Tag:Jerry Sloan
Posted on: January 8, 2012 3:50 pm

Jerry Sloan sounds like he wants to coach again

Posted by Royce Young

Jerry Sloan was one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. He has 1,221 wins to his name, which is only 114 behind Don Nelson for the most all-time. He's one of only five coaches to reach the thousand win milestone.

But his career ended in kind of a sour manner. After spending pretty much all of his professional head coaching career patrolling the Utah Jazz sideline, he exited halfway through the season last year amidst some reported tension in the locker room between him and Deron Williams. Sloan, who had been a head coach for 23 seasons with the Jazz and is 69 years old, was worn out and obviously didn't want to deal with the egos and problems within the locker room.

So he resigned. And said he thought he was done for good.

But with the way he's talking now, it sounds like he might be reconsidering. Via SI.com, Sloan was asked about coaching again:
"I think if the right situation came along, whatever that is," he said before pausing to ponder. "I don't know what the right situation is. We'll have to wait and see, I guess."


"My energy level has changed a great deal since I quit coaching," said Sloan, who is an avid walker. "It's changed a lot now. I've had time to work out. I feel better."
According to the story, the Pacers contacted Sloan last season about their head coaching position before giving it full time to interim coach Frank Vogel.

So what's the right situation? A high profile job like the Knicks? Maybe something coaching young players like the Wizards? Or an established team just looking for a new direction, maybe like the Hawks? Who knows what Sloan has in mind, but it's pretty obvious that he's going to answer the phone if he gets a call from a team.
Category: NBA
Posted on: August 1, 2011 2:47 pm

Did Al Jefferson cause the lockout?

By Matt Moore

When Carlos Boozer's time with the Utah Jazz mercifully came to an end last summer, the Jazz had a number of options with what they wanted to do. They could pursue some free agents to fill in the blanks and plan for the future. They could hoard the cash and wait for a rainy day. Or they could make a trade to acquire a quality player.

The Jazz gambled on the latter, acquiring Al Jefferson for pieces to pair with Deron Williams. The Jazz started off lookings pretty solid, a near-guaranteed playoff team. They beat the Heat!

Then the wheels fell off. Then the bottom dropped out. Then the wagon caught fire and flew off a cliff and everyone died. And that's how we got a lockout.

The end.

Okay, not really. Let me explain, though. From the Salt Lake Tribune:
The No. 11 highest paying team on the planet, according to Harris? The Jazz, who shelled out an average of $5.8 million per player and had a total payroll of about $75 million.

“The fact that the Jazz are 11 is … kind of counterintuitive,” Harris said.

The Jazz declined to comment for this story. But Chief Executive Officer Greg Miller acknowledged in April that Utah rolled the dice during 2010-11 and lost “quite a bit” of money, while General Manager Kevin O’Connor has often praised the Miller family’s willingness to spend what it takes to compete in the modern NBA.
via Utah Jazz nearly topped the world in average payroll | The Salt Lake Tribune

So the Jazz pumped more money into the Jazz than the season prior. Sure, but it was only $3 million more. (The Jazz paid out $71.9 million in 2009-2010.) That couldn't have made that much of a difference, could it? 

Well, when a move goes awry like that, the effects start to trickle down.  During the season, interest dwindles (along with folks not coming out of principled loyalty to Jerry Sloan),which affects ticket sales, sponsorship money, merchandising, and all other sources of revenue (many if not all of which are included in the BRI-- Basketball Related Income --  the split of which is being debated in these CBA talks). The Jazz failed to make the playoffs, which meant the Jazz lost all the revenue from their playoff participation, which they obviously had to be counting on. All of this in an ongoing recession which sees everyone evaluating where their money is going. So now you've got the crux of the issue. 

