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Atlanta • Kyle Korver and Devin Harris didn't play together in Utah. They were separated by nearly a year, a head coaching change, and one moody superstar point guard.
But the two former Jazz players, who started for the Hawks against the Jazz on Friday at Philips Arena, still have a fair bit in common.
"They still run the same offense," Korver said, "and today we were going through the plays and we're kind of looking at each other like, yeah he's going to cut this way, they're going to run this play, it's still called the same thing and all of that stuff."
The connections between the Jazz and Hawks run deep, with two Utah natives on the Jazz roster, a former Hawk on the Jazz roster and two on the coaching staff. In addition to Korver and Harris, the former Jazz first-round draft pick DeShawn Stevenson plays for the Hawks.
Korver helped the Jazz to the Western Conference finals in 2008 before leaving for Chicago as a free agent in 2010. The next winter, the Jazz traded All-Star Deron Williams to New Jersey in exchange for a haul of players that included Harris, a former All-Star point guard.
"The teams are totally different when he was there," Korver said, "and I was there in a short period of time."
Only Paul Millsap remains from Korver's two-and-a-half-year stint. Harris is considerably more familiar with the Jazz roster, since he was traded for Marvin Williams just last summer.
Despite leading the Jazz to the playoffs last season, Harris said he knew his time was up when the Jazz made a trade for Mo Williams, who is out for a minimum of six weeks following right thumb surgery.
"It was a writing on the wall when Mo came with expiring contract," Harris said
In some ways, after a tenure with the Jazz that Harris conceded "didn't last very long," his connection is easy to overlook.
He didn't win over the fans as did Korver, who continues to operate his charitable foundation in Salt Lake City. He didn't build a life in Utah the way Marvin Williams did in Atlanta.
But he holds a notable role in Jazz history: He was the point guard who replaced Deron Williams.
"It was a fun time while I was there," Harris said. "Fans embraced me, enjoyed spending time there. Didn't last very long, with expiring contracts and all that other stuff."
No hard feelings
Marvin Williams didn't get to play Friday in his first game back at Philips Center, where he played his home games for the first seven years of his career. An inflamed right knee will keep him out at least through Saturday.
But the second pick in the 2005 draft made it clear he was disappointed not to get to play against his longtime teammates, including Josh Smith, Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia.
"I've looked at it more as a fun game," he said, "as opposed to a game where I've got to show them what they're missing out on."
He was still the most popular interview, though, at the Jazz's morning shootaround, where he credited the Hawks for giving him a chance to start his career and thanked the Jazz for allowing him to continue it.
"They gave me an opportunity to live out my dream," he said, "so I'll be forever grateful to the Atlanta Hawks for doing that. I'm a member of the Utah Jazz now, and I like where I'm out. I'm really enjoying my time out there, so hopefully I can stay out there as long as [I was] here."
The Hawks selected Williams No. 2 overall out of North Carolina. He never grew into the player they envisioned and never averaged more than 14.8 points per game. With the Jazz, however, he is enduring one of the worst seasons of his career. His 8.9 points per game is the lowest since his rookie year, when he scored 8.5 points as a 19-year-old.