The Jazz are not in the NBA Finals.


But they and the state of Utah do have some ties to the Boston-Los Angeles Lakers series that gets under way tonight.

Granted, some are quite tangential.

But here goes ...


DANNY AINGE was named the Celtics' executive director of basketball operations in 2003 and is largely responsible for the 2007 offseason trades that brought Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to Boston. The Oregon high school product starred at BYU from 1977-81.

SCOT POLLARD, a Utah native and veteran NBA big man, underwent ankle surgery last month and will be inactive throughout the Finals. He appeared in 22 games for Boston this season.


DEREK FISHER, the Lakers' starting point guard, was the Jazz's starting shooting guard and backup point last season. He previously won three NBA titles with the Lakers.

GARY VITTI, finishing his 24th season as the Lakers' trainer, was a Jazz assistant trainer in the early 1980s. He has a master's degree from the University of Utah, where he also was a trainer.

CHIP SCHAEFER, the Lakers' athletic performance director, earned his master's degree at the University of Utah in 1983.


MARK JACKSON, who spent one season as John Stockton's backup at the point for the Jazz, will work the Finals as a color commentator for ABC.

— Tim Buckley