When police are checking out a suspect’s alibi, they often separate the involved parties and have them tell their stories. Then they match up the stories to see if they’re consistent.
I bring this up because the rumor has persisted that in 2011, Jerry Sloan quit in the middle of the season mainly because he didn’t feel he had the support of team management when he wanted to suspend Deron Williams for insubordination.
Karl Malone, for one, said that was what his sources told him.
I wrote in past columns that it was a matter of Sloan getting sick of Williams’ attitude. If management supported Williams over Sloan, why would it trade him a week later?
In February 2011, I talked to two sources that were in the locker room the night of the Sloan-Williams dust-up, and they said it wasn’t a management/Sloan showdown. It was a Sloan-Williams argument and Sloan said “enough.” He was done.
CEO Greg Miller retold the story in detail this week, making it the third time the same accounting has been retold to me. All three sources, counting Miller, revealed essentially the same facts.
Meanwhile, the Jazz just re-hired Sloan, in an advisory position. Why hire a guy the management didn’t support?
So I think it’s time to put this one in the vault.
Sloan and Williams had a locker room spat over breaking plays. They exchanged words. Sloan quit.
End of story.