Jerry Sloan is no more. Iconic Utah Jazz coach died of Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia on Friday, aged 78. "Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with Utah Jazz," emphasizes the club in a communicated. He will always be part of the organization and we join his family, friends and fans to mourn his loss. "We are so grateful for what he has accomplished here in Utah and for the decades of dedication, loyalty and tenacity he has brought to our franchise." And to add: "Like (John) Stockton and (Karl) Malone as players, Jerry Sloan embodies the organization. Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with Utah Jazz. ”
It must be said that the interested party, twice All Star (1967 and 1969) and known for his defense and his hardness during his playing career (from 1965 to 1976, including ten seasons in Chicago), left his mark on the franchise from Utah. If he started his coaching career with the Bulls (1979-82), Sloan joined Jazz in 1983, as a recruiter first, before joining Frank Layden's staff in November 1984. When the said Layden resigned, the November 9, 1988, it is he who takes the reins of the team, already led by Karl Malone and John Stockton at the time.
The beginning of a long story … 23 years old, until his resignation in 2011. Long and rich. Exceptional stability, a culture that has passed the milestone for years. Enough to lead, like Malone and Stockton, Sloan coach to the "Hall of Fame". Introduction in 2009. However, the person concerned "never claimed honors. In fact, he avoids them, "as Stockton said in his own introduction to the pantheon of American basketball. Except that, as the best smuggler and interceptor in NBA history said, "His record speaks for itself."
1,223 victories at the head of the Jazz
The results speak for themselves. 23 seasons, including 20 in play-offs, 1221 total wins in the regular season (4th in NBA history), 98 in play-offs (6th). His thoroughness, discipline and attention to detail will have perfectly matched the Stockton / Malone duo. With his two stars, coach Sloan guided Utah to the final twice, in 1997 and 1998. Two losses, against the… Chicago Bulls. "His muscular approach only made him more loved," said the Utah club. Even after his retirement, his presence at Jazz matches always caused a roaring response from the crowd. ” As it happens, Jerry Sloan hung up in the middle of the 2010-11 season, having led his team five times in a row in playoffs (2006-11). A new generation, led by Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer, after the end of the Stockton / Malone era. Indeed, it was the bickering with "D-Will" that would have pushed him to resign. What the main protagonists have always denied.
Meanwhile, Jerry Sloan has a banner with his name on the ceiling of the Vivint Smart Home Arena. The number ? 1223, as the cumulative number of victories as a coach in the regular season and in play-offs with Utah. In Chicago, his jersey number, 4, is withdrawn. "It has been an honor and a privilege to be one of the greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history at the helm of our team," said the Miller family, owner of the club. He left a lasting legacy with this franchise and our family. The tremendous impact of his life has touched our city, our state and the world, as well as countless players, employees and fans. ” Utah legend, historic Chicago, a reference.