The incomparable @monilogue has done the heavy lifting and created an annotated timeline documenting the embarrassing path that led us to the point that Karl Malone and a Miller are fighting like it’s 1992.
Read Moni’s story and then come back and let’s talk.
The most important point in all this is that the Karl Malone interview happened a week ago. Everyone following the team seemed to react to Malone’s entertaining radio show in similar fashion: That it was Karl being Karl. He made some over-the-top comments, he named a few names, he used some signature malapropisms, and basically flamed the Jazz organization for the entirety of the four-hour show.
The story would have probably remained just a he-said/he-said thing had the ensuing write-ups not included possible misinterpretations of Malone’s description of buying tickets from scalpers to the Jazz game after Jerry Sloan’s retirement.
As Moni noted:
The part about the Jazz telling Karl Malone there were no tickets available was not broadcast in the interview, so either Karl told Monson and Rock that off-air, or Monson and Rock misinterpreted what Karl said. What Karl did say on-air was that he got his tickets to the game from a scalper, and called it a “miscommunication” with the Jazz. Direct quote from him on that night (February 12, 2011):
“I got my own tickets, the Jazz was gracious enough to let me park in the back, I appreciate that, and I’m gonna sit here and watch this game and enjoy the game.”
Obviously, the scalper story was red meat for anyone picking up the story. Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports took the opportunity to offer a paternalistic lecture to the Jazz organization. Dwyer would be right, of course, if things had actually transpired as reported.
It doesn’t matter now that the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, because Greg Miller’s reaction to the story going big nationally was beyond unhelpful:
The Open Tweet to a man who doesn’t use Twitter is the very definition of using the media to fight a battle. As soon as Miller’s tweet hit, the Jazz universe seemed to explode. But somehow Miller wasn’t finished. He took to his blog and dropped 1,373 words responding to the “derogatory” comments from Malone.
As I said last night, in some ways everything feels right in the world when Karl Malone and a Miller are feuding, but there’s nothing good that can come from all this nonsense. Well, there’s one good thing. Former Trib beat writer Ross Siler launched a spectacular Twitter reaction of his own. It’s best read all together:
Excellent work by Siler, but the real story is just depressing. It’s a classic Sophoclean tragedy. With the Lakers in town tonight, the circus atmosphere at the arena is going to be turned up to 11. Here’s hoping all this nonsense doesn’t derail an otherwise very exciting season.