We’ve all heard the saying: time heals all wounds. But I don’t think that’s completely accurate.
It feels like ages since the night that sent the Jazz organization into a tailspin. Personally, I felt like I could never forgive Deron Williams for what had happened. Even though he had taken the team to another level and led the Jazz all the way to the western conference finals, I could never see myself forgiving him for instigating Jerry Sloan’s retirement.
Deep down I knew that the end of Sloan’s coaching career was coming. More than likely, Sloan had dealt with stuff like this in the past but didn’t have anything left in the tank to deal with locker room personalities any more. Especially one as strong as Deron’s.
But we don’t always think or act logically when dealing with tough emotions. And that’s why I’ve been booing Deron for years. I needed someone to blame.
John Stockton was gone. And probably a year earlier than necessary because of Mark Jackson. I boo’d a little harder for that.
Karl Malone spent a year with the Lakers and didn’t retire at the Delta Center. That caused me to boo even louder.
And then this. The finality of the golden age of basketball in Utah had ended in an ugly way and years of mediocrity ensued.
Every trip to the lottery, every unlucky ping pong ball, every coaching misstep or strange substitution was another reason to hate Deron Williams.
That anger led to strife amongst Jazz fans creating unnecessary rivalries. Mistrust of the organization grew and grew to the point that who knew what was even a good move anymore?
I’m glad those days are over.
For me, the healing process started when the Jazz made one of their best moves ever. Hiring Dennis Lindsey.
A deft and crafty GM, Dennis Lindsey built a culture and front office that now rivals any team in the league. He created a top notch analytics team and bolstered the scouting department. He hired a fantastic replacement for sloan in Quin Snyder. He’s drafted two all-nba level players in Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. He’s found, and developed, quality talent in players like Joe Ingles and Royce O’neale. The list could go on.
All this has manufactured playoff wins and a bright future.
And so that’s why yesterday when I saw this Instagram story from Deron Williams at the Utah Jazz practice facility, I was fine with it. Maybe even happy.
I’m done booing. I’m ready to bring Deron Williams back into the fold.
So maybe the saying shouldn’t be “time heals all wounds” but “time, and winning, heals all wounds.”
Jazz fans are very lucky to have an owner like Gail Miller. She represents the team with so much class and is a major reason to be proud of the team. From now on in my life when faced with difficult decisions I’m going to think ask myself, “What would Gail do?”
The Gail Miller Pod— Cox&Friends (@COXFriendsPod) June 19, 2018
-Gail’s deeply personal book Courage to Be You.
-Journey from feeling invisible to corporate powerhouse.
-Vulnerability and empowering women.
-Love story w “Mr. Gail Miller.”
-Did Hayward ever call? #TakeNote
-Jazz draft insight. https://t.co/pIU8u2O6t1 pic.twitter.com/orenYSr8eQ
Also, every detail that comes out about the Haywood free agency is frustrating. Call Gail!
Ya boy is cleared— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) June 19, 2018
This gives him plenty of time to work on his game and get ready for training camp. Year two for Spida is going to be awesome.
The Ingles family continue to be a fantastic story. This piece from Australia about Renae re-joining her Netball team is great.
Joe Ingles isn’t just the best basketball player in the NBA, but he’s also a pretty great husband and father.
It looks like there are players the Jazz are interested in the draft.
What’s your prediction of what happens on draft night?