Facebook Twitter



Already, the Bobby Hansen-Bart Kofoed wrestling/boxing match has caused all this: A broken bone in Hansen's face, resulting in plastic surgery; the end of Kofoed's career with the Jazz; and a second chance in the NBA for Jim Farmer.

There's more to come.By waiving Kofoed Wednesday, the Jazz left themselves with 11 players - counting Farmer, who signed a 10-day contract just as his chances for staying the rest of the season probably increased dramatically.

"These 10-day contracts are sometimes good and sometimes bad," noted Farmer's agent, Norman Blass. "By the time the player learns the system, those 10 days are up."

Farmer is likely to stay longer; by NBA rules, the Jazz can sign him for another 10 days before deciding if they want to keep him for the season. "I really think it's a great opportunity, with the situation that's come up," said Farmer.

Dallas' No. 1 draft choice in 1987, Farmer appeared in 30 games as a rookie and was cut by the Mavericks just before this season's opener. Blass advised him not to go to the CBA, because six or seven NBA teams promised they'd be calling Farmer soon.

"It probably was my mistake," says Blass.

"That bothers us," Jazz general manager David Checketts said of Farmer's recent inactivity, "but the physical showed he was in pretty good shape. He's a tough kid - he really works hard on people defensively."

Farmer stayed in Dallas and worked out on his own, awaiting the call that finally came from the Jazz. He joined the team in Chicago and practiced Wednesday and immediately becomes the backup to Darrell Griffith, while Coach Jerry Sloan will also use Thurl Bailey occasionally at guard during the four to six weeks that Hansen is missing. The Jazz could also sign a 12th player, with Hansen on the injured list.

"It's a no-lose deal, really," Checketts said of the Farmer signing.

Farmer becomes the first Jazz player signed to a 10-day contract since forward Dick Miller, who played three games in December 1980, although this is a common way to evaluate players in the NBA. By exchanging Farmer for Kofoed on the roster, the Jazz now have the 20th player taken in the '87 draft instead of the 107th - and they also have a little controversy.

In waiving Kofoed, Checketts cited a conduct clause in the standard NBA contract that allows him to terminate the contract. Kofoed was making a guaranteed $125,000 this season, having signed a two-year deal in August.

Kofoed's agent, Ron Grinker, is expected to file a grievance with the National Basketball Players Association. "The question will probably arise as to whether or not he will be paid," said NBPA executive director Charles Grantham, beginning to study the case. "The grievance procedure is open to any type of dispute that comes up between the player and team."

Kofoed, activated last January following a foot injury, also came back from a broken foot this season and played in 18 of the 20 games that Hansen missed initially. Since Hansen's return from a broken hand, Kofoed had appeared only once in 10 games.

The Jazz had protected him last summer in the expansion draft, gave him the guaranteed money and kept him over Scott Roth in a 12th-man decision last month - and they needed him again, with Hansen out. Obviously, Checketts took last weekend's incident very seriously in ruling on Kofoed's future with the team.

While acknowledging that he'd received varying accounts of the incidents, including one from Kofoed's brother, "Whether it was provoked or not, the fact is, a punch was thrown . . . I didn't see that that situation could ever be patched up again."

Hansen, meanwhile, underwent plastic surgery in Bountiful Wednesday morning - just as Kofoed was on his way from Houston to Salt Lake and Farmer was headed to Chicago. We'll see where everybody goes from there.