Karl Malone doesn't care much for this year's Jazz preseason schedule.
"It's bull----," he said before Utah (3-2) embarked to Charlotte for a game with the Hornets Wednesday (tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m., MDT). "It's not a matter of where we are playing. It's just six straight preseason games on the road."Since setting up training camp in Boise from Oct. 2-8, the Jazz have traveled to El Paso, Texas; Indianapolis; Evansville, Ind.; Cincinnati; and Charlotte for exhibition games. A trip to Portland, Ore., is scheduled this weekend. Utah's lone home dates in the preseason (Oct. 11, Oct. 27) serve as bookends for the eight-game Jazz preseason schedule.
Public relations director Kim Turner set up the exhibition tour as he usually does - charged only with scheduling a pair of Delta Center dates for the team to add to its season ticket package and accommodating Jazz coach Jerry Sloan's desire to go on a trip back East to assimilate younger players to life in the NBA and bring the team closer.
Malone, however, doesn't see the benefit of extended travel.
"I see absolutely none," he said. "You've got somebody in the office that thinks they've got some pull and says, `Let's send them here and let's send them there.' I wish they could come out here one day. That's how I feel about it."
Turner and Jazz basketball operations director Scott Layden, however, have accompanied the team throughout the preseason.
A look at Utah's upcoming travels:
- Oct. 2: Depart Salt Lake City for Boise.
- Oct. 8: Depart Boise for Salt Lake City.
- Oct. 11: Game with Charlotte at Delta Center.
- Oct. 12: Round trip to El Paso for game with Mavericks.
- Oct. 16: Depart Salt Lake City for Indianapolis.
- Oct. 17: Game with Pacers at Market Square Arena. Depart Indianapolis for Evansville.
- Oct. 18: Game with Pacers at University of Evansville.
- Oct. 19: Depart Evansville for Cincinnati.
- Oct. 20: Game with Nets at The Crown.
- Oct. 21: Depart Cincinnati for Charlotte.
- Oct. 22: Game with Hornets at Charlotte Coliseum. Depart Charlotte for Salt Lake City.
- Oct. 24: Depart Salt Lake City for Portland.
- Oct. 25: Game with Trail Blazers at Rose Garden.
- Oct. 26: Depart Portland for Salt Lake City.
- Oct. 27: Game with Suns at Delta Center.
- Oct. 30: Depart Salt Lake City for Los Angeles.
- Oct. 31: Opening regular season game with Lakers at Great Western Forum. (The first of 41 away games).