Skokie, IL 60076
http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,600122871,00.htmlIn the Jazz's last two games, he has averaged 38 minutes, 24 points and 11.5 rebounds.
Mehmet Okur seems to sense why, too.
"Andrei's out," he said. "Carlos's out."
Those would be references to Andrei Kirilenko and Carlos Boozer, merely the Jazz's top two scorers, out for the season with a broken wrist and strained foot, respectively.
The result: "A lot more touches," Okur said.
"When we signed him, he said he'd be in great shape when he got here," Sloan said Thursday. "Well, he wasn't in very good shape. His body fat was fairly high, and his conditioning wasn't as good."
Sloan leaves little doubt as to what he thinks now, too.
"He's got a chance to be a very good player," the Jazz coach said, "if he commits himself to the game.
"I think that's where he can make a lot of improvement: running the floor, doing a better job defensively. Not just numbers on the board for offense. Because he can score. He can do things like that. There's never been any doubt about his skill level."
Translation: Sloan readily acknowledges Okur's improved play of late, but wants him to report for next season in much better condition than he did for this season.
"One of the things he has to make a commitment to," Sloan said, "is being in great shape, so he can be able to finish games."
Okur seems to have heard the message.
He plans to work this summer with a personal trainer, then report in July for a two-month training camp in advance of Turkey's participation in next September's European Championships.
First, though, there is an NBA season to finish.
"I'm feeling good right now," Okur said, "so I'll try to do my best the last 11 games."
He's got Eddy Curry disease. Okur does need to tone his body and get in shape but man is Sloan candid or what?