Link to complete story here
There's quite a bit to Gordon Monson's column revisiting of the end of the Jerry Sloan era in Utah, none more surprising than the claim from Jazz legend Karl Malone that Malone had to pay for a ticket from a scalper to watch the Jazz on Feb. 11 of last year (a day after Sloan retired) after the team told him they were out of ducats.
It's been almost a year to the day that Jerry Sloan abruptly retired from the Utah Jazz in a move that absolutely nobody saw coming. Following an in-game and then postgame tiff with then-star guard Deron Williams, Sloan apparently felt unsupported by management, and quit despite the organization's attempts to win him back. Just as abruptly, Malone flew to Utah to speak his piece with the media before the following game against the Suns, whereupon he was told that the game was sold out. Whereupon I tell the Jazz that I've seen countless local "celebrities" sneak onto or given good seats on press row, and then tell the Jazz to find Malone's 6-9 frame a folding chair or two.
Monson, in a brief aside toward the beginning of a must-read piece, had this to say:
What happened to Sloan had festered inside Malone for long enough. In the immediate aftermath, he came to Utah to express concern, buying his own ticket to the next game at EnergySolutions Arena via a scalper because the Jazz had told him there were no tickets available for him, and spoke to reporters.
The turn in front of the reporters spoke to Malone's distaste with how GM Kevin O'Connor handled Sloan's frustrations following his back-and-forth with Williams and Sloan's exit, as he told the media he would give the Jazz "a D or F, and I would lean more toward an F."
He's right and wrong. We'll get to that aspect in a second
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