Friday, February 25, 2011

Jerry Sloan: Deron Williams Trade Won't Affect Retirement

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Just in case anybody in Utah is getting any wild ideas Jerry Sloan might return as coach now that Deron Williams has been traded, that's not going to happen.

"No,'' Sloan said in a phone interview with FanHouse on Wednesday. "That didn't have anything to do with it. I left on my own terms.''

There has been plenty of talk that Williams, due to having a run-in with Sloan, played a role in the legendary coach resigning Feb. 10 after 23 seasons on the Jazz bench. Williams, Utah's star point guard, was traded Wednesday to New Jersey in a deal that included the Jazz getting point guard Devin Harris and promising young big man Derrick Favors from the Nets.

Sloan said he didn't "have any reaction'' to Williams being traded. He was asked if it might be unfair that Williams will get a rap about Sloan's exit due to his departure coming 13 days after Sloan left.

"That's not for me to say,'' Sloan said. "You guys are the ones who write the articles.''

Regardless of whether the Sloan situation factored into Williams' exit, he can opt out of his contract and become a free agent in the summer of 2012. Williams had said Sunday during All-Star Weekend he was wary of being in a situation next season similar to that of Carmelo Anthony, who was on the trading block all season due to his ability to opt out this summer and finally was moved Tuesday from Denver to New York. And no doubt Utah officials also were concerned about a similar situation.

After his resignation, Sloan spent a week in Salt Lake City and then left for the Midwest, where he has been working on his farm outside McLeansboro, Ill., and has visited relatives in Indianapolis. He wouldn't completely rule out one day returning to coaching.


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