Greg Miller spoke with KSL in a very open interview. There's quite a few nuggets that can be mined from this. So first, watch, if you haven't already:
Video Courtesy of KSL.com
They talk about AK and Jimmer a bit. We'll get to that in a minute. But the most compelling part to me about the interview was when they spoke about The Trade. When Greg was asked about having to sell the trade to Gail Miller, he stated that they had committed to trading Deron Williams before they spoke with her about it. Apparently, they were already passed the point of no return on the deal.
I don't know the normal workflow of trades or other roster moves by the Jazz organization for sure, but it has always been my understanding that Kevin O'Connor and his team work the deals and then present them to the ownership for their approval or rejection. Obviously O'Connor got approval from Greg but it seems odd that they would leave Gail out of it until the deal was already done. It seems to be a case of it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
There are some questions that come up if they had gone to Gail and asked for her blessing before pulling the trigger. First, would it have been done in the first place? Greg said that when he explained the deal to her and how it would help the team she approved. If the deal was already done though and couldn't be undone, what effect did that have on her response? Would she have been more hesitant to approve the deal had they gone to her first?
Second, what was the reason for not going to Gail before making the deal official? It seems to be either intentional or an oversight on their part. I can't imagine that whatever window they had to get the deal done was so small that she couldn't at least been given a heads-up. Greg is the CEO but as was acknowledged by him, she's still the Chairman and could fire him. If you're making a franchise-changing decision/move, shouldn't the owner know what's going on? If I had the power to do something like that in my company, I surely wouldn't be committing to it before running it by my boss.
[Note by Basketball John, 05/02/11 12:11 PM MDT ] I just went back and watched again and missed when he said they couldn't get a hold of her. That may invalidate all my words. Although, O'Connor stated that they ar least thought on the trade overnight. I wonder where she was that they couldn't contact her for 12 hours or so?
If they did try to reach her, but couldn't, then I could see how they would have to go on. I'm still wondering though if they had reached her if things would have been different. Maybe not.
Greg also went on to comment about Jimmer and I thought he made a great point. When asked about how good it would be for business for the Jazz to draft Jimmer to sell tickets, Miller stated,
It is [a business], and that's a consideration, but to me it's more important to win than to fill the seats.
He went on to say that at some point, the novelty would wear off. If the Jazz drafted Jimmer, and didn't win, then they would be worse off. Miller stated that winning will put people in the seats regardless.
He also talked about AK's return, but I'll save that for the next item in the Downbeat
Brad Rock nails it when he talks about why Kirilenko gets a free pass (not that one) when it comes to missing almost as many games as Carlos Boozer when the latter gets nailed on it repeatedly:
Fair or not, personality and sincerity factor into how a player is treated by fans and media. Boozer stares vacantly over peoples' heads; Kirilenko makes eye contact and smiles. Boozer avoids revealing anything meaningful about himself; Kirilenko is almost an open book.
Greg Miller stated in the interview above that he has some concerns about [Andrei's] durability. To me that's the lone blemish on AK's career in Utah. Breaking down his injuries is something for a longer and more dedicated post. The biggest thing that sways me over to siding with AK is his loyalty, something Boozer never had. AK also offered to be released from his albatross of a contract for the best of the team. Think about how many millions he would have left on the table.
I'm estimating here, but I'm going to assume that Andrei spoke with LHM after the 2007 season about letting him out of his deal. That's after his now infamous breakdown in the playoffs. If that's the case, he had 4 year and about $63M left on his deal. Name me one other player in the NBA that would have done that. He would have easily been signed by another team but it would have been nowhere near that amount. Name me one other player that would offer to forgo any amount left on their contracts.
For all of the books that Andrei reads, I hope that he writes an autobiography someday. I think he's one of the most fascinating players the league has ever had both on and off the court. His career from a teenager on the Russian basketball team through his NBA career would be an amazing read.
Spencer from The Utah Jazz Blog marks the eighth anniversary of John Stockton's retirement. I loved this statement,
I'm not trying to prove he was the best point guard ever, which he is, but just wanted to put some stuff together to remind everyone of his greatness.
For some reason Connect2Utah videos never work for me on any of my PCs/browsers. I hear this one though with Jeff Hornacek is pretty good though.
Thanks again to Kurt for the tip on this video