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No Way to Go Out

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 2/14/2011 12:25:19 PM

It’s been the changing of the guard in Utah this week as Jerry Sloan stepped down as head coach of the Jazz and for those younger fans of the NBA, they have to know that Sloan was no drone but know now and forever he didn’t get any support from the management in this decision.

Sloan is the only coach in the NBA to win 1,000 games for one team and the way he was left swinging in the wind is no way to go out.

He was one of the fiercest competitors during his time in the league and nobody wanted to go to Chicago to face him and Norm Van Lier in the backcourt.

Sloan was the first player selected by the Bulls and earned the moniker the ‘Original Bull’ and there was nobody on the planet that played tougher defense.

His teams won back in the day too and the starting 5 of Sloan, Van Lier, Bob Love, Chet Walker and Tom Boerwinkle could really play. If any team was determined to take it to the hole, they paid for it in the end.

As for the breakup, it was ugly and longtime assistant Phil Johnson also quit.

When the Jazz CEO Greg Miller starts his statement by saying, “ I want to make it clear that nobody pushed Jerry or Phil out.” It’s very evident that somebody did.

The straw that broke the camel’s back happened after a loss when Deron Williams and Sloan verbally had it out, for what would be the last official time.

Sloan, as is his way, downplayed reports that conflicts with players prompted his departure. "I've had confrontations with players since I've been in the league. There's only so much energy left and my energy has dropped.”

He also had confrontations with a certain Mailman, Karl Malone.

Hall of Famer Malone had this to say about Sloan voluntarily resigning: Malone: “The guy I know and love, he don’t quit or nothing.”

According to a report by a respected ESPN columnist, ‘99% of the team loved Sloan, he didn’t lose the team.

It’s just the 1% won out.

Taking over for Sloan is Chicago product Ty Corbin, who went to DePaul and played for 9 NBA games in a solid career and he averaged nearly 10 points and 5 rebounds in 26 minutes a game.

As for where this puts the Jazz and the bettors in the future, the jury is still out but the powers that be in the ownership clearly made it known they sided with Deron Williams vs. Sloan.

First off, moving forward, Utah is not the greatest destination for free agents. It’s a small market that loves its team but it will be hard to attract talent in future years.

As far as now is concerned, Utah stands as the 7th seed in the Western Conference, tied with Portland in the loss column at 24 after 53 games.

They have been poor as a cover team ranking 24th of 30 against the spread and they have some glaring holes in their roster with the exception of Williams, mediocrity abounds.

If the Jazz can make the second round of the playoffs, it would be a shock.

It’s time to leave you with one of the in your face quotes that made Sloan so infamous. Here he was talking about young guard C. J. Miles on the Jazz in 2006. Sloan: "I don't care if he's 19 or 30. If he's going to be on the floor in the NBA, he's got to be able to step up and get after it. We can't put diapers on him one night, and a jockstrap the next night. It's just the way it is.

Make that the way it was.

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