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Kirilenko letting his play do the speaking for now

BOISE — With one week of training camp now in the books, the tension seems to have subsided.

Somewhat.

Andrei Kirilenko still doesn't look like the happiest camper in the world, but the Jazz's starting small forward from Russia continues to remain mum when it comes to questions about his offseason trade request.

He did have a few things to say on the floor, though, when the Jazz on Saturday concluded their opening week of camp at Boise State University's Taco Bell Arena with open-to-the-public scrimmage.

It was the first chance all week for non-Jazz eyes to get a look at practice, and Kirilenko — who earlier this week was assigned his own part-time personal coach, special assistant/shooting guru Jeff Hornacek — impressed.

He ran the floor with apparent interest, delivered a couple nifty passes and even knocked down a 3-pointer — something that happened only 16 times in 75 attempts last season.

"He's been fine," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said when asked Saturday how Kirilenko has looked throughout the week. "He's worked hard."

Kirilenko was promised during a sit-down meeting last Monday that Sloan would try to be no more negative than he is positive with the sensitive Russian.

"We're trying to reach out," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said.

So far, the demanding Sloan — who essentially was told by Jazz owner Larry H. Miller to ease up a bit on the franchise's highest-paid player — seems to be sincerely attempting to do just that.

When asked Saturday if he believes all of the Kirilenko-related offseason nonsense is behind, however, the Jazz coach's response was rather non-committal.

"Well, we haven't played a game," said Sloan, whose club's first preseason outing comes Wednesday night vs. Milwaukee at EnergySolutions Arena. "Everybody waits to see what happens when you play a game.

"You can get by in practice every day," Sloan added. "The big test comes when those stats come out. Every game. Everybody looks at that, and that's their bread-and-butter."

STILL NO BOOZER: Carlos Boozer was absent again for an eighth straight practice, and O'Connor said Saturday he wasn't sure when the Jazz's starting power forward would report.

Boozer has been allowed by the team to remain at home in Miami, where 1-year-old son Carmani is recovering from a bone marrow transplant related to his bout with sickle cell anemia.

Sloan, too, suggested Saturday that he still has no idea when Boozer would show.

"Whenever he gets here is what I told him," Sloan said. "He's got to take care of his family first."

PASSING GRADE: Even though Boozer hasn't been here, point guard Deron Williams missed five sessions of two-a-days with dental issues and veteran backup forward Matt Harpring was limited by a surgically repaired knee, Sloan — perhaps heeding Miller's instructions to try to be more upbeat — gave the Jazz a passing grade for their week in Boise.

"Things have gone well," he said. "Guys have worked hard. It's been a fun group of guys to work with. They brought it, every day, to practice.

"Overall," Sloan added, "about as pleased as you can be."

JOB DESCRIPTION: A fan Saturday complimented Jazz rookie Kyrylo Fesenko for his work in the scrimmage, shouting, 'Hey, nice block out there."'

The big Ukrainian smiled and offered his standard response to such praise.

"It is my job," he said.

COACH MAILMAN: Retired Jazz star Karl Malone is spending time this year working with the men's basketball program at his old school, Louisiana Tech, whose new head coach is longtime Utah high school coach and former University of Utah interim coach Kerry Rupp.

Malone, however, has vowed to limit the amount of time he spends with the team.

"I ain't made no bones about it," he recently told ESPN.com. "I told them I love to hunt; I love to fish. I've got a family I'm going to spend time with. I'm not, this year, saying I'm going to do (coaching) all the time. When I'm in town, (though), I'm going to give it all I've got."

ALUMNI UPDATE: Multiple reports late last week suggested it's looking a lot like veteran guard Derek Fisher, who asked out of his contract with the Jazz this past offseason, will be starting alongside buddy Kobe Bryant in the backcourt for the Los Angeles Lakers this season.

WEB WATCH: ESPN.com's John Hollinger predicts Utah will go 50-32 this season, finishing second in the Northwest Division behind 53-29 Denver and sixth overall in the Western Conference victory count behind Houston (61-21), San Antonio (59-23), Dallas (58-24), Phoenix (54-28) and the Nuggets.

"Consider this season a brief rest stop before (the Jazz) resume the climb," Hollinger wrote.

MISC.: Harpring didn't scrimmage Saturday, opting instead to rehab his knee with on-court slides prior to practice. Harpring afterward indicated he has experienced no setbacks. ... Backup center Jarron Collins also sat out Saturday's practice, instead riding a stationary bike while nursing a slight quadriceps strain. ... After getting Sunday off, the Jazz resume preseason practice Monday morning in Salt Lake City.


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com