Utah Jazz CEO Greg Miller vents about ‘lying’ and ‘unstable’ Karl Malone

So, while you were (hopefully) sleeping, Utah Jazz CEO Greg Miller was typing a blog about Karl Malone that he posted on greginutah.com Friday night. If you look at it as a Jazz man going off on a Laker, then it seems less volatile and even puts some spice into tonight’s Utah-L.A. showdown.

Otherwise, well, wow. Miller doesn’t pull any punches in defending himself and his franchise. (*UPDATE: Jerry Sloan releases statement about his retirement*)

Before the take-off-the-gloves blog, here’s the terse tweet from Miller (a.k.a. @GregInUtah):

Malone went on 1280 The Zone recently and revealed that he bought tickets from a scalper,and it’s been reported that the Mailman wasn’t able to get tickets (or at least not ones to his liking) because the arena was sold out for the first game after Jerry Sloan shockingly resigned last year.

Miller’s prose are definitely worth reading, but here are some highlights (or lowlights, depending on your point of view):

  • Miller wrote that Malone “crossed a line” by the way he portrayed his treatment by the Jazz at that game last year. “I can no longer afford to sit back and let Karl make comments that are factually inaccurate without defending the franchise and our family.”
  • Miller reflected on Malone’s Hall of Fame career and benevolent acts, calling him a “warrior” and an “extremely generous person.”
  • Miller said Malone was and remains “high-maintenance,” and referred to the late Larry H. Miller ripping up six contracts “because Karl kept demanding more” and the “benefits were clearly there” because of night-in-night-out 25-point, 10-rebound efforts.
  • Miller: “The fact is Karl is still as high-maintenance as he ever was, but now he has nothing to offer to offset the grief and aggravation that comes with him.”
  • Miller: “I’ve tried to keep in mind the words of one of my mentors close to the situation who said ‘Karl Malone is (a) giant pain in the ass, but he’s our pain in the ass.’”
  • Miller said he wouldn’t hire Malone as a Jazz coach, calling him “too unreliable and too unstable.” He proceeds to provide some examples of canceled lunches and a late appearance to an autograph signing. He also explained to Malone that talking about wanting to be traded from Utah directly affected car sales.
  • Miller also wrote that Malone “made an already stressful situation worse” by showing up to the first post-Sloan Jazz game in Utah — after buying scalped tickets — and claiming that the Hall of Fame coach wasn’t a quitter and resigned because he didn’t feel wanted.
  • “These are just a few experiences I’ve had with Karl that clearly demonstrate that he can’t be counted on,” Miller continued. “I am not willing to invite the elements of unreliability and instability into the Jazz organization. It would obviously do more harm than good.”
  • Miller wrapped up the blog explaining that Malone has always been welcomed back as an alum of the Jazz and treated with respect and care. He then wondered how their relationship “became so sour” and invited the Mailman to mend the fence, return to Jazz games and become an ambassador for the organization.
Categories: General

About the Author

Jody Genessy

Jody Genessy is the Utah Jazz beat writer for the Deseret News. To answer some of your questions: 1) Yes, he travels everywhere the Jazz do. 2) No, he doesn't fly on the team charter. 3) No, he can't sneak you into the game, let you take notes for him or get you tickets (sorry, Mom). 4) Yes, he realizes that other people out there have to work for a living so he's a lucky dude. 5) Yes, he usually answers questions in the third person.

26 comments

  1. Jennifer Jensen

    I honestly don’t even know what to think about this whole thing…can’t wait to hear Karl’s response.

  2. D Paul

    I don’t think that there is any doubt that Sloan was not a quitter and left because he wasn’t backed. Malone brought his family to the game. It is called interracial stability which is sadly lacking in our world today. It was “Stockton to Maline” and only an unfortunate referee noncall on Scottie Pippin after he slapped the backboard on a sure layup by Shandon Anderson which kept Malone from besting Jordan. Why would Mr. Miller antagonize the franchise unless he feels guilty over his treatment of Jerry Sloan? I think that it was great that Malone backed his coach. It’s called loyalty. He may have been spoiled. However, he backed his coach. Ooh-rah!

