In part, Jerry Sloan walked away from his longstanding Utah Jazz gig because of these players today.It’s unfair to pin it specifically on All-Star point guard Deron Williams, but clashes between Sloan and Williams—the team’s franchise player—suddenly took on a new significance.
Sloan’s abrupt resignation was a huge blow to the organisation, heck, even the state. It also, in effect, meant that Williams had to go at some point.
Unless Williams, and truthfully, the entire team, proved absolutely faultless for years to come, at some point, the Sloan firing would come back to bite him. It was as inevitable as Melo to the Knicks, and yet somehow no one saw it coming. Salt Lake City’s David Locke tweeted that, “Deron Williams told me it was not his choice. He is stunned. Declined to do interview until he figures out what it all means.”
The Jazz went from losing their institution of a coach and having their days with Deron Williams numbered, to pulling off a coup of a deal—as if they, and Williams, had any leverage yet. Some have suggested this was a grudge-trade, and certainly, the Nets are hardly the ideal destination these days. Yet they were able to swoop in on a Nets team badly in need of a front office win (going all the way back to the summer), and get the same pretty awesome package that NJ had been dangling for Carmelo Anthony, everyone’s prized player this trade deadline.
There’s a lot left unresolved here–at least for the Nets and Knicks. The Knicks could still come out the winners if, somehow, they secure the services of Chris Paul a year from now. The Nets have no idea whether or not they’ll be able to retain Williams long-term. Oh, and also, there’s that small matter of the CBA to contend with, which for all we know, could forces all players whose last names start with “W” to take a pay cut.
This much is for sure, though: James Dolan got played by Mikhail Prokhorov. And the Jazz may have played everybody, now and forever.
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