SPORTS Former Utah Jazz and Hall-of-Fame head coach Jerry Sloan dies at 78

SPORTS

Former Utah Jazz and Hall-of-Fame head coach Jerry Sloan dies at 78

CGTN

08:50, May 23, 2020

Jerry Sloan announces resignation as head coach of the Utah Jazz at a press conference at the Zions Basketball Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 10, 2011. (Photos: VCG)

Former Hall-of-Fame head coach of the Utah Jazz, 78-year-old Jerry Sloan passed away from complications related to Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia on Friday.

He was the first one in the four major sports leagues in North America (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) to coach the same team for 23 seasons and the first one to reach 1,000 wins in one team. The Jazz only missed the playoffs three times when Sloan was their head coach. Meanwhile, they won 1,127 of 1,809 games, had 13 seasons with 50-plus games won, and played the only two NBA Finals series in Jazz franchise history under Sloan.

"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," said the team in a statement.

Jerry Sloan of the Chicago Bulls poses for a portrait at the Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois. 

Sloan spent most of his time as a player in the Chicago Bulls where he made two-time NBA All-