Jazz notes: Homecomings not so sweet for Jazz
Indianapolis • The schedule gifted a Brooklyn homecoming to Jamaal Tinsley on Tuesday and a return to Indianapolis for Gordon Hayward on Wednesday.
Miami? Well, that's Raja Bell's hometown. However, the guard has been in Miami throughout the season. Reunion? Don't expect one between Bell and the Jazz when they share the same town for three days.
The 36-year-old guard has been at an impasse with the Jazz for months, with both sides hoping to reach a buyout agreement after Bell made comments about coach Tyrone Corbin last spring that put him at odds with the franchise.
"Hopefully this is wrapping up for me," Bell said, when reached by The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday. "I'm just trying to lie low and be as under the radar as I can for a while."
Bell has been working out in Miami, and said he is in game shape. He has been linked to both the Lakers and Chicago Bulls by various media outlets, but to this point nothing has come of those discussions. The Jazz earlier this fall gave Bell's agent, Chicago-based Herb Rudoy, clearance to negotiate with other teams and find a new home for Bell, who is in the final year of his contract, which will pay him $3.5 million unless an agreement is reached.
Without the guarantee of a new contract, though, it may not be fiscally prudent for Bell to give money back to the Jazz.
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey declined to respond to questions Wednesday asked about the status of buyout discussions with Bell and whether Jazz representatives would meet with him in Miami while the team is in town.
The chant behind the baseline, from just a few fans: "We want Tinsley."
Backup Jazz point guard Tinsley shared a look with his teammates, and went back to watching the Jazz get blown out by his former team in an eventual 104-84 loss.
Then it picked back up. Louder this time. With clapping added to the cadence.
"We want Tinsley." Clap-clap, clap-clap-clap.
Randy Foye, sitting next to Tinsley, clapped along.
While the big homecoming of the night was that of Hayward, who grew up in nearby Brownsburg, Tinsley was properly acknowledged by fans. The veteran was drafted by the Pacers out of Iowa State and spent the first seven years of his career here.
"I hoped we could have came here and got a win," Tinsley said. "I guess they wanted to see me play. Tonight wasn't my night."
Tinsley was the lone Jazz player not to see action, after playing 12 minutes in Tuesday's 92-90 win over the Nets in Brooklyn. Earl Watson, another former Pacer, played 23 minutes and recorded two assists.
Corbin has treated his reserve point guards almost like MLB pitchers, giving them alternating days off when there is little rest between games.
One last connection
Watson spent the 2009 season with the Pacers, starting 52 games.
"My interaction with Larry Bird," Watson said.
Bird, the Boston Celtics Hall of Famer, was the Pacers' team president at the time, and Watson, who aspires to get into coaching, said he spent as much time around him as possible, soaking up stories.
"It's just a rare chance that you get the knowledge from a champion," Watson said. "I got it before from Jerry West [in Memphis.] ... I just went to hear [Bird's] pregame preparation, which was legendary in the league. He told me his preparation, and he just talked. He's a quiet, humble guy. Little information, but what he says is potent."