Jerry Sloan Rumors
The catcalls were never personal to Bavetta, though Jazz fans wanted them to be. Sloan said he didn’t think Bavetta’s calls/no-calls in 1998 were driven by an agenda and he doesn’t dwell on it. “I think you’ve got to put it behind you and go about your business. To be so concerned about something like that — you have no control over it whatsoever — so you just have to hope your team gets the benefit of the doubt,” Sloan said.
Take Sloan off the list of people wanting Bavetta indicted. “I think everybody has a chance of missing calls; nobody bats a thousand in this league, in coaching as well. But I think his interest was in doing the best he could for the league and everyone involved,” Sloan said. “I never felt anything malicious about the calls. After the game was over and you see what’s going on, they do a pretty darn good job.”
After 39 years as an NBA referee, Bavetta announced this week he’ll be retiring at age 74. Jazz fans will need to find someone else to upbraid. But they’ll never forget him. He’s the referee that waved off Jazz guard Howard Eisley’s 3-point basket in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against Chicago, ruling it was after the shot clock had expired. He later allowed Bulls’ guard Ron Harper’s 2-point basket to count, though that time the shot clock had expired in the fourth quarter of a tie game. Bavetta was also on the court when Michael Jordan bumped Bryon Russell before scoring the game-winning basket. Conspiracy wonks have been analyzing it ever since. So naturally you would think Jerry Sloan would be doing cartwheels. His officiating nemesis is history. “I thought he was a good ref,” the former Jazz coach said this week. “Anybody who can stay with something that long has to be good at what they do; those guys are hard to come by. He stood the test of time; it’s not an easy job.”
What do you think about the Jazz honoring coach Jerry Sloan and putting his name in the rafters? Andrei Kirilenko: They should have done it a long time ago. He definitely deserves it. Coach Sloan, Karl Malone, John Stockton … that’s a huge era for Jazz basketball and it definitely needs to be shown here in Salt Lake City. I give huge credit to Utah. It’s always been a team who really worried about team chemistry, being a family, rather than just teammates. The tradition continues. Of course it’s a little bit different, but all the memories are still there.
So far, Sloan’s job has consisted of some scouting duties and providing some insight to his replacement, Jazz coach Ty Corbin. “I’m here to help any way they might ask me and to be out of the way when it’s my time to be out of the way,” Sloan said. Sloan has indeed been hesitant to impose. “Too much so,” Corbin said. “The one thing especially early on that I didn’t want to happen, and I know how much he loves basketball and loves the Utah Jazz, is for him not to come around because he was afraid of getting in my way. I love having him around because he’s a great guy.”
Back working for the Utah Jazz this season — after more than two years away following his abrupt resignation in February 2011 — Sloan isn’t about to make any long-term promises this time. “I don’t think it’s a number of years thing,” the Hall of Fame coach said Friday. “I think it’s just a day-to-day thing, as far as the way I look at the whole thing. I’m Utah Jazz, I think everybody knows that. But the light gets a little dimmer as time goes by because I’m 71 years old.”
But Sloan said that he doesn’t play what-if with that either. “I don’t play that game,” he said. “Our guys put everything they had into it. Chicago beat us the first time. The hardest thing after that happens, after being beaten, is to come back and try it again.
Asked Friday night if he had any regrets looking back on his coaching career and the Hall of Famer quipped, “I’d have called a different play when we played Chicago [in the NBA Finals] coming down the stretch.” Sloan is without question of the game’s all-time greatest coaches and, after coming up short against the Bulls twice, he may be the greatest to have never won a championship.
Jody Genessy: Jerry Sloan once hit a recorder out of my hand while showing how to get through a screen. I’m lucky he wasn’t teaching how to take a charge. The recorder hit the court and pieces scattered. Sloan: “If I broke that #%*@ing thing, I’ll buy you a new one.” The lesson then continued.
During that February 2011 game against Chicago, “We got into a little argument — nothing more than we’ve ever done,” Williams told The Salt Lake Tribune, following a tough loss to Toronto at the Barclays Center. “So the way the fans perceive it is just one thing I can’t really control. Like I said, there’s no hard feelings on my end, and I enjoyed playing for him. I miss playing for him.” Williams was traded to the then-New Jersey Nets, two weeks after Sloan resigned and Tyrone Corbin became the Jazz’s coach.
