News » Kings coach Natt back for Miller funeral

Kings coach Natt back for Miller funeral

Kings coach Natt back for Miller funeral
NBA coaches often curse the grueling schedule.

Not Sacramento's Kenny Natt .

Not this time.

Despite having to play the Jazz on the second night of a back-to-back, Natt was pleased the Kings played in Utah on Saturday because the in-and-out trip allowed him to attend the funeral of his former boss, Larry H. Miller .

"I thought it was a wonderful service," said Natt. "? It was great to hear all the kids speak and hear all the things that meant so much to them. ? Under difficult circumstances, it was great to be here and be part of it."

Natt was an assistant with the Jazz for nine seasons, before leaving five years ago.

This season -- his second in Sacramento -- Natt became the head coach when Reggie Theus was fired on Dec. 15.

Asked why he felt compelled to attend the funeral, given the Kings' schedule, Natt recalled that his oldest daughter was in fourth grade when he was hired as one of Jerry Sloan 's assistants.

"Now she's graduating from the U. in May," Natt said. "So we go back a long way."

What is his lasting memory of Miller?

"I was thinking this afternoon, after the service, that seeing Larry walk across the floor at the end of games, that's something I remember," Natt said. "That's the memory I will cherish most because of the way his health failed him late.

"I wasn't there to see that and I'm glad about that because I want to remember Larry walking across the floor -- coming toward us -- with the excitement on his face."


Paying their respects

The referee crew of Ron Garretson , Tony Brown and Olandis Poole also made an unexpected appearance at Miller's funeral.

Garretson said Brown suggested the idea as part of their morning meeting.

"Larry, back in the day, was pretty tough, back in the old Salt Palace and even here in the early stages of this arena, concerning us," Garretson said.

"But as he got a little bit older -- I don't know the reason why -- he just started warming up to us, would always come by and shake your hand and wish you a good game. I always respected him. He always seemed like a pretty straight, up-front guy."


Headed to the D-League?

Vice president of Basketball operations Kevin O'Connor said the Jazz might send a player or two to the Utah Flash of the NBA Developmental League after the team returns from Sunday's game at Golden State.

Morris Almond , Kyrylo Fesenko and/or Kosta Koufos are the candidates for duty with the Flash.

"Yeah, we're considering it," O'Connor said. We think there's an opportunity for our players to get some playing time, especially with everybody getting healthy.

"I think over the next two games we'll have to see how everything plays out. ? But we're probably in position to take a look at them going down and playing some Basketball."

The Flash play 13 of their final 16 games at home, which adds to the likelihood the Jazz will send a player or two their way.

"It helps a great deal," O'Connor said. "? If we need to call somebody back, it makes it much easier for us."

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Added: March 2, 2009


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