Of course Al Jefferson didn't create the lockout. But the Jazz' situation around their decision to invest in Jefferson (right as it seemed at the time) speaks to the complex elements in play that go beyond "the system's broken." It's not teams that spend a lot which is hurting the league outright. It's teams that spend a lot and don't create enough revenue to cover its investment. It's also in part teams which don't spend a lot and then lose a lot. But what's the biggest factor, there? Teams which make certain decisions which either don't pan out off of huge investments, or don't create revenue because there has been no real drive to do so. You can't just cut spending while still losing income and expect to profit. That's not really a salient business model for these times. 

So when we talk about how the system is "broken," we're really talking about how the system creates catastrophic endings for perilous decision making. This doesn't mean that the entire model is flawed, it means that two things need to simultaneously occur: teams ability to hold onto more revenue in the split needs to be assured (which the NBPA has been amiable to), and teams need to exercise better business practices to increase revenue and not put themselves in a position to fail, then complain when they fail. Al Jefferson seemed like a great move at the time, but it wound up not working out. That's part of business. But if Jefferson gets more in sync with the system and flourishes next to Devin Harris and the next wave of Jazz players, it could wind up being good in the long run. And in those years, the Jazz will cover their losses and pull profit. 

NBA teams shouldn't face economic disaster whenever they make a bad signing or trade. And the Jazz should be encouraged as a small-market team that was willing to spend. But this is the cost of it being a free market, and allowing for competition. We don't want everyone assured of equal success. That provides no incentive for improvement or innovation. And the last thing we need is a fleet of Donald Sterlings walking around. 

Posted on: April 28, 2011 2:57 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2011 1:56 pm

Warriors short list: looking for a powerless hand

Warriors short list includes several former head coaches, but seeks to give them "minimal input" over personnel decisions. Huh?
Posted by Matt Moore

With Keith Smart ousted in Golden State, the search naturally begins for his replacement. The next coach will be inheriting a roster built for speed, with defensive liabilities at multiple positions and a lot of guys that like to shoot... well, a lot. So who's on the early short list? From the Contra-Costa Times' Marcus Thompson.
Riley said the Warriors havent contacted anyone yet and dont have a timetable for hiring a new coach, though he said it wouldnt hurt to have one by the NBA draft, which is June 23.

He declined to reveal whom the Warriors have on their shortlist, but multiple sources -- from the team and in NBA circles -- said they believe former Cleveland coach Mike Brown and assistant coaches Dwane Casey of Dallas, Mike Budenholzer of San Antonio and Lawrence Frank of Boston are on that list. Casey and Frank are also former NBA head coaches.

One team source said the Warriors have an eye on former Utah coach Jerry Sloan. But thats considered a long shot, as the legendary coach isnt expected to come out of retirement for a rebuilding franchise.
via Head coach Keith Smart is one and done with Golden State Warriors - ContraCostaTimes.com.

Those are all pretty standard choices, and the move towards a more grounded, defensive-centric coach is evident. Frank was brought in to replace Tom Thibodeau in Boston, Brown is known most notably for his defensive work. Perhaps most interesting, though, is this snippet from Kawakami later: 

Riley suggested that a new coach will have only minimal input over player personnel. He will be expected to significantly improve the defense and get into the 2012 playoffs.

 Riley has been the one splitting responsibilities with Don Nelson, and handed a new contract to David Lee. So for this to be a move towards more autonomy in decision making smells like a power grab in a vaccuum. Furthermore, how does that mesh with the pursuit of veteran coaches, most of whom are going to want significant influence over personnel? You can't hire a defensive coach, give him a bunch of defensive-liability offense-centric players and say "Go get 'em!" There's got to be some level of balance going forward. 
Posted on: April 4, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: April 4, 2011 11:34 am

Jerry Sloan responds to return rumors

Posted by Royce Young

Over the weekend, a report was out saying that former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was possibly interested in returning to the bench if the right phone call was made to him. Of course now he had to be asked about it and the Salt Lake Tribune did just that.

