Jerry Sloan's abrupt departure has caused a media frenzy boarding on biblical proportions. Major outlets, blogs, message boards, they all have an opinion of what exactly took place and who is to blame. Deron Williams vs. Jerry Sloan...Someone had to go...Players don't respect coaches anymore...Sloan deserved better, etc. One of the most important jobs of being a bettor is not to overreact. Analyze the situation, gather as many facts as you can and then determine how large of an impact if any it will have on the pointspread. If you sift through the Sloan saga poop, there are a couple of contrarian opinions that perhaps tell a different story. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports took a more neutral stance in this worthy read
. One quote in particular that stood out:
“The player isn’t always wrong,” one respected GM said Thursday."
That's not to say it was all Sloan's fault either, but Williams is being portrayed as the bad guy when in reality it was probably a number of factors that contributed to the situation boiling over. Kobe Bryant voiced his support of Williams. Obviously Kobe wasn't going to take Sloan's side but he must have had at least some understanding of the situation to say this:
“People need to leave D-Will the [expletive] alone on this,” Kobe Bryant told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday night. “Leave him alone. He doesn’t deserve to be at the front of this. That’s horse…. He’s a great competitor. He works his butt off. He’s always been a great leader. He’s clutch, performs under pressure. Enjoy the 23 great years that Jerry Sloan gave them, but don’t put this on Deron Williams.”
The issue for bettors is how will Sloan's decision to leave affect the team? The Jazz are 31-23 and likely headed to the postseason, Williams comes off as a player his teammates respect, and interim head coach Ty Corbin doesn't seem like the type who is going to stray far from the reservation in terms of the philosophies Sloan preached. As much as I respect Sloan, he wasn't the easiest coach to play for and his departure could be a blessing in disguise. They'll probably lose a couple of games by not having Sloan's quick decision making to fall back on – the guy could flat-out coach – but unless Corbin starts playing zone defense or four corners, handicapping the Jazz as you would pre-Sloan looks to be the best course of action.