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Utah Jazz: Sloan dismayed after Wizards gun incident

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  • Utah Jazz: Sloan dismayed after Wizards gun incident

    The NBA has an image problem.


    The NBA has an image problem.

    Jazz coach Jerry Sloan suggested as about much Saturday, when he addressed questions regarding a highly publicized guns-in-the-lockerroom controversy involving Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton.

    "These guys have a tremendous image to try to improve on all the time, because, you know, these buildings we play in are not all full," Sloan said. "And any time you have situations like that (in Washington) that makes people a little bit more skeptical about coming and watching you play.

    "What's their priority? When those things draw more attention to what's going on than the game itself, then we're probably going in the wrong direction — and I don't think that's good for basketball."

    Sloan said that as coach of the Jazz "I've been blessed with the kind of people I've had so far."

    But that didn't stop Sloan from reminding his players of the image issue when he addressed them at a morning shootaround Saturday.
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    "You know, it's not a great thing for our league," All-Star forward Carlos Boozer of the Jazz said. "We talked about it a little bit this morning. But hopefully it can be handled with a great deal of care and resolve itself."

    Boozer did not pass judgment on Arenas — who reportedly was involved in a dispute with Crittenton regarding an unpaid gambling debt — for possessing multiple guns.

    He even seemed to have sympathy for both.

    "We've heard about (athletes carrying guns) a little too much ... But, you know, we are targets," Boozer said. "Some guys need protection. Some guys feel, instead of hiring body guards, to protect themselves. That's their choice as an individual, but each case is different."

    "Hopefully it will work out and everybody will be OK," he added. "I don't know the details of the story, but I wish both of those the best of luck and the organization the best of luck."

    Sloan didn't offer an opinion on what the punishment should be for bringing guns into the locker room, either.

    "I don't know all the details of it," he said. "You know, I'm not a cop or a lawyer or anything like that. But hopefully you use common sense ...

    "We don't want to see those things happen," Sloan added. "We try to tell them in the beginning, those things don't belong in basketball, and then we have to deal with each situation as it comes up."