"People can say all they want about how his system was the same. It was not..."
While Jerry Sloan always had the "same ol' pick and roll" stereotype attached to him, anyone who watched the changes in the offense as Stockton/Malone transitioned to Andrei Kirilenko and then transitioned to Williams/Boozer, knows better.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle shared his perspective on Sloan's evolution on ESPN radio in Dallas:
"I came into this league as a coach in the Fall of 1989 which was a little less than a year into his tenure as the head coach in Utah and I was studying his teams for over 22 years. And the thing that has been most remarkable to me is how much he has adjusted and adapted to the landscape of this league as the rules have changed, as his personnel has changed...
People can say all they want about how his system was the same. It was not. It was very, very different and the fact that he was able to adjust the way he did and still have the same level of success was, to me, a phenomenal thing."
I appreciated the element that always stayed the same: his approach with the media. He respected other people who had a job to do and talking with him never got old. He was never done with you until you were done asking questions. Once you figured out how to ask the right kind of questions that would penetrate through a few of the cliches he inevitably developed over the years, it was always a great education in basketball and life.