SALT LAKE CITY — CJ Miles will never forget Jerry Sloan.
The NBA veteran recently spoke with CBSSports’ James Herbert about the legendary Utah Jazz coach, following his passing on May 22.
Miles went through, in detail, many of his fondest memories of the Hall of Fame coach, all the way back to when he was an 18-year old rookie in 2005, up to the day Sloan resigned as head coach of the Jazz six years later.
Miles addressed Sloan’s now infamous quote, “I don’t care if he’s 19 or 30. If he’s going to be on the floor in the NBA, he’s got to be able to step up and get after it. We can’t put diapers on him one night and a jockstrap the next night. It’s just the way it is,” which was directed at him.
“People asked me about that,” Miles told Herbert. “I was like, no, it didn’t hurt my feelings. Because 1) he had said worse to me before, 2) I knew where he came from when he spoke to me. He wasn’t trying to embarrass me.”
Later in the piece, Miles talks about how during his rookie season, he spotted Sloan and some other Jazz staffers while out with his agent and a couple of friends in New Jersey. When Miles stopped to say hello, Sloan pretended not to know Miles, in jest of course, giving the rookie a hard time.
Miles also discussed Sloan’s intense practices, and credited the coach for the “non-negotiable in-season routines,” that led to Miles’ successful NBA career.
“He gave me the chance,” Miles told Herbert. “Like, he brought me in. He drafted me. I was there for, what, 33 picks before that, you know? He saw something in me. He picked me. He told me that. He let me know, and he pushed me. And I’m thankful.”