Hard to Know What to Say


It’s hard not to feel like the House of Utah Basketball is broken. It’s difficult to look at the roster and wonder who is going to be able to score points or play defense, and it’s hard – really hard – to read comments and tweets and blogs from Jazz loyalists and not feel like the sky is falling.

I’m still surprised that this happened, and that it happened so quickly. There’s a lot of speculation as to why it happened, but after taking some time to process it, I feel like I understand the reasons.

I’ve been following the Jazz for some time and as a result, and while I assume that part of being a front office executive in the NBA means that one needs to be evasive from time to time, I’ve come to trust that when the Utah Jazz brass speak about something after the fact, they do so in a straight forward manner.

So, as a result, I take Jerry O’Connor at his word when he says that the situation with Jerry Sloan had nothing to do with his decision to trade Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets.

I believe Greg Miller when he said that he wasn’t confident that Williams would re-sign and extension at the end of next year, and after all the craziness that came with the Melo trade, I can appreciate his interest in not wanting to drag the Utah fan base through that.

“What it boiled down to, for me anyway, was my gut sense of whether we’d be able to re-sign Deron,” Utah chief executive officer Greg Miller said. “And while I never saw any indication that he wouldn’t re-sign with us, I never saw any indication he would.”

I believe Jerry Sloan when he told Fan House that the trade wouldn’t affect his retirement…

“No,” Sloan said in a phone interview with FanHouse on Wednesday. “That didn’t have anything to do with it. I left on my own terms.”

I trust that this came down to a business decision and that in the end, the Jazz got two nice additions and two new draft picks for something they may have lost anyway.

This move may not hurt as badly as Sloan’s retirement, but it still hurts.

It hurts that it happened so quickly and that virtually no one was clued in until the deal was done.

It hurts that Williams found out about it when ESPN broke the story.

It hurts that the Jazz appear to have not been informed until this morning’s shoot around and that they had to lose Williams hours before getting blown away in Dallas.

It hurts that years from now, Jazz fans will still think of Williams as ‘the guy who drove Sloan out,’ even though Jerry has repeatedly said otherwise (and really has had no reason to lie).

After everything I’ve read about Sloan’s retirement and Williams’ trade, I still stand strong that Deron Williams is still my favorite player in the league. I understand that at the end of the day, the Jazz probably did very well in collecting two players and two draft picks for one franchise point guard, and that even though Williams’ trade signals a clear signal that it’s time to rebuild, they’re going to have a lot of ways to do so.

But it’s still hard.


~ by djepperson on February 24, 2011.

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