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News » Utah Jazz notes: Sloan remembers Pollin

Utah Jazz notes: Sloan remembers Pollin

Utah Jazz notes: Sloan remembers Pollin Before they crossed paths in a Verizon Center hallway last November, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan had gone more than 40 years since last chatting with Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin , whose Baltimore Bullets drafted Sloan out of Evansville in 1965.

What followed was a memorable exchange between the NBA's senior owner and its longest-tenured coach. Pollin, who died Tuesday at age 85, started by apologizing for allowing Sloan to leave for Chicago in the expansion draft after his rookie season.

"I made a mistake and let you go," Pollin admitted, with Sloan replying that he enjoyed his time with the Bullets.

Pollin shared that he was battling a serious illness that left him wheelchair bound -- he died of a rare degenerative brain disease -- but vowed he would get better. Sloan said he didn't doubt it because Pollin was a tough guy.

"Not as tough as you," Pollin shot back.

Sloan was asked Tuesday how much it meant that Pollin acknowledged making a mistake by not keeping him in Baltimore.

"I don't live on that kind of stuff," Sloan said. "It was a nice gesture on his part, but more importantly, it was kind of like saying goodbye."

Pollin owned the Bullets/Wizards for 45 years, winning the 1978 championship. "He was a guy that wanted to keep Basketball in that area," Sloan said. "I think at that particular time, it was probably a little difficult, but he did a good job with it."

Along with Sloan, Pollin was one of the last links to a bygone era in the NBA. Sloan remembered Tuesday having to carry the Bullets' 24-second clocks as a rookie and playing five games in five days with coast-to-coast travel.

Close to return

After seeing a hand specialist Monday, C.J. Miles said he plans to start practicing again next week, the final step in his return from left thumb surgery.

"I've been doing a lot, so hopefully it shouldn't take me but a couple practices before I feel like I can play again," Miles said.

Miles went through exercises to help stretch the ligament that he ruptured in the preseason. He was fitted for a splint and has gone through shooting drills in recent days with his thumb taped. The last thing for Miles is to see how his thumb will hold up in game action.

Kyle Korver , meanwhile, pushed his left knee in practice Monday and said it was "really sore" afterward before feeling better Tuesday. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing, though.

"It's just part of the process, is what they tell me," Korver said. "It's just your knee trying to get back into shape. As long as it doesn't hurt too bad the next day, you're on the right track."

Korver wouldn't commit to a specific target date to resume practicing or make his return, but did joke, "I'm running out of sport coats to wear to the games."

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Added: November 27, 2009


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