Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Swingman Gordon Hayward fails to run through along baseline from one side of the floor to the other, as the Jazz offensive system calls for him to do.
All-Star point guard Deron Williams, frustrated in the closing minutes of the Jazz's TNT-televised home loss to Phoenix on Thursday night, gets upset with the rookie's miscue and zips a much-harder-than-need-be pass at him.
Later, heading to a timeout, the two exchange words, with Williams chastising the rookie for not running the floor like he should. Teammate Al Jefferson comforted Hayward, and assistant coach Tyrone Corbin offered a pat on the back as well.
After the game, Hayward acknowledged he should have cut through the lane.
Both he and Williams chalked up the incident to "miscommunication," and coach Jerry Sloan suggested he was OK with Williams getting something to the rookie, saying, "I don't have a problem with it as long as there's no malicious intent."
Soon, however, the play and its aftermath was a popular YouTube clip. It was a hot sports-radio topic. And prior to practice Friday morning, Sloan addressed the matter.
"First of all, I think both of them were wrong in some aspects of it," he said. "Because I think Gordon (Hayward) could have run the floor for a layup, which he didn't do. Deron (Williams) could have not thrown the basketball at him, which was wrong.
"And those are things that sometime happen in a ballgame," Sloan added. "You know, I don't think you can embarrass someone as a player and a teammate to get those points across. There's an easier, better way of doing it — especially with a young guy."
The Jazz coach came further to Hayward's defense.
"I don't know a perfect player yet," Sloan said. "I don't know anybody that's perfect. Sometimes we make mistakes.
"I mean, I make a ton of mistakes in what I do as a coach," he added. "I'm not perfect. But the idea is we're all on the same page, to try to get the job done. And that's the only way we'll have a chance."
Hayward, incidentally, caught the beeline pass from Williams. He then dished to power forward Paul Millsap from the right side, cut to the lane and accepted a return pass from Millsap to complete the give-and-go with a layup.
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