Sunday, April 11, 2010
No COTY love for Jerry
Don Chaney, Sam Mitchell and ahem, Mike Dunleavy.
What do they have in common? They've all been run out of NBA coaching jobs, never made The Finals but they've also been NBA Coach of the Year. Amazingly the most consistent, longest tenured coach in the four major professional sports leagues has never received the NBA's top coaching Honor. Sad considering the shelf life of an NBA job is only 3 years
That man is Jerry Sloan of the Utah Jazz!
The winner of 6 Division Titles, who has been to 6 Western Conference Finals (a very underated achievement) and unfortunately for him he ran into Jordan's Bulls during his two NBA Finals Appearances, has never won Coach of the Year honors in the league.
Yet the hard nosed former Chicago bulls star continues to pluck away in Salt Lake City, consistently producing quality teams for one of the NBA's wildest fan bases. Head Coach of the Jazz since 1988 (think about that, 22 years!), he has compiled 1136career wins, winning over 50 games on 12 occassions. Yet he largely goes unnoticed as a coaching great, which is ashame.
Sloan has bridged the gap from the Stockton/Malone era to winning big again in the last few years while developing star guard Deron Williams and putting the Jazz in position to win in the ultra competitve Western Conference. It was just 3 years ago that Utah came from no where to make the conference finals and prove once again that he can get the job done. They are currently tied with Denver for first in their division and have even inched up to the 2 seed in the West early last week.
If Sloan can somehow get Andrei Kirelinko healthy in the next week, he then has a shut down defender to go up against the likes of Carmello & Kobe late in games to make another playoff run in the west.
Of course, Sloan is deserving of the award again this year, but probably won't get it and that will be fine with him. Someone will more then likely win it and be fired within three years while Sloan continues to work in SLC. Besides, any coach wearing a John Deere hat to a press conference could probably care less about such chivalry anyway.