SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Jerry Sloan interviewed with Michael Jordan for the Charlotte Bobcats head coaching job today in Utah. But the Bobcats are coming off the worst season in NBA history, so why does Sloan even want the job?
"It's about the challenge of improving a situation," said former Jazz assistant coach Gordon Chiesa, who coached with Sloan from 1989-2004. "Jerry Sloan is all about discipline, hard work, and getting players to become better. The NBA needs someone like Jerry Sloan, especially a team that needs a new energy level, a new knockout punch. That's Jerry Sloan."
But to work for Michael Jordan, a guy who ripped Sloan's heart out two years in a row in the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals, that prospect doesn't sit well with Jazz fans.
"If he went with Charlotte, the biggest ego I've ever seen is Michael Jordan," said Jazz fan Patrick Porter. "Would [Jordan] take the criticism if Jerry said we need to make a change? I'm not sure."
"In a way it doesn't make sense to me," added another Jazz fan, Mike Pound. "He possibly wants to go to a team that is going to have a bunch of young players on it and not the old school players that he's used to."
But it's that desire to teach young players that Chiesa believes has driven Sloan's desire to coach again.
"In coaching, it's a great feeling to know that you can make a difference in players' careers," said Chiesa, who is currently a mentor for the NBA Development League coaches. "Through all those years with Utah Jazz basketball, he made the players better, and that's what he's going to try to attempt to do with his next coaching job."
Some may think the 70-year-old Sloan is too old to return to the game. But Chiesa says coaching will make the Hall of Famer feel younger.
"It's the most amazing thing," Chiesa said. "You're around young people every single day. Those young people, they give you a lot of energy. Likewise, people like Jerry give the team wisdom. He's a hall of fame coach, and a hall of fame person. That's a great combination for either a struggling team or a rising team."
Sloan is one of several candidates expected to interview for the Bobcats job. He has also expressed interest in the Orlando Magic coaching vacancy.