Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan played the feud— to the point Sloan quit and D-Will still got traded. Williams thought the grass was greener elsewhere, but Avery Johnson is not always the answer to your dreams.
How bad were things? Check out what former Utah Jazz physician Dr. Lyle Mason told Salt City Hoops (hat tip Eye on Basketball):
…the personality conflict grew between him and the coach, and eventually it became impossible for the two of them to stay. When the coach quit, management still decided that it was best if he went somewhere else.
Deron was the opposite of Stockton: Deron could not handle the coach calling any plays. He wanted to call every play. I’ll never understand why that was such a big deal, that if the coach called one play, he was going to run another one, which he always did. And that was part of what really drove them apart, was that Deron just decided he didn’t need coaching, and Jerry obviously thought otherwise.
He goes on to say Williams was always kind and liked the idea of raising his children in Utah, he just couldn’t get along with Sloan.
Much like Shaq and Kobe, that was an immature version of D-Will in those years in Utah. Both he and Sloan said later they could work together again. The Williams that will suit up in Dallas this year may have lost a step physically but is going to blend in much better as a teammate than he did in Utah.
At least Rick Carlisle better hope so. Ask Rajon Rondo, Carlisle likes to call all the plays.