Tuesday, 02 June, 2020

Legendary Bulls Player and Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan Has Passed Away

Jerry Sloan Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz Jerry Sloan, legendary NBA head coach, dies at 78
Cary Erickson | 23 May, 2020, 00:40

Jerry Sloan, the coach who took the Utah Jazz to the NBA finals in 1997 and 1998 on his way to a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame, died Friday. His 1,223 Jazz coaching wins, 20 trips to the NBA Playoffs and two NBA Finals appearances are remarkable achievements. Whether it be his hall of fame career with the organization that stretched from 1966-1976, his coaching tenure with the organization that stretched from 1978-1982, or even his time as head coach in the Utah Jazz organization from 1988-2011, where his team became one of the Bulls' bitter rivals for a period of time.

Sloan left an enduring legacy in Salt Lake City, coaching 133 players during his time as head coach of the Jazz.

Sloan signed as the Jazz's assistant in 1985 and spent three seasons in the role before stepping up to the top job, where he remained for 23 years.

"It's something I've wanted to do for years", Williams told Falk.

Sloan and Pop faced off in the playoffs only one other time, with the Spurs beating the Jazz in five games in the 2007 Western Conference Finals. "He brought a lot to the game and I learned a lot from him as a coach and as a human being so it was sad news for me to hear today".

Sloan returned to the Jazz as an adviser and scouting consultant in 2013, and the team honored him with a banner in 2014 that featured the number 1,223, the number of regular-season and playoff wins Sloan had for the Jazz.

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The man who guided the powerhouse Jazz teams of the 1990s has passed away. "We have appreciated our relationship with Jerry and acknowledge his dedication to and passion for the Utah Jazz".

Sloan was an all-state player at McLeansboro High School in IL before playing for Evansville from 1962 to 1965. However, those Jazz teams were blocked from winning the titles thanks to Jordan's Bulls.

Sloan married Tammy Jessop in 2006 and had a stepson from that marriage.

Earlier this week, Jazz legend Karl Malone revealed that his former coach was struggling in his battle against Parkinson's and dementia. There is no known cure, but symptoms can be controlled by medication.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.