Karl Malone

February 3rd, 2012

Karl Malone

I have always believed in taking the high road and addressing my grievances in private. I have always remained silent relative to the media on those types of issues for that reason. However, when Karl Malone recently made comments about how he was treated by the Utah Jazz when he attended a Utah Jazz game last season, he crossed a line. He put me in a position where I have to defend the Utah Jazz and set the record straight. I can no longer afford to sit back and let Karl make comments that are factually inaccurate without defending the franchise and our family.

Karl Malone was a warrior. It has been said that nobody worked harder than he did when he was a member of the Utah Jazz. He was one of the greatest power forwards to ever play the game. His statistics speak for themselves: career averages of 25 points and 10 rebounds per game, 14- time All-Star, two-time MVP, Hall-of-Famer, the achievements go on and on. He played for the Utah Jazz for 18 seasons. During that time he missed only ten games. Karl, along with John Stockton, led the Jazz to the NBA finals twice. His number hangs in the rafters of EnergySolutions Arena and his likeness stands tall in the plaza. Karl’s value as a player to the Utah Jazz is difficult, if not impossible, to quantify.

Karl is an extremely generous person. I am personally aware of many charitable things he’s done over the years, and undoubtedly he’s done more for the less-fortunate than most of us will ever know. He’d give you the shirt off his back.

Karl has been honored and respected by the Utah Jazz franchise and the Miller family since he arrived here in 1985. My dad tore up a half dozen contracts during Karl’s career because Karl kept demanding more. Karl was high-maintenance- on a scale few people are ever exposed to- throughout his career. My dad accepted that because Karl gave everything he had as a player, and he brought 25 and 10 every night. The benefits were clearly there. I have tried to leave it at that and respect him for what he’s done for the Utah Jazz. I’ve bitten my tongue time and again when Karl has made derogatory comments. I’ve tried to keep in mind the words of one of my mentors close to the situation who said “Karl Malone is giant pain in the ass, but he’s our pain in the ass.”

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. Some would argue that he could coach our big men. I would love to have Karl inspire them and teach him how to be warriors like he was. That can’t happen. Karl is too unreliable and too unstable. Let me explain.

When I was the general manager of the Honda dealership Karl and John Stockton co-owned in Sandy, Utah, I was responsible to coordinate the grand opening. John and Karl agreed to sign autographs for one hour beginning at 3:00 as part of the ceremony. People started lining up first thing in the morning and by 3:00 there were hundreds of people lined up throughout the dealership. John arrived three minutes early and had a seat at the autograph table. At 3:15 Karl still wasn’t there. Concerned about keeping John longer than agreed, I made the decision to have John start signing autographs. Karl showed up at 3:30. Some people stayed around and formed a second line to get Karl’s autograph, but most left disappointed and angry.

A couple of years later there was a lockout in the NBA. By then, the Honda dealership was established, employing about 85 people. Karl co-hosted a radio show at that time and made some comments on the air about wanting to play for a team “in a town where it rains” and when the lockout was over he’d “demand to be traded”. His comments were well documented. The next day car sales dropped by half. Karl continued to make similar comments on his show. After a few days I drove to the studio that broadcast his show and waited until his show was over to speak with him. I told him I respected his right to say whatever he wanted, but that his comments were keeping customers away. I suggested he consider the impact his comments were having on his partner(s) and on the 85 people whose livelihoods depended on customers coming to his dealership. I still remember the surprised look on his face when I pointed those things out to him. Thankfully, that was the end of his trade demands.

Some years later Karl scheduled and cancelled or blew off a number of lunch appointments with me. On three separate occasions Karl had one of his assistants schedule a lunch appointment with me. The first time Karl never showed up. When I called his assistant I was told that Karl had something come up and he wouldn’t be able to join me. We rescheduled. I got a call on the way to the second appointment a few weeks later to tell me Karl couldn’t make it. That happened again the third time a month or so later.

A couple of years ago Karl called me to see if our family would be willing to sell him the real estate under his Toyota dealership in Draper, Utah. I told him I’d be happy to discuss it with him. I drove to the dealership and we met in his conference room. Karl’s disposition was very cold at first, but as the conversation progressed, he gradually warmed up. We agreed in concept to the deal, and by the end of the meeting Karl said he thought we should spend more time together. I agreed and suggested we have lunch a couple days later, to which he agreed. Two days later, as I was about to leave for the lunch appointment, he had someone call to tell me he wouldn’t be able to make it.

A year ago, when Jerry retired, Karl rushed to Salt Lake City. He got in front of every camera he could find at the first game following Jerry’s departure. He positioned himself as an authority on Jerry’s departure by saying something like “the Jerry Sloan I know isn’t a quitter. He left because he didn’t feel wanted.” Karl wasn’t in the locker room during the conversations with me and Jerry. Had he been, he would have seen me (and my mom) do everything possible to convince Jerry to stay. By his own admission Karl hadn’t spoken to Jerry since Jerry left. Karl’s comments on the radio and on national television made an already stressful situation worse. Then in his next breath, on national television, Karl asked me to hire him as a coach.

