Posted by: Stephen Loveless on February 10th, 2011The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
There are moments that mark a generation: where were you when WWII began; when it ended; when JFK was shot; when man landed on the moon; when Columbine was in tatters; when 9/11 took place? It will not have the far-reaching effect of those events but this day will make my personal list. I’ve had a bad feeling about the Jazz for the past two weeks or so, specifically about Deron Williams. He seemed to have started down a road that has only been taken by the stars I despise. Interviews became a forum for him to express his abandonment by teammates and coaches. He used his time on camera to shift the blame anywhere and everywhere. Step up to the plate, Deron.
There are a lot of rumors about Jerry’s resignation today and not much fact at this point. That being the case I will try to only address the things that I have noticed and not what I have heard from other sources. I was at ESA for the game last night and I hate to think that I may have witnessed Jerry’s last appearance as an NBA coach live. It was clear that the final plays were not drawn up by Jerry. There were a lot of missed queues in that game but I still place the majority of the blame for the team’s recent play on Deron.
A team captain needs to lead the team. Period. If he’s doing his best and the team is not performing that’s one thing. It can’t be helped sometimes. But the second he stops trying it becomes his fault. His lack of effort becomes the sole reason for the team’s failure. Personal glory has become far more important than team success. Deron shouldn’t be playing in the All-Star Game. He should be resting his wrist. He’s willing to take time off from the teams regular season games but not to miss his chance to play a bonus game that means nothing? You tell me what message that sends the fans. I’m sure many wouldn’t agree with that but it’s how I feel about it.
Deron used to be a rough-and-tumble, take-no-prisoners kind of guard. He refused to drive last night. What happened to the Deron that would have felt the need to compete with Rose? There was enough room on his screens for the whole team to follow through. If you aren’t going to run tight on a screen you may as well not run it in the first place. He’s just gotten lazy.
We’ve got a spoiled brat on our hands. It does appear that Deron is controlling the motivations and the designs of the team’s management. You do what you can to keep the star happy but at what cost? When do you tell him to hit the road? This franchise has been built on loyalty and consistency and I hate to think that anyone but Jerry would have made this decision. Larry must be rolling over in his grave if Deron is taking precedence over Jerry.
Whatever happened last night and whatever happens in the days to come I hope that Jerry can walk away from it all with his head held high and with no regrets. Let’s pull together behind Millsap, Jefferson, and Kirilenko. Maybe look into trading Williams before the rest of the world realizes what a diva he is. Let’s not let Jerry see the team completely fall apart behind him. He’s been a great coach and mentor and he deserves better than that. We’ll miss him dearly.
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