The Jazz’s second-year forward Kris Humphries checked into the game at the start of the second quarter Saturday against Memphis. So he was obviously shocked when Robert Whaley subbed in for him just 2 1/2 minutes later.
As Humphries approached the bench, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan stopped him with a blunt message. “I can’t put you out there,” Sloan said as Humphries passed by, “if you’re not going to compete.”
The problem, the coach said afterward, was Humphries’ passivity under the Grizzlies’ basket. Memphis collected four offensive rebounds in the 150 seconds Humphries played, including one on a missed free throw.
The last Memphis possession was too much for Sloan to take.
“The ball went on the rim and he didn’t go after it,” Sloan said. So back to the bench Humphries went.
“I don’t want a confrontation every time” Humphries does something wrong, the coach said. “But how are you going to make a living in this league? Shoot every time you touch it? I say you can make a living in this league if you defend, rebound, run the floor, do some of those things.”
Humphries played just three more minutes in the game, the Jazz’s fifth straight loss, and ironically did not attempt a shot.
Clearly, what Humphries needs is some serious one-on-one tutoring from Jazz owner Larry Miller (no relation).