These are just a few experiences I’ve had with Karl that clearly demonstrate that he can’t be counted on. I am not willing to invite the elements of unreliability and instability into the Jazz organization. It would obviously do more harm than good.

Earlier tonight I sent out the following tweet relative to Karl’s claim that he had to buy a ticket to that Jazz game from a scalper because he couldn’t get one from the Jazz: “Hey Karl- you’re lying. You have my number. Next time you need a seat to a Jazz game call me. You can have mine.” All three statements are true.

Karl has been welcome at Jazz games since he retired- not just as a guest but as an insider, as alumni. Jazz staffers and management have gone above and beyond to show him respect and take care of him and his family.

Karl, I’m not sure where or how our relationship became so sour. I wish it was otherwise. I’m sorry if I’ve offended you in any way. I’d love to do whatever I can to mend the fence and make you feel welcome at Jazz games. I would love to have you as an ambassador for the Utah Jazz. You have a standing invitation to do both.

Evans leaps over Watson – #LetJeremyDunk

February 2nd, 2012
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Harpring’s pass to Evans – #LetJeremyDunk

February 2nd, 2012
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2011 Year in Review Video

January 26th, 2012

Larry H. Miller Group of Companies 2011 Year in Review Video. Created by our ad agency, Saxton|Horne Advertising.

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Greg Miller’s 1988 Utah Jazz Home Video

December 1st, 2011
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Gail Miller Honored as Time Dealer of the Year

November 22nd, 2011

TIME AND ALLY FINANCIAL HONOR MURRAY DEALER

Karen Gail Miller Wins National Recognition for Community Service and  Industry Accomplishments at NADA Convention

(New York, NY, November 16, 2011) – The nomination of Karen Gail Miller, owner of Larry H. Miller Toyota Murray in Murray, Utah, for the 2012 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME.

Miller is one of a select group of dealers from across the country who will be honored at the 95th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in Las Vegas on February 4, 2012. The announcement of this year’s nominees was made by Kim Kelleher, worldwide publisher of TIME, and Tim Russi, executive vice president, North American Operations, for Ally Financial.

“Auto dealers have a tremendous impact on the vitality and strength of communities across the U.S.,” said Russi. “Ally is proud to support these extraordinary dealers who are truly making their communities better places to live and work.” As part of its support for the program, Ally will make charitable contributions to local community causes on behalf of all 50 nominated dealers across the United States. In addition, the 2012 national TIME Dealer of the Year winner will receive a $10,000 contribution for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of his or her choice. To celebrate the valuable contributions of dealers across the U.S., Ally has also launched a digital hub (allybizhero.com) featuring engaging content celebrating auto dealers and their philanthropic achievements.

The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers who must also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. Miller, 68, was chosen to represent the New Car Dealers of Utah in the national competition – one of only 50 auto dealers, from 17,000 nationwide, nominated for the 43rd annual award. The award is sponsored by TIME Magazine in association with Ally, and in cooperation with NADA. A panel of faculty members from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan selects one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.

“All of the awards that I have received were possible because of the success of our companies that began with a single Toyota dealership in Murray, Utah,” says nominee Miller. “We now provide meaningful work to more than 4,000 full-time and more than 3,000 part-time employees in 16 states.”

Miller is a Salt Lake City native who graduated from West High School in 1962 and attended the University of Utah. She worked at Mountain Bell Phone Company as an information officer and service assistant manager before moving with her husband, Larry H., and their family to Colorado so her husband could pursue a career in the automotive industry in 1970. He worked his way up from parts manager to operations manager for five Toyota dealerships. In 1979, they returned to Salt Lake City to launch their own business, and Larry H. Miller Toyota in Murray, Utah, was born. Today, the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies operates 18 different automotive brands under 44 dealerships in seven western states.

“From its start as a single-dealership operation, the business has grown over the past 32 years into one of the largest privately owned group of companies in the nation,” says Miller who, following Larry’s death in 2009 and prior, has played a significant role in the success and development of the business. Her children also work in various aspects of the company, which includes the Utah Jazz basketball team, Fanzz sports apparel and Megaplex Theatres.

Miller has received numerous awards and honors for her philanthropic work, including an Honorary Doctorate from Salt Lake Community College; Outstanding Women in Scouting from Boy Scouts of America, Great Salt Lake Council, and Most Influential Sports Figure in Utah from The Salt Lake Tribune. She is most proud of the Co-Entrepreneur of the Decade award she received in 2010 from Mountain West Capital Network because, she says, “the entire Larry H. Miller Group of Companies and its 77 core businesses were founded on the premise of free enterprise and entrepreneurship.”

As trustor of the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation, she oversees an organization that benefits religious, scientific, literary and educational initiatives within the U.S. In addition, Larry H. Miller Charities is a nonprofit foundation, supporting children’s health and education programs, and the Larry H. Miller Education Project promotes effective teaching and learning by offering intensive professional development seminars for Utah’s teachers and supplemental programs for students.

