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Sport Jerry Sloan, coaching great of Jazz glory days, dies at 78

02:51  23 may  2020
02:51  23 may  2020 Source:   msn.com

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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. He was 78 . The Jazz said he died from complications related to Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia. Sloan spent 23 seasons

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. He was 78 . The Jazz said he died from complications related to Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. Sloan spent 23 seasons coaching the Jazz .

a man wearing a suit and tie: FILE - In this March 22, 2017, file photo, former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan speaks at a news conference in Salt Lake City. The Utah Jazz have announced that Jerry Sloan, the coach who took them to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998 on his way to a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame, has died. Sloan died Friday morning, May 22, 2020, the Jazz said, from complications related to Parkinsons disease and Lewy body dementia. He was 78. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File) © AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, FILE - In this March 22, 2017, file photo, former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan speaks at a news conference in Salt Lake City. The Utah Jazz have announced that Jerry Sloan, the coach who took them to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998 on his way to a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame, has died. Sloan died Friday morning, May 22, 2020, the Jazz said, from complications related to Parkinsons disease and Lewy body dementia. He was 78. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File) Jerry Sloan walked up the steps to the stage at the Basketball Hall of Fame to give his enshrinement speech in 2009, almost as if he were dreading what the next few minutes would bring.

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Jerry Sloan , the Hall of Fame coach who was a fixture for decades in Utah and took the Jazz to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, died Friday. The Jazz said he died from complications of Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. Sloan had been in failing health for many years.

Jerry Sloan , one of the greatest coaches in NBA history and a Hall of Famer, died Friday at age 78 . He spent 23 seasons leading the Utah Jazz . He was 78 years old. Sloan announced in 2016 that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia, a terrible combination of

He never wanted the spotlight.

''This is pretty tough for me,'' Sloan said that night.

Talking about himself, that wasn't easy. But basketball, he always made that seem simple.

Sloan, who spent 23 years as coach of the Utah Jazz and took the team to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, died Friday at 78. The team said that for four years he had Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia.

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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. He was 78 . The Jazz said he died from complications related to Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. Sloan spent 23 seasons coaching the Jazz .

Jerry Sloan , the Hall of Fame coach who was a fixture for decades in Utah and took the Jazz to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, died Friday. “It was an honour and a privilege to have one of the greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history coaching our team,” the Miller family, who own

Sloan presided over the glory days of the John Stockton and Karl Malone pick-and-roll-to-perfection era in Salt Lake City. He is fourth on the NBA's victory list.

''Before coming to Utah, I was certainly aware of Coach Sloan and what he meant to the NBA and to the coaching world,'' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said Friday. ''But, upon living in Utah, I became acutely aware of just how much he truly meant to the state.''

Sloan was a two-time All-Star as a player with the Chicago Bulls, led his alma mater, Evansville, to a pair of NCAA college division national championships and was an assistant coach on the 1996 U.S. Olympic team that won a gold medal at the Atlanta Games. He fell in love with the game as a student in a one-room Illinois schoolhouse, never forgetting his roots.

''His more than 40 years in the NBA also paralleled a period of tremendous growth in the league, a time when we benefited greatly from his humility, kindness, dignity and class,'' NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.

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Jerry Sloan , who coached the Jazz for 23 seasons as part of a Hall of Fame career, died Friday at the age of 78 from Sloan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 after a 26-year coaching career, 23 of them with the Jazz . His no-nonsense style blended perfectly with Hall of Fame players Malone and

Jerry Sloan , the long-time head coach of the Utah Jazz and a former NBA player for the Chicago Bulls, has died . He was 78 . The Utah Jazz said in a statement that Sloan died Friday morning from complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.

Sloan often said numbers meant nothing to him. That's a shame because he has so many to marvel.

Sloan had 1,221 NBA coaching wins, behind only Lenny Wilkens, Don Nelson and Gregg Popovich. And Sloan's 23 seasons with the Jazz are the second-longest string with one team in NBA history; Popovich is in his 24th season with the San Antonio Spurs.

