Northwest Links: Sloan, Rubio, Batum

Another element in the dustup between Karl Malone and the Jazz about the end of Jerry Sloan's lengthy tenure as head coach last year came into play today. Utah-area media outlets apparently weren't privy to a team statement that made its way to national writers, according to Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune. (Twitter link)

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweeted the statement, which contained Sloan's denial that he was forced out, in piecemeal fashion this afternoon. Smith then passed it along as part of a larger piece on the saga.

Scott Howard-Cooper of tweets that amidst all the back-and-forth, Sloan would listen if another team becomes interested in hiring him.

Elsewhere in the Northwest Division:

  • Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post offers an appreciation of durable Nuggets guard Andre Miller, who recently passed the 1,000-games-played mark:
  • The Salt Lake Tribune's Jazz beat reporters spoke with Earl Watson about the advanced treatment he received on his sprained ankle.
  • Jake Appleman of The New York Times looks at how Ricky Rubio is helping turn around the Timberwolves.
  • Nicolas Batum, who will be a restricted free-agent this summer, will have a chance to show off his versatility against the Nuggets tonight. His agent, Bouna Ndiaye, has suggested he will look at other teams before negotiating again with the Blazers after the two sides failed to agree on an extension last month.


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