Jerry Sloan Bits from Around the Jazz and Around the League, 1/29 and 1/30
Marvin Williams on Jerry Sloan
You know what? When I first got traded to Utah, I’ll be 100 percent honest: Coach Sloan was the only person that I actually wanted to sit down and meet. And I was really disappointed because I didn’t have a chance to get to meet him last year. Didn’t get a chance to sit down and talk to him, ’cause he wasn’t around the team as much.
But this year when I heard they were bringing him back as a consultant, he’s been around the team; he’s always at practice. I get a chance to sit down and speak to him a little bit, and it’s been really good. He’s been awesome, man. He’s been nothing but first class.
To kinda see him get honored on Friday night, even though I didn’t play for him, to know what he’s accomplished throughout his career, it’s gonna be a special night not just for him but for everybody in this Utah Jazz community, because he has done so much for the community and done so much for this team.
So I think everybody’s excited. He’s definitely well-deserving of everything he’s accomplished, and I think we’re all looking forward to Friday night.
Jeremy Evans on whether there’s something in particular he took from his half-season with Jerry Sloan
Yeah, I think the biggest thing I took from him, I always think about it, is just how we’re playing out on the court and sometimes you make a mistake, you drop your head. He’s big on not dropping your head and moving on to the next play. And I think that’s a lot of the game. We’re gonna make mistakes–teammates, you yourself–and I feel like that’s the big thing, that you have to play on and play forward.
Randy Rigby on what Jerry Sloan Night means
The accomplishment that this man has accomplished, but also, not only for the man, for Jerry, but for the organization, and for the Utah Jazz, and what it’s meant to this community, to get these kind of achievements that have been done, and it’s been very touching.
It’s been fun to see the different people who have also sent in their congratulations, and best wishes, and it makes you realize the magnitude of what the Utah Jazz means in this community, as well as the greatness of what Jerry Sloan has meant to this community and to the team, and to the game of basketball.
Rigby on the role of coaching mentors
Frank [Layden] had done a masterful job of really mentoring and grooming a Jerry Sloan for [the head coach] position, and it was then a natural transition.
And F–Jerry will tell you, it was really wonderful for him to have Frank close by so that as he came across issues that only a head coach has to know, that has to deal with, he had someone he could talk to and just say, “How did you deal with this? How did you handle these type of situations?”
And that’s what’s I think been really rewarding for us, to have a great coach like Ty Corbin now, who had been mentored by a Hall of Famer and a legendary coach.
Gordon Hayward on Jerry Sloan’s return to the team
I think it’s great for us. I mean, you know, he hasn’t necessarily been as involved as he was when he was coaching–well, obviously–and, but I think he’s really been probably influential to Ty and some of the coaches, and some of the people in the front office, maybe. So anytime you have a question, though, you can go up to him and talk to him about things. (KALL, 1280)
Avery Johnson on Gregg Popovich’s admiration of Jerry Sloan
“He said if we were going to be a championship team ever,” says ESPN analyst Avery Johnson, then a point guard in San Antonio, “we were going to have to be as tough minded as the Utah Jazz. We were going to have have to execute our offense the way they execute their offense. And he talked about how he was going to have to be as good a coach as Jerry Sloan.
“Jerry Sloan was a guy that Coach Popovich really, really respected. He didn’t talk about Red Auerbach or Phil Jackson or any of those other awesome coaches much. But he talked a lot about Utah’s way of playing.” (Trib)
Andrei Kirilenko on Jerry Sloan
“He’s definitely a guy who’s going to be remembered, not only in Salt Lake City, but in all the NBA,” said Kirilenko, who spent 10 years with the Jazz before signing with a Russian team prior to the 2011-12 season. “I had a privilege to play with him. We had our ups and downs, but [Sloan] is the guy who created me.” (Trib)
Deron Williams on Jerry Sloan
“A big part of my success early in my career was due to him and the things he kind of instilled in me,” said Williams, who now plays for the Brooklyn Nets. “So I’m definitely happy for him, and it’s going to be a special moment. The fans there just love him to death.”
During that February 2011 game against Chicago, “We got into a little argument — nothing more than we’ve ever done,” Williams told The Salt Lake Tribune, following a tough loss to Toronto at the Barclays Center. “So the way the fans perceive it is just one thing I can’t really control. Like I said, there’s no hard feelings on my end, and I enjoyed playing for him. I miss playing for him.” (Trib)