    • iPwnCouGz

      It’s called blind loyalty. Karl had no idea what went on inside the locker room and neither do we. Besides, Sloan has always said he’ll hang it up when he feels like it.

      • Pethuel

        I have followed the Jazz from the 1st day they aveirrd in Utah. Over the years, it is abundantly clear to me that the organization’s vision and approach to basketball is a winning formula. The team has gotten more effective contributions from the athletes who have played for the team than those same athletes have ever produced for any other team almost without exception. If the players will commit themselves to the principles and roles of Jazz basketball the team will succeed with less talent than other teams. One of the hardest aspects of playing Jazz basketball is the amount of patience and faith required of athletes who are used to and able to do some much with their own talent. And, that same patience and faith is also required from fans who can see the obvious impact of individual player talent on the outcome of games. However, a committed team working together can compensate for inferior talent and succeed at the highest levels.The one question I have about the current team is whether some of the players are really committed to playing their roles in executing Jazz basketball. Most of them seem to say the right things, but often I don’t see it in how the play. I don’t mind watching a hard working, team-first players lose. I cannot stomach watching a bunch of talented but lazy prima donnas collect insane amounts of money.

    • Kyouhei

      , Shame on the NBA for never making Sloan a coach of the year. If that is true, then ten times the shame on the Miller lmiafy. In Larry Miller’s era, he backed his coach in disputes, and players had to fall in line or leave town. The Miller lmiafy, too afraid of Williams being unhappy coming into free agency appears to have taken Sloan for granted and left him friendless in dispute. By all appearances, loyal Jerry Sloan realized the loyalty was no longer reciprocated, leaving him no authority to right the ship.

  3. Rational

    I’ve always found calling someone an unstable, lying, pain in the ass is just the right olive branch to extend if I want to mend fences.

    Karl may be a pain in the ass, but he did work for everything he got.

  4. Pingback: Jazz owner Greg Miller denies Karl Malone's story, says legend is lying | Larry Brown Sports

  5. Rational

    Out of curiosity, just how many times is the D News going to change their comment section?

    • Jody Genessy

      Rational:
      This is the comment system for our blogs. It is different than for the regular site.

  6. Laura

    So let me get this straight, Greg totally rips Karl a new one and then wonders how things got so “sour” and asks KARL to “mend the fence”?

    Good grief.

    And it took a WEEK for Greg to respond to the interview? I wonder if someone needs some help with anger management and self control.

    Team Karl.

  7. Rational

    Karl did a lot. He was no Saint. Further, he joined the enemy in the Fakers, Can Understand wanting and feeling he needed a ring. However, that was our Biggest Rival. That angered some. I also remember his fatal errors also. The one game I was never more gutted when he missed the Free Throws at the end of Game 7 In Seattle. That was The 1996 Conference Finals. We could have been in 3 FInals in a row, and would have had another Chance for a Ring. I do think he should have been offered an Assistant position or at least be a part-time BIG MAN Coach to help our Bigs. We cannot come on SLoan because no one was there as a fan to give an accurate opinion. It is all heresay between Williams and Sloan. For one, there are 2 sides to every story.

  8. RichardB

    Sloan, in an interview several years ago, said he would know when it was time to go. When he wasn’t supported by the front office.

  9. Garratt

    I agree with much of what Greg Miller has to say on Malone. However, I also think Greg is keeping some secrets on the Sloan’s departure. That said, I feel Greg felt it was time to move on and wanted to try and preserve Jerry’s status the best he could. Secrets are sometimes justified.

    Anyway, Malone is high maintenance, unstable, and full of hot air, but why say all that if you are Greg Miller. It reminds me of another owner born with a silver spoon in his mouth. That being Jim Irsay. Slowing the emotional tweets is a challenge for many individuals, not just players.

    Look, Karl said some stuff about the Jazz organization that might be tough to swallow for Greg. Here is the thing though; there will be those who see Malone’s comments as off base and those that won’t. If you are a mailman fan and and dig his comments, Miller’s insults in return aren’t likely to change any minds. However, Miller could change how some fans feel about his franchise by shooting from the hip twitter style.

  10. Stuck In Utah

    I listened to Karl last week when he was on the Gordon Monson show and found his story to be rational and believable. For Greg Miller to wait for a week to respond and then to respond so unprofessionally is disappointing.

