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Kevin Murphy's cellphone buzzed as he was doing the rookie thing, securing doughnuts for his teammates. It was his wife, Shekedra. Her water had broken. She was in labor with the couple's first child.

A few hours later, the Utah Jazz shooting guard was on a flight to Atlanta, all the while praying that he could get to his family in time to witness the entire thing.

Murphy is a new father to Kevin Murphy Jr., who was born Wednesday. He's back in training camp, a little sleep-deprived, definitely weary, but running on adrenaline and ready to get back to work.

Yes, the life of an NBA rookie can get crazy.

"It's been a long week," Murphy said. "But I'm happy to be here, and happy to be back. The Jazz basically said that family is first and they wanted me to go home and handle my business. I'm very appreciative of that."

Question is, does Murphy's two-day absence hurt him on the court?

In a loaded backcourt situation, the rookie from Tennessee Tech in the best situation will find minutes to be an uphill battle. Missing two days has hurt his growth to an extent, as the Jazz implement offensive sets.

Fortunately for Murphy, he played with the Jazz in summer league, so he is a bit familiar with the system.

As for playing catch-up? The Utah coaches are confident that he will make up the lost time.

"He's going to be good," Jazz coach Ty Corbin said. "We like him. He can shoot it, he can put it on the floor. He can play. We're happy to have him back, and he's just got to go out and play."

Doing his part

Earl Watson was a big Utah football fan on Thursday night, rooting on the Utes against USC at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

As a UCLA alum, Watson has two favorite teams: The Bruins and anyone playing against the Trojans. Utah fell into the latter category.

"Of course I was rooting for the Utes," Watson said. "No UCLA fan ever wants USC to win. I was going to boo the USC fans that I saw, but I didn't want to get fined by the NBA, or something."


Corbin told the media on Friday that Al Jefferson is in great shape, maybe the best of his career. … The Jazz will hold a free scrimmage open to the public at 4 p.m. Saturday at EnergySolutions Arena. … Watson said that he's still not going 100 percent yet in practice, although he is feeling better coming off knee surgery.

Twitter: @tonyaggieville

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