SALT LAKE CITY — Discussing his new role as a senior basketball advisor for the Utah Jazz, Jerry Sloan spoke extensively in public Thursday for the first time since quitting as the Jazz's head coach in February 2011.
At a press conference at the Zions Bank Basketball Center, the 71-year-old Sloan said he still isn’t sure exactly what his role will be with the team, but said he definitely will not be coaching. He said he'll leave that to current coach Tyrone Corbin and his assistants.
According to the Jazz, Sloan’s role will be to support the Jazz through player evaluations in workouts, camps and summer league games, along with “occasional practice observation.’’
“To have him working with us is a tremendous thing,’’ said Corbin. “I will lean on him in a lot of ways.’’
Sloan said he doesn’t want to get in Corbin’s way and that he is “doing a terrific job” as the Jazz's coach. Several times during the press conference, Sloan stressed that Jazz fans must have “patience” with the young players and pointed out that Karl Malone and John Stockton were in their mid-30s when the Jazz competed for championships in the late 1990s.
Sloan said he missed being away from basketball from the day he quit, but also said, “I don’t regret anything’’ about leaving when he did. In fact he said leaving when he did "enhanced" the progress of the team and that "Deron Williams was going to leave anyway.''
“It was good for me to get away from basketball and nice to have some time off,’’ Sloan said.
When asked if he would attend Jazz practices, Sloan joked, "If they have them too early I won't.''