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Rodney Hood expected some loving trash talk on the court Friday night.
That's how it was when he and Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker squared off in practices at Duke and on Sundays off.
"He'll say he won. I'll say I won," Hood said of those one-on-one battles in the gym.
As they prepared this week for their first regular-season meeting as pros, Hood and Parker said playing alongside each other during their one season as Blue Devils forged a lifelong friendship and helped ready their games for the NBA.
Hood was Parker's chaperon when he visited campus as a high school senior and during the 2013-14 season, Hood was Parker's partner in crime on the court.
"That's my guy," Parker said. "I always love playing with Rodney."
"Anytime he needed advice we could talk because I was the older guy," Hood said. "We were real good friends and we were a real good duo [on the court]. … A lot of times it was just me and him in the heat of the battle, in the clutch, trying to win games. So we had to be that much more connected off the floor."
The Blue Devils went 26-9 that year with Parker leading the team in scoring at 19 points a night and Hood right behind him at 16.
Hood still regrets how their college careers ended, with a first-round upset loss to Mercer, but he grins big as he recalls he and Parker combining for 54 points in a blowout win over rival North Carolina a few weeks earlier.
"They couldn't do nothing with us," Hood said. "It was on full display with us as a duo. It was fun playing like that."
On Thursday night, Hood and Parker met up. The Bucks' rising star visited his friend at his home to meet his newborn son, Rodney Jr., and to talk about old times.
"We were just talking about it last night," Hood said Friday. "Just having fun with each other on the court. We miss those times."
Erick Green has an invitation to play in the D-League All-Star game in just over a week's time in Toronto.
It appears he'll have to politely decline after the Utah Jazz on Friday signed him to a second 10-day contract.
"We felt like he's done everything we've asked of him and the minutes that he has played he's played pretty good," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said at shootaround Friday morning. "Some of it is a question of we've had a couple situations where guys are getting bumped and banged up a little bit and we feel good about what he brings.
Green, a 6-foot-3 point guard, averaged more than 26 points a game with the Reno Bighorns this season was just recently named the D-League Player of the Month for January. Green signed his first 10-day contract with Utah on Jan. 26 and has appeared in two games.
"I threw him out there the other night," Snyder said. "You anticipate him being a little wide-eyed, which is normal, but I think all things considered he's done a good job."
It's a date
The Jazz's All-Star break is going to end a touch earlier than they thought.
The NBA on Friday announced that the Jazz and Wizards will play Feb. 18 in Washington, D.C., to make up a game postponed by Winter Storm Jonas last month.
The game will tip off at 5 p.m. MST. The Jazz will then have to travel back to Salt Lake City for an 8:30 p.m. tip the next night at home against the Boston Celtics.
Back to Boise
Tibor Pleiss' return to the Jazz was a brief one.
After one game back with the team this week, the 7-foot-3 center rejoined the Idaho Stampede for his third D-League assignment of the season. Pleiss was expected to suit up for the Stampede against the Reno Bighorns on Friday night.
Pleiss, the rookie from Germany who spent last season playing for FC Barcelona, has played in 12 games for the Jazz and, heading into Friday night, nine games for the Stampede this season. Pleiss was averaging 11.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game in the D-League.