Salt Lake City, UT
Utah Jazz owner Greg Miller shared with members of the Salt Lake City media what he kept in a journal detailing the circumstances in Jerry Sloan's resignation as coach two years ago.
Aware that it would be a pivotal point in the Jazz history, Miller wanted to get everything right and documented the sequence of events.
He said that it started when Sloan and point guard Deron Williams argued over the final play of the first half in a home game 91-86 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Feb. 9, 2011.
Sloan reprimanded Williams for changing the play and not letting the rest of the team know so that they got a chance at scoring.
Deron said, "My bad."
Miller did not hear what Williams said afterwards, but center Al Jefferson reached over to calm him down. Sloan then walked away from the team, skipping the usual analysis from assistant coaches.
Sloan then said to Miller, "I'd like to have a word with you after the game."
Deron Williams was right behind them and he said he wanted to be in the meeting, too.' Sloan then said," Do you want me to just quit right now?"
Another argument ensued, so then-assistant coach Ty Corbin calmed Williams while Miller took Sloan aside and told him to focus on winning the game. He also reaffirmed the franchise's commitment to backing the coach over the player.
After the game, Miller went back into Sloan's office.
"I've been at this a long time and there is nothing left in the tank," Miller recalled Sloan saying. "I think I'm done."
"C'mon, Jerry," Miller said.
"No, I'm serious," Sloan said. "I'm out of gas."
Miller said he respects the decision but convinced him to sleep on it. But the next day Sloan announced his retirement a news conference at the team's practice facility.
Less than two weeks later, Williams was traded to the New Jersey Nets.
Sloan rejoined the Jazz as a senior basketball adviser last week and Miller observed that he is very glad to be back with the team in that official capacity.
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