Tag:Deron Williams
Posted on: February 20, 2011 1:27 am
Edited on: February 20, 2011 1:48 am
 

Deron Williams and the Knickerbocker issue

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that Deron Williams began informing associates after last season that he would follow Amar'e Stoudemire to New York. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com dropped a bombshell Saturday night amid talk of a Dolan-Isiah-Walsh conflict over Melo, the Nets' meeting with Anthony, and this whole ugly mess. From Berger: 

A person with knowledge of the conversations told CBSSports.com on Saturday that Jazz point guard Deron Williams began informing close associates after last season that if Stoudemire wound up in New York, Williams would follow him there as a free agent in 2012. If the Knicks got Anthony with the three-year extension under current rules, it is not clear whether they'd have enough cap space to add a player such as Williams, Chris Paul or Dwight Howard when the trio become unrestricted free agents after next season.
via Nets reportedly back in on Melo after Dolan jumps in - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball .

So here's how this play will probably get executed. 

Williams will, of course, strongly deny the report tomorrow whenever a reporter manages to ask him. Half the people will freak out over the media and half will freak out because of the implications of this on the current season. That's how these things are structured, to leak word while providing cover. Just enough for there to be analysis of the player's fit with the prospective team, and just enough to allow for hand-wringing over the veracity of the claim. 

Williams just came through the resignation of Jerry Sloan, with reports indicating Williams was involved in a locker room confrontation the night before Sloan announced he was leaving the Jazz after over two decades. Williams vehemently denied any such conflict with Sloan, but the repercussions caused by the Hall of Fame coach's departure are still being felt. 

At the time, we talked about how Deron leaving after that debacle would be "worse than LeBron ." News that Williams has been considering a departure for such a major market before this season will leave its mark on the Jazz even as the team flounders, trying to hold on to a playoff spot. Welcome to the big time, Deron Williams. You might want to get some advice from Melo on how crazy it's going to get. 
Posted on: February 12, 2011 12:08 am
Edited on: February 12, 2011 12:09 am
 

Karl Malone tees off a bit about Jerry Sloan

Posted by Royce Young

Everyone was a bit confused when Jerry Sloan abruptly turned his resignation Thursday. After 23 years at the helm of the Utah Jazz, something just seemed... off.

Fans and media weren't the only ones to feel that way. One of Sloan's most legendary players felt it too. Karl Malone was in Utah and spoke with reporters about Sloan's resignation, via the Salt Lake Tribune.



Malone's money quote: "I will say this: I know my coach. I know my coach. And I know my assistant coach. And I know all these coaches. The coach I know and the man I know have never quit or resigned in anything. That's what I want to say."

When pressed on it, Malone said, "What I said is what I said. I know Jerry Sloan. And the people that know him the closest know that man would never resign or quit if you want to, on nothing. I don't care what it is."

What that necessarily means is up to interpretation. But it's not hard to read between the lines there. Malone is pushing forward the idea that Sloan didn't necessarily make this decision entirely on his own. The Jazz organization wants you to believe nothing was up and that Sloan just got tired. But Malone isn't buying that.

Malone also indicated that he wants to "carry on" Sloan's legacy in terms of coaching. So The Mailman wants to coach at some point. Whether that means professionally or at a different level, that's pretty interesting.
Posted on: February 11, 2011 6:03 pm
 

Kobe Bryant defends Deron Williams

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant stands up for Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams, saying he shouldn't be blamed for Jerry Sloan's resignation.kobe-deronPosted by Ben Golliver.

On Thursday, Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams took to the radio airwaves to defend himself from accusations that he prompted legendary Jazz coach Jerry Sloan's abrupt resignation. The Jazz also did their best to close ranks and stamp down the drama by expressing support for Sloan, new coach Tyrone Corbin and Williams during a press conference.

