Jazz stunned by Lakers coach's firing, skeptical of Sloan as replacement
Denver • Tyrone Corbin just shook his head.
"Five games in a lot of things could change," the Jazz coach said. "It's a long season, I don't know what the expectations were. It's unfortunate it had to happen and it happened so soon."
Word of Mike Brown's firing as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers quickly traveled to Denver, where the Jazz were shooting around at Pepsi Center.
"It's unfortunate," Corbin said. "It's unfortunate anytime anybody loses a job like that, it's just unfortunate that it happened to him."
Brown was in his second season with the Lakers, coming off a 41-25 season and a trip to the Western Conference semifinals. But the Lakers stumbled out of the blocks to a 1-4 start, including a 95-86 loss to the Jazz in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
It proved to be Brown's final game.
Former Charlotte head coach and general manager Bernie Bickerstaff was named interim head coach following the firing and will coach the team Friday against Golden State. The Lakers end up finding a permanent replacement, among the names most commonly floated is former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan.
Folks around the Jazz were skeptical that the Hall of Famer would end up with the Lakers.
"I doubt it happens," forward Paul Millsap said, "but it sounds good. It would be good to look over and see Coach Sloan over on the bench, but I doubt it's in L.A."
Sloan coached the Jazz from 1988 to 2011, when he stepped down mid-season. With the Jazz, and before that three seasons with the Chicago Bulls, Sloan built a career record of 1,221-803.
Millsap and others said Sloan's temperament would not jell well with the superstar-driven Lakers.
"It's not for him," said Millsap, who played his first four-and-a-half seasons under Sloan.
Corbin was more diplomatic when it came to his former boss.
"If that's what he wants to do," Corbin said, "I'm happy for him. He's a great coach, he's a great guy, he's deserving of anything he decides to do in life."