Miller believes in giving back to her employees, too. “An additional benefit we are able to provide to all fulltime employees who have been with the company for more than two years is college tuition and books for their children so that they can earn their undergraduate degrees and become productive members of society,” she explains. “Over the past 15 years, we have assisted more than 3,000 students.”

Nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year Award by Craig Bickmore, executive director of the New Car Dealers of Utah, Miller, whose husband Larry passed away, has five children and 24 grandchildren.

Fanzz is expanding. With that growth comes a new logo.

October 19th, 2011

May Peace and Love Prevail

January 1st, 2011


January 2011

Dear Friends,

On behalf of Earl Black and my family, I would like to express sincere gratitude for all of the expressions of love and support in the wake of Sherry’s death on November 30. Your prayers and kindness have brought comfort in a very dark and difficult time.

During the last month I have personally experienced the worst and best in personal interaction, and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is the importance of being good to one another.

Sherry’s death, and the horrific nature of it, has had a far reaching negative impact on many lives and caused enormous grief. Fortunately, there have been countless individuals who have helped mitigate that suffering through their condolences, prayers, service, and friendship. As a family, we are thankful to all of you who have sent cards and flowers, and messages of love and support. Please know that you have made a difference.

My hope is that each of us will make an effort every day to be a little more tolerant of our differences, a little quicker to lighten others’ burdens, and more willing to exert whatever influence we may have to make the world a kinder and better place.

May peace and love prevail in 2011 and always.  Happy New Year.

Sincerely,

Greg Miller

Larry H. Miller Group Acquires Proffitt’s Cruisers

October 14th, 2010

Larry H. Miller Group Acquires Proffitt’s Cruisers

Company to expand to Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (October 14, 2010) – CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies (LHM Group), Greg Miller, announced today that the company has acquired Proffitt’s Cruisers of Austin, Colorado. Proffitt’s Cruisers has been restoring and building custom Toyota Land Cruisers for more than 12 years. The LHM Group plans to continue operations in Austin, Colorado, and will open a new headquarters facility at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.

“Land Cruisers have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” said Greg Miller. “I have enjoyed my relationship with Jeremiah Proffitt as a friend and fellow Cruiser enthusiast. Having had Proffitt’s build and modify several of my personal Land Cruisers I am familiar with the premium quality of their work as well as their excellent customer service. I am excited to welcome Proffitt’s Cruisers to the Miller family of businesses.”

The company plans to expand the operation by offering a wide array of products and services including OEM, aftermarket and custom parts. They will also manufacture custom parts such as suspension components, bumpers and conversion kits, and make them available for retail customers. Many other exciting ideas are in the works.

“When Greg Miller approached me about joining forces, I knew it would only result in success,” said Jeremiah Proffitt. “I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of a legendary group of companies with both a long history and future in the automotive industry. Furthermore, I am looking forward to developing our new location at Miller Motorsports Park, a truly world-class facility for both on- and off-road racing.”

Miller and Proffitt also plan to open a Land Cruiser museum at Miller Motorsports Park by the end of this year. The museum will house Toyota Land Cruisers from Miller’s and Proffitt’s personal collections as well as “Guest Land Cruisers” from other collectors. Toyota Land Cruisers dating back to 1959 will be included with models ranging from Toyota’s earliest Land Cruiser, the FJ25, to modern exotic Land Cruisers from all over the world.

The Utah location is scheduled to be operational in early December, 2010. For more information on Proffitt’s Cruisers, please visit http://www.proffittscruisers.com.

Address to Utah Jazz Coaches and Players

September 28th, 2010

Address to Utah Jazz Coaches and Players
September 28, 2010
Zions Bank Basketball Center

Introduction
• This is my third season as CEO
• I prefer “Greg” to “Mr. Miller”

Welcome back to veterans and Raja
Welcome to rookies, Al and Earl

Context:
• As members of the Utah Jazz, you are the most visible part of the Larry H. Miller group of companies
• This organization is comprised of 70 businesses
• Approximately 7000 employees
• We do business in 13 states

We are in business for two primary reasons:
• To facilitate personal growth
• To protect and grow the resource base
• (Both apply to ALL of us)

Personal Conduct
• I am proud of the culture and reputation of the Utah Jazz organization
• Your conduct on and off the court matters (If you wouldn’t want your mom to see you doing it, you probably shouldn’t be doing it)
• Sportsmanship counts

Jerry Sloan has my full support. There is nobody I’d rather have coaching the this team.

We have an obligation to our fans and sponsors to give them their money’s worth. To me that doesn’t mean going 82-0, it means leaving it all on the court every night.

My dad used to say “I’ll never ask you to win, but I will ask you to give us everything you’ve got.”

A championship is the ultimate goal for all of us, myself included, but let’s not take ourselves too seriously. Have fun and stay loose.