You’ve seen the reports — the relationship between Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan led to the post-game meeting with the team owner and GM Wednesday night, a meeting that by Thursday morning had Sloan stepping down after 23 seasons as the Jazz coach.
Williams said it was not like that in an interview with 1320 KFAN radio in Salt Lake City. He said he never went to management and said that one of them had to go, he or Sloan.
“I would never force Coach Sloan out of Utah. He’s meant more to this town, this organization than I have by far. Not my place. If that was the case I would just say I wanted out.”
I believe him on this, that he never went to the organization directly. That, of course, is something else entirely from the leaders of the organization seeing the clashes Williams and Sloan did have and that leading to fear about losing Williams to free agency in the summer of 2012. That can lead to the organization putting pressure on Sloan independent of Williams asking, leading to Sloan deciding he didn’t want to fight another battle and walking away.
Williams acknowledged the two had their fights. He added people not in the locker room or around the team have overhyped the disagreement between he and Sloan from Wednesday. Both men wanted to win, both were stubborn and that led to some clashes.
“We just had a disagreement. We’ve had worse, I’ve seen him have worse with other players. Jerry is very fiery, I guess that is the word, and I am, too. So we just clash on things.”
He said their relationship has always been that way.
“I wouldn’t say we’ve had a rocky relationship, but we’ve had our disagreements over the years. Probably no more than any other coach or player have arguments. We’re both competitive we’re both very stubborn and I think that’s where we clash.”
He added that this season has been like pretty much every other in terms of their disagreements.
He added that his relationship is good with incoming coach Ty Corbin and that the players like him.
We’ll see what all this means on the court starting Friday night against Phoenix.