Jazz hoping Sloan stays on board
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has spent 68 years on Earth and has been involved in the NBA for 37 seasons.
But just because Sloan has outlasted almost all of his peers in the game does not mean that his time with Utah is coming to an end anytime soon, franchise owner Greg Miller said Thursday night.
The more Miller has learned about how the organization and Sloan in particular are viewed by outsiders, the more Miller's respect and admiration for Utah's longtime coach has grown.
Moreover, Miller said Sloan's tenure with the team shows no sign of coming to an end.
"I'm in zero hurry to push Jerry out," said Miller, prior to tipoff of the Jazz's 2010-11 home opener versus Phoenix. "It's because he's still producing. He's still working as hard today as he was the day we hired him, if not harder."
The only way Miller would step in and consider making a change is if he noticed that Sloan had lost a step. But in recent years, the exact opposite has occurred.
"I think he'll probably die with a shovel in his hand or on a tractor," Miller said. "And I think if Jerry felt that he was losing a step, he would come to us before we'd notice it.
"So, for the time being, I just consider myself extremely blessed. And I speak for the whole family, for the whole organization, when I say that I consider myself blessed that Jerry Sloan is our coach, and I'm very proud of the fact that he's been with us as long as he has."
Sloan said he has always appreciated the organization's public support. But, as always, Utah's coach is solely concerned with the day to day.
"They may change their mind. I have no problem with that. I don't get involved in all that," Sloan said. "I've never looked for another job. I do the best job I can here. If they tell me it's time for me to go, I'm gone. If I decide it's time for me to go, I'm gone."
So much for the new C.J. Miles. At least through two games.
With the Jazz in desperate need for perimeter shooting, Miles has been missing in action through the first two games.
He was 0-for-4 against Denver in the season-opener, and was pulled against the Suns on Thursday, moments after missing a defensive rotation.
"He's his own worst enemy," Sloan said. "He's still young, but sometimes he puts too much pressure on himself to score points. I always thought that the best shot coming into a game was a layup. Then you move out to 18 feet. Some guys do it the other way and end up not playing well."
The Jazz shot 34.8 percent in the first half against the Suns, as Phoenix clogged the middle and dared Utah to shoot from the perimeter. Deron Williams and Al Jefferson shot a combined 5-for-17 from the field, with Williams going 0-for-5.
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