Tag:Greg Miller
Posted on: February 4, 2012 3:53 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 3:47 am
 

Jazz CEO trashes Karl Malone in blog post

Posted by Ben Golliver
Jazz CEO Greg Miller went off on Karl Malone on his blog. (Getty Images)

Things are getting really real in Utah.

This is a long, complicated and hyper-emotional soap opera, so I'll do my best to distill the key details.

Hall of Fame Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan abruptly retired during the middle of the 2010-2011 season after reportedly getting into a locker room argument with All-Star point guard Deron Williams. Everyone involved was really upset, given Sloan's long tenure as one of the most well-regarded coaches in the league. Williams was traded soon after to the New Jersey Nets.

As things unfolded, Hall of Fame Jazz forward Karl Malone rushed to the defense of Sloan and insinuated that the Jazz hadn't done right by Sloan. He later claimed in a Salt Lake Tribune column that the Jazz also had not offered him tickets to the first game of the post-Sloan era, forcing him to purchase scalped tickets for himself.

This particular claim totally set off Jazz CEO Greg Miller, who wrote on Twitter that Malone was "lying" and then doubled-down on his angst by penning a piercing 1375-word blog post in which he aired decades of grievances and family business. In his post, published on his blog GregInUtah.com, Miller calls Malone "high maintenance," "unreliable," "unstable," and said that he would be unfit to serve as a coach for the Jazz big men.

Miller provided a laundry list of Malone's alleged flakiness and then offered his take on the ticket scandal, writing that Malone was using the situation as a stage to lobby for a job with the Jazz.
A year ago, when Jerry retired, Karl rushed to Salt Lake City. He got in front of every camera he could find at the first game following Jerry’s departure. He positioned himself as an authority on Jerry’s departure by saying something like “the Jerry Sloan I know isn’t a quitter. He left because he didn’t feel wanted.” Karl wasn’t in the locker room during the conversations with me and Jerry. Had he been, he would have seen me (and my mom) do everything possible to convince Jerry to stay. By his own admission Karl hadn’t spoken to Jerry since Jerry left. Karl’s comments on the radio and on national television made an already stressful situation worse. Then in his next breath, on national television, Karl asked me to hire him as a coach.

These are just a few experiences I’ve had with Karl that clearly demonstrate that he can’t be counted on. I am not willing to invite the elements of unreliability and instability into the Jazz organization. It would obviously do more harm than good.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Malone's response, which was essentially: "Oh yeah? Say it to my face."
"We’ve all become very brave when we’re tweeting, texting, blogging. We just write, press send. I don’t have time for that. Don’t tweet it, don’t blog it, don’t text it, give me a little human element. I’m in town two or three times a month. Until I see [Miller] face to face, there won’t be any more comment about Greg Miller. … He’ll see me again.
The paper also reported a statement from Sloan, which, as you would expect, was total class. Sloan said that the team had his back, tried to get him to stay on as coach and that the family conducts itself with integrity.

Meanwhile, Williams, who had been criticized by Malone, emerged as the smartest person in all of this, telling the Associated Press: "I don't respond to people who talk about themselves in the third person."

Miller would have done well to heed Williams' advice himself. Malone is a legend, sure, but he is human and his personality quirks are well-documented. Family business is family business, and ranting for paragraph after paragraph against a valued former employee is simply never the right move for any business owner. It's one of those ancient axioms: you can't defend your reputation by smearing someone else's. You might feel better after venting but your method will be remembered far longer than your words.

It won't be long until regret sinks in. An apology from Miller -- if not to Malone, then to fans of the team for his expression of emotion -- is the likely next chapter of this story.
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...
 
 
 
 
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