Legendary NBA coach Jerry Sloan has passed away

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The NBA community is mourning the loss of one of its successful coaches on Friday morning. Jerry Sloan has passed away.

No official cause of death has been announced yet. He was 78.

Death Candle
Death Candle (Photo by Pixabay.com)

The Utah Jazz said in a press release that Sloan was dealing with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.

“Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz,” the team said in a statement. “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.

“Our Hall of Fame coach for 23 years, Jerry had a tremendous impact on the Jazz franchise as expressed by his banner hanging in the arena rafters. His 1,223 Jazz coaching wins, 20 trips to the NBA Playoffs and two NBA Finals appearances are remarkable achievements. His hard-nosed approach only made him more beloved. Even after his retirement, his presence at Jazz games always brought a roaring response from the crowd.”

Sloan led the Jazz as their head coach from 1988 through 2011. He resigned 54 games into the 2010-2011 season following a 31-23 record.

“Like Stockton and Malone as players, Jerry Sloan epitomized the organization,” the statement also said. “He will be greatly missed. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Tammy, the entire Sloan family and all who knew and loved him.”

Sloan had been with the Jazz organization from 1985 through 2011. He was an assistant coach from 1985 through 1988, before being named their head coach. 

In his Basketball Hall of Fame career as a coach, he also coached the Chicago Bulls from 1979 through 1982. He was also the Bulls assistant coach for a season in 1978-1979. 

He also played in the Association during his younger years. He began his career with the Baltimore Bullets in 1965-66. 

Then, he played the rest of his playing career with the Bulls from 1966 through 1976. 

In his playing career, he was a two-time NBA All-Star player in 1967 and 1969. He was also named first-team NBA All-Defensive Team four-times in 1969, 1972, 1974 and 1975. 

His No. 4 jersey is retired by the Bulls. The Jazz have also retired No. 1,223 for the amount of wins he had with the franchise. 

His college, the Evansville Purple Aces, also retired his No. 52 jersey.

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