Thursday night, Yahoo! Sports reported that another voice emerged to defend Williams: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant's. 
“People need to leave D-Will the [expletive] alone on this,” Kobe Bryant told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday night. Bryant and Williams have competed in the Western Conference for years and won an Olympic gold medal together for USA Basketball at the 2008 Beijing Games. “Leave him alone. He doesn’t deserve to be at the front of this. That’s horse…. He’s a great competitor. He works his butt off. He’s always been a great leader. He’s clutch, performs under pressure. Enjoy the 23 great years that Jerry Sloan gave them, but don’t put this on Deron Williams.”
Couldn't agree more with Bryant. 

As noted earlier today, Sloan has been through every imaginable fire and argument during a career that spanned six (!) decades as a player and coach.  There's nothing Williams -- who is a gamer and known to be a bit surly, but never a cancer -- could say or do that Sloan hasn't already dealt with before. 

A player can get a coach fired. A GM can get a coach fired. An owner can fire a coach. But it's much, much more difficult for any player to get a coach to resign his position. Especially when that coach is as principled, consistent and disciplined as Sloan has been during his 23-year tenure in Utah.

Williams, even though he's an All-Star, is just one of hundreds of players Sloan has coached. None of them could make Sloan walk away from the game like he did on Thursday. Only Sloan could do that.  
Posted on: February 11, 2011 3:57 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 3:58 pm
 

Friday Roundtable: Death of the local hero

With accusations flying about Deron Williams' alleged and denied involvement in the resignation of Jerry Sloan, how much pressure is on Wiliams to stay in Utah? And is the prospect of his free agency depature the kind of thing driving the talk of a franchise tag? We discuss in this week's Eye on Basketball Friday Roundtable. 
Posted by Matt Moore







Matt Moore: Okay, so the big debate today is whether Deron Williams was the one who sunk Jerry Sloan. Some are saying it's absolutely the case, some are hardcore defending the Jazz' point guard, including Kobe. So I guess the question I'd start with is this...

Coach-Killer or not, does this put more pressure on Deron Williams to extend with the Jazz? To even be tangentially related to the departure of the longest tenured coach in the NBA and then ditch the squad? That's like LeBron to the fifth power. 


Royce Young: That's the catch in this thing that's messing with me. Yeah, maybe Deron Williams forced out Jerry Sloan. And if he was, he got his way. It seems like that would make this really hard to re-sign with them, you know, since he pushed out Jerry Sloan, the guy who'd been there as head coach for 23 seasons. 

At the same time, like you said Matt, if he doesn't, then he pushed out Sloan for no reason. He helped get rid of a Jazz legend and then said peace out a year later. Ouch. 

Fans forgive though, especially if you win. So if the Jazz win and Williams remains at a high level, they'll forgive and forget in the end. It's a players league and Williams is a franchise player. I would bet if you polled the fanbase and said, "Jerry Sloan re-signs, but Utah signs Williams to a three-year extension" the fans would take Williams.

But all of this only forgiven if he stays. And at this point, I'm wondering how happy he really is, especially if he feels like the villain in town. 


MM: What's it going to take for these guys, though? At what point do they realize that there aren't enough L.A.s and Bostons for all of them? I get the frustration with trying to build a winner in a small market. And I understand the drive to win a championship. But you'd think they'd want to win it the right way at some point. 

Additionally, am I the only one who feels like this bolsters the Owners' case for a franchise tag? If star players are going to try and run organizations and get what they want, then bolt, the owners have to have a mechanism to protect their investments, don't they?


Ben Golliver: The instant scapegoating of Deron Williams was a bit too lazy and forced yesterday. Given that both he and Sloan admitted there was a confrontation yesterday, confirming multiple reports from multiple sources, something went down and surely words were exchanged. Sloan is obviously a principled man and something was different this time around that forced him to take a stand and make a very, very difficult, life-changing decision. Do I think it was anything specific Williams said, or how he said it, or how he's been acting was the critical difference in leading to this decision by Sloan? No way. This guy's NBA career stretches six decades, he's seen every type of player, coach, writer that has ever come through this league, versions of guys that are extinct. He's had every player/coach fight you can have 100 times over. 

Saying Williams was the reason Sloan left is a discredit to the coach and to the man. That any player or person could get him to do what he didn't want to do seems like a slight and a slap in the face. If we know one thing about Sloan it's that he was an "I did it my way" guy. He's not going out any other way. 

