Because I told him to write as much as he wanted . . . he graciously did. I split up the interview in two parts. You can catch part 1 here. Without any other pre-amble . . . here's the rest!
What's the thing you miss most about home when you are on the road?
Short answer: My family.
Long answer: My three kids. My wife (just one, thank you). My dog. A normal routine and life. The mountains (mostly for direction purposes). I'd say my bed, but we've got a lousy, old mattress, so most hotel beds are comfier. And I'd say my wife's cooking, but ... just kidding, it's obvious by my size that she's a great cook.
Would you still consider this to be a 'dream job' like so many bloggers think it is?
Short answer: YES (and occasionally no).
Long answer: It's hard to complain about my job because of things I've already mentioned - namely that I don't pay to watch sports, I get paid to do that. I also get paid to talk to many people's heroes. And I get paid to go on paid-for trips to really cool places and sporting venues. It's a thrill to be there at the arena for the action. It's also pretty dang cool to be the intermediary between fans and the team they loyally follow.
But ... it is a job. A tough job. A demanding job with hard-working competitors trying to outdo you at every turn. It's a job that has insane work hours, blood-pressure-unfriendly deadlines, times when you have to deal with occasionally grumpy athletes and coaches who think you're a moron for asking dumb or tough questions or who don't want to be bothered after a loss. It requires creativity, thoroughness, accuracy, analytical skills, planning, professionalism, ethics, patience, persistence and blah, blah, blah.
Sloan is very candid in interviews, is this overcompensation for being so direct and assertive with his players?
Short answer: He doesn't beat around the bush with anybody.
Long answer: Let me put my psychologist hat on and psycho-analyze Jerry Sloan. Just kidding. I think Sloan is Sloan. He is what he is. He says what he feels and feels what he says — to everybody. He is genuine like that. He is blunt, folksy, funny and grumpy -- sometimes all in one answer. There isn't a P.R. spin machine between his mouth and his mind. He is the Anti-Carlos Boozer in that regard. He is more assertive with (read: yells louder at) his players than the press because they directly affect his job. Media can't get him fired. Under-performing players can. Well, not in Utah (not that losing has ever been a consistent issue since he arrived 22 years ago anyway). But he likes to bust my chops (and others') on occasion. Like on Monday when he had this response to my question about whether or not he'd "toy" around with his lineups this preseason: "Toy? This is a job. I don’t toy. I don’t believe in the word toy." Makes you think the next time you ask a question.
Favorite moment following the team?
Short answer: Following the team. Always something memorable going on.
Long answer: Way back in my younger years, I fondly recall covering the Jazz in the NBA Finals. I had a brief encounter with Jack Nicholson in the bathroom deep in the bowels (shudder) of the Delta Center right after he used the facilities and before he washed up. Don't worry, we didn't shake hands. That whole Finals experience was amazing, including literally chasing Dennis Rodman with a herd of reporters in a moment that had to have looked straight out of a movie.
More recently, covering Hall of Fame inductions for Stockton, Malone and Sloan was a fun honor. I've also enjoyed goofy interactions with Kyrylo Fesenko. Watching the team rally to beat Denver last year in the first round was something else. It's been intriguing to see Deron Williams' steady rise to being regarded as the best point guard in the league by many. Getting asked by a growling and glaring Sloan "Are you always perfect? Have you ever had a bad day?" with cameras and recorders rolling is a lasting memory. And, how could anyone ever forget Sundiata Gaines' buzzer-beating 3-point shot? Oops, I'd retreated to the press room and was watching that historic moment on TV. Ah, if I'd only known. I did hear the impressive roar of the crowd through dozens of feet of concrete walls and about three seconds before our satellite-delayed feed showed us what happened, though. There really have so many where-amazing-happens moments, though. That's what makes it all worthwhile.
The super-awesome, super-secret non-writing talent I have that few people know about is . . .
I can sing a mean tenor. Yep, I pretty much should've been The Next Donny Osmond. Oh, and I'm not left-handed, either.
Please check out his, actually professional, work. (unlike what we do here @slcdunk) Also, feel free to hit him up via email: jody[at]desnews.com or via his twitter!