Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan has died at 78

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jerry Sloan, the Hall of Fame coach who was a fixture for many years in Utah and took the Jazz to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, died Friday. He was 78.

The Jazz stated he died from issues of Parkinson’s illness and Lewy physique dementia. Sloan had been in failing well being for a few years.

Sloan spent 23 seasons teaching the Jazz. The staff — with John Stockton and Karl Malone main the best way in lots of these seasons — completed under .500 in solely a type of years. Sloan received 1,221 video games in his profession, the fourth-highest complete in NBA historical past. Only Lenny Wilkens, Don Nelson and Gregg Popovich have extra victories.

“It was an honor and a privilege to have one of the greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history coaching our team,” the Miller household, who personal the Jazz, stated in an announcement. “We have appreciated our relationship with Jerry and acknowledge his dedication to and passion for the Utah Jazz.

“He has left an enduring legacy with this franchise and our family. The far-reaching impact of his life has touched our city, state and the world as well as countless players, staff and fans.”

Utah went to the finals twice underneath Sloan, each instances falling to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

Sloan entered the Hall of Fame in 2009.

“I’m not into numbers and stuff like that,” Sloan stated when he handed Pat Riley for No. three on the NBA’s all-time win record in 2010; Popovich has since surpassed him for that spot. “I never have been. I’ve got a great organization to work for that’s given me an opportunity to stay there for a long time. I’m very thankful for that and the coaches that I have with me. It’s not about me.”

He spent 34 years within the Jazz group, as head coach, assistant, scout or senior basketball adviser. Sloan began as a scout, was promoted as an assistant underneath Frank Layden in 1984 and have become the sixth coach in franchise historical past on Dec. 9, 1988, after Layden resigned.

“Like Stockton and Malone as players, Jerry Sloan epitomized the organization,” the Jazz stated in an announcement. “He will be greatly missed.”

Sloan’s longevity with the Jazz was outstanding. During his time in Utah, there have been 245 teaching modifications across the league and 5 groups — Charlotte, Memphis, Toronto, Orlando and Minnesota — didn’t even exist when he took the helm with the Jazz.

He additionally was the coach in Chicago for elements of three seasons, going 94-121. But his ties with the Bulls have been a lot deeper. His No. four jersey was retired by the staff after a taking part in profession wherein he averaged 14.zero factors, 7.5 rebounds and a pair of.5 assists in 755 video games over 11 NBA seasons.

They even known as him “The Original Bull” as a result of he was chosen within the 1966 enlargement draft and have become a two-time All-Star identified for his toughness and grit. He stays the one NBA participant to common greater than seven rebounds and greater than two steals a sport in his profession.

“Jerry was the face of the Bulls organization from its inception through the mid-1970s, and very appropriately, his uniform No. 4 was the first jersey retired by the team,” Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf stated Friday. “A great player and a Hall of Fame NBA coach, most importantly, Jerry was a great person.”

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AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman in Chicago contributed.