Looking at Williams, it's big time trouble in the Salt Lake paradise. Sloan was the best thing the franchise had going for it, along with its high character standard and ethics. SLC is a small-market, out-of-the-way place that has avoided a lot of issues that cripple small-market teams thanks to the efficiency and productivity of Sloan's system and his unique ability to turn role players into solid pieces and to turn potential starts into All-Stars and Hall of Famers. With that gone, what's Williams' motivation for staying? He already knows his team cannot compete financially and keep the players he wants. LeBron James and company are proving that the grass really is greener. There is certainly room for him on another super-team. 

If and when he does leave, I think it will be worse than Sloan's resignation for him. I also think that the two situations will become conflated again when that happens, pushing him into Chris Bosh territory.


MM: Was Tim Duncan the last small-market-loyal superstar?


BG: Probably too early to answer that question, but it's a good question. The franchise tag issue will ultimately be the decider on that, I think. Loyalty isn't totally dead in the NBA -- look at Steve Nash in Phoenix, among others -- but think about how difficult the proposition of signing a franchise-changing player to two consecutive extensions really is for small-market teams. You've got to have a business model in place off the court, a deep roster of players on the court, the timing has to be exactly right with the other contracts to ensure he can develop chemistry, you have to have the right personality as both coach and GM, you have to take risks to support the player's whims in free agency occasionally and then you've got to pray all of that mattered to the guy, who is capable of walking across the street and getting significantly more famous and rich simply by virtue of his zip code and the state's tax code. That's a nightmare. 

When you think of it like that, a franchise tag makes a lot more sense, doesn't it?
Posted on: February 11, 2011 1:54 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 3:44 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: Trade Deadline Waters




Posted by Matt Moore 

In today's Friday 5 with KB: A favorite story from Jerry Sloan, the future of Utah, the choppy waters of this year's trade deadline, and when exactly are the Spurs going to hit double-digit losses?



1. So, yeah, Jerry's gone. Which kind of bums everyone out. Do you have a favorite Sloan story to share?

Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: Everyone, including me, made fun of Sloan's Hall of Fame acceptance speech two years ago because he basically told his entire life story. But I was touched by how nonchalantly Sloan talked about having lasted only five days as the University of Evansville basketball coach in the late 1970s. The season after he stepped down, his replacement, coach Bobby Watson, and the entire team and support staff were killed in a plane crash. Sloan said it matter-of-factly, just like that, and without blinking got right back to his story. "I spent 2 1-2 years as assistant coach of the Bulls ...," etc. That was Jerry. I don't know why I will always remember that, but I will.


2. Speaking of the Jazz, is there any chance they are able to reassert the kind of stability they've had over the past three decades? Is the organization and environment built in such a way as to develop that kind of constancy? Or are we going to see the Jazz back in the mire of the pack, having to reinvent themselves multiple times in a decade?

KB: The biggest priority, obviously, is persuading Deron Williams to stay. If he leaves as a free agent in 2012, there's no way around it: the Jazz are in for a major rebuild. Before they're faced with that possibility, however, the first order of business is maintaining stability on the bench. By naming Tyrone Corbin to succeed Sloan without saddling him with an interim title is an important first step. GM Kevin O'Connor and Gail Miller, the widow of later owner Larry Miller, both made clear they are committed to Corbin for the long term. Those intentions obviously will have to be backed up at some point by a multi-year head coaching contract, but that will come in time. There's been one head coach in Salt Lake City for nearly a quarter century. The plan certainly isn't to go from that to massive turnover.


3. Lost in Ray Allen's epic three-pointer and Kobe's late game heroics Thursday night was this: Boston's lost their last two, and are 5-5 in their last ten. Has the time come for the Celtics to coast through the second half?

KB: I think their recent struggles are less about coasting and more about injuries. The return of Kendrick Perkins has been muted by the absence of Shaq, Jermaine O'Neal and even Semih Erden. Boston also is without Marquis Daniels, Delonte West and Nate Robinson. So it's time to begin wondering if the only thing that can hold the Celtics back -- health -- is starting to rear its ugly head.


