Friday , Dec , 28 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Why Jerry Sloan And Gordon Giricek Made Peace In Utah

On the surface, Coach Sloan and favorite whipping boy Gordon Giricek appear to have ended their week long standoff. A little peace, goodwill, and holiday love in Utah. Don’t get caught in the Kumbaya vibe. This isn’t forgive-and-forget. This is a tenuous détente, with Sloan and Giricek having little choice but to move past their recent differences …

Why Jerry Sloan And Gordon Giricek Made Peace In UtahESPN.com news services reports on Jerry Sloan and Gordon Giricek putting last week’s disagreement in the past:

Utah Jazz guard Gordan Giricek has returned to the team more than a week after he and coach Jerry Sloan got into an argument on the bench during a game, and both men are pledging to leave their disagreements in the past.

"The most important thing for everybody who loves the Jazz should be that we took care of the things and that we’re going to move forward," Giricek said. "We left everything behind us. We move forward, the way it should be, not only in this situation but in your life, right?

My Very Quick AM Take:  On the surface, Coach Sloan and favorite whipping boy Gordon Giricek appear to have ended their week long standoff.  A little peace, goodwill, and holiday love in Utah.

Don’t get caught in the Kumbaya vibe. This isn’t forgive-and-forget. This is a tenuous détente, with Sloan and Giricek having little choice but to move past their recent differences.

Why did the feisty sideline boss and temperamental Euro bother with a fragile truce? Well, self interest. Right now, Sloan and Giricek need each other.

So far, the Jazz has been a major disappointment. After reaching last year’s Western Conference Finals, Utah are barely pushing .500. Poor outside shooting, specifically at two-guard, has been a problem. Enter Giricek. When focused and given regular playing time, he can extend defenses with his outside range. The Croatian isn’t the long-term answer, but can temporarily plug the hole at off-guard.

Like all good teams, the Jazz protect assets. In the NBA’s world of salary caps and luxury taxes, Giricek’s expiring contract has value, so his on-court return could set-up a bigger, blockbuster trade.

Sloan has a firm-but-fair reputation. However, in the last year, he’s taken some hits from public squabbles with John Amechi, Andrei Kirilenko, and now Giricek. Even a well-respected, old timer like Sloan realizes he must minimize the fallout from such damaging incidents.

Right now, Sloan and Giricek have reached a convenient ceasefire. Don’t expect it to last. Their battle isn’t over.

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