Wow. Today was one of those weird days. I was sitting at my desk around lunch time when I heard a co-worker in the cube across the hall say, “Jerry Sloan is out.”
Honestly, my heart skipped a beat. On my drive to work today, I heard the sports talk dudes (Hans and OC on 104.7 The Zone) report on a lengthy coaches – GM – owner closed door meeting after their loss to Da Bulls. When Jerry came out of that post-game meeting, he said there was nothing major to report, simply that the organization was just trying to get better.
That sounded weird to me. It wasn’t usual. And if there’s one thing the Jazz and Jerry Sloan are is “usual.”
So when my co-worker say “Jerry Sloan is out” I immediately thought about the drive to work. I opened a browser and went to ESPN.com to see what they had. They had a short article that basically said KSL TV in SLC was reporting that Jerry was going to resign at 5pm Eastern.
I immediately texted my wife and her brother, a rabid Jazz fan. I was shocked. I actually felt very weird, as if someone had died. Jen’s brother reported that this was his “Michael Jackson moment.” Folks weren’t prepared to hear that Michael Jackson had died; neither of us was prepared to hear that Jerry Sloan would no longer be on the sidelines at the Energy Solutions Arena barking profanely at the officials.
We all knew Jerry would retire in the coming year or two, but this resignation today sounded a bit like defeat. He just didn’t want to deal with the crap the modern athlete brings to the table. I don’t blame him. He’s 68, made plenty of money, worked through his wife’s death a few years ago, his boss’ death a few years ago, and tons of athletes coming and going.
The best coach to never win Coach of the Year in the NBA is gone from SLC.
You can find me on the street corner in sackcloth and ashes.