4. Alright, Ken. When are the Spurs going to hit double digit losses?

KB: With Philly, Washington and New Jersey next up on the road, I'm going to go out on a limb and say not before the All-Star break. The Spurs haven't lost two straight since early January, so I'm going to say their 10th loss doesn't come until March 4 or 6, when they play Miami and the Lakers.


5. Instability in Utah, the Denver situation, Portland teetering on the brink, Charlotte looking at a need to dump salary, Houston desperate to make a deal. For a long time it looked like we weren't going to be seeing much in the way of trades this year. But are the storm clouds gathering for another busy deadline?

KB: The way I see it now, there will be more buyers than sellers. Several teams have contracts they'd like to dump (Philly with Andre Iguodala, Charlotte with Stephen Jackson, Cleveland with Antawn Jamison or Mo Williams, the Bucks with Corey Maggette or Drew Gooden), but who is going to take on those kind of obligations heading unto uncertain CBA territory? Also, the teams with the most cap space, Sacramento and Minnesota, are going to be less likely than in past years to take money into that space given that they don't know what the 2011-12 cap and rules will be. First-round picks also will be more expensive on the trade market because they represent cheap labor. Whereas in past years, teams would be willing to give up a first simply to get off a contract, this time they'll want something else in return -- such as a second-round pick. The teams that will be able to do something are those that have quality players on expiring contracts -- such as Indiana with Jeff Foster, Mike Dunleavy, and T.J. Ford; and Portland with Joel Przybilla and Andre Miller (whose 2011-12 salary is non-guaranteed).
Posted on: February 10, 2011 8:29 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 5:04 am
 

Deron Williams denies rumors, lashes out at media

Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams denied and downplayed rumors that a disagreement between he and coach Jerry Sloan led to Sloan's resignation and lashed out at the media's portrayal of the situation. Posted by Ben Golliver.

deron-williams-jerry-sloan


On Thursday, Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan tendered his resignation, and rumors immediately began swirling that a rift had developed between Sloan and Utah's All-Star point guard Deron Williams.

In a Thursday afternoon interview with David Locke on KFAN 1320 in Salt Lake City, Williams downplayed those reports and lashed out at the media's treatment of the situation.

Williams began with his initial reaction to today's news: "It sucks. I didn't think he would ever retire in the middle of the season," Williams said. "I watched the press conference and he said it was his time."

Williams then took a swipe at reporters claming that he had a role in Sloan's departure. "All those guys, Ric Bucher, Chris Broussard, they're all in our locker room everyday," Williams deadpanned. "I'll let them report what they want to report, that's what they are paid to do. That's why I'm always short and rude with the media, because they're your friend. Ric comes in and sits by me every time I see him, acts like he's my friend, but the day they find something they want to spin, they jump on it. That's why I am the way I am and will continue to be the way I am."

Williams did admit that he and Sloan had had differences of opinions during his time in Utah. "Me and Coach Sloan, I don't want to say [we had] a rocky relationship, but we've have our disagreements over the years. Probably no more than any other coach and player have arguments. We're both competitive, we're both very stubborn. I think that's where we clash. One thing we always agreed on is that we both wanted to win."

Williams denied a report that he had approached Jazz management saying that he wouldn't re-sign with the team when he's a free agent if Sloan was still the head coach. "That's not true. I would never force coach Sloan out of Utah. He's meant more to this town and organization than I have by far. It's not my place." 

As for a report that he and Sloan almost came to blows during halftime of last night's game, Williams confirmed that a "disagreement" took place, but downplayed the severity of it. "I don't know, we just had a disagreement. We've had them before, we've had worse ones. I've seen him have worse ones with other players.  Jerry is very fiery, I guess that's the word to use. I am too. Sometimes we clash on things."

Williams said that his relationship with Sloan this year has been similar to his previous years in Utah. "It's been pretty much the same, we get along a lot, we disagree sometimes, but we both want to win. It has been a frustrating year. We felt we were supposed to be a little better than we have been.

