Utah Jazz have talked to Jerry Sloan about coming back to the organization
"He always had other things going on. Whenever I was coaching, I don't think he was really that interested in coaching yet," Sloan said. "But I think he's indicated that here in the last year or so that he'd be interested in getting back into basketball (to) some extent, and I think he's done that. I think he'll do a great job with them."
When Phoenix snatched Hornacek away from his assistant coach gig in Utah last week, the 50-year-old became the sixth former Sloan-coached player from the Jazz to become an NBA head coach. The others include Corbin, Jacque Vaughn (Orlando), Mark Jackson (Golden State), Larry Krystkowiak (Milwaukee, 2007-08) and Marc Iavaroni (Memphis, 2007-09).
Hornacek worked on a part-time basis under Sloan as the Jazz's shooting coach from 2007-11, helping guys like Andrei Kirilenko and Gordon Hayward.
Sloan is well aware that Phoenix finished 25-57 in 2012-13, and he's not quite sure how quickly Hornacek can turn things around in the Valley of the Sun.
"It all depends on who they get him as players," Sloan said. "It's hard to win the Kentucky Derby unless you have some thoroughbreds."
That's why Sloan considered himself so lucky to have standout players the likes of Malone, John Stockton, Hornacek, Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer during his coaching career in Utah. Sloan was fired from his first head-coaching job in Chicago in 1982 after going 94-121 with much lesser talent.
But Sloan is certainly a fan of Hornacek's.
"I think he'll do a good job coaching, although I've never seen him coach," Sloan said. "His background in it is very good. I think he'll do a good job. It still boils down to having good players."
With all this coaching talk regarding Malone, Hornacek and Sloan going on, what about their other sidekick — the one who holds NBA records for assists and steals?
"Do I think it could happen? You'll have to ask John that. John is the one who's in control of that, not me," Sloan said when jokingly asked about the possibility of Stockton returning to the NBA as a coach.
"I think he'd be a great coach if he ever wanted to coach."
If Sloan has a Jazz reunion, it wouldn't be unprecedented in franchise history. His predecessor, Frank Layden, became team president after surprisingly stepping down early into the 1988-89 season. The Jazz's first Utah-era coach, Tom Nissalke, has remained in Salt Lake City, working on the team's broadcast crew many years after being replaced by Layden in 1981. Similarly, Phil Johnson, Sloan's top assistant for nearly 23 years, has taken on a commentator role for Jazz telecasts after his 2011 resignation.
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