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Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson Retirement Quotey Odds and Ends (Updated)

February 14, 2011

Truth be told, I’m relieved for these four days off. I have a Jerry and Phil post in my head, but I’m having emotional stability issues and trouble putting it into words. So it’s going to be a few days, maybe, before I get that out.

For now, here are some of the best quotes from these past two days (sourced from Utah media only; there’s been so much I don’t think I’ll be looking at national):

Jerry Sloan I’ve been here 27 years, going on 27 years I believe it is, and that’s the longest I been anywhere in my life. … Utah [is] pretty much my first home since I been here so long. I hope to be around a long time, and hopefully a lot of it will be here in Utah. (KZNS)

Jerry Sloan [NEW] I’m about ready to put all my tractors up for sale…I spent a lot of time working on them and messing around with them, and that’s kind of worn out. I kinda got tired of that. Too many batteries to replace. Hopefully I can enjoy some of the summers back there, some of the spring and fall work that farmers do. I have some land, that guys that farm my land, I run around with them and act like I’m working. (laughs) (KSL)

Jerry Sloan [NEW] [Are you going to watch games on TV or go to games?] I don’t know why I wouldn’t. When I got fired in Chicago, I went to their next game because I didn’t feel like they cut my arms off or anything like that. I felt like I tried to do the best I could, I got fired, I took my medicine, and went on down the road. I want to see the Jazz succeed. I can’t say that enough. (KSL)

Jerry Sloan [What are you going to miss most?] Watching guys, being around guys competing. I had Karl Malone here for a long time. A lot of people work hard, but there’s a difference between working hard and competing. Karl Malone competed when he stepped on the floor, whether it was against himself or he’s competing against a guy across from him. To me, there’s a little bit of difference there. We all want to talk about hard work, but competing is what I always appreciated in a player. (KZNS)

Phil Johnson We have never discussed leaving together. … We’ll talk to each other, but we never had a plan for the both of us to leave together, ever, since we’ve been here. / He said he thought he was leaving and I said, “I’m going with you.” Bottom line. That’s all that was said. And he looked at me, surprised. He didn’t know. And I just said, “I came with you, I’ll leave with you.” (KSL, KFAN)

Phil Johnson [You by bypassed a few million dollars by not staying.] I can’t do something for money. I’ve got to believe that I can do the very best I can and I feel like this is the time. I’ve made enough money here. Larry Miller took care of me over the years, and Greg. These guys have taken care of me, so money isn’t everything. You have to live with yourself and you have to know that you’re capable, and right now I don’t think that I could give the Jazz everything they need. I think I could try, but I’m just being honest about it. (KFAN)

Phil Johnson [One of the times he was offered a job by another team], John Stockton called up and told me I wasn’t moving and Karl (Malone) called the next day and said I wasn’t leaving. Then Larry Miller called me the next day and said two players had called and said I shouldn’t go, so I decided not to go. (desnews)

Shawn Bradley I didn’t think Jerry Sloan retiring would affect me like it has. I honestly stayed up last night thinking about it…I was playing Junior Jazz as a kid when he just became the coach. This guy’s been the guy I dreamed about playing for almost my entire life, and for him to retire now is like, “Wait, there’s a shift in the universal paradigm here.” (KZNS)

Jeff Van Gundy I think the NBA should really consider, because of all he’s meant to the league, about retiring the number 4. The Bulls have already done it…(KALL)

Jeff Van Gundy [If it's true that Jerry was run out by players...] My thinking would be, it would have just as much to do with new ownership as anything else. Larry Miller to me, he always tried to win, he was passionate about his job, and everybody in that organization knew, even if he had at times dust-ups with his coaches, the players knew who was in charge. To me, it would say as much about Larry Miller not being there anymore, as it would say about anything else. (KALL)

Gregg Popovich [NEW] He’s always been somebody that I’ve looked up to from my younger days. Coming home on leave [from the Air Force], getting with the boys and going to the Chatterbox for a Stroh’s and fried mushrooms, and watching him on the TV, beating the hell out of people. My memories of Coach Sloan go way back. (Spurs Nation)

NBA referee Kenny Mauer, as told to Rod Zundel [NEW] Jerry Sloan is one of the hardest guys that will go after you with everything he’s got because of his passion. However, he is the most fair coach in the NBA that I’ve ever officiated for. (KSL)

Frank Layden [Is Jerry at peace with his decision?] Very much. I talked to him this morning [the day after the announcement] and he told me he had a full night’s sleep. He didn’t get up once. He said he slept for eight straight hours and he got up this morning feeling great. (KALL)

