BOSTON (CBS) — Hall of Fame basketball coach Jerry Sloan passed away Friday at the age of 78.
Sloan died from complications related to Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia, the Utah Jazz announced Friday. The team released the following statement on his passing:
“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.”
The Jazz made the playoffs in all but four of Sloan’s 23 seasons on the bench, making back-to-back finals in 1997 and 1998. His 1,223 career wins is the fourth-highest total in NBA history. He spent 34 years with the Jazz organization as either a head coach, assistant coach or senior basketball adviser.
Sloan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Before joining the Jazz in 1985, Sloan coached the Chicago Bulls for three seasons. He enjoyed an 11-year career as a player with Chicago and Baltimore, making a pair of All-Star teams over his decade-long run with the Bulls. His No. 4 was the first number retired by the Bulls franchise.
“The Original Bull.”
Rest in peace, Jerry Sloan ❤️
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 22, 2020
“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 in a release. “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. A great player and a Hall-of-Fame NBA coach, most importantly, Jerry was a great person. Our sympathies go out to the Sloan family and all his many fans.”