Former Utah Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan Passes Away

Jerry Sloan

Basketball fans everywhere mourn the loss of legendary Jazz coach Jerry Sloan

Sloan had Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia.

The Utah Jazz announced Friday that longtime coach Jerry Sloan died. Sloan coached the Jazz for 23 years, made the playoffs in 20 of those campaigns and led the team that made it to the Finals in 1997 and 1998.

Former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan speaks at a news conference in Salt Lake City in 2017.

The team put out a statement 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.

According to Basketball-Reference, the only head coaches with more regular-season wins in NBA history than Sloan are Gregg Popovich, Lenny Wilkens and Don Nelson. "Blessed that I got to play for him and learn so much from him". On May 17th during NBA Inside Stuff's 90s Reunion, Jazz-great Karl Malone asked his fellow players to keep his former coach in their prayers: " Our coach Sloan is not doing well, so I want you guys to pray for coach Sloan". In that span, the Jazz also took two trips to the NBA Finals, covered extensively in "The Last Dance".

"It was an honor and a privilege to have one of the greatest and most respected coaches in National Basketball Association history coaching our team", the Miller family wrote. He has left an enduring legacy with this franchise and our family.

'I need to say this because I know that (John) Stockton and I have been talking a lot recently, ' Malone said. We pray his family will find solace and comfort in Jerry's life.

Known for his defensive intensity as a player, Sloan became a fan favorite as one of the "Original Bulls". Over his 10 years in the organization, he averaged 14.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. "The Miller family and Jazz organization will be proud to honor him with a permanent tribute".

In 1979, Sloan was named head coach of the Bulls and spent two-plus seasons with the team before being dismissed. Sloan said simply that it was "time to move on", and then-NBA Commissioner David Stern said the coach had "epitomized all the positives of team sports".

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