For 23 years, the Jazz sideline was patrolled by one of the most intimidating and powerful head coaches the game has ever known.
Jerry Sloan was a mainstay on the sideline in Salt Lake City through just about all the success Utah has ever accomplished. Winning more games with one franchise than any other coach in any of the four major sports, Sloan always demanded respect and the best from his players. But a little less than month ago, Sloan called his career a done deal, and that was the end of an era not only of an iconic head coach, but the end of a star with the franchise.
Nearly two weeks after the surprising Sloan resignation, the Jazz traded away their franchise player, Deron Williams, for two younger players, draft picks, and some always helpful cash.
Is the timing here just coincidence, or is there something behind this deal. Most certainly the latter.
Deron Willams, over the past couple of seasons, has risen from high draft pick, to two-time NBA All-Star. He has gotten a massive contract extension, and been given the reigns of the Jazz franchise as its poster boy. One can easily see his career was starting to escalate to stardom, as his name was constantly brought up in “best point guard in the league,” conversations. One could also see the turmoil in the locker room making its way onto the court.
Williams last year voiced his displeasure when the Jazz traded away his running mate, Ronnie Brewer to the Grizzlies mid-season. Deron had consistently moaned and groaned about managements lack of bringing in start talent to surround him, in order to help the Jazz make a strong push in the playoffs.
Watching interviews with the guy, and it was obvious his desire to be in Utah was quickly dwindling, especially as this year’s up and down squad continued their downward spiral in the rankings out West.
The morning of the trade, Williams allegedly found out himself from a TV reporting the news.
What does all of this add up to?
Deron Williams forced Jerry Sloan out of his post, in order to be the biggest man in town, and have no road blocks in his way. The court was not big enough for the two Jazz icons, and Deron made it known what he wanted.
|They had their differences, and it cost|
them spots with the storied franchise
In the ever speculative argument that preluded Sloans announcement, Williams eludes to it being a routine thing, and he had seen bigger.
The one thing he may not have witnessed before, was a Hall-of-Fame coach being told that his team had lost its leadership, and that a mutiny was taking place.
I am convinced Deron Williams forced Sloan off the bench in Utah, and as a result, the Jazz brass were not happy.
The Jazz is a proud franchise that prides itself on consistency, making the playoffs all but one year under Sloan, and team play, as they are continuously tops in the league in assists’. Neither of the aforementioned goals was true this year, and Williams continued to choke in late game situations. He would give up the ball via turnover or just poor play making play after play. He would refuse to take the last shot, or the momentum changing shot, if it ever came around. He seemed to want to put the ball in someone else’s hand, so that way the blame could not be placed on his shoulders. However, that ploy backfired, as now that is the reason he landed on the 6th worst team in the league, with no promises of a great tomorrow.
Good luck D-Will, with handling your ego and a losing team that isn’t going to get better because you are in town.