Legendary NBA Hall of Famer and head coach Jerry Sloan died Friday morning at the age of 78 years old. The Utah Jazz released a statement on Sloan’s death, clarifying that his passing had to do with complications that arose from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. Sloan coached the Utah Jazz for 23 seasons and also spent a brief three seasons at the helm for the Chicago Bulls in the early 1980s.
“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.
“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.
“Like Stockton and Malone as players, Jerry Sloan epitomized the organization. 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.”
One of the most celebrated coaches in the history of the NBA, Jerry Sloan made a great impact on the league both as a player and as a coach. During his time with the Jazz, Utah enjoyed a streak of 16 consecutive winning seasons. Sloan also managed to get to the NBA Finals twice but lost both times to Michael Jordan and the Bulls.
Sloan would conclude his career as the third-winningest coach in NBA history, racking up 1,221 victories in his time with the Bulls and Jazz. Along with his excellence in the coaching field, Sloan was a solid NBA player too, earning All-Star honors twice. The NBA community will continue to mourn losing one of the most beloved coaches in league history.