''We lost one of the giants of basketball, not only of the NBA variety but basketball in general,'' said longtime NBA executive Rod Thorn, who hired Thorn as coach of the Bulls in 1979. ''No one ever played harder. He was a very, very good player and then became one of the top coaches in the history of the NBA.''

Out of Sloan's 23 seasons with the Jazz, the team finished below the .500 mark only once. He's one of five coaches to roam the sidelines for at least 2,000 games, and the only one of those five with a winning percentage better than .600.

And he was revered as a player with the Bulls, and his No. 4 jersey was the first retired by the franchise.

''Loyalty was his badge of honour and his no-nonsense approach to competition was perfect for the game,'' said Miami Heat President Pat Riley, the fellow Hall of Famer who called it a privilege to coach against Sloan. ''Jerry will go down in history as one of the most admired great winners and respected teachers of basketball ever.''

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Jerry Sloan , who guided the Utah Jazz for 23 seasons during a Hall of Fame coaching career before retiring in 2011, died Friday at age 78 , the team "It was an honor and a privilege to have one of the greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history coaching our team," Jazz owner Gail Miller

“ 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

Sloan spent 34 years in the Jazz organsation, as head coach, assistant, scout or senior basketball adviser. Sloan started as a scout, was promoted as an assistant under Frank Layden in 1984 and became the sixth coach in franchise history on Dec. 9, 1988, after Layden resigned.

''Like Stockton and Malone as players, Jerry Sloan epitomized the organisation,'' the Jazz said in a statement. ''He will be greatly missed.''

Sloan retired as coach of the Jazz abruptly in 2011, amid reports of conflict with Deron Williams, the team's point guard at the time. Williams, in an Instagram post Friday, said he was ''blessed'' to play for Sloan.

''I know things didn't end well between us in Utah, however, I'm glad that i got the chance to sit down with him before it was too late,'' Williams wrote. ''Definitely, something that would have haunted me for the rest of my life.''

Sloan was the coach at Evansville for all of five days in 1977. He then made an arduous - and fateful - decision.

He was going to take over for his college coach, Arad McCutcheon, who was retiring. Sloan signed a contract but backed out quickly, citing undisclosed personal reasons. Later that year, a plane carrying the Evansville team and coaches crashed, killing all 29 people aboard.

Had he not left Evansville, Sloan could have easily been on that plane. And he thought about that countless times over the next four decades.

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''That incident on December the 13th, 1977, made me realise that there are a lot more things more important than basketball,'' Sloan said in 2009. ''Even though I love this game, I will always be grateful for what it's given me.''

Sloan's longevity with the Jazz was remarkable. During his time in Utah, going 1,127-682 in regular seasons, there were 245 coaching changes around the league and five teams - Charlotte, Memphis, Toronto, Orlando and Minnesota - did not even exist when he started with the Jazz.

Fellow coaches raved about him. The majority of George Karl's coaching career overlapped with Sloan's, and Karl simply adored his rival.

''What I admired about him, is he was a friend to all coaches,'' Karl said. ''He stood up for coaches. ... He was a man that stated his opinion, didn't mind being overly aggressive with referees and many times got thrown out because of it. But if he thought he was being wronged, he stood up for himself. I admired that.''

He coached Chicago for parts of three seasons, going 94-121. His playing career there was cut short by knee issues, and he averaged 14.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 755 games.

They called Sloan ''The Original Bull'' because he was selected in the 1966 expansion draft and became known for his toughness and grit. He remains the only NBA player to average more than seven rebounds and more than two steals a game in his career.

Jerry Reinsdorf called Sloan ''the face of the Bulls organisation from its inception through the mid-1970s.''

''A great player and a Hall of Fame NBA coach,'' the Bulls chairman said Friday. ''Most importantly, Jerry was a great person.''

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