Jazz coach Jerry Sloan likened it to a stretch of four games in five nights, having to turn around from his Sept. 11 induction to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., and open training camp two weeks later in Utah.
From the celebration of a remarkable career, Sloan could be greeted by a circus to start the season should Carlos Boozer remain on the Jazz roster. For all of this summer's acrimony, though, Sloan made clear Tuesday that he would welcome back Boozer.
"My job is to coach whoever's here. That hasn't changed," Sloan said, adding, "We'll do everything we can to try to make it work. Will we be perfect? Probably not. In order to win in this league, you have to have good players. And he's a good player."
Boozer and the Jazz have been at odds since the All-Star forward's decision June 30 to play the final year of his contract at $12.7 million rather than opt for free agency.
In a series of interviews, Boozer asserted that he and the organization had agreed to a trade, even naming Chicago and Miami as preferred destinations.
The Jazz, meanwhile, matched a four-year, $32 million offer sheet to keep Boozer's backup, Paul Millsap .
For all the trade options the Jazz are believed to have explored involving Boozer, nothing has come to fruition, increasing the likelihood he will open the season in Utah. For his part, Sloan was asked about holding any hard feelings toward Boozer.
"That's a part of basketball," Sloan said. "I could have had hard feelings with Karl Malone if I had wanted to a few times. My job is to coach whoever walks across this line. And that's all we do is do the best we can and hopefully be a good basketball team."
The Jazz are set to bring back 12 players from last season's team that stumbled to an eighth-place finish in the Western Conference and exited the playoffs in the first round, though Sloan is hopeful.
"I'm excited about our season if we can get everybody healthy and everybody ready to play," he said.
Second-round draft pick Goran Suton has accepted the non-guaranteed qualifying offer the Jazz tendered him last week. The former Michigan State center will attempt to make the team out of camp later this month.
The Jazz already have 13 players under contract, including two young centers in Kosta Koufos and Kyrylo Fesenko , and an $82 million payroll. There are unfilled roster spots, however, and Suton would be a free agent if he were released.
Something about New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick 's description of retiring linebacker Tedy Bruschi as a "perfect player" stuck with Sloan when he was asked about entering the Hall along with John Stockton .
"I'd never heard that before," Sloan said, "but it certainly would represent John Stockton in almost every aspect of basketball."
Sloan declined to reveal who would be presenting him for induction, though it won't be Stockton. He is still working on his speech and has heard from several former teammates who will be in attendance --- including one from grade school.
"He's an old rascal," Sloan joked.
Asked if he would be able to enjoy the Hall of Fame weekend, Sloan said: "I don't know if I can or not, to be honest about it. There's so many emotions that will run through me, I'm sure. I just hope I can get through the day."
After undergoing right knee replacement surgery April 30, Sloan reported significant improvement Tuesday. He attributed it to the time he spent on his farm in McLeansboro, Ill., where he stopped trying to push things with his knee.
"I always knew farming could help me out a lot," said Sloan, who added that his back also was feeling better. He revealed that he'd received "a ton of shots" -- epidurals and otherwise -- last season for his back.