent back to the Orem Flash.
Asked about Almond's status, Sloan was a little surprised.
"Yeah, I guess (he's still here). Was he supposed to leave?" Sloan said.
"Oh, well we really haven't talked about (sending him down). You kind of caught me off-guard."I thought maybe he'd left, and I didn't know about it," Sloan said, laughing at himself. "I'm always scared of that. Maybe I'm the guy that goes next."
PRACTICE: Carlos Boozer welcomed having two days of actual practice Wednesday and today.
"It's good to get a chance for some practice time. The practices that we've had have helped us a great deal this month, and we've been more successful. As you know, we didn't get a chance to practice much in the month of December, and for us, it's been crucial."
The Jazz were 5-11 in December with nine of the games on the road, leaving little time to practice. They are 7-2 in January.Sloan wished the Jazz had had one of these three-day breaks before. "When you're playing four games in five days, I wished we'd have a little break in there," he said, admitting he's "never satisfied."
E-mail: [email protected]