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Tag:Phil Johnson
Posted on: February 10, 2011 2:29 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2011 4:12 pm

NBA will never be the same without Sloan

Where were you when Michael Jordan retired to go play baseball? When Magic Johnson made his tearful announcement that he was walking away from the game because he'd contracted HIV?

And when the news broke that Jerry Sloan would no longer coach the Utah Jazz?

The NBA changed forever Thursday when Sloan and top assistant Phil Johnson resigned. A person with direct knowledge of the decision confirmed it to after the Deseret News reported the initial bombshell that immediately generated shock and disbelief throughout the NBA. It has been 23 years since someone else has coached the Jazz.

Sloan himself joked at his Hall of Fame enshrinement that it seemed inevitable that he would die coaching. Everyone believed him.

And now this.

The Jazz have officially called a news conference for 3 p.m. MT.

UPDATE: Assistant coach Tyrone Corbin, who has attracted the attention of several teams plotting offseason coaching changes, will be named acting head coach -- with no "interim" tag, sources said. Given that the Jazz have had one coach for nearly a quarter-century, it's hard to imagine them having three in a matter of months -- so it is possible that Corbin could be retained on a more permanent basis at some point. But sources say those conversations have not yet taken place.

The news of Sloan's departure came less than 24 hours after he emergered flustered and late for his postgame media appearance Thursday night after a loss to the Bulls. Sloan had been in a lengthy meeting with general manager Kevin O'Connor, the nature of which neither has divulged.

One thing that is certain: Recent reports that Sloan had just signed a one-year contract extension were erroneous -- or, at best, old news. Several months ago, Sloan had indicated to management and ownership that he intended to return next season. But as has become customary with him, those details wouldn't be finalized until after the season.

Category: NBA
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