“I don’t know where that came from,” Sloan said. “It sounds like somebody threw it out there. … But that’s not my game.”

Sloan's longtime assistant Phil Johnson expanded a bit. “In our business, you can never say never,” Johnson said. “I just doubt either one of us would coach again. That’s just a feeling.”

Of course Johnson should have a feel for Sloan, seeing as they've known and coached together for almost 30 years.

Sloan doesn't normally mince words or try and skate questions, so I would assume he's not interested in returning really. More than likely he told someone that told someone that yeah, maybe I'll come back if I got a call from the Knicks or something. But who really knows.
Category: NBA
Tags: Jerry Sloan
Posted on: April 3, 2011 3:48 pm

Jerry Sloan might consider return?

Posted by Royce Young

When Jerry Sloan unexpectedly resigned from his post as the coach of the Utah Jazz earlier in the season, he tried to make it clear that he wouldn't consider a return to coaching.

But this is sports and as we've all learned over time, you can't always believe a guy when he says he's done. Look what you've done, Brett Favre. 

And according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune,   there's a scenario in which Sloan might consider a return. The report puts it this way:

"Sloan would listen if another team approached him, according to a source who has spoken to Sloan recently, and would seriously consider the right situation ... But he won't actively seek another job or have anyone campaign for him. Almost alone among NBA coaches, Sloan, who turned 69 a week ago, doesn't have an agent."

Sloan is sitting on 1,221 wins which is just 114 behind Don Nelson for first all-time. On a good team, that's just two seasons. Something definitely within reach. Sloan is 69 years old though and seemed very content with stepping away when he did.

Of course I'm sure he wasn't thrilled with the way it happened. He seemed frustrated with his roster, especially with point guard Deron Williams. All of that conflict eventually led Sloan to resigning from the position he had held for 23 years.

Sloan is a Hall of Famer already, having been inducted in 2009. He has all the wins a guy could need except for a championship. And somehow, he doesn't have a Coach of the Year.

So who could call him? Speculating of course, some of the open spots might be with the Warriors, Pistons, Pacers, Timberwolves and of course, the Lakers. There will be more on top of that too (Raptors? Hawks? Kings?) but the job would absolutely have to be the right one for Sloan. I'm sure he's not interested in taking on a rebuilding gig.

I feel like this is a total longshot but according to this, Sloan is willing to listen. And if you have a head coach vacancy this summer, you better be willing to give him a call.
Category: NBA
Tags: Jerry Sloan
Posted on: March 31, 2011 6:24 pm

Jazz on the verge of the wrong side of history

Posted by Royce Young

I'm not sure anyone, Nostradamus included, could've predicted how this Utah Jazz season would turn out. Jerry Sloan resigns/retires mid-season, Deron Williams is traded and the team completely falls on its face and is set to miss the playoffs for one of the few times since the team moved to Salt Lake City.

And all this after they were a chic preseason pick to win the West and verified that with a strong 15-5 start. But it all started to fall apart in January. The Salt Lake Tribune lays it all out very well.
The Jazz’s dramatic mid-season collapse has left casualties. Gone are two once untouchable coaches, and an Olympic talent was traded away. The fall started suddenly, then picked up speed and has changed the face of the organization while significantly altering its future during an already uncertain time.

It is also on the verge of becoming historic.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no team in NBA history has ever started a season 15-5 and not made the playoffs. In addition, no squad during the 64-year timeline of the league has reached 27-13 and not qualified for the postseason.

The Jazz stand on the precipice of both.

Utah’s elimination number has dwindled down to one with seven regular-season contests to go. Either a Jazz loss or Memphis win during the 14 games that remain for both teams will automatically end Utah’s playoff bid, disbanding the 2010-11 Jazz ahead of schedule and preventing the small-market franchise from receiving a postseason payday for the first time in five years and just the fourth in 28.

