Generations of fans know the Utah Jazz as a model of stability. They were raised on Hall of Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone, coach Jerry Sloan and super significant owner Larry H. Miller, the rock of the franchise. Miller kept the team together, mended issues with coaches and players and even took financial risks to purchase the team.
When Miller died in 2009, the franchise slowly lost all the stability he imparted to it as the sole owner.
It truly fell apart in 2011, when All-NBA point guard Deron Williams and Sloan could no longer co-exist. Sloan resigned as coach, and Williams was traded for “the future.”
Under power-behind-the-throne GM Kevin O’Connor, the Jazz reached for marginal veterans in hope of maintaining the illusion of being a playoff team. Instead, mercenaries came to Salt Lake City, were rewarded with playing time they would not have received elsewhere, then left for greener pastures or larger paydays. There was a playoff berth in 2012, but that model was unsustainable.