It was a no-nonsense type negotiation, which is what you would expect from Jerry Sloan. The Jazz coach met with team owner Larry H. Miller only momentarily on Thursday afternoon, before the matter of his two-year contract extension was resolved.
"It wasn't a difficult negotiation," said Miller. "I think it took somewhere around five or six seconds."The Jazz announced Friday morning that Sloan, who is completing his third season as head coach of the Jazz, would be under contract for at least three more seasons. He had one year remaining on his old contract, but Miller said in light of recent rumors that Sloan would be fired if the Jazz didn't advance past the first round of the playoffs, he wanted clear matters up. Thus, the Jazz added a two-year extension.
"I had never considered letting Jerry go, but apparently some others considered it for me," said Miller, referring to a televised report. "I cannot imagine a coaching staff being better for this franchise."
Miller said after informing Sloan of his intentions, the coach's immediate reaction was, "Well, OK. Then about two minutes later he came out of the ether a little bit and showed about as much emotion as Jerry will show."
"I'm not very good at negotiating," said Sloan. "I just never felt like I'm one of those greedy guys. I just enjoy basketball and coaching. Those are more important than negotiations."
Despite having little to say about his new contract, Sloan cracked several jokes. "My wife isn't here today. She's at a garage sale . . . But I know she's extremely excited," he said. Asked about his agenda for the future, Sloan joked, "We're gonna try very hard to get David Robinson."
In almost three seasons since taking over for Frank Layden, Sloan has compiled a 148-79 record, the best winning percentage of any coach in franchise history.
Sloan built a reputation on being a straightforward coach who relates well to players. But at the end of last year, as well as this, national television networks predicted Sloan would be fired if the Jazz didn't get farther in the playoffs. Sloan said he never felt pressure greater than what he already put on himself, and the new contract didn't change his outlook.
"I honestly never had any problem going to work, even when things were tough when I was (head coach) in Chicago," said Sloan. "I always put more pressure on myself than I would receive from someone on the outside."
A former NBA All-Star with the Bulls, Sloan also coached at Chicago for three years, where his record was 94-121.