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Utah Jazz notes: JFK visit helps team take 'step in a positive direction'
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Dallas • On the eve of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, the Utah Jazz landed at Love Field and promptly made their way to Dealey Plaza and the sixth floor of what once was the Texas School Book Depository.

The team toured the building Thursday, looked down from the spot where Lee Harvey Oswald took aim, and stood on the grassy knoll.

"It was a good educational experience," said Jazz coach Ty Corbin. "A great chance for the guys to experience some of the history of our country, a sad part of history."

Players also believe it might have something to do with basketball.

Forward Mike Harris said there haven't been issues in the Jazz locker room, despite a 1-12 start, but said the team event would help avoid them.

"It was good," Harris said, "especially in our situation that we're in right now. Sometimes situations like this, when you're losing a lot of games early in the season, teams can start to fragment and separate a little bit. I think the fact that everybody wanted to go see that was one step in a positive direction."

The masked man returns

Marvin Williams missed the team's Wednesday loss in New Orleans as he remained in Salt Lake City to have surgery on his broken nose.

The veteran forward rejoined the team Friday afternoon in Dallas ready to go.

"I didn't take my medication because I want to play," he said. "I didn't want to be out there drowsy, a little loopy."

Williams, who broke his nose earlier this year against the Spurs, has now been fitted with a custom mask that he says won't bother his vision.

Corbin called Williams a "true professional" and an example to the team's youth.

"It's good for the young guys to see," the coach said. "In this league, after the first week or two of the season, something's always bothering you. You have a little nagging thing here, something there. If you let it bother you, you can say you can't play.

"But in this league, in order to be successful, you have to play with things when you're not 100 percent," he added. "… I think the young guys are seeing that in him."

Bumped and only bruised

Swingman Gordon Hayward missed practice Thursday morning with a bruised right kneecap and had precautionary X-rays Friday in Dallas.

"They just wanted to look at it to make sure there was nothing but a little tweak," Corbin said after X-rays came back negative, revealing only the bruise.

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribjazz

Jazz notes • Players say it's important not to let losses fracture the team.
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