    Miller writes 15 or so paragraphs most of which describes Malone as high maintenance, a pain in the ass, unreliable and calls him a liar. Greg seems irrationally upset that Karl has blown him off in the past.

    Miller then goes on to say he doesn’t know why their relationship soured and that he wants to mend fences. How about not writing a public blog ripping Malone in 12 out of 15 paragraphs as a starting point?

    The blog post is incredibly juvenile and unprofessional. Any real professional would compose something like this to vent and then destroy it not post it for public consumption. Shame on you Greg Miller. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!!!

  11. old dominion

    Greg Miller is no Larry Miller and never will be. If Larry had a problem with Karl’s comments, he would have called him, not whined in the media about it.

  12. Nothing like a good “yes you did”, “no I didn’t” stir to make us pay attention. As if our current struggling team wasn’t enough. Hey, I figure there’s a way to get to the heart of the matter real quick and that’s to tweet Sir Charles for his opinion!

  13. Henry_Drummond

    It looks like Jerry Sloan is the only adult in the room right now. Karl is welcome to his opinion, but Coach Sloan can speak for himself without the Mailman’s help.

  14. Rich L

    Some people love to believe the unbelievable, and the less evidence is available, the more they insist on believing. People who think Bigfoot exists are an example. We have never found a dead sasquatch — drowned, electrocuted, run over by a big rig, hit by lightning, nothing. So here we have evidence that Jerry Sloan quit because he just got tired of dealing with some of the problems in the NBA, and no doubt that one of those problems was DWill’s refusal to run plays he called out. The evidence comes from people in the room — Sloan, Phil Johnson, O’Connor, Greg Miller. The only “evidence” we have that contradicts what these honorable and consistent men have said are theories by people who know nothing but like to think they can guess what happened. People such as broadcasters, fans, Gordon Monson, Karl Malone and the like. I side with the people who were in the room and knew exactly what happened. Also, the Millers always backed the coach over players, and I see no reason they would ever back a player, even DWill, as great as he was when he wasn’t making turnovers. Look how quickly the Jazz got rid of Williams when a good deal came along. And he found out by watching TV, a treatment that his disrespect for Sloan, his boss in the Jazz organization, deserved.

  15. Support Sloan

    I will never believe anything that comes out of (Greg Miller’s) mouth. The only reason the Jazz organization is still decent is because Mrs. Gail Miller is still here keeping it from tumbling. As soon as Mrs. Miller is gone, we can all say good-bye to the Jazz in Utah. How can Greg Miller go from calling Malone unstable and a “pain in the ass,” then in the same breath say he wants to mend the fence? The Jazz we all knew and loved will never be like the good old days again…

    • Farhan

      Hi,As A longtime Jazz fan I am ccnoerned when jazz players speak of a loss as only “one game” and “It’s a long season” and “good thing we have another game shortly”. Other elite teams have the mentality that every game is the most important game, when was the last time you heard Kobe say something like that? Never, because they understand that a game early in the season counts the same as the last game of the season as far standings go. We just don’t think the current Jazz players have that same tough character as other elite teams. Our team still thinks they have a tough Home court, The Energy Solutions Arena is not feared by any team in the NBA any longer, this team has not awaken to that fact and are still living in the past. We use to be a good rebounding team, (Rebounding =toughness and determination) where is it now? The team now comes off as soft and not dedicated. We fans are no longer interested in them. I am a Longtime Jazz fan who turned in my season tickets this year and unfortunately have not missed much because I see much the same that I have seen the last two or three years. All we want to see is EFFORT and we can handle the losses, but losses and no EFFORT = fans who no longer care.Best wishes to the Miller Family and thanks for the past Jazz teams.Scott

  16. straightshooter

    I think that Greg Miller should have kept his mouth shut or actually his fingers and had a grown up conversation with Karl. Karl has earned the right after what he did for the franchise to answer questions and say his peace! I am sure that LHM is rolling in his grave and using a loud speaker trying to tell his son that doesn’t know how to run a team to stop what he is doing before he destroys everything he worked hard to build. Karl and John are THE CORNERSTONES of this franchise and always should be given the respect they deserve!! I have been waiting for the Jazz to come out and tell the truth about this whole thing, and nobody can trust Kevin O’Connor and I don’t trust him!!! The franchise is falling apart and who wants to play for an owner that does something as immature as this? The jazz have a lot to make up to the fans, Jerry; Phil, and now Karl.