"I've been lucky. Not many people get to come into the league and play for a Hall of Fame coach for the first six years. Chance to learn from one of the best. I've won a lot of basketball games because of Coach Sloan."

Asked one final time if he asked or wanted Sloan removed as head coach of the Utah Jazz, Williams replied, "No, sir." 
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 10, 2011 6:57 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2011 8:40 pm
 

Jazz honor Sloan, deny drama, hand keys to Corbin

The Utah Jazz accepted the resignation of coach Jerry Sloan, defended their franchise from talk of turmoil and handed the head coaching reigns to assistant Tyrone Corbin during a press conference Thursday. Posted by Ben Golliver.
jerry-sloan-resigns

During a nationally-televised press conference held at at Zions Bank Basketball Center on Thursday, the Utah Jazz announced that they had accepted the resignation of legendary head coach Jerry Sloan, who had coached the team for 23 years.  Sloan's long-time assistant coach Phil Johnson also stepped down.

"Today is a new day," Sloan said. "I get this over with, I know I'm going to feel much better. My time is up. It's time for me to move on." 

Sloan was flanked by a number of Jazz executives, including President Randy Rigby, GM Kevin O'Connor, CEO Greg Miller and Gail Miller, the widow of late owner Larry H. Miller. Each took a moment to thank Sloan for his service to the franchise.

"The greatest compliment that we can give is that you gave us your best," Rigby said. "You made us a better team, a better organization and a better community.

"I know all good things must come to an end," Gail Miller said, fighting back tears. "Today is the end of an amazing era ... Jerry had become an institution as far as this franchise is concerned ... I will always remember you as the solid and stable foundation that the Utah Jazz was built on."

Earlier Thursday, reports swirled that a rift between Sloan and the team's All-Star point guard, Deron Williams, had precipitated Sloan's decision to abruptly leave the bench. O'Connor, Greg Miller and Sloan all denied that was the case. 

"I'm sure you're going to hear a lot of things about why or where and everything else," O'Connor said. "But up until about 10 minutes ago we were still trying to talk both Jerry and Phil out of leaving."

Greg Miller made a point of saying that walking was Sloan's decision alone: "Nobody pushed Jerry or Phil out. No players pushed him out, Kevin didn't push him out, an aspiring head coach didn't push him out and I certainly didn't push him out. I've loved and respected Jerry for as long as I can remember ... I have great respect and admiration for Jerry and I will miss him."

Miller repeated O'Conner's statement that the Jazz had actively worked to change Sloan's mind. "This morning, when we met with Jerry as a family he informed us that the time had come for him to do that," Miller recounted. "As much as I hated hearing that, I have to respect that it's his decision and his life. I assure you that all of us that were in the room threw everything we had at him to try to get him to stay."

Sloan said the decision had been building for some time. ""I thought about it a few days ago, and it just seemed like this is the time to do it ... It's just a matter of me deciding it was time for me to leave ... I try not to make a big deal out of most things, anyway. Go forward. "

Age played a role in his decision. "My energy level has dropped off a little bit," Sloan admitted. "I think it's time someone else gets a chance."

To underscore this point, Sloan said there would be no comeback: "No, I'm not looking for another job. My wife has a job for me when I get home."

Shortly after the press conference, Jazz forward C.J. Miles hinted on Twitter that there had been a disagreement recently. "Man ... I still can believe it actually went down I was sure that it was gonna be squashed today and he wouldn't do it." 

Asked specifically whether any confrontation with players had factored into the decision, Sloan did acknowledge that he's had confrontations in the past but didn't divulge any specifics or confirm any of the speculation. "I've had confrontations with players since I've been in the league," Sloan said. "I've coached a number of guys that I've had confrontations with. Those things are minor ... that's the way it is."

Greg Miller made a point to stand behind his organization's coaching staff now and in the future. "It's extremely important for the players to know that we support the coach," Miller said. "Anything less than full support of the head coach in my opinion is a breeding ground for mayhem. So as long as I have anything to say about it, the coach of the Utah Jazz will have my full support, and I speak for my entire family when I say that."

