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David Stern confirms Utah Jazz nickname will stay in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — The Jazz will stay in Utah, after all.

NBA commissioner David Stern put an end to New Orleans' new owner's hopes of reacquiring the nickname from the Beehive State's pro basketball team.

"It belongs to Utah," Stern said Monday of the Jazz name, as reported by The Times-Picayune. "I wouldn't make it such an important point. There are many things that are indigenous to the area. I'm sure there will be some wonderful (suggested) nicknames."

After announcing he'll be buying the Hornets, Saints owner Tom Benson declared his intentions to pursue renaming New Orleans' NBA squad.

His No. 1 wish: Jazz.

The Big Easy first had the Jazz from 1974-79 until the team, name and all, relocated to Salt Lake City.

On Monday, Benson told fans he wants their help to find a new nickname "that means New Orleans and Louisiana. The Hornets doesn't mean anything."

To his chagrin, the New Orleans Jazz will remain a thing of the past.

On Saturday, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said, "He can't have it back."

On Monday, he smiled about the Jazz keeping their nickname. "I didn't think they had a chance of getting the name back."

PAIN GAME: Before he played one heckuva game, DeMarre Carroll had a busy day Monday.

He participated in shootaround, took and passed the final of his concussion tests on a treadmill and had a painful trip to the dentist that left him tweeting, "Lips feel like i been in a boxing match."

The small forward suffered a mild concussion Saturday after getting popped in the mouth by Grizzlies' guard Tony Allen, his mentor in Memphis, and then having to get a tooth put back into place at halftime.

A dentist tightened his teeth back up Monday afternoon, and he had a special mouth guard made that he'll sport for the rest of the season.

"When I got hit, I thought (my tooth) was gone," Carroll said. "It was actually there, it was just in the back of my mouth. ... I'm just happy I still got my teeth."

Carroll finished with 15 points and a huge late offensive rebound in the Jazz's triple-overtime win over Dallas.

SURGERY DAY: Ten days after tearing his medial meniscus, point guard Earl Watson will undergo surgery today on his right knee.

Watson will have the likely season-ending procedure performed in New York City by Dr. David Altchek, who also did the scope on Josh Howard's knee on March 22.

An official timetable for Watson's return to physical activity will be released after the surgery.

The Jazz signed D-League sharpshooter Blake Ahearn to a 10-day contract a week ago to fill Watson's spot on the roster. Utah brass hasn't announced yet whether the sharpshooter will be signed for the rest of the season or not.

BACK IN ACTION: Both Howard and Raja Bell resumed basketball activities on Monday after being unable to shoot or jump following their respective knee issues. Bell received a medicated lubrication injection in his ailing knee two weeks ago. Howard had surgery to clean up his knee.


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