    • straightshooter

      To add to what I said, I believe that the whole this is a disaster and the Jazz need to fix it, not make it worse. I started listening to games with Hot Rod when they first came to Utah and have watched almost every game including the game agains the Nuggets 11/27/1996 down 70-36 at halftime, we came back and won that game. I have been with the team through the good and the bad. I can’t stand what has happened and seeing nothing done to smooth things over, show the world the class that we have been know for. Instead lies, deceit and cover ups. PLEASE do something to fix what has happened, kiss and make up with Jerry and Karl and show the world what the Jazz can be and were made of!!!!!

    • Francielly

      I have been a Jazz fan since I can remember. I went to my first Jazz pcritace when I was 6. With DVR I have not missed a Jazz game for over 3 years. I am taking this opportunity to simply express my appreciation for the Miller family, and to give my mid-term report for individual players over the course of the season.Thank you Greg for allowing us a glimpse in your life as owner of the Utah Jazz franchise. I do not recall a statement ever made directly to the fans. I am confident that the Jazz would not be in Utah if the Miller family did not love basketball and Salt Lake City. I find it hard to believe that the NBA in Utah is a huge moneymaker. 20,000 seats avg. $70 ticket = $1,400,000 a game, 2 games = just under $59 million and we think the Miller family makes bank. haha! Last I checked that doesn’t even pay current players salaries. Not to mention the event staff that is required at every game, or the building etc. I thank the Millers for bringing the Jazz to Utah and keeping them here!My mid-season MVP is split between Wes Matthews & D-Will.My favorite player this year has been Wes Matthews. His hustle is very contageous and his attitude toward the direction of the team is unwavering even when he gets few minutes coming off the bench. D-Will can be a dominant force & explosive plays speaks volumes to the rest of his team, like his dunk in Miami before Christmas. He took some heat for the way the team played in LA earlier in the year, and the following week when the Jazz went up against Orlando, San Antonio, and LA again D-Will was the driving force in turning all 3 of those games in to wins! The fans are behind you D-Will, as well as management- like Jeremy said before nut it up and expect your players to nut it up like you do night after night. Booz- Thank you for being a vocal leader on the floor and saying get that shit outa here every time someone else blocks a shot. Or grab it Memo whenever he pulls down a board. I listen for that every game. Your passing has been phenomenal this year. Your outside shot was short earlier in the year and now your consistently knocking down the 15-20 footers. Defensively you say you’re going to step it up, lets see it on a more regular basis. Here’s a goal, take something from your Duke brotha down in Houston and draw a charge or block a shot for every time you get your shot blocked.Memo- keep shooting the 3. You’re a shooter. you’ll find your range again. In the mean time, review your game film from 07-08 1st round series vs. Houston. Whatever you did in that series to help your team win will benefit your team every game. You were my MVP of that series.Ronnie Price- I saw you in the airport back in August with Paul. I was happy the Jazz resigned you because of your energy. You haven’t failed us. I love seeing you and D-will on the floor together. Thank you for playing defense, sacrificing your body and avg. more block shots than the taller guys on the team. Last but not least, trust your shot.Wes Matthews- keep it up. nuf said.AK- You’ve become complacent. I like the self confidence you have in your outside shot. Thanks for putting some weight on during the offseason to show some commitment to the team this year. Take it to the rack and shoot it in the paint! You have the ups and the ability to pass if necessary. I want to see you posterize somebody! I get sick to my stomach when i see you throw crap up and expect the refs to bail you out. Kyle- Get your knee better. Good hustle on defense when you are out there, but its not there yet.Millsap- I think I speak for the rest of Jazz fans. You (like Wes) are the definition of Jazz basketball and we want you here for a long time. Continue to progress and crash the boards. You are a double double guy with 30+ minutes/game. When the calls don’t go your way, you’re still effective, we see that you’ve been screwed on calls since the day you got in the league. We don’t blame you for the fact that the officials can’t see what everyone else does. Keep focused on the game.CJ- Your 3 point shooting is decent. But for the love of all that is good and holy drive the lane and posterize somebody! Get in the mix, grab some boards. You haven’t been in the lane with the ball all year. Literally, all year. Your defense against top players has been fun to watch as you mature into a good defender. That intensity is not present on lesser opponents. You of all the current Jazz players has the ability to play ball similar to Jeff Hornacek, but you have to learn how to get a shot in the lane whether you go all the way to the rack or hit 8-10 footers. You have become too predictable for defenses. Force you off the 3 to take 2 steps in for a lower percentage less pcritaced 22 footer.Fes- you need more minutes. Very good work attacking the basket when on offense. I wouldn’t be suprised if you have more blocks than Boozer and Okur throughout the season even though you average 35 minutes less per game than they do. AMAZING how you don’t play more.Brewer- You’ve filled your roll and continue to improve year to year. You are the best off the ball cutter on the team, and you find the receiving ends of passing lanes very well. You are amazingly unpredictably predictable. Coach Sloan- (will never read this). The team has shown a tremendous amount of success when falling back on the system. Your discipline and structure are needed in the world and especially the NBA community. Each player knows which shots to pcritace before the game because he knows what shots he will get out of the sets you run. That will always work. My simply question for you is if you had to chose one or the other, is it more important to have 1. a successful and happy team or 2. a 2. successful and disciplined team? I simply ask because in 22 years I have seen you show positive emotion very few times, I can recollect one time when Stock hit the 3 over sir charles to go to the finals. Someone has to put together a video of moments of positive expressions (Coach Sloan edidtion) . I can appreciate the desire to keep emotions in check due to the ebs and flow of a game, but at the same time, to become invested as Greg Miller says, doesn’t that require some level of emotional investment? Thanks for allowing us to comment.

