Jerry Sloan, most famously known as the head coach of the Utah Jazz, sadly died today at age 78. He was a former NBA player for the Chicago Bulls and the Baltimore Bullets (now the Washington Wizards), and an NBA coach for the Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls. He was an NBA All-Star and an NBA Hall of Famer head coach.
The NBA Legacy of Jerry Sloan
Jerry Sloan, former NBA player and head coach sadly died today because of complications with Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy body dementia.
Former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan died Friday morning due to complications from Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia.
He was 78. https://t.co/TCDzQTUgr0
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 22, 2020
Sloan started off his basketball career with the Baltimore Bullets from 1965-66. However, he would make his mark with the Chicago Bulls. Sloan was the first player to be retired by the Chicago Bulls. He played for them from 1966-76, making the NBA All-Star Game in 1967 and 1969. Jerry Sloan also won the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times and the NBA All-Defensive Second Team two times.
He would then coach the Chicago Bulls as an assistant from 1978-79. Jerry Sloan then got promoted as head coach from 1979-82. However, after three less than three years and one playoff appearance he was fired by the Chicago Bulls. He would then become an assistant coach for the Utah Jazz from 1985-88. Sloan would again get promoted as head coach of the Utah Jazz. He was with the Jazz from 1988-2011.
Legacy with the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz
Jerry Sloan was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the 1966 NBA Expansion draft by the Chicago Bulls according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
“Jerry Sloan was ‘The Original Bull’ whose tenacious defense and nightly hustle on the court represented the franchise and epitomized the city of Chicago,” Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said
“The Original Bull.”
Rest in peace, Jerry Sloan ❤️
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 22, 2020
Chicago Bulls teammate with the Chicago Bulls Bob Love also said good things about Jerry Sloan.
“He would make the All-Star team today just on his defense,” longtime Bulls teammate Bob Love said in 2017. “These guys now running down the floor? Nobody would’ve wanted to mess with Jerry. He was tough as nails.”
Sloan was one of the most successful head coaches in NBA history. According to ESPN, there were 245 coaching changes around the league. Furthermore, five current NBA teams, which were the Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies, Orlando Magic, and the Minnesota Timberwolves did not exist in 1988.
Former Utah Jazz player Mark Eaton said this about their former coach according to ESPN’s Eric Woodyard:
“I think the Utah Jazz are Jerry Sloan,” Eaton said. “The whole franchise is steeped in the things that he taught and put together in the ’90s, and I think that everything is measured against that. You look at the team today, and I notice that when players make great plays of effort where they’re getting after a loose ball on the floor or blocking out or getting a steal or making something …read more