That's pretty unbelievable. Think about it all for one second. Jerry Sloan leaving? That's crazy. Trading Deron Williams? Just as wild. And then going from 27-13 and a certain Western Conference playoff team to now basically eliminated? Put all of that together and you have one of the most up and down seasons for anyone , ever.

I honestly think this Jazz season is worthy of a two-hour DVD or something. Remember that crazy stretch back in December where they spotted teams double-digit halftime leads and came back in like five straight to win? Remember their wild win in Miami with Paul Millsap losing his mind in the fourth quarter and overtime? Remember how they were really good?

And now this. Now they're 36-39 and have most recently dropped six straight. Since sitting at 27-13 halfway through the year, they've gone 9-26. That's bad. That's like Washington Wizard, Minnesota Timberwolf, Sacramento King bad. The way they've lost at home, the way they've been unable to stop anyone, they way they've seemed to lose focus in close games -- it's been almost staggering.

It's easy to point at the Williams trade, but it was really unraveling well before then. The tension between Sloan and Williams combined with the entire team struggling to buy in to the system. Al Jefferson just wasn't fitting into the flex offense and the Jazz missed Kyle Korver, Wesley Matthews and Carlos Boozer a lot more than they expected. They probably would still be a playoff team -- barely -- with Williams, but general manager Kevin O'Connor saw the writing on the wall. Best to blow up and start anew.

I think the natural move is to point at new coach Ty Corbin but obviously I don't think anyone is to blame. That roster has undergone quite the transition leaving All-Stars like Boozer and Williams for new guys like Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and Gordon Hayward. The team is trying to transition and so far, it's been pretty painful. I mean, Earl Watson has started the last 10 games at point guard. That kind of says it all doesn't it?

The Jazz have been trying break through for a long time and make history. They're about to make some now, but definitely not the kind you want your name next to.
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 2, 2011 8:01 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 8:39 pm

Utah Jazz sign coach Tyrone Corbin to new deal

The Utah Jazz have announced that they signed head coach Tyrone Corbin to a "multi-year contract." Posted by Ben Golliver. tyrone-corbin

The past month has arguably been the most hectic in decades for the Utah Jazz. Longtime head coach and franchise icon Jerry Sloan abruptly resigned. Almost as abruptly, the team traded franchise point guard Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris and Derrick Favors.

On Wednesday, the Jazz took a step towards restoring order by announcing the signing of head coach Tyrone Corbin to a "multi-year contract."
“I am confident that Tyrone is the right man to lead this team into the future.  He is someone with longstanding ties to the Jazz and this community, and who has embraced the core philosophies and ideals this organization holds true.  I feel that his character and leadership qualities will be true assets to the Jazz moving forward for many years to come,” said Greg Miller, CEO of the Utah Jazz.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to lead the Jazz, and to get to follow a legendary figure like Coach Sloan,” said Tyrone Corbin.  “I am truly grateful that the Miller family has the confidence in me to allow me to lead this team into a new era.”
Yahoo Sports! reports that the contract "runs two years guaranteed through 2013, with team option for 2013-2014."

Corbin took over the reigns from Sloan in an emotional press conference, handling a difficult moment with class and dignity by deferring the spotlight to his former boss. Unfortunately, his Jazz are in a bit of a freefall, having lost eight of their last 10 games to fall out of the Western Conference playoff picture. Their playoff hopes seem to dim by the day.

Despite the recent losses, Jazz fans have to like this signing because it represents both continuity and change. Corbin played for Sloan in the early 1990s and served under him as an assistant coach for the past seven years. But he was clear upon his hiring that he would provide a new voice and work to establish his own relationships and systems, a necessity for any first-time head coach in this league much less one who stepped into a difficult situation. 

For the last few years, Corbin has seen his name floated for various head coaching jobs and he's widely respected around the league. Keeping him in Utah is a nice win for the Jazz organization and their fanbase, which surely has its collective head spinning following the events of the last few weeks. 
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.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com