  17. robert stockholm

    I have been a Jazz fan since they arrived in Utah and have watched or listened on the radio to almost every game. I am very disappointed how Jerry Sloan’s retirement was handled and is being handled. Jerry gave his life to coaching, and coaching the Jazz. The jazz have not honored his accomplishments they way they should. What I mean by that is if the players he coached our worthy of a statue and a street named after them, I believe Jerry should have the same. The jazz have done nothing this year to honor Jerry Sloan in a game or at halftime. It makes me wonder if they are worried he won’t show up or they are waiting for the wound to heal. Something definitely happened last season and the night night Jerry quit. What happened we will never know because Jerry is not telling us. Jerry Sloan did not quit coaching because he was worn out or tired because the rumors are he is going to coach again next season. That alone should tell you Jazz ownership and management made a major mistake that night when it comes to Jerry Sloan and they must have crossed a line that they could not come back from when it comes to Coach Sloan.

  18. Erica

    If Greg Miller was as good of a writer as Jody Genessy, Karl Malone would be coming back with open arms. Just sayin’.

  19. Ain

    GregLove the Jazz. I always feel wmleoce at ENS and have been a season ticket holder for many years. Could it be that we have to much talent!!! We deffinately have to much high priced talent. If your gonna pay A.K. max money start him every night. Memo needs to start planting people in the 3rd row when they come in the lane. Its obvious that Darin cant stay with the quicker guards in the league. Nor can they stay with him. Back line defense is a must. Price needs to play more and rough some people up. It seems to all of us sitting up in section 127 saw at team with an 8 man rotation that excelled because they new they were gonna get long minutes and played relaxed and together. 34 games into the season Jerry should know who is playing and who is not. If winning this year isnt in the cards and it doesnt appear to be. Show case Korver Miles Fesenko Kosta and get rid of them as they dont appear to be in the future plans of the franchise. Next year you clear up cap space with the departure of Boozer and Korver and you have some good draft picks. Draft well and bring in some toughness.It just seems that when other teams come in here they Know what we are doing on offense our defense scares no one and even down by 20 opponents seem to know that they can get back into the game.With the talent on this team the games should be over with six minutes to go in the 4th quarter.Contracts aside play your best effort players. With 48 games to go a 32 and 16 record should be the goal and everyone on the coaching staff and the players should be held accountable.Lets bring back the noise to the ENS so we can all Sleep nights knowing that our team has won!!!!