Jerry Sloan passes at age 78

As both a player and coach, Jerry Sloan had an impact on the court and the sidelines.

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Courtesy of Hoops Rumors

Former NBA head coach Jerry Sloan, who led the Utah Jazz to two straight Finals appearances in the late 1990s, has died at age 78.

May 22, 2020

Former NBA head coach Jerry Sloan, who led the Utah Jazz to two straight Finals appearances in the late 1990s, has passed away at the age of 78. The news was first reported by NBA.com and the Jazz organization. 

Sloan’s coaching career spanned nearly 34 years, beginning as an assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls in 1978, just two years after retiring as a player. After 1 season as the assistant, he then became the head coach for a few seasons before heading to Salt Lake City to coach the Utah Jazz in the mid ‘80s. He is notoriously known for coaching the legendary duo of John Stockton and Karl Malone, and widely known as one of the top ten coaches in NBA history.

Sloan also had a career as a player in professional basketball, being selected with the 4th overall pick back in the 1965 NBA draft by the Baltimore Bullets (now the Washington Wizards).

 

Shortly after being drafted by Baltimore, he was traded to the Chicago Bulls, where he spent the majority of his 11 year NBA career as a player. He went on to become a 2-time All-Star and became known as a fabulous defensive player. As a 6’5” SG/SF, Sloan finished his career with averages of 14.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

Sloan was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 as a coach.

Widely respected throughout the entire basketball world, Sloan spent 46 total years within the NBA community between his time as both a player and coach.

Many fans from all different age groups and generations will likely remember Sloan and his significant contributions to the sport.