Jerry Sloan walked out from the Utah Jazz as head coach during their loss to the Chicago Bulls yesterday. Everything happened abruptly, Sloan never really like putting himself in the limelight. He doesn’t want too much attention.
It was a decision he had been contemplating for years now, but he was just waiting for the perfect time.
There were a lot of speculations about Sloan’s altercation with Deron Williams during halftime. However, for the past 23 years as the Jazz head coach, it was always part of his usual routine. There are a handful of games you can count without Sloan shouting at his players.
Deron seems to be his prototype, a fiery point guard who loves to win and would do everything to keep his team winning. Jerry would never leave a franchise just because of someone. He is too proud and too hardheaded to do that. He never changed. He is the same old disciplined and emotional coach as he always was.
Yet, when the only constant in life is changing, the sport evolves into a much different genre. Players learn to speak for themselves. They let everybody know if they disagree on something. Times have changed and while the sport, and everyone else, continuously evolves and go through the process, Sloan remains as he is.
Twenty-three years of chasing that elusive NBA championship, and twice he almost made it. Now he is just tired of catching up. The thrill is slowly fading and the enthusiasm about getting to work is becoming monotonous for him. He knew he would just wake up one day and feel it’s time.
Deron would never be the reason for him to quit. It would never be part of his vocabulary. An ever-disciplined and physical coach never backs down. Everything changes, but he will remain as he is.
It’s not the first time he walked out. He had trouble drinking and smoking before, and walked out in order to get clean. However, it also provides a lesson: When this Hall of Hame coach and one of the greatest in the NBA walks out, he never comes back.
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