As distracted as fans are by trade rumors, coach Tyrone Corbin said Tuesday that the Utah Jazz have done a good job of blocking out speculation and anxiety before Thursday’s 1 p.m. trade deadline.
“These guys understand,” Corbin said. “They’ve been around long enough and understand the rumors is part of the business.”
Center Al Jefferson and power forward Paul Millsap remained at the center of all speculation entering Tuesday’s game against Golden State, but both said they pay little attention.
“It don’t affect me,” Jefferson said. “I cross that bridge when I get there, man. I just … I’m a Utah Jazz, this is my teammates and this is the way it’s going to be until I find out otherwise.”
Millsap said that the flip side of being a centerpiece of trade talk is knowing that teams are interested in him.
“That’s how you’ve got to look at it,” he said. “I try to keep it positive. When they’re not talking about you is when you should be concerned.”
Corbin said he has talked to the team multiple times about not being affected by trade talk, and that he doesn’t put much stock in the chatter.
“I hear some,” Corbin said, “and it’s like, ‘That’s not even close to being correct.’ But it’s out there.”
The Jazz have eight players scheduled to enter free agency in the summer if they do not make a trade by Thursday.
“I love everybody on the team,” Corbin said, adding, “These are Utah Jazz kind of guys.”
Jazz lead assistant Sidney Lowe returned to the Jazz bench on Tuesday, one day after he was arrested in North Carolina for failing to file state tax retuns in any of the last three years.
Despite Corbin’s assertion Monday night that Lowe would give a statement at some point, he did not address his legal troubles Tuesday. The Jazz directed all inquiries to Lowe’s attorney, North Carolina-based Lee Turner.
“We’re moving forward,” Corbin said. “It’s a personal situation that he’s going to deal with. We support him wholeheartedly, he understands and is taking responsibility for where he is. We’ll support him and move on.”
Lowe is scheduled to appear in Wake County court on March 19, a day before the Jazz open a three-game road trip in Houston.
Remembering Jerry Buss
Corbin only ever had one memorable interaction with Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who died Monday after undergoing cancer treatment for 18 months.
Corbin, who played 16 years in the NBA, said he visited the Lakers before his rookie season when coming out of DePaul.
“At the time, I was a young guy afraid of everything about the league,” Corbin said, “and he was really warm. Had a good conversation about the Lakers and had a chance to meet with him and visit for a short time.”
The Jazz are just four years removed from the death of their own iconic owner, Larry H. Miller, who died on Feb. 20, 2009. Like Miller’s, Buss’s death reverberated throughout the NBA community. He oversaw 10 championships with the Lakers, including the celebrated “Showtime” era, and the resurrection with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.
“It’s a tremendous loss for everybody,” Corbin said. “The way that he ran his franchise and the commitment to excellence he had and set for that franchise is long-lasting.”