Former NBA player and current Sacramento King Deron Williams has opened up about his relationship with former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. Williams says that he held a grudge for a while, but now the two are on good terms.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Deron Williams cleared the air on his relationship with Jerry Sloan. Williams said that he held a grudge for a while but then he realized that it wasn’t worth it and that he was being s****y.
Jerry Sloan’s contract with the Utah Jazz was extended for another season on February 7, 2011, allowing him to continue as head coach. After guiding the team to 23 straight seasons, the longest run in the history of the four major professional sports in the United States, he shocked the basketball world by quitting four days later.
An altercation between the coach and the team’s top point guard, Deron Williams, during halftime of a game Utah lost to the Chicago Bulls, prompted his resignation.
This was not the first time the two had fought, according to the Salt Lake Tribune at the time, and there had been many prior bouts during the season.
Regrettably, everything was soon deleted, and the situation was never fully resolved. Until now, that is. Williams revealed what occurred that season and how he reconciled with his old coach in a recent interview with SHOWTIME Basketball.
“At the end of the day, our relationship was certainly strained. I clung to my first season, not starting and not in the manner he did. What I was saying before about how he didn’t really play me and just played me for a few minutes here and there and then all of a sudden I was playing. When I was younger, I believe I took it personally and harbored a grudge against him. That may have had an impact on me. I was certainly a jerk at times, especially before Madonna. I was also familiar with Coach Sloan’s demeanor. I believe I poked the bear just to see how he reacted to it. It was sort of like a back-and-forth thing and something that I wouldn’t do today or knowing what I know now. However, I always hold the Coast Loan in high regard. During my finest years, I learnt a lot from him. We’re unmistakably in Utah. My finest basketball players flourish under his method. And as a coach, I have a lot of admiration and respect for him. And, as individuals, did you have any discussions after your careers or after that issue in Utah faded away? That’s pretty much how it went. I finally met up with him around two years ago. Greg Miller, the previous owner and GM, convinced me to meet with Loan and clear the air so that we could speak. I’ve always wanted to make contact. It’s just one of those things where I’ve always felt compelled to apologize. And I’m not sure whether I’m afraid of someone coach slows down, but it’s frightening even for a grown guy. It’s as though it’s because I was so young when I was with him. It’s as though you’re constantly looking at him in a new manner. However, when Dad was diagnosed with dementia, I was able to speak with him. As a result, he was clearly regressing. Our discussions were a little heated on a number of occasions. He did get a little hot at times. It’s almost as if he’d returned to the present. I irritated him. Oh, crap, I thought. Colona will undoubtedly fight you. I’ve watched him attempt to dump a game on Jerry Stackhouse. Oh, I’m not sure you want to do that right now, I’m saying. That’s the one you should go with. Maybe it wasn’t the one with whom I was content. Before he passed away, I was able to speak with him and apologize for being a jerk.”
Deron then moved to the Brooklyn Nets, where he maintained his averages, but his performance began to deteriorate, and he played his last season in the NBA in 2016/17.
Sloan led the Jazz to two NBA Finals under the leadership of John Stockton and Karl Malone, with a record of 1,221 wins and 803 defeats for a 60.3 percent winning rate.
He farewelled the Jazz and the NBA in style until his death last year at the age of 76, ravaged by Parkinson’s disease and dementia. His light would never dim, and Deron was fortunate enough to be able to make peace with him.
- jerry sloan
- deron williams