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Where Have All The Good Men Gone? - The Downbeat - #622

A big congratulations to Jerry "Slowness" Sloan and Phil Johnson for their induction into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame. And of course moni has the text of the interviews and highlights of the best quotes.

As was said by many outlets when everything went down, the Jazz lost two amazing coaches ans people that day. The focus was on Jerry Sloan of course but Johnson was on par with Sloan in every way. In a day where loyalty is discarded and ego and getting ahead is the priority for so many, it was refreshing to see a man from Illinois and another from small-town Idaho come together and become one of the greatest coaching combos in league history. Then you read quotes like this and realize that there will never be anyone else quite like them (courtesy of moni),

What's the closest you [Phil Johnson] came to taking a coaching position elsewhere?

There were about three times I had offers from teams and just decided to stay. I had a pretty high criteria on where I wanted to go. It had to be a good situation and I didn't want to jump at any team. The ego part of it is not the biggest thing and you can't make decisions because of money.

A couple of times a couple of players went to Larry and said they didn't want me to leave. When that happens, it's pretty hard to leave particularly when you like where you're coaching.

From all the quotes, it still sounds like Sloan has a coaching itch to scratch, Johnson not so much. Of course if Sloan did take a coaching job elsewhere, it would rip the hearts out of Jazz fans.

If that did happen though, there would be a plus side to that. Fans would be able to give Sloan a proper ovation when he returned to the ESA. They never got to say goodbye.

NBA owners will be holding a conference call today to plot their next move after the players disbanded as a union and filed suit against the owners. If you're looking for quick resolution, keep this in mind from Adrian Wojnarowski,

For several reasons, it won't be easy to get the owners to move quickly toward re-engaging the new leadership of the players. Many owners believed Stern had gone too far with the league's final proposal to the union and were privately wishing for the players to reject the offer so they could thrust upon the players a far more rigid "reset" deal.

Couple that with this quote from Billy Hunter,

The players decision to blow up the union [decertify] was unanimous. They were high-fiving, sayin let's get it on!

While it's still possible, but not desirable by Stern, we could still get a repeat of the 1999 season and not have a resolution until January. Stern's push has been to have games by December 25th. If it takes 30 days between a handshake agreement and the season to start, that gives us until next Friday to get a deal done. When you consider next week is Thanksgiving, I wonder how much progress can be done.

Thank Jody Genessy for pushing his IT dept. to get the Pro Players Classic exhibition game put online. Here it is now in all its defenseless glory.

This is one of the most Karl Malone stories of all time (h/t Marcel Mutoni of SLAM)

On the afternoon of Game 2," Malone said. "I was taking a nap - like I always do - and I saw us in the Forum, playing the Lakers. That meant we had beaten the Blazers."

The Blazers led the series 1-0 at that point, but the Jazz then ripped off three straight victories - with "The Mailman" delivering 36.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game - to move into the next round and meet Los Angeles.

"I didn't tell anybody about the dream at the time. Nobody," he said. "If I had told my teammates or coaches, they probably would have checked me into the crazy house or something. But I really believe this stuff, man. I'm from Summerfield, La. - the country ­- and I believe those kinds of things really happen. I'm not cracking up. I saw those things."

It gets better. This story was told to David Kahn, reporter at the time, and backed up by David Checketts. Read the whole thing and realize the forces that were present that day.

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