Jazz notes: Brown injured by Okur

Published May 10, 2007 3:53 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It was the most frightening play of the Jazz's 127-117 overtime victory over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night, and it nearly folded Dee Brown in half.

Sent him to the hospital, too.

The Jazz were not sure after the game whether the rookie guard will be available for Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal playoff series in Oakland on Friday, after teammate Mehmet Okur fell on him and injured his neck in the first quarter of Game 2 at EnergySolutions Arena on Wednesday night.

"I just hope Dee Brown is OK," coach Jerry Sloan said. "That matters more than the game itself."

Brown already had been knocked to a seated position on the floor in a rebounding scramble when the 265-pound Okur fell onto his head, wrenching it forward. Brown lay on the floor for several minutes as trainers tended to him, then gingerly left the floor, grimacing in pain.

Brown scored two points in six minutes, and did not return to the game. He was taken to a local hospital where neurological tests and X-rays were normal, the Jazz said. Brown was expected to be released from the hospital before midnight, senior vice president of basketball operations Kevin O'Connor said.

Blast from the past

Jeff Hornacek was part of the last Jazz team to advance out of the first round of the playoffs in 2000 and the retired guard stopped by the arena to check up on the Jazz at the pregame shootaround. Hornacek, who lives in Phoenix, was in town on business.

"The great thing about the Jazz organization is win or lose it's really no different," Hornacek said. "Guys play hard, they play as a team. Some years it's going to go well, some years it might not. They have all the pieces now that can propel them through these playoffs.

"They just have to continue to do what they are best at and play as a team. That's a rarity nowadays. That's why the Jazz are a final eight team so far and probably will go even further. The best teams that are still in it are guys that play as a team."

Sea of blue

They might evoke the iconic yellow "We Believe!" T-shirts that have become so popular in the Bay Area amid the Warriors' unexpected playoff drive, but the thousands of light-blue T-shirts the Jazz distributed to fans for Game 2 actually had been in the works since last year.

"We saw they had those," said Randy Rigby, the Jazz's senior vice president of broadcasting, sales and marketing. "But we had seen what Miami did last year and we liked that" - meaning the all-white shirts that the Heat gave away to fans during their run to the NBA championship.


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