Rigby then announced that Jazz assistant coach Tyrone Corbin would take over as the team's head coach. ""Following the legacy of Jerry Sloan will be no easy task," Rigby said. "However, we're honored to announce today also that Tyrone Corbin will be the new head basketball coach of the Utah Jazz." 

The news was met with mild applause and Corbin appeared uncomfortable given the day's historic implications. "This is a bittersweet moment," Corbin said. "While it's a great opportunity for me, it's a bitter moment for me because I will miss these guys a lot ... I look forward to the opportunity but I don't think this time right now should be about me, it should be focused on these two guys, because they deserve it."

After the press conference wrapped, NBA commissioner David Stern issued a statement on Sloan's resignation. "Few people have epitomized all the positives of team sports more than Jerry Sloan," the statement read. "A basketball lifer, Jerry was as relentless in his will to win on the sidelines for the Utah Jazz as he was as an All-Star guard for the Chicago Bulls. In over two decades as a coach, he taught his players that nothing was more important than the team.  His most impressive qualities were his leadership and his extraordinary ability to encourage his players to subjugate their individual games for the benefit of the whole. Two trips to The Finals and over 1,200 regular-season victories more than validate his philosophy. Jerry moves on having established himself as one of the greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history. I and the rest of the NBA family wish him great success and happiness as he moves to the next chapter of his life."

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For more on Jerry Sloan's resignation...
Posted on: February 10, 2011 3:34 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2011 7:54 pm
 

If Williams forced out Sloan how can he stay now?

Posted by Royce Young



News of Jerry Sloan's resignation is about as shocking a thing as you can expect on your regular February Thursday in the NBA. It came just a week after Sloan had reportedly signed a one-year extension and as the longest tenured coach in American professional sports, everyone was left asking one question.

Why?

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Sloan had "lost the team." One source described the situation as Deron Williams only staying if Sloan stepped down. Everything down to playing time, Sloan's famous "flex" system and rotations alienated key Jazz players.

Yahoo! Sports reports the two clashed in a big way at halftime of the Bulls' game Wednesday. “He decided right there in halftime that he was done,” a league source said. “He felt like ownership was listening more to Williams than they were to him anymore. He was done.”

Marc Stein of ESPN.com added to the pile, tweeting : "Two sources say Wednesday's tension started when DWill ran different play than play called on sideline by Sloan, leading to halftime blowup."

Whoa.

Williams is a free agent in 2012 and has always been a very strong-willed player. Williams and Sloan had always gotten along, but the relationship has certainly been rocky. The feeling, according to Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune, is that Williams wasn't staying past next season if Sloan was still there.

But Deron Williams didn't just push out a coach, he pushed out Jerry Sloan. He pushed out the coach that had patrolled the sideline for 23 years. He pushed out a Hall of Famer, a coach with more than 1,200 wins and one of the all-time great. Not exactly something you want on your resume when you're looking for that max contract as a free agent.

So the front office may have made this move in order to salvage its chance to keep Williams. But the question is, how in the world does Williams stay if his legacy is pushing out Jerry Sloan? How can he possibly re-assert himself as the face of the franchise if he's the one credited with pushing the franchise's most legendary figure out the door?

Al Jefferson was brought in to replace Carlos Boozer and had performed well at times, but often looked uncomfortable. But really, who's fault is that? Sloan's, or the person that assembled the team? I mean, Sloan has been there for 23 years. I'm pretty sure we know how he's running the team. So it's not on him to bring in players that fit in right. It's up to players to adapt to the system and for the front office to put together a group that works well in it.

If Jerry Sloan "lost the team," I just find that ridiculous. Yes, the Jazz have been struggling. They're 31-23 and second in the Northwest. But they had high hopes this season with the offseason addition of Jefferson. Then again, this is a team that was losing Boozer, sharpshooter Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer, who all played key parts in the team last season.

And on top of that, the star Williams, wasn't playing nice with Sloan. All of that was a recipe for disaster. Evidently Sloan had enough. By all appearances management was siding with the players here so backed into a corner, Jerry Sloan just handed in his papers.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com