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Charlotte passes on Utah assistant as head coach

Published December 24, 2010 7:40 pm

Jazz notes - He was a candidate for Bobcats head coaching position.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jazz assistant coach Tyrone Corbin said that it is just part of the business.

Corbin was a leading candidate this week to replace the esteemed Larry Brown as head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. The job went to Paul Silas, a former NBA standout who previously led teams in San Diego, New Orleans, Charlotte and Cleveland.

While Silas' track record and previous allegiance to the Bobcats tipped the competition in his favor, Corbin's name was seriously considered during the search process.

It is not the first time that the seventh-year Jazz coach has come close to landing a head coaching job, and it likely will not be the last. Corbin is widely regarded as one of the premier assistants in the game, and is equally respected by colleagues, players and general managers for his ability to both push and relate to modern athletes. As a result, his name made the rounds last summer when the coaching carousel was in full spin, and it will almost certainly receive serious consideration this summer once jobs open up.

"You go with it," Corbin said. "My job is here. And until the opportunity comes to go somewhere else, it's here. I just let it be what it is."

Prying Corbin away from the Jazz will not be easy. He highly values his relationship with head coach Jerry Sloan, and assistants Phil Johnson and Scott Layden.

Corbin learns something new every day, and his knowledge about the complicated off-the-court factors that must be blended to produce positive chemistry and team-oriented basketball continue to increase. Moreover, a 21-9 Utah team is winning games, and Corbin is enjoying the ride.

"I'd love to be a head coach in this league someday. When the time is right, though. When the situation is right," Corbin said. "I'm happy where I am. I look forward to the opportunity when it comes to be a head coach. But until then, we'll keep working here."

Helping hand

Jazz forward Paul Millsap helped spread the holiday spirit Thursday morning, as he and his family prepared and served breakfast to families staying at the Ronald McDonald House located at 935 East South Temple.

"It was a good thing," Millsap said. "It was good for those families to put a smile on their faces."

Millsap provided food to people who have critically ill children receiving treatment at area hospitals, and presented a charitable gift that sponsored a guest room.

"You never know what can happen with your family. That can easily be somebody else in that situation," Millsap said. "It's a tough situation to be in, and I feel for the families and the people that's involved with it."

Back again

Jazz center Mehmet Okur said that he expects to play Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Okur, who is recovering from a right ankle sprain, went through Utah's entire practice Friday. He missed the Jazz's previous two games due to the injury, and was held out of a victory Wednesday against Minnesota as a precautionary measure.

The Jazz have two days remaining before their game versus the Blazers, and Utah will not practice Saturday because of the Christmas holiday. As a result, Okur believes that he should have no problem taking the court against Portland.

bsmith@sltrib.comTwitter: tribjazz