Jerry Sloan resigned as the coach of the Utah Jazz on Thursday, but no players were in attendance at the legend's farewell press conference in Salt Lake City. One Jazz player, however, did take to Twitter to react to the news.
C.J. Miles, a Jazz wing, expressed disbelief at Sloan's abrupt departure. (We took the liberty of cleaning up the tweetspeak.)
"Man I still can't believe it actually went down. I was sure that it was gonna be squashed today and he wouldn't do it but ... All we can do is move on and keep playing."
Sloan said at his press conference that he hadn't had an opportunity to talk to his players once the decision to step down was made. He said he ran into Jazz guard Ronnie Price at the arena just before the press conference, but that had been the extent of his contact.
Tyrone Corbin was named Sloan's replacement, and Miles did have some words of encouragement for the longtime Jazz assistant.
"But I really do think Coach Ty will be a great Coach! Scratch that: I know he will."
NBA commissioner David Stern also released a statement, which is outside the norm when it comes to coaching changes. (Sloan's tenure and significance is obviously outside the norm, too.)
"Few people have epitomized all the positives of team sports more than Jerry Sloan," Stern's statement reads. "A basketball lifer, Jerry was as relentless in his will to win on the sidelines for the Utah Jazz as he was as an All-Star guard for the Chicago Bulls. In over two decades as a coach, he taught his players that nothing was more important than the team. His most impressive qualities were his leadership and his extraordinary ability to encourage his players to subjugate their individual games for the benefit of the whole. Two trips to The Finals and over 1,200 regular-season victories more than validate his philosophy."