“Kyle Fesenko returned to town for the Rocky Mountain Revue with blond hair,” wrote the Salt Lake Tribune’s Ross Siler, “apparently forgetting he plays for a no-nonsense coach who doesn’t even allow his players to wear headbands.” Sloan’s coaching credentials are off the charts, but in this instance “no-nonsense” is convenient code for “paranoid nut with no sense of perspective”
Although he was able to joke about Fesenko – “I didn’t know who he was. I was totally taken aback by the blond hair” – Sloan clearly would have preferred his 21-year-old center call attention to himself with his play on the court instead of the coloring in his hair.
“He’s got a long way to go to make himself a better player,” Sloan said. “He has skills, but sometimes the outside things will take you right out of this game. If those things are more important than basketball, that’s where you get in trouble.”
“A lot of people have skills,” Sloan added. “A lot of them are sitting on the sidewalk wondering what happened 20 years ago when they had a chance. He’s got to figure out what he wants to do and play basketball or be a clown.”
Fesenko said he dyed his hair a month ago in Ukraine. His mother liked it but told him not to keep it. As for Sloan’s thoughts, Fesenko paused before answering: “He like it. Some way. He like it some way. But you have to ask him.”
My earlier critique of Sloan aside, I’m right there with him on the anti-headband edict. Someone’s gotta do something about Mark Knopfler’s pervasive influence on the Association.