While the Jazz were playing the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, franchise owner Larry H. Miller who skipped attending Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference semifinal series for religious reasons went for a drive.
In the passenger's seat of his Lexus was ESPN.com columnist Gene Wojciechowski, whose lengthy column for the Web site included this nugget about the Jazz's head-coaching situation:
"It's 3:22 when Miller says (Jerry) Sloan wants to coach for at least another season, maybe more. But when he does call it quits, longtime Jazz assistant Phil Johnson will get first crack at the job.
"That's written in stone.
"If Johnson takes a pass, Miller is likely to make a run at John Stockton. They've discussed the job in the past, but Stockton's interest in the position or, more correctly, in coaching in the NBA has cooled. For now."
Miller first said several years ago that Johnson would be offered the top job whenever Sloan exited, and he has never once wavered from that since.
Johnson, a former NBA Coach of the Year, has been a candidate for at least two head-coaching vacancies in recent years in Toronto and Denver but instead has remained as Sloan's right-hand man.
Beyond his patented you-never-know-what-tomorrow-will-bring response to periodic questions about his coaching future, Sloan who is completing his 20th season in his current position has given no indication whatsoever that he does not plan to return next season.
Stockton, the NBA's all-time leading steals and assists leader, has been living quietly with his family in his native Spokane, Wash., since his retirement as a player in 2003.On the same day he chose not to be seen at the Jazz playoff game, incidentally, Miller made a live appearance Sunday night on KSL-TV.
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