Bell, Corbin and O’Connor hold clear-the-air meeting

Two days removed from being sent home from a road trip, Jazz guard Raja Bell met with coach Tyrone Corbin and general manager Kevin O’Connor on Monday.

Without giving any specifics as to why Bell was sent home after Utah’s March 9 at Philadelphia, Bell and O’Connor said the matter has been resolved.

It’s business as usual,” Bell said. “We had a good conversation. We talked over a few things and you keep it moving.”

Bell, Corbin and O’Connor met following the team’s morning shootaround, which Bell did not attend. Rather, the 35-year-old showed up in street clothes as things were wrapping up.

Moments later Corbin said a meeting had been arranged to clear the air.

Asked what his relationship with Bell is like, Corbin said simply: “He’s a player, I’m the coach. I’ve known him for a while and it is what it is.”

Bell, a 12-year veteran, was sent back to Utah after playing 17 minutes and scoring two points on 1-for-5 shooting in a 104-91 loss to Philadelphia.

He was scratched from Saturday’s loss at Chicago. Team officials explained his absence as an “internal matter.”

O’Connor did not say why Bell was sent home, but gave the indication Bell may have said or done something inappropriate following the loss to the 76ers.

We talked about coaches coaching and players playing,” O’Connor said. “The time and situation we felt was not appropriate and we explained that to him. We talked about putting it behind us, moving on and helping us win. Was there a lot of other things talked about in there? Yeah. But that was the whole crux of the matter.”

As Bell left the meeting he said he was going to have an MRI on his sore left knee, but hoped to be available for Monday’s game.

Before the meeting, Corbin said he wasn’t sure if he would suspend Bell. Afterward, however, both Bell and O’Connor said there was no suspension.

Teammates said they did not think the situation between Bell and Corbin would become a distraction.

“I’ve been in the NBA for a long time, it happens,” veteran point guard Earl Watson said. “We’re like a family. No one family is perfect. No one family gets along every day, perfectly. Communication is key. Everything works itself out.”




About Jim Burton

Jim Burton has worked for the Standard-Examiner since 1991. He has covered everything from the preps to Utah, BYU, Weber State and the Ogden Raptors. Currently he is the Standard's Utah Jazz beatwriter and its sports columnist.
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