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Jazz notes: Brandon Rush still sidelined, calls it 'a mental thing'

Published November 18, 2013 10:51 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's been two weeks since Brandon Rush made his return to the court.

The Utah Jazz guard played two five-minute stretches in Brooklyn on Nov. 5, committing a pair of turnovers and never even launched a shot.

He hasn't seen the floor since.

"I expected to be back by now," Rush said Monday night after coach Ty Corbin said the guard would not play against the Warriors. "But I tried that Brooklyn game and everything didn't feel right. I'm just going to take my time until I feel comfortable. … The agreement was that I'm not going to play until I start getting more comfortable in practice in stuff."

In just the second game of the season last year, Rush was hit by Memphis' Zach Randolph as he drove to the basket for a dunk. He hit the floor with a torn ACL that ended his season.

But Rush said his knee is not the problem right now.

"I think it's just a mental thing right now," he said. "Everything else is physically fine. It's just getting over that hump."

The 28-year-old Rush has shot over 40 percent from 3 in his career, and could provide some needed punch off the bench for the Jazz. But Rush said there is "an agreement … that I'm not going to play until I start getting more comfortable."

"I'm great," he said when asked about how he's felt in practice. "I think I can go out there and play some valuable minutes. I just don't want to go out there thinking too much. When you think too much that's when you have another injury, another setback."

Undercurrent

John Stockton's new autobiography "Assisted" discusses a shift in team culture, a negative undercurrent in the Jazz locker room his last year in the league.

The book doesn't name names, but a prominent thought has been that there were some issues with backup point guard Mark Jackson. In a 2003 Sports Illustrated story, Ian Thomsen reported, citing anonymous sources, "that over a period of weeks, [Jackson] succeeded in turning several teammates against Stockton by repeatedly remarking that those players would be better off if Jackson were the Jazz's floor leader."

Asked Wednesday night if there were problems in the locker room that year, Jackson, now the coach of the Warriors, simply said, "No."

He called Stockton an all-time great and a winner.

Encouraging signs

Rookie point guard Trey Burke could see some contact in practice Tuesday for the first time since his preseason surgery to repair a fractured index finger.

"He's actually feeling a lot better," Corbin said. "I'm encouraged by his progress thus far … and how he's said he's feeling."

Corbin also said that forward Jeremy Evans (rotator cuff strain) has seen improvement and could begin practicing with the team this week.

afalk@sltrib.com