As the saying goes, in life, there are only two real certainties. Death and taxes. And in my lifetime, there has been one other certainty. Jerry Sloan as the Head Coach of the Utah Jazz. The guy has been patrolling the sidelines since 1988 (23 years). He has accomplished many amazing feats during his tenure in Salt Lake.
-Longest tenured coach in any of the 4 major professional sports (probably most amazing accomplishment of them all in this day and age)
-Only coach in NBA history to win over 1,000 games with 1 team.
-2 NBA Finals appearances
-15 plus consecutive winning seasons
-Survived in the same job while 245 coaching changes across the League have been made.
Yet he is done in the middle of the season? Something just isn’t adding up.
I love sports as much anyone, but sometimes people, namely coaches recently, get a real raw deal. The way the Bobby Bowden situation was handled at Florida State was a joke. The recent Jeff Fisher fiasco in Tennessee was ludicrous. And now this.
Sloan is one of the greatest offensive masterminds of our generation. The guy has won his entire career. He handles his business the right way. No ridiculous off court mishaps with this guy. Yet ownership has chosen Deron Williams as the future?
Unless you live under a rock, you probably know who Deron Williams is. He is a 5th year All Star point guard who played college ball at Illinois. The guy is arguably the best point guard in the League (I would currently rank him behind Rose, Rondo, and Paul in all honesty though). Any guy that puts up 20 points and 10 assists a night is doing something right. But it has been well documented that Williams and legendary coach Sloan have had their fair share of tussles over the past year.
Well following last night’s confrontation, Williams delivered the knockout blow. By when Sloan and the rest of the world woke up, Jerry’s Utah tenure had ended. Obviously ownership did not side with Coach Sloan in this ongoing tug of war. Now I understand that in the NBA, star players have more power than in other pro sports due to the fact that only 5 guys are on the court at once. But a coach is a coach. I do not care what level you play at. While on the floor and in the locker room, the coach is in charge.
I am absolutely flabbergasted at this time to think that Utah Ownership would side enough with Williams, that Sloan would feel the need to walk. You do not treat legends that way. Anybody that puts in over 2 decades of service for an organization deserves a little bit more respect than that. I will promise you this though.
The Jazz do not have the horses, or the general patrolling the sidelines now, to make a run at this thing. Salt Lake will continue to go title-less. I hope they enjoy watching Deron Williams run the show. He, along with his teammates will see life in the post-Sloan era might not be as great as they all expected.
Maybe the grass is not always greener on the other side..
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.