Utah Jazz: Billups 'flop' warning does little for Jazz
Mo Williams stood up from tying his shoe.
"Oh, did they?" the Jazz point guard asked.
Then, moments after being told the NBA earlier Wednesday warned Clippers guard Chauncey Billups for flopping against the Jazz on Monday, Williams began to laugh.
He laughed for seven seconds, until he was asked if the post facto judgment at all eased the pain of a 105-104 loss.
"No, not really," Williams said, before breaking into laughter again and clapping his hands. "Just let me know it was a bad call, that's all."
The bad call in question came with 1:14 remaining Monday. The Jazz had led by as many as 14, but their lead winnowed to 99-97. With Williams running at him, Billups attempted a 3-pointer. Replays showed that as Williams turned to avoid his former teammate, Billups' left arm and leg shot out to draw contact.
Billups was awarded three free throws, making the first two. The Jazz never led again.
"We thought it was a missed call when it happened and it ended up being a missed call," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "So, what do you do? You move on. You can cry about it all you want, but we can't get it back."
Billups was not fined for the flop because it was his first offense of the season. Under the NBA's first-year policy, the second flop earns a player a $5,000 fine, $10,000 for a third violation, $15,000 for a fourth and $30,000 for a fifth. Further violations would result in more severe fines and a suspension.
Not that it does much for the Jazz, who would have preferred a win.
"It's like Monday morning quarterback," point guard Earl Watson said. "It's too late."
Asked if he would prefer the league try to enforce flops in-game, Corbin said no.
"I think there's enough things to stop the game already," he said. "So it would just be something else."
Jacque Vaughn returned to Salt Lake City on Wednesday for the first time as an NBA head coach.
The first-year Magic coach was drafted by the Jazz in 1997, played for Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan and backed up John Stockton.
"Some great friends along the way," said Vaughn, who at 37 is the NBA's youngest current head coach. "I had great veteran guys who I was able to sit next to and see their focus and approach to each game and approach to practice and what it took to survive in this league. I've always said I'm proud of that and I owe those guys."
Vaughn had an impressive lineup of coaches to learn from, including Roy Williams while a collegian at Kansas, and Gregg Popovich with the Spurs, where Vaughn was a player and an assistant. But he had a unique respect for Sloan, who coached Vaughn from 1997-2001.
"Playing for coach Sloan," Vaughn said, "there's a lot of lessons that I still go back to. One of them is that you approach this like a job and you're professional about it."
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey was an assistant GM with the Spurs before joining Utah this summer and worked closely with Vaughn.
"I'm really thrilled for him," Lindsey said. "I'm thrilled we could play a small part in helping him get to where he wants to be."