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News » Sloan indifferent about real refs replacing replacements

Sloan indifferent about real refs replacing replacements

Sloan indifferent about real refs replacing replacements PORTLAND, Ore. ? News Tuesday that negotiators for the NBA and its referees union have reached agreement on parameters for a new contract was met with relative indifference by Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. "We can't worry about that," Sloan said before the Jazz's exhibition game at Portland on Tuesday night.

"We have to worry about getting ourselves ready to start the season." Sloan ? whose Jazz close the preseason Friday night at Sacramento, and open for real next Wednesday night at Denver ? suggested he doesn't fear the league's regular referees will have trouble being ready without an exhibition season of their own. "They'll do fine," he said. "You're talking about guys that have been around and know how to officiate, so I don't think it will be a problem." Sloan has had little negative to say about the NBA's replacement referees, who have worked while the regular refs have been locked out by the league as part of a labor dispute. "It's like having rookies ? what do you expect them to do? Not make any mistakes?" he said Tuesday. "I mean, our guys make a lot of mistakes ? and the officials make some once in a while." Sloan even believes there may be a diamond or two among the rougher refs. Said the Jazz coach when discussing the replacements earlier this week: "Some of these guys are going to be good officials, I think." STILL NO HARPRING: The Jazz still have received no indication whatsoever that veteran forward Matt Harpring plans to play again. Harpring, due to make $6.5 million this season, remains at home in Atlanta with chronic knee and ankle injuries that likely have prematurely ended his NBA career. "Status quo," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said Tuesday. "Again, my assumption is just wait and see where he's at ? and there comes a point in time when, probably, physically he will have to make a decision." The decision to be made, specifically, is whether or not he'll attempt a comeback ? and at this time it's not expected he will. If he does not and 41 straight regular-season games pass without Harpring playing in one, insurance will pay half of the final-season salary on his current contract. The Jazz had said when training camp opened without Harpring in late September that he would be re-evaluated in six weeks, but O'Connor said nothing is currently scheduled in that regard. SO BE IT: Even though they front-loaded it with $10.3 million payable right away, Sloan didn't have any problem with Portland signing power forward Paul Millsap to a four-year, $32 million offer sheet last July ? one Utah matched in order to retain its then-restricted free agent. The Jazz's history of having signed restricted free agents to offer sheets themselves ? specifically Corey Maggette and Jason Terry in 2003 ? is the reason. "That's the rules," Sloan said. "We've signed a couple guys under those conditions, gave them a contract, they ended up going to other places and that's just part of the business." The Los Angeles Clippers matched the Maggette sheet at the time and Atlanta matched the Terry sheet. e-mail:

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Added: October 22, 2009


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