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Old 02-08-2014, 05:00 PM   #506
Xiao Yao You
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Midvale, Utah, U.S.A.
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Default Re: Jerry Sloan steps down, leaves Utah Jazz! Era is over!

Russell came to Utah from his home in California, saying he wouldnt have missed the Sloan celebration.

"I played for some great coaches, but hes the best," Russell said. "I would play for Jerry any time."

Didn't he play for Phil?

The Jazz took Russell with the 45th overall pick in the 1994 draft. They were scouting a higher-profile Long Beach State teammate, Lucious Harris, when they noticed Russell was always around the ball making plays.

Russell spent nine seasons with the Jazz, although he spent the first four as a player in and out of Sloans rotation. Some nights hed play a lot. Some nights hed play a little. Some nights he wouldnt play at all.

"There were times I thought I should have played but didnt and I didnt know why," Russell recalled. "Probably because I was a little bullheaded and arrogant. But at the end of the day, what Jerry said got through to me."

A small forward in the NBA, Russell made the transition from a back-to-the-basket player in college.

"I wasnt a shooter," he said. "But after every season, there was a meeting and the coaches said, Youve got to work on this or work on that. I always went back worked on my shooting."

Russell ended up shooting 37.1 percent from the 3-point line in 628 regular-seasons with the Jazz.

Today, Russell lives with his wife and three children near Los Angeles. His oldest attends college. His other two kids are in high school. His son, Brandon, starts on the El Camino Real High School basketball team as a sophomore.

"Id put him up against any 15-year-old in the country and let him go to work," Russell said. "Im proud of him. But Im proud of them all."

Now 43, Russell would like to coach sometime down the road.

"Yeah, Id get into that," he said. "I think I have a lot to offer, especially being a player at every level, including the highest level and the highest moments."
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