I blew up earlier but since watching the press release and listening to D-will I've calmed down.
Here is my opinion on things. Yes, there have been heated arguments. Guess what, that happens ALL the time in the NBA. Sloan himself has fought with plenty of Jazzmen before D-will. Stockton even admitted butting heads with him. It's just what happens when there is a lot of passion and competition in an environment.
Yes there have been arguments and there was one last night in the locker room. It probably was heated but it wasn't as bad as the situation is letting on. It was just a normal butting heads moment.
HOWEVER, this time Sloan just realized he didn't really wanna deal with it anymore. It's not that it was a bad argument. It wasn't that Williams or any other player drove him out. It wasn't that he lost the team. It wasn't that management pushed him out. It wasn't even that Sloan had lost it.
It was just the straw that broke the camel's back. Sloan just decided that he didn't have the energy it took to keep up with the game. Didn't wanna fight back anymore. He was tired and frankly, he deserves to be able to get tired.
Look how pissed we get from one loss, from a few bad plays, from a poor pass. We are just fans! He is the freaking coach and he had been doing it 20+ years! He had to butt heads with players, refs, management, himself, other coaches, media, and still deal with his family! He's earned the benifit of a doubt to step down over an argument.
Give both D-will and Sloan credit. They are fighters. They are up standing guys. They are devoted to the game and right now they are devoted to the Jazz. Sloan just got to the point where he burned out and it just happened to be an argument with D-will.
One of my all time favorite lines comes from a Def Leppard song. It's called Rock of Ages. It goes: "It's better to burn out than fade away!"
That's what Sloan did. He burned out and he went out with some gumption. He didn't let the game beat him. He left before it hurt his health and hurt his pride. He didn't give up on the Jazz and the Jazz never gave up on him! He gave and gave till he hadn't anything left to give. Its no ones fault.
Yes, The way this ended sucks. The season isn't over, we are in a tight playoff race. We've lost 10 of 14. D-will is on the verge of a contract year. Frankly though, none of that matters right now to me. Right now, all I want to do is reflect on Jerry. Reflect on the past 20 years of winning seasons. Reflect on Karl, Stock, and Sloan. Enjoy what we've had and how spoiled we've been, having such a great franchise in such a small market.
I want to bask in the glory of being a Jazz fan and feel the joy it’s brought me. I feel like the last 20 years have been like a Giant Redwood forest. We’ve cherished the immense beauty around us and now some of our tallest monuments have toppled over. Their stumps remain but we can still look at them, we can still see the roots stretched for miles under ground. We can see that those roots kept us stable, rooted, planted, and safe in the rich soil of Salt Lake City. Those roots will continue to keep the ground fertile. Keep the dirt firm and stable. Those roots are intertwined together and the new Redwood Trees that are growing will be better off for having their roots mingling with the legends. Our franchise is better for the great trees that are no longer with us. The Larry H Miller, Hot Rod, Stockton, Malone, Jerry, and even Phil Johnson. Their stumps are a legacy that will continue to give.
It’s been a great two decades of magical memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything. That being said, it’s still a great time to be a Jazz fan. We have a bright future. A young owner, a young new head coach, an All-Star point guard, a young core of great talent, a few sprinkles of veteran grit, and next year more cap space. Oh and we freakin have THE PRECIOUS.
Let’s enjoy what we’ve had, what we still have, and what we will have. Let’s stop pointing fingers at what led to today. It doesn’t matter. What has happened has happened. Let’s not go into panic mode and start burning jerseys or having owners write angry letters. Let’s not even worry about taking our talents elsewhere or trading talents for that matter.
Let’s just take a deep breath, sit back, relax, ponder, and be grateful. I love the Jazz. I love it’s history. I love Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson. I still love D-Will.
Jerry and Phil gave us their heart and soul for 20+ years. All that needs to be said is Thank You and God Bless.
GO JAZZ GO!!!!
ForTheLove, Jerry Sloan, Wheatie_87. (Spring of 2010)