Karl Malone said the Jazz botched Jerry Sloan’s departure, giving Deron Williams too much power, and essentially blamed Kevin O’Connor and Greg Miller for undermining an icon who had coached the Jazz for 23 years.
“On the whole handling of that, I would have to give [them] a D or F, and I would lean more toward an F,” said Malone, who has remained close to Sloan since his own retirement in 2004.
Trouble had been stirring between Williams and Sloan for months. Sloan admitted that the two “got into it.” Malone said the Jazz had empowered the point guard to go directly to O’Connor when he disagreed with Sloan and that was, as Karl called it, “the perfect storm.”
“I know for a fact that [Sloan] was overridden on practices sometime on the road because Deron was calling our G.M. at that time,” Malone said. “ … You give a guy that much power, and he’s the kind of player you think he played hard all the time, but if he wanted to sulk he could sulk. … I never went to Larry [Miller] to talk about Coach Sloan. … It’s not one time, in my gut and heart, that I would go over his head.”