In Miller's autobiography, "Driven," he says this about the coach: "One of the best things we did was hire Jerry Sloan as coach. At the time, he said, 'I am only going to ask you for one thing — if I get fired, let me get fired for my own decisions.' I've always honored that. Too often management makes decisions that affect the team and the coach, and the coach takes the fall for it."
Miller, who looked askance at the pro game's habit of dismissing coaches at the first hint of trouble, believed in hiring good people and then standing by them and letting them do their jobs. Many of the Jazz coaches and staff have been there for decades. It engendered stability and consistency. The Jazz set an NBA league record for most consecutive winning seasons and rank third in most consecutive playoff appearances.
Miller never believed in letting players control teams with their million-dollar contracts and star power. He gave Sloan control of his destiny, just as he requested on the day he was hired. He did things his way. He dictated discipline right down to how players wore their socks, the color of their shoes, how they wore their jerseys (always tucked) and where they sat on the bench. Karl Malone once announced that he was going to wear black shoes in an upcoming game. Sloan told him, "You're not going to be on my team if you wear black shoes." Malone wore white shoes.
Now Miller is gone and you wonder if all that will change. As Sloan made his exit Thursday, he noted that his replacement, Ty Corbin, will have to coach until 2034 to match him.
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