Mark Eaton There are a lot of players who wouldn’t just sit down with [their coach] and say, this is what’s going on for me, how can we resolve this? A lot of times, players just get mad and start doing their own thing or call the agent or whatever they might do, rather than sit down man-to-man and try to talk it out. So I think that’s where the difference is, at least from my perspective, whether you got along with [Jerry] or you didn’t. It was just your willingness to really look at your own game and consider what he had to say. A lot of guys don’t like to do that. (KZNS)

Andrei Kirilenko Coach Sloan was probably the best motivator I ever seen. Him and Phil, those duo, they like husband and wife. They are great addition to each other, always Jerry been very hard-nosed like a train going his direction and Phil was like a very diplomatic, intelligent way…I don’t know which two guys can be better than they are in basketball as coaches.

It’s very sad to lose them because so many knowledge, so many things about basketball, they taught me everything as a player. I came to the league at 20 years old, young guy, and everything I know right now, it’s their achievement. They did it. They make me a basketball player, NBA basketball player, so it’s gonna stay in the heart. (KFAN)

CJ Miles Coach Sloan, he’s the reason that I’m here. He brought me in here, he stuck with me when I was 180 lbs., kicking balls out of bounds off my feet. He taught me so much. Any player that ever says they agree with everything their coach did, they’d be lying to you, but there was 100 more good times than any bad time I ever had with Coach Sloan, and everything he did to me, was for me. He did it for a reason, and he’s the reason I am who I am today as a person and a basketball player. (KFAN)

The Mailman He’s one of the few guys in this world I would stop everything [for]. I will see Coach Sloan and give him the biggest hug in the world. But I want to tell you something about that man. He’s a very prideful man, and I’m gonna tell you something. I know him, and I know that he’s tough as nails but he got an unbelievable heart, and I know it hurt. And people can say whatever they want to, I know Coach Sloan. My coach that I know have never quit on anything. (NBA TV)

Tyrone Corbin [You met with Deron right after being named head coach. What was your message to him?] Deron’s a really, really talented guy and he’s one of the leaders on this team. We have to have him focused and focused on winning and feeling good about what’s going on with the team.

And that was just the message: Look, we’re gonna go as you go and we need you to be with us with everything that’s going on. I want to communicate with you, I want to make sure you’re on the same page and we’re on the same page and we can have as much success as we can as a group. I think that he was receptive to it, and I think that he feel relaxed about it, and we’ll see where we go from there. (KFAN)

The Trash Can

All the while, Sloan’s garbage can stood alone.
The gray-haired one often relied on the relic as a prop and a crutch, conducting shootaround and pregame interviews leaning against the red-and-white receptacle.
Not on “The Day After Sloan.”
Corbin employed a tall, roped-in podium backed by a wall of Jazz logos. He acknowledged nerves. He admitted feeling weird.
Sloan was gone.
But the game went on. (sltrib)

You wouldn’t know it reading this site in the past few days, but I am not a crier. However, reading the above made me tear up (again), as did seeing the below picture (courtesy of @djjazzyjody). Oh well, it is what it is.

Jalen Rose Then, after the game: Jerry Sloan and Pat Riley, in particular, are famous for this. You can fraternize with the other team, but do it after the game when you guys have on street clothes. [Deron] was visibly fraternizing with Carlos Boozer after the game, smiling. And when he walked to the locker room where the coaches normally stand there to greet each player, the other coaches had left. Tyrone Corbin, their coach tonight, he was there to give Deron Williams a hi-five. (ESPN) (Posted this one because it gave me a good laugh. For what it’s worth, I’ve seen Jazz players hugging and talking to opponents on the court after almost every game, and it’s never appeared to be a problem.)

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2011 10:28 am

    I stumbled upon your blog while looking for a good picture of Jerry. I have to say … I love your blog. I have read back a couple of months and have enjoyed your viewpoints. You have a new follower .. thanks again for the insight.

    Korbie

  2. Geoff permalink
    February 14, 2011 12:47 pm

    Great post. thanks for all the quotes. Man i miss Jerry.

    • February 14, 2011 4:44 pm

      Me too. I can’t stop thinking about it.

  3. Yucca Man permalink
    February 14, 2011 9:29 pm

    The stuff from the national media is almost comical in its stupidity. Everyone seems to feel they have to write something, even if they’ve watched MAYBE 2 Jazz games the entire year—they all have to opine as if they are completely in-the-know.

    • February 15, 2011 9:47 am

      Just heard Ty Corbin on Jim Rome, who spouted the rumor that Deron wasn’t going to re-sign and Jerry retired so he wouldn’t get the blame for it or be seen as the guy that pushed Deron out. Laughable.

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