SALT LAKE CITY — Jerry Sloan's retirement last year was not rooted in a lack of support from team management, he said in a written statement released Saturday.
Sloan's remarks were in response to comments Karl Malone made on 1280 The Zone on January 27, in which he accused general manager Kevin O'Connor and CEO Greg Miller of not backing Sloan up during a locker room dispute with Deron Williams in 2011.
Malone said, “That defining moment when (management) should have stood up for Jerry Sloan, they chose Deron Williams,” Malone said. “And Coach Sloan, being the coach I know and love, said, 'You know what? We should part ways.'”
But in the statement, Sloan said that was not how it occurred.
“I would like to set the record straight regarding my retirement from the Utah Jazz,” he said. “I had the unwavering support of the Miller family during my 23 seasons as head coach with the franchise and I left on my own volition. It is not true that the Millers undermined my authority as head coach. I had their complete backing to run the team as I wished and was assured that no player could ever overrule my decisions.
“The Millers encouraged me to stay with the team and gave me multiple opportunities to do so. They felt strongly that I should wait at least until the end of the season to resign and did everything they could to keep me coaching.
“I do not wish to make any further statements regarding this issue. It is time for me and my family to move on and I ask that the media respect my wishes and respect the integrity of the Miller family and all that they have done for the Utah Jazz and this community.”
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company