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Kings' coach catching some heat

SACRAMENTO — In Sacramento lately, Kings coach Rick Adelman — his club off to a 2-5 start before facing the Jazz on Tuesday — has been catching heat.

Some has come from Kings fans not shy about letting Adelman, who played a handful of games for the Jazz during their inaugural 1974-75 season in New Orleans, know how they feel.

On that front, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan — tenured longer with the same team than any coach or general manager in major American professional sports — offered what amounts to a bit of advice for Adelman before Tuesday's late-starting game.

"When you look at them, they don't talk as much," he said of fans who have given him flak over the years.

"When you've got your back turned, it's amazing how tough a lot of people are. When you look at them in the eye, there are not a lot of people who have anything to say."

Asked about Adelman's situation, Sloan suggested the longtime Sacramento coach — hired in 1998, he has the most coaching victories in Kings franchise history and has never had a sub-.500 record in Sacramento — should not fret.

"You're only as good as your last rumor in this business," he said. "That's the way this business is. Rick knows that.

"He's got a good handle on what's going on, I'm sure," the Jazz coach added. "He just goes about doing his job, and what else are you gonna do? I think sometimes people think you're supposed to do cartwheels or something because they're on your (rear end) a little bit."

In Utah, the Jazz recently caught some flak of their own.

It came from Jazz owner Larry H. Miller, who had heated words for Jazz players and coaches between the third and fourth quarter of Monday's loss to the Knicks.

Later Monday, Sloan said he didn't hear what Miller had to say.

On Tuesday, he reiterated that he has no problem with whatever it was Miller said — and suggested, as he often has previously, that the Jazz owner is the only reason he's in his 18th season as Utah's head coach.

"I have a great owner," Sloan said. "He expects a lot. He demands a lot. But he's supported us through the tough times, and he's supported us when things are going pretty well. I couldn't ask for a better situation.

"I'm not a general manager. I'm not a high-profile coach like a Larry Brown or Phil Jackson, somebody like that. They go in automatically and have that clout," he added. "I have it because of Mr. Miller, not because of who I am. That, to me, is one of the most important things. "I learned years and years ago that people can say what they want, but the owner's the one that counts."

INJURY UPDATE: Injured Jazz players Andrei Kirlenko (sprained ankle, out 1-2 since getting hurt last Saturday at Chicago), Carlos Boozer (strained hamstring, day-to-day) and Gordan Giricek (tonsillitis, day-to-day) did not travel to Sacramento.

Keith McLeod did, but did not play because of back spasms that also had him out Monday. Also out Tuesday: forward Matt Harpring, who sat out of the second game of a back-to-back — doctor's orders — to rest his surgically repaired knee.

That left the Jazz with just 10 healthy roster members, including forward Kris Humphries, who played Tuesday despite taking five stitches Monday to close a cut in the webbing between two fingers on his right hand.

THAT GUY: One of Tuesday's three officials was Courtney Kirkland, the same ref Sloan made contact with in a 2003 incident at Sacramento that led to the Jazz coach being suspended for seven games by the NBA.