Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Al Jefferson
Utah Jazz: Jefferson likely to return from injury after three games in ‘dark place’

Jazz notes » Center says injury put him in “dark place.”

First Published Mar 07 2013 03:19 pm • Last Updated Mar 07 2013 11:58 pm

Chicago • Al Jefferson said he felt "useless" as a pesky sprained ankle kept him sidelined for the past three games.

The Jazz’s leading scorer was reduced to a spectator for cruel back-to-back losses this week. One in overtime, the other after a layup did a bossa nova dance with the rim before popping out.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Now, Jefferson is on the verge of returning, saying he is "pretty confident" he will play against the Bulls on Friday in Chicago.

While the losses didn’t help Jefferson’s spirit, the Jazz center said he was already in a funk due to missing time, something injuries have rarely forced him to do since he tore his ACL while with the Timberwolves.

Jefferson leads the Jazz with 17.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

And while the Jazz eagerly espouse the virtues of a team, the life of an injured NBA player is a solitary one.

"It sucks, man," Jefferson said. "I felt useless, attitude’s messed up. Didn’t really feel like talking to nobody. I just go into this dark place because if you ain’t playing basketball — for me, I can’t speak for anybody else — I love it."

In three seasons with the Jazz, Jefferson has missed just nine games. In 2010-11, his first year in Utah, he played all 82 games.

"I take a lot of pride in not missing games," he said.


story continues below
story continues below

Williams’ new role

Marvin Williams said coach Tyrone Corbin spoke to him earlier in the week about the possibility of moving the struggling veteran to the bench. On Wednesday, he pulled the trigger.

Williams, acquired in an offseason trade for Devin Harris, was replaced by DeMarre Carroll to start Wednesday’s loss in Cleveland. Corbin has said he hopes the move brings the Jazz more energy.

"I told him I was fine with it," Williams said. "He’s never going to hear any complaints out of me. Whatever can help this team win, we’re on a fine line in that eighth spot, so we’re trying to make the playoffs and if this will help us make the playoffs I’m all for it."

Williams has a player option on his contract at the end of the season and could choose to stay with the Jazz or enter free agency in the summer. He has been lauded within the Jazz locker room as the consummate teammate. He refused opportunities to lament his benching.

"I’ve been on the bench before," said Williams, the No. 2 pick in the 2005 draft. "I’ve been a starter before, so whenever you get in there you’ve just got to make the most of your minutes, and that’s what I’ve got to do when I get out there."

When acquired by the Jazz, Williams was expected to present a reliable 3-point shooting option, as well as some agility and length in the frontcourt. But that hasn’t panned out in Utah.

His 7.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 40.8 percent field-goal shooting are all career lows.

Against the Cavaliers, Williams spent most of his 14 minutes playing backup power forward, although those minutes will likely vanish once Jefferson returns and Derrick Favors resumes his role as the first big man off the bench.

Still, Williams said he is up for the challenge of playing power forward.

"I’m not a guy with an ego," he said. "I’m not an NFL quarterback."

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.