Deron Williams paid his respects to the late Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, who he played for during the initial stretch of his career.
The two infamously had a falling out as Williams rose as one of the best point guards in the NBA, a tiff that ended in Sloan resigning from his post in 2011 after 23 years as a coach of the franchise.
Williams took to Instagram to say his piece, relieved to have cleared the air and spoken to his former coach back in 2018 — making amends seven years after the fact.
The All-Star point guard seemed contrite in his goodbye message to Sloan, noting that not apologizing to his former coach would have “haunted” him for the rest of his life.
“I know things didn’t end well between us in Utah, however I’m glad that I got the chance to sit down with him before it was too late,” said Williams in his caption. “Definitely something that would have haunted me for the rest of my life.”
The tiff between Sloan and Williams was a classic mix of clashing genius. Sloan was a tenured coach with a decade of knowledge as a former NBA player and more than two decades as a coach.
Williams was a brash up-and-coming talent with unique gifts for the point guard position, fresh off All-Star recognition. Sloan was known not only as a mentally-tough defensive coach but also as a disciplinarian.
Having had a Hall of Famer in former Jazz guard John Stockton run his offense to perfection for the better part of two decades, the adjustment to a freestyling Williams became a lot for the 69-year-old to handle.
Luckily enough the two were able to make amends and bring a resolution to a story that had become reason for sour memories in Salt Lake City.