Thursday, February 10, 2011


I literally had to stop working for a few minutes today to process this news. I knew something was up last night when I read the reports of a blow-up between Sloan and VP Kevin O'Connor after the game. Then he took an extra long time coming out for the post-game questions with media.

Never expected he'd quit mid-season. And it breaks my heart, truly.

Things didn't look right at the game last night and Deron Williams quit in the last two minutes. They could have won it. I was there. I saw him. He looked listless, bored and disinterested as Derrick Rose came up and took the ball away and sealed their fate for the night. That's what it's come down to today. All sorts of reports about how Sloan was tired of D-Will blaming everyone else for everything even though he hasn't been trying for weeks. He's supposed to be the best PG in the league, but the past two weeks he's been killed by Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo. I know he's had a bum wrist, but still. He clearly didn't care and now it looks like he's bad guy in this situation.

And he very well might be. He's been changing plays on the fly and the entire team (that he's supposedly the leader of) hasn't been running the plays. Former Jazz beat writer Ross Siler has been saying there's something wrong for weeks while he watches the games. Says there's supposed to be multiple moving parts of each play and the Jazz just weren't doing it. They were getting lazy. Surprising because in the 23 years that Sloan has been running that system, they've only had one losing season.

Another thing I'd like to share is what former Chrony editor and current Standard Examiner writer Matthew Piper said on Twitter:
"How could the Jazz blame Sloan's system? They're in second place with so-so talent! And I thought I liked this Jazz team... #fuckthejazz"

And Steve Luhm, a long time reporter for the Tribune just posted this (by the way, it's days like today that I love Twitter. I was at work away from everything and I was still able to follow every single moment of this ordeal) on Twitter:

"One trusted source says Deron Williams-Sloan relationship was the big factor in this, despite press conference spin."
"The trusted source, in fact, is quite angry that Deron Williams now has the ability to force management's hand."
"Source: 'Deron Williams quit the last month.' Wow."

And that's the biggest thing I keep coming back to. The system works if you're not too lazy to run it.

But I can say anything I want. I'm not the one out there on TV every night trying to win ball games. I'm bitching like a fanboy on the Internet. I know this.

I'm going to miss Sloan a whole bunch. And I've also got to say, after listening to assistant coach Phil Johnson (who also resigned today) talk on the radio, I've got a newfound respect for him, too. He talked about how he would have been the logical successor to take over the team, thus earning a couple million dollars, but decided to walk away because it wasn't about the money. He was in solidarity with Sloan and I loved hearing that. He and Sloan ate lunch and dinner together nearly two hundred times a year for over twenty years and as soon as Sloan said it was time for him to go, Johnson didn't even skip a beat and said, "Then I'm going with you."

That is something special.

And to Deron Williams, if all this is true: You wanted to be the Alpha Dog, well now you are. This entire season is now on your shoulders so you better deliver.

But my guess? The Jazz will come up short and you'll blame someone else just like you have been all season. Then you'll leave town (for somewhere like Dallas or LA) and the only legacy you'll ever leave was of the guy that forced out one of the best coaches in NBA history.

I hope that's not true, but a big part of me thinks that's exactly what will happen.

And I thought Le Bron was a dick. Well, move over sir. There's a new heel in town.

1 comment:

  1. as much as i could give a shit less about basketball, jerry sloan was the only consistent aspect of the jazz team that i have always liked. great article trevor.