SALT LAKE CITY — In the midst of the madness surrounding Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio found humor in the situation through live tweets as speculation surfaced.
“… Joe Ingles had two coffees this (morning,) league sources tell Ricky,” Rubio tweeted a little over an hour before the drama concluded.
“… so far, my code to get in to the practice facility worked,” he tweeted again, using a GIF from "The Little Rascals" movie.
Then, he wrote, “... 1h left, If I turn my phone on airplane mode, does it count?” before asking his followers, “... airplane mode off. Help me twitter, what jersey will I be wearing next game?” and finally capping things off with another celebratory GIF once everything ended.
However, no moves were made within the Jazz organization, and No. 3 will remain in a Jazz uniform — along with everyone else.
Rubio’s name was linked to potential deals involving Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, Memphis’ Mike Conley Jr., and most recently Miami’s Goran Dragic, but none of those rumored scenarios came to fruition.
The Jazz are now looking to move on to Saturday’s 3 p.m. game against the San Antonio Spurs at Vivint Arena. The high spirits were evident in the team's annual visit to Primary Children’s Hospital on Thursday.
Members of the organization surprised kids and their families less than 24 hours after defeating the Phoenix Suns, 116-88, on Wednesday night.
“It meant a lot for the kids and for us,” said Rubio, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. “I think it put everything in another perspective with a lot of people going through a lot of stuff. Having a smile on a kid is great.
“This team is together all year long and doing something like that helps bring the chemistry, but of course, we’re all together.”
Derrick Favors also saw his name linked to trade rumors, but was more interested in participating in 3-point shootouts on the Little Tikes Hoop with child patients in the “Forever Young Zone” of the hospital, rather than focusing on things he couldn’t control.
“It definitely did, especially with all the trade rumors and everything going on this definitely feels good just to get away from basketball for a minute and just be a part of something much bigger than that,” Favors said.
Favors is the longest tenured Jazzman on the roster, but it was his first time interacting with kids in the playroom during the annual visit. Teammates Georges Niang, Donovan Mitchell, Jae Crowder, Ekpe Udoh, Royce O’Neale, Grayson Allen, Raul Neto and Dante Exum were all just as engaged in activities as diverse as air hockey, video games, Jenga competition and mock press interview stations as well.
“With today being what today is, to come out and be with each other as a team, I don’t think a lot of teams do that,” Mitchell said. “It’s just a testament of how close we are to be able to make jokes, have fun and be ourselves off the floor. That’s what's really special with this team.”
“Obviously, with a lot going on with the deadline, it’s great to just come here and take a step away from basketball a little bit and be regular human beings and put smiles on people faces,” Crowder added.Comment on this story
Jazz Bear was also in attendance, as well as the Jazz dancers. But just as much as they lifted the spirits of those children, it also helped with a team looking to come together on a day that could’ve been difficult had a move been made.
“After everything that has kind of happened in the past week with all the rumors and stuff, just to come together as a team is great,” said Exum, who is expected to return from his left ankle sprain after the All-Star break. “Sometimes, things are bigger than basketball and this is something that definitely being here shows.”