Remember back in February, when word leaked that Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone had to purchase a scalped ticket to see his former team play? Well, either he paid for a scalped ticket or refused the team's offer of a free seat. Either way, the game was the team's first since the Jazz and longtime coach Jerry Sloan parted ways, Malone was not too happy with the Jazz at that point, and a year after that newish Jazz owner Greg Miller lashed out at his "high-maintenance" Hall of Famer for trusting hearsay and assumptions in his take on how the Jazz and Sloan divorced.
Two months later, with Malone back in Salt Lake City to see the Jazz fall to a never-die/can't-die Phoenix Suns team, everyone appears to be cheery again. Malone has made up with Miller, publicly embracing the Hall of Famer before Wednesday's game. Here's the scoop, from The Salt Lake Tribune:
"Karl and I have got it worked out and everything's good," Miller said.
The official reconciliation was announced during the same night NBA Commissioner David Stern visited ESA. Stern told The Salt Lake Tribune on Feb. 6 he wanted Miller and Malone to calmly resolve their differences.
This is a good thing, because though there was plenty of blame to go around throughout this whole mess, none of the particulars was explicitly right or wrong.
Former Jazz All-Star Deron Williams was wrong to make life rough for Sloan by breaking the plays that his coach called; but Sloan also needed to learn to trust his franchise player and not call a play every time down court. Including off of offensive rebounds.
Sloan was wrong to come off so heavy-handed, or to quit in a fit midseason, but he would have been selling out his principles otherwise had he stuck around.
The Jazz personnel chiefs were wrong to side with Williams so quickly, but coaches (even Hall of Fame coaches) can be subbed in and out, and All-Star point guards (as both the Jazz and possibly New Jersey Nets are about to find out, with Deron) aren't easily replaceable.
Malone was wrong to go off of rumors and what he thinks happened in that room with Sloan and Jazz brass, but his guesswork is probably spot on in this regard. Still, no reason to act snippy and refuse what was probably a perfectly good seat that the Jazz offered him.
And Greg Miller was right to lash out at Malone for going off of hearsay and playing it up for "every camera he could find," as pointed out in Miller's blog post, but Malone had a genuine beef. And bloggy attacks on former superstars, coming from an adult owner, usually aren't the best way to solve things.
Nobody came out of this looking good, but at least we can be civil moving forward. Right, gentlemen?