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SALT LAKE CITY - Raja Bell joked at practice Monday that this isn't what he signed up for this summer when he joined the Utah Jazz as a free agent.
"I said to someone the other night, in jest, that I didn't sign up for this B.S. It was a joke," laughed Bell.
"Look, NBA seasons, I've been a part of a lot of them and they are roller coaster rides."
After dealing with a tumultuous week, life after Jerry Sloan got off to a rough start for the Utah Jazz on Friday. They scored just 27points in the 2nd half of a 95-83 loss to the Phoenix Suns, their 4th straight loss at home. But now after two practices under new head coach Tyrone Corbin the team believes they can turn things around.
"We can't give up on each other now." said C.J. Miles. "We've got a lot of games left and a lot of ground we can make up in those games."
This is Corbin's first experience as a head coach but after 7 years as an assistant under Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson he already commands respect from current players.
We can't give up on each other now. We've got a lot of games left and a lot of ground we can make up in those games.
"I've always had a good relationship with coach (Tyrone Corbin) over the years." said Williams. "I've always felt a little more comfortable going to him. Hopefully we continue to do that."
"I think the guys are okay with me being the head coach but we've got to win games," said Corbin.
Corbin's biggest challenge is not only winning games but keeping this locker room together.
"No matter what happens through a season you are who you are," said Bell. "Barring any trades you go to war or you play with guys night in and night out and it's important that you're on the same page, especially in the face of something as difficult as we went through."
I asked C.J. Miles if this team had the fight in them to get through this. His response?
"100 percent. I think so, I mean, I know so. I've been with a few of these guys for a few years now and the other guys we got in here are tough guys so we're going to be fine."
That's a good sign as this team continues to fight through a difficult time. Their next challenge comes Tuesday night when they travel to Phoenix for a rematch with the Suns.
"It was good to get a couple of days to rest and to practice," said Deron Williams. "Hopefully we can just go out and win some games. That's all we can do."