Twitter and the Internet are currently blowing up with reports that Jerry Sloan and his long-time assistant Phil Johnson will be resigning at an afternoon news conference today.
If that happens, it will be a sad day for long-time Jazz fans, even those who have come to believe the 68-year-old coach is past his prime and can't connect with "modern players," which in this case is code for disgruntled point guard Deron Williams, who's been noticably pouty in the press this season as the team scuffles with a raft of new players being integrated into Sloan's system.
Maybe it's true; maybe it's time for him to go. But how bitter is it that it comes a day after the Jazz lost at home to the Chicago Bulls, a team that now includes three of the Jazz's players from last season (the much-reviled Carlos Boozer, the much-adored Kyle Korver and the utterly forgettable Ronnie Brewer)? It should be noted that Williams was largely responsible for the ultimate outcome, turning the ball over three times in the last moments of the game.
Perhaps some new blood in charge with give the team a mid-season jolt that will carry them to the playoffs, where they will likely be destroyed again by a more-talented team, as is the Jazz's style in recent years. But I hate seeing a class act and Hall of Fame coach like Sloan being forced out mid-season. It likely won't change the Jazz's ultimate ending to the season, so why not let the man leave with some dignity at the end of the year, retiring to his beloved Indiana farm?
In recent years, the Jazz have lost two Hall of Fame players in Karl Malone and John Stockton. Lost an owner who actually cared about the team's won-loss record and the community where his team played in Larry Miller. And now, if reports are to be believed, they lose a Hall of Fame coach who has done nothing other than consistently take his team to the playoffs year after year despite playing in a "small market."
Here's hoping the powers that be running the Jazz know what they're doing, and that Sloan has many happy days ahead away from the hardwood. We've had it pretty good around here as basketball fans, for a long time, thanks to that crusty old dude.