After posting his fifth double-double in as many games, and his 24th of the season, Jazz point guard Deron Williams reiterated Wednesday night just how much he'd like to be picked to play in the Feb. 17 NBA All-Star Game at New Orleans.
Not that it matters much now, since reserve-choice ballots from Western Conference coaches were submitted earlier this week.
"I'm not gonna lose any sleep over it," said Williams, who is seeking to make his first All-Star Game appearance. "I'd like to be on the team, but it's out of my control."
The Jazz's likelier candidate to be named to the West club tonight is power forward Carlos Boozer, who scored 17 points in 27-18 Utah's 100-89 win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday but came up one rebound shy of his 32nd double-double this season.
Boozer has suggested multiple times he deserves to be chosen for a second straight season, but on Wednesday the Jazz's leading scorer and rebounder this season claimed to have no idea if he actually will.
"We'll watch it like you guys on TV," he said, "and see what happens."
Selections will be announced on TNT during a one-hour edition of the cable network's "NBA Tip-Off" show, which begins at 5 p.m. (Mountain time).
HE'S OK: Williams finished Wednesday despite both twisting an ankle and bumping a knee late in the game's third quarter.
"I'm good," he said when questioned.
"You seen me play the rest of the game. I don't know why y'all are asking me," he added. "I ain't missed a game all season. I ain't gonna miss a game for no little bumps."
HART STILL OUT: The Jazz played again Wednesday without backup point guard Jason Hart, who missed a third straight game because of inflammation in his lower back.
An MRI exam performed earlier this week was negative and showed no structural damage, general manager Kevin O'Connor said.
The Jazz do plan for Hart to travel with the team today for a back-to-back road set that opens Friday at Washington and continues Saturday at Memphis, but his status for those games is uncertain.
ALUMNI UPDATE: The Chicago Bulls on Wednesday added ex-Jazz big man Mike Brown, a k a "The Brown Bear," to their four-member staff of assistant coaches.
Brown who spent four seasons coaching in the NBA Development League, including two as head coach of the former Fayetteville Patriots will work primarily with Chicago's young big men.
The 44-year-old George Washington University product spent 11 seasons in the NBA through 1997, including five in Utah from 1988-93. He also played for Chicago, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.
GIRICEK STRUGGLING: Ex-Jazz swingman Gordan Giricek, dealt to the 76ers as part of a late-December trade that brought backup shooting guard Kyle Korver to Utah, evidently is struggling in Philadelphia.
Heading into Wednesday's play, he had appeared in only nine of 15 games and was averaging just 2.4 points with 25.8 percent field shooting in 9.7 minutes per game.
"I started losing confidence, asking myself what I was doing wrong, and I started pressing," Giricek, who has been living in a hotel since the swap, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Then I realized I have averaged more than 10 points per game in the NBA and can play in this league and have just decided to keep working hard."
Despite his woes, Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks had kind words regarding the 30-year-old Croatian.
"He understands we have a lot of young guys, and you just can't play everyone," Cheeks told the newspaper. "But he just comes to practice and works, talks to the young guys, and has had a great attitude."
It's unlikely the 76ers will re-sign Giricek this offseason, but his agent told the Inquirer that finding work should be no problem.
"I believe and he believes he could be an NBA player, and his first choice would be an NBA team. But there will be several options in Europe," said Marc Fleisher, who added that many major European clubs already have called about Giricek.MISC.: Backup center Jarron Collins didn't play (coach's decision) Wednesday for third time in Utah's last four games. ... Jazz coach Jerry Sloan improved his personal record against the Knicks to 25-24, leaving San Antonio (37-50), the Los Angeles Lakers (42-44) and Charlotte (3-4) as the only NBA teams against which he has a losing record. ... Utah's 62 points in the paint Wednesday were eight short of their season high, reached Nov. 30 vs. the Lakers.
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