After reading countless posts about who needs to go, who needs to stay, why losing is a good thing, and how the playing time should be divided, all I was left thinking was when did this all happen? I want answers.
The Jazz have always been one of the most stable organizations in the entire league. They let Boozer and Korver go and couldn’t match Matthews offer. They made some moves that had Jazz fans excited and had the team competing for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Jazz had just retooled the roster on the fly and had put together a team that was on pace to be better than anything that they had ever been in the Boozer years. They had a team that was young and exciting and had a promising future. Then something went horribly wrong. So wrong that they went from being able to pull out late game comebacks with pure team work and inspired play to not being able to be competitive against poor Eastern Conference teams. Something went so wrong that Sloan went from possible coach of the year to retired and Deron Williams went from MVP candidate to a tradable asset. So what in the name of Kosta Koufus happened?
If you look back at the Jazz season, going into their game against the Washington Wizards on January 17, the Jazz sat at 27-13. They were fighting with the Mavs, Lakers, and Thunder for the 2nd spot in the West. The Jazz lost to the Wizards 101-108. Deron scored 28 with 11 assists and
Big Al scored 25 and had 10 boards and other than Memo making a cameo appearance no else showed up and we gave up 108 points to Washington.
January 19th the Jazz lose 103-95. Sloan was quoted after the game, "We look like we were lacking
effort and our energy doesn't look good to me, even more so in the last couple of games just doesn't seem like great enthusiasm to play. I think we're better than we played, but give the Nets credit."
The losing streak would go to 6 before the Jazz got a much needed win against the T’Wolves only to follow that up with a loss to the Warriors. The Jazz continue to struggle winning just 4 out of their last 9 games when Feb. 9th happened.
Galloway: Hey, Kaffee...
Kaffee: I know what you're going to say - You don't have to. We've had our differences. I said some things I didn't mean; you said some things you didn't mean, but you're happy I stuck with the case. And if you've gained a certain respect for me over the last three weeks... well, of course, I'm happy about that. But we don't have to make a whole big deal outta that - you like me? I won't make you say it.
Galloway: I was just going to tell you to wear matching socks in court tomorrow.
Kaffee: OK! Good tip!
February 9th should have been one of the biggest games of the year for the Jazz. (You can look at
Boozer’s stat line and you know it was a big game.) Millsap needed to prove head to head against Boozer that the Jazz made the right decision. Jefferson probably also wanted to prove that he was better than Boozer. Deron had to show Rose that he was the best PG in the league. Jefferson and Millsap both played great, but Deron got outplayed by Rose. Deron turned the ball over 5 times and had the ball taken away from him by Rose with a little over a minute left that shut the door on the Jazz.
This game led to the closed door meeting and then the resignation of Sloan and Johnson. The start of the Corbin era and more turmoil. The Jazz season was now in a very bad place. Without Sloan it seemed that the team lost it’s identity it was forced into trying to keep the face that nothing was wrong and it was just time for him to step away, but it was clear that something was very wrong.
I could have seen Sloan saying this on the way out.
Col. Jessep: You f(reaking) people... you have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today.
This lead to Deron being traded after just 3 more games. The Jazz didn’t want to go through with Deron what Denver just went threw with Carmelo Anthony and decided to send Deron packing. But that was sure fast. It seemed like someone ordered a “code red” before we even new what had happened. I think a lot of Jazz fans would have "strenuously objected" to trading the teams star, but the front office did a good job of getting us a lot of value and potentially a better all around team.
Lt. Weinberg: "I strenuously object?" Is that how it works? Hm? "Objection." "Overruled." "Oh, no, no, no. No, I STRENUOUSLY object." "Oh. Well, if you strenuously object then I should take some time to reconsider."
So when did all of this happen? What happened from the middle of January to the middle of February that changed everything? What caused Sloan to say I have had enough? What happened with Deron Williams? What caused a team on the verge of the 2 seed to be completely ripped apart? I feel like we as Jazz fans should be entitled to some more information on what really happened this season.
Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
I guess we may never know.