Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, who will resign today, and his point guard Deron Williams had an argument so heated during halftime of the team's Wednesday loss to the Chicago Bulls that witness thought they might come to blows, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Sloan's pending resignation sent shock and ... well, more shock through the NBA on Thursday. The Jazz have a 5 PM Eastern news conference scheduled to formally announce Sloan's departure. Quickly after news of Sloan's exit spread, Wojnarowski and other reporters began reporting on a halftime blow-up between the tenured coach and Williams.
Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday night on odd goings-on following the Jazz's loss. Sloan took more than 30 minutes to meet with the media -- far longer than usual -- due to an immediate post-game closed-door meeting with Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor. Sloan told Smith that the team would discuss the meeting on Thursday, and O'Connor wasn't made available.
Sloan spent more than 30 minutes behind closed doors before finally speaking with the media. He was clearly disturbed during the initial portion of his postgame interview, and quickly answered two questions about his meeting with O'Connor before saying that he would only discuss game-related queries and then trailing off in mid-sentence.
During and following the conversation involving Sloan and O'Connor, a practice scheduled for Thursday morning was abruptly canceled, forward Andrei Kirilenko emerged from the coaches' room and not the locker room, and multiple players acknowledged that there was a weird vibe after the game.
Wojnarowski now reports that during a halftime argument, Williams and Sloan were so angry that Jazz players who witnessed the showdown believed they would come to blows.
Showdown between Sloan and Williams became so heated Wednesday, at least two Jazz players feared they could come to blows. Never escalated.
Stay tuned for more on the weird and sad end to Jerry Sloan's mammoth career.