Jerry Sloan’s and Karl Malone’s Second Jobs1
By Ken K. Gourdin
Reason number 1,275,137,500 (and 501) why I love the Utah Jazz. The story is told of retired Jazz Coach (and current consultant) Jerry Sloan being “out and about” in a nondescript white van with his characteristic John Deere baseball cap. He had stopped somewhere and a lady mistook him for an airport shuttle driver. She asked him to take her to the airport, and he said, “Well, I wasn’t headed that way …” but he took her to the airport anyway.2
John Stockton recently sat down with SI.com’s Chris Mannix for an interview to promote his recently-released autobiography, Assisted. In that interview, Stockton was asked, “What’s one thing [that you talk about in the book, but that we don’t know about Karl Malone]?” Stockton said he was once at the airport with Malone and the rest of the team when a lady mistook Malone for a skycap. Without a word of correction or complaint (much less having taken any offense), the Mailman “delivered” the lady’s bags to the trunk of her car outside the airport – to the shock of her companions, who all were perfectly well aware that Karl Malone wasn’t a skycap. The Mailman refused her offer of a tip.3
(No word on whether Jerry Sloan was offered a tip, or on whether he accepted.)
Could anyone imagine former Lakers head coach Philly Jackson doing something like what Sloan did, or Laker great Kobe Bryant doing something like what Malone did? Five words:
Update, 3 February 2014: More on Jerry Sloan – Coach Sloan was just honored for his accomplishments by the Jazz, who raised a banner with the number of victories he coached — 1,223 — to the rafters at Energy Solutions Arena. Salt Lake Tribune columnist Gordon Monson shares quotable moments which provide insight into a man who shuns the spotlight here (last accessed today): http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/jazz/57472844-87/sloan-coach-jazz-jerry.html.csp.
|1.||And no, this is still not an NBA-themed or a Utah-Jazz-themed blog.|
|2.||Gordon Monson (March 31, 2010) “Sloan deserves praise for coaching job,” The Salt Lake Tribune, accessed on line at http://www.sltrib.com/jazz/ci_14786653 on January 14, 2014.|
|3.||Chris Mannix (November 11, 2013) “Stockton on Malone, Jordan, and post-NBA life,” Inside the NBA, accessed on line at http://www.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20131111/john-stockton-utah-jazz-nba-hall-of-fame-interview/ on January 14, 2014.