Where Are They Now: Jarron Collins
Where are you now?
I’m just coaching a little basketball with the Golden State Warriors…
I’m very fortunate. Very fortunate. We’ve got a great group of guys. It’s been a great ride. Obviously, you know, it doesn’t get any better than my first year, coming aboard and winning a championship. And just humbled and honored to be a part of a great organization.
And again, a lot of the principles I learned that I’m teaching, you know, our guys here with the Warriors, is stuff that I learned playing alongside, you know, Karl Malone and John Stockton, and my years there in Utah and learning from one of the all-time greats and hall of famer in Je–in Coach Sloan.
What did you know about the Jazz, Jerry Sloan and Salt Lake City before you were drafted?
Let’s see. I’d experienced Utah a little bit. I played a AAU tournament I think when I was 12. We had an AAU tournament in Salt Lake City. So, it was beautiful country. The Wasatch Front and the mountains. Very nice people. So, I kinda knew a little bit about Utah from playing some AAU ball back in the day.
More than that, I would say I wasn’t the biggest fan of Karl Malone growing up in Los Angeles, you know, during the Laker Showtime era, and Karl Malone was the guy who was always kicking, you know, James Worthy.*
* Says Draymond Green’s coach. Lol.
On being a rookie and playing with Karl Malone
It was awesome. He made my job so much easier…Karl told me something interesting when I was flying with him. He said, “You don’t have to help me. Just don’t hurt me.” So, meaning that he’s gonna do this thing, and you know, just don’t get in the way.
So, you know, but he was a great teammate, someone that I probably learned more from just watching the way that he was professional off the court and the way he took care of his body, the way he took care of his business off the court, and you know, the tremendous talent that he had on the court.
You know, he was so dedicated. I mean, obviously everybody knows the stories, you know, there in Utah about, you know, some of his off-season workout routines and whatnot, but you just learned so much about what it means to be a professional.
What about John Stockton? What was John like?
John is probably the most competitive person I’ve ever been around. You know, Karl, Jerry, all of them, that’s why they got along so well, because when it was time to get into the fight, you know, get into the game, play the game, one of the most competitive people I’ve ever been around.
So easy to play–I played, you know, had the great fortune in my career to play alongside some really good point guards. John Stockton; you know, Steve Nash. Don’t wanna leave D[eron]-Will[iams] out.
But with John, it was just, you know, stay underneath the basket and keep your hands up. Catch the ball and you’re gonna get your one or two easy layups a game just with, off of his dribble penetration and his ability, you know, his pinpoint passing and his accuracy of his passing. Just keep your hands up. Just don’t let the ball hit you in the face. Just catch it. Catch it and finish it.
What did you learn from Jerry Sloan that you use as a coach?
The biggest thing is just playing the game the right way. Playing for each other. It’s not necessarily always about X’s and O’s. You know, you can have the greatest player in the world, but if the guys aren’t going to go out there and execute it and play with the passion and desire out there, then you’re not gonna get much accomplished…
It’s about who wants it more and who’s gonna get after it more, and competitiveness…For Coach Sloan, it was always about intensity and the way you approach things and your mentality.
How did you end up with the Warriors?
Bob Myers, who’s our president of the Golden State Warriors, he was my agent for 10 years. Steve Kerr was the general manager of the Phoenix Suns when I played for the Suns. Luke Walton and I have known each other since high school. And Alvin Gentry, who was the associate head coach our first year when Steve took over, he was my head coach in Phoenix and he was also assistant coach with the Clippers when I was there as well.
I’ve known Bruce Fraser too. He’s an — another assistant coach, Ron Adams, throughout the years. That was, it was just, I knew, you know, if you’re, in any industry that you’re, been, or in it long enough, it’s just small circles. You know people, and just, you know, about doing things the right way. You know, I was able to get my name in there, and you know, the rest is history.
On an important lesson taught by Jerry Sloan
I knew people around the Warriors, but I, again, I think that the biggest thing, and for, and I tell people this all the time. The players, and people in the walk, in everyday walks of life, you know, how do you want to be remembered? And I remember, I got that lesson from Coach Sloan…
Maybe my fourth or fifth year in the league, my playing time started to go down and I was getting a little upset with my playing time. And we have this guy, you know, Carlos Boozer was ahead of me, and this, they brought in this kid, Paul Millsap, and he was starting to take my time. (laughs)
And I got a little frustrated. And looking back on it, Boozer and Paul deserved to be playing. (laughs) Coach did the right thing. But I got a little salty, and I remember Coach Sloan coming up to me and just, you know, and it’s just so many lessons that you learn, you know, not necessarily having to involve, you know, on-the-court stuff.
This was after a game. He said, you know, “Jarron, how do you want to be remembered? You know, you can’t play basketball forever, but you want to do things the right way, and how do you want to be remembered? I understand your feelings right now, but you know, you, don’t throw it away.”
You know, it takes too much energy for me to be a jerk, so I, you know, I rededicated myself to just being a good teammate and being the best person, you know, I could possibly be. And you know, if anything, it really prolonged my career being that solid veteran on the end of the bench. You know, the guy that coach could count on to do things the right way, to be supportive, to be a great teammate.
And again, it just took a — you know, I knew all of these things, but sometimes it does take, you know, a coach like Coach Sloan coming over to me and having that brief conversation with me. That really meant a lot to me going in, going forward in my career. (KALL)