Jerry Sloan, One of the people who has marked the evolution of the NBA since he began as a player in 1965 until the end of his extraordinary career as a coach with Utah Jazz in 2011, has died this Friday at the age of 78 as a result of the complications of the disease of Parkinson’s and the dementia that he suffered for several years.
Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with Utah Jazz. He will always be part of the organization and we will join his family, friends and fans to mourn his loss, ”said the team he led in 23 of the 26 years that his coaching career began in 1979 with the Chicago Bulls, the team in the one who retired after playing as a forward for 10 years. “We are very grateful for what he accomplished here in Utah and the decades of dedication, loyalty, and tenacity that he brought to our franchise.”
Sloan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009. His style matched perfectly with extraordinary players like Karl Malone and John Stockton, leading Utah to 15 consecutive playoff appearances between 1989 and 2003. It was the best time in the history of the Salt Lake City team. The Jazz’s nearly unstoppable pick-and-roll offense and the quality of the point guard and pivot led them twice to the NBA Finals, but both times, in 1997 and 1998, they crashed into Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. .
After the brilliant stage of Malone and Stockton, the team was three seasons out of the playoffs, but Jerry Sloan rebuilt the formation and returned to the final playoffs between 2006 and 2010, with Deron Williams as base and Carlos Boozer as center. Continuous excellence was one of his greatest achievements as a coach. He added 19 playoff presences in his 23 seasons with the Jazz. Sloan ended his coaching career with 1,221 regular season victories, behind only Don Nelson (1,335) and Lenny Wilkens (1,332). He was later overtaken by Gregg Popovich (1272), the coach of San Antonio Spurs. Sloan is fourth in the directed games standings, with 2,024 games in the regular season; He also had 202 playoff games, with 98 wins.
The Bulls removed their jersey
His playing career was cut short by injury after 10 years. He averaged 14 points per game, with a best mark of 18.3 with the Bulls in 1970-71. He was an All-Star twice and was named the NBA’s first defensive team four times. He is still in the top five in Bulls franchise history in points, rebounds, games and minutes.
“Jerry Sloan was The Original Bull, whose tenacious defense and intensity on the court represented the franchise and embodied the city of Chicago,” says Bulls president Jerry Reinsdorf. “Jerry was the face of the Bulls organization from its inception to the mid-1970s, and appropriately enough, his number 4 jersey was the first to be retired. He was a great player, a great coach and a great person. ”
His life was marked by some tragedies such as the plane accident in which, in December 1977, the 29 members of the Evansville University team lost their lives, where the death of his father was formed and whom he fleetingly directed when he was four years old or the death of his first wife in 2004.
Among the many players Sloan directed in Utah Jazz was the Spanish Raúl López, in the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 seasons.