Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Steve Luhm: Utah Jazz coach Jensen shaken by inaccurate murder story

By Steve Luhm

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Mar 29 2014 11:37 am • Last Updated Mar 29 2014 11:44 pm

When Utah Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen checked his cellphone Monday morning, he was horrified.

Beyond horrified.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

In the previous few hours, Jensen received scores of emails and text messages with the unfathomable news that one of his former players — Quinton Ross — had been murdered.

According to a story on the New York Post’s website, a man named Quinton Ross and identified as a former NBA player had been found stuffed into a plastic bag and buried in a shallow grave on a city beach.

"Everybody was asking if I’d heard what happened to Quinton," Jensen said. "I mean, something like that could happen to anybody, I guess. But Quinton seems like the last guy who would put himself in that kind of position."

Jensen quickly started looking for more information, but he couldn’t find anything.

"I hit on all the links," he said, "but everything had been taken down. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ "

It took awhile, but Jensen finally learned what happened.

As the story unfolded, it turned out a man named Quinton Ross had been murdered in New York. But he wasn’t the same person who played for Jensen with the D-League’s Canton Charge during the 2011-12 season.

"I was just shocked," Jensen said, "because he’s such a bright guy. I always thought Quinton would make a good coach, if he decided to stay in basketball."

story continues below
story continues below

Ross spent seven seasons in the NBA. He played in 458 regular-season games with the L.A. Clippers, Memphis, Dallas, Washington and New Jersey.

"A great professional and teammate," Jensen said. "He’s quiet. Worked hard. Long. Tall. Athletic. He could guard either wing spot. Great on rotations. Just smart. He was a cerebral player."

For a time, I thought Ross might end up playing for the Jazz.

After John Stockton retired and Karl Malone moved to the Lakers for his final season, Utah was rebuilding in 2003.

Ross played for the Jazz in the Rocky Mountain Revue summer league. He scored 18 points in one game against the Knicks.

Then-coach Jerry Sloan was openly impressed with Ross and I was surprised he did not return for training camp. Looking back, however, his opportunity in Utah might have ended when the Jazz signed veteran shooting guard Raja Bell in September.

In 2010, Ross was also mentioned as part of a rumored four-team trade that would have landed him to Utah.

The Jazz pondered sending Andrei Kirilenko and his monster expiring contract to Denver for Boris Diaw of Charlotte and Ross of New Jersey.

It didn’t happen.

Ross, 32, was released by the Nets in 2011 and hasn’t played again in the NBA.

He spent Tuesday trying to get word to deeply concerned family members, friends and former colleagues that he was not the victim of a New York City murder.

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
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.