Deron Williams chooses to remember his first 438 games with Jerry Sloan more than the last one. Nearly three years after a halftime dispute with Williams triggered Sloan’s resignation, the Jazz will raise a banner in the coach’s honor at EnergySolutions Arena during Friday’s game with Golden State. “A big part of my success early in my career was due to him and the things he kind of instilled in me,” said Williams, who now plays for the Brooklyn Nets. “So I’m definitely happy for him, and it’s going to be a special moment. The fans there just love him to death.”
Sloan is third among the NBA’s all-time winningest coaches, with 1,221 career victories that place him behind only Lenny Wilkens and Don Nelson. All but 94 of those victories came with the Jazz. “He really imposed himself onto his teams, and he had the people who would follow,” Adelman said. “I’m happy for him. He’s in the Hall of Fame and certainly he should be up there, too.” The Jazz hasn’t honored Sloan until now because he didn’t want the team to make a fuss about him. “That figures,” Adelman said. “That sounds like Jerry.”
A banner bearing his name will be raised into the EnergySolutions Arena rafters alongside retired jerseys belonging to John Stockton, Karl Malone, Pete Maravich and other Jazz greats. “It’s amazing to me that hasn’t been done yet,” Adelman said. “But I’m glad it is being done. It needs to be up there. Anybody in this professional-sports world who was in the same place that many years deserves to have a lot of jerseys up there.”
The Utah Jazz announced tonight that the team will honor legendary former head coach Jerry Sloan in a special halftime ceremony when the Jazz hosts the Golden State Warriors on Friday, January 31, 2014, in a game that will be nationally televised by ESPN. “On behalf of the Jazz organization and Miller Family, I am thrilled to announce our plans to retire a jersey and celebrate the enduring legacy of Jerry Sloan, one of the greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history,” said Steve Miller, President of Miller Sports Properties. “We welcome Jazz fans to join us as we honor Jerry for his accomplishments and recognize his countless contributions to the Jazz franchise and state of Utah.”
Aaron Falk: Here you go, Twitter. Carlos Boozer on the Jazz: “Very athletic group of guys. Well coached. I know Jerry (Sloan) is in the mix somewhere.”
SI.com: Did you like playing for Jerry Sloan? Stockton: Loved it. It was an absolute honor. Frank Layden was the perfect guy for me to start with, but Jerry was the perfect guy for all of us to expand. Frank turned the Jazz from a perennially losing team to a team that started to win. Jerry took the winning team he set up and made us believe we could be champions. He was a no-excuse guy. He was demanding but not unreasonable. I can’t give him enough compliments. He took the Jazz to a whole new level and put us on the brink of a couple championships. It would have been difficult without him.
“He was a terrific player,” said former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, who played against Beaty as a member of the Chicago Bulls. “Zelmo was big and strong and nasty — the kind of guy you wanted on your team.” Sloan remembered playing the Hawks once during the 1968-69 season when a Beaty elbow cost Tom Boerwinkle, Chicago’s rookie center, “about 10 teeth.” Sloan laughed and said, “It was unintentional, I think. Welcome to the NBA.”
02 Aug 13
Even more troublesome: Some new teammates began to grumble about their roles behind Stockton and Malone. They complained of favoritism coach Jerry Sloan allegedly showed his 40-something stars by not making them participate in every practice. “Things just started to add up,” Stockton said. “Things that started to worry me had never worried me before. Things that started to bother me had never bothered me before. The aches and pains I felt, I had never felt before. My reaction to it — instead of attacking it — was an indication it was time [to retire]. That was the message.” When told it sounded like his final season was a truly unhappy one, Stockton said, “I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I had a great time. It was a great part of my life. But you can’t play forever.”
Jody Genessy: Hall of Fame coach/senior basketball adviser Jerry Sloan is sitting behind the Utah Jazz’s bench here at the Orlando Pro Summer League.
Earl Watson: Thank you to coach Sloan, KOC, Dennis Lindsey, Corbin & the Miller family! As well as the amazing fans! Thank you, thank you, thank you!