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Utah Jazz rookies paint their nails sparkly pink for hazing

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The Utah Jazz rookies fell victim to some classic NBA rookie hazing earlier this week, which is usually pretty light in nature. Basketball hazing can include everything from wearing a children’s backpack to getting punked out over a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For the Jazz, it involved taking a trip to the nail salon.

I’m sure Utah rookies Rudy Gobert and Ian Clark didn’t actually go to the salon, but it’s more fun to pretend they did. As you can see, the rookies got their nails painted different shades of sparkly pink. The only thing that could make this better is if Gobert and Clark had to play with the nail polish on Sunday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Utah Jazz giving season ticket holders team-branded waffle irons (Picture)

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Season ticket holders typically receive a gift from the team every year that they renew their seats, and the Utah Jazz have decided to go above and beyond for the 2012-2013 season. According to Utah Jazz Nation, Jazz season ticket holders who attend who love breakfast appliances can stop by the fan relations office and pick up an exclusive waffle iron that is branded with the team’s logo.

Does it get any better than this? The only thing I can think of that might be slightly better than a waffle iron is this bobblehead that the Oakland A’s will be giving out this season, but it’s close. If I were a Jazz fan, I’d be pumped.

Via Reddit NBA

Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh benched for 4th quarter; Wade has Jazz fan kicked out

Dwyane-Wade-Jazz-fanDwyane Wade appeared to have a particularly frustrating night on Monday as the Miami Heat lost to the Utah Jazz. In the third quarter, a Jazz fan apparently got under Wade’s skin so much that he asked arena staff to have him removed from the game. Miami was trailing by 20 at the time, and Wade watched the entire fourth quarter of the 104-97 loss from the bench.

He was not the only star who was not given a chance to contribute down the stretch. Erik Spoelstra also decided to bench Chris Bosh for the final quarter, only bringing him back in for a meaningless 40 seconds to close out the game. Spoelstra went with a lineup of LeBron James, Joel Anthony, Rashard Lewis, Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers for more than 11 minutes in the fourth. Why?

“(They) seemed to have enough pep in their step,” Spoelstra told reporters after the game, via the Palm Beach Post. “They turned that deficit around so quickly, that it was really an easy decision to keep them in there during the middle of the fourth quarter. Then you’ve got to make some tough decisions down the stretch.”

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Utah Jazz official Twitter account takes a shot at Deron Williams

The Brooklyn Nets fired head coach Avery Johnson on Thursday morning, and many believe Deron Williams was the driving force behind the move. The Nets are off to a 14-14 start, and Williams recently was open in saying that he was having a hard time getting accustomed to Johnson’s offensive scheme.

With every NBA head coaching vacancy comes Phil Jackson speculation. Of course, Jackson is not going to return to coaching unless it is with a roster that has the potential to win a championship. Do the Nets have that potential? Whoever is operating the official Twitter account of the Utah Jazz does not believe they do. In fact, that person doesn’t think Brooklyn has any great players — not even Williams. The following tweet has since been deleted, but the folks at Black Sports Online were able to capture it first:

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Williams is certainly an above-average player and one of the better guards in the NBA, but is he a great player? At this point, I’d put him right on the cusp. With the Jazz, he was a great player. With the Nets, he has not reached that level. It’s highly unlikely that Jackson is interested in coaching Brooklyn, and the team’s lack of talent is probably one reason why. The fact that the official Twitter account of the Utah Jazz said it is what makes it noteworthy.

Deron Williams says he hasn’t been the same player since leaving the Jazz

Deron Williams has played in 90 games since joining the Brooklyn Nets in February of 2011, but he says he still isn’t totally settled in. For starters, he has been dealing with nagging injuries since the Utah Jazz shipped him across the country. In addition, Williams says he is not nearly as comfortable in Brooklyn’s offense as he was in Utah’s.

“I’ve really had injuries I’ve been dealing with the whole time,” Williams said Monday according to the NY Daily News. “I didn’t have the talent around me I did there. Their system was a great system for my style of play. I am a system player. I loved coach (Jerry) Sloan’s system there, I loved the offense there.”

Williams averaged 21 points per game last season with the Nets — the second-highest total of his career. However, his assist numbers have been just over 8.0 per game whereas they were consistently around 10.0 per game in Utah. He indicated the problem he has had adjusting could be due to the fact that Avery Johnson’s offense is less structured than he’s used to.

“I grew up in high school, my coach wasn’t one of those guys who would just throw out the ball and let us play,” Williams said. “We were a system team. We had a staple of plays that we relied on. We were good at execution. In college (at Illinois), we ran the motion offense. A lot of cutting, a lot passing, a lot of screening, a lot of extra passes. I’m used to just movement. So I’m still trying to adjust. It’s been an adjustment for me.”

Deron is only 28 years old and recently signed a five-year extension with Brooklyn, so he has plenty of time to find his comfort zone. But he knows big things are expected of the Nets in a new city, new arena and with new superstars like Joe Johnson. Williams is expected to be the glue that holds the whole thing together, so it would be in his best interest to learn quickly.

Jazz reportedly likely to trade Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap

al-jefferson-paul-millsapThe Utah Jazz are currently in position to make the NBA playoffs out of the Western Conference, but they reportedly are likely to make a trade that would change their roster significantly.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Jazz will be looking to deal either Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap at some point over the next few months.

Stein reports that it’s assumed throughout the league that either player will be traded. One of the big reasons for the trade is that both players will be free agents in July, meaning Utah would lose the players without receiving anything in return. Additionally, the Jazz have two other big men whom they would like to see develop in the front court. Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter were the No. 3 overall picks in the 2010 and 2011 NBA drafts, respectively.

Utah entered Saturday’s play 13-11. They may be reluctant to trade both big men for fear that it could knock them out of the playoff hunt, but they could opt to deal one.

Jefferson is leading the team with 17.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Millsap is right behind him with 15.3 points and 8.4 boards per game. They both rank about the same in terms of efficiency.

Favors has averaged 9.2 points and 7.3 rebounds in nearly 22 minutes per game this season, while Kanter has averaged 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game.

Chest bump to Pro Basketball Talk

Jazz owner Greg Miller denies Karl Malone’s story, says legend is lying

Utah Jazz owner and CEO Greg Miller sent a tweet and wrote a blog post Friday night in response to Karl Malone, calling the franchise legend a liar.

Malone, a Hall of Fame player, co-hosted a radio show recently and took the Jazz to task. The former 14-time All-Star with the Jazz ripped the organization’s handling of long-time coach Jerry Sloan, who stepped down last season after getting into an argument with star point guard Deron Williams.

“On the whole handling of that, I would have to give [them] a D or F, and I would lean more toward an F,” Malone said. “I know for a fact that [Sloan] was overridden on practices sometime on the road because Deron was calling our G.M. at that time … You give a guy that much power, and he’s the kind of player you think he played hard all the time, but if he wanted to sulk he could sulk. … I never went to Larry [Miller] to talk about Coach Sloan. … It’s not one time, in my gut and heart, that I would go over his head.”

Malone said he went to Utah to express concern and had to buy a ticket to a Jazz game from a scalper after being told by the team there weren’t any tickets available to him. Miller denies that was the case. He sent a tweet Friday night saying Malone was lying:

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