Facebook Twitter

Faces in the Jazz crowd

SHARE Faces in the Jazz crowd

Covering the Jazz has changed a lot in the last 20 years.

When I was the Jazz beat writer in the early '90s, the locker cleanout was a quiet affair. Sometimes it was just two or three print reporters and the same number of TV stations closing things out.

Tuesday, there were at least 30 media representatives present. In part, that's because the interest is high, in part because of sports radio reporters that didn't used to be there, and part because other things like the Jazz web site and other online publications are there.

The crowd around Deron Williams was so deep it was hard to get close enough to even see him.

I only noticed three players come and go in the time I was there. Kosta Koufos walked out, seeming a little embarrassed, and nobody I saw wanted to talk with him. Hey, he's not a star. Andrei Kirilenko bounced in, seemingly in a good mood about his summer vacation.

And Mehmet Okur limped onto a cargo cart (he was wearing a protective boot) and rode away to a doctor's appointment, waving affably to the TV and print cameras as he went.

As for Jerry Sloan, he seems to have mellowed a bit in the years. He even joked a few times with the media after summing up his thoughts on the season. This year must have been special to him, because he spent more time complimenting his team on its effort than I can remember in any other year.

A final missive from the cleanout. Asked if this year's team overachieved or underachieved, Williams said, "You tell me."