Legendary former coach of the Utah Jazz, Jerry Sloan, has passed away at the age of 78 on Friday. He passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewey body dementia.
The Utah Jazz released a statement regarding the passing of Sloan.
“Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz. He will forever be a part of the Utah Jazz organization and we join his family, friends and fans in mourning his loss. We are so thankful for what he accomplished here in Utah and the decades of dedication, loyalty and tenacity he brought to our franchise.”
The Washington Bullets selected Sloan with the fourth overall pick in the 1965 draft. Just a year later the second-year player from Evansville was traded to the Chicago Bulls. As a player for the Bulls, he made two All-Star games and was recognized as All-Defensive Team four times.
Sloan worked for the Utah Jazz organization for 34 years in a variety of roles but is most known for his 23 seasons as their head coach (1988-2010), where he lead the Jazz to 19 trips to the playoffs (1989-2003, ’07-10) with two of those being back-to-back NBA finals appearances in 1997 and 1998 alongside the legendary duo of Karl Malone and John Stockton
Sloan is regarded as one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. In 2011 Sloan retired with the third most wins (1,221-803) and the sixth best all-time winning percentage (.603).
In 2009, he was inducted in to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. As a storybook ending, it was longside his former point guard, John Stockton.