Jerry Sloan Out as Utah Jazz Coach
It was pretty funny. Mean, but funny.
Now let's consider how much the league has changed since someone other than Jerry Sloan was head coach of the Utah Jazz. Sloan took over the team in December, 1988. Ronald Regan was still president. Magic and Larry still ruled the NBA. Michael Jordan had no rings. Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant were two months old. Blake Griffin wouldn't be born for another four months.
Today, Sloan will leave the Jazz -- and give up the title of longest-tenured current head coach in American pro sports.
We'll leave the discussion of his hall-of-fame legacy to other outlets - in this space, we're concerned with the fantasy implications of the coaching change. My esteemed colleague Andre' Snellings kick-started the discussion on Twitter, wondering if Sloan's resignation would mean a departure from his trademark pick-and-roll -- and if fantasy values for key Utah players would be affected.
I don't think a change like that is likely -- not this season, anyway. Given the timing of Sloan's departure - and the fact that it's apparently coming as a surprise to just about everyone - my guess is one of his assistants will be given the job on an interim basis. Tyrone Corbin seems to be the leading contender at this point.
An assistant coach taking over at mid-season usually doesn't mean major changes in strategy. But we could see some tweaks. For example, when assistant coach Frank Vogel took over the Pacers from Jim O'Brien, one of his first acts was to stabilize the rotation. Utah's new coach might try different player combinations -- maybe we'll see more of Gordon Hayward or C.J. Miles.
Of course, Sloan's departure could also be a precursor to much larger moves. If he's leaving to protest management's apparent unwillingness to spend money, maybe Deron Williams will be the next to go. (On the other hand, there are rumors that the coaching change is the first step in Utah's plan to retain Williams' services... of course, we all saw how well that worked out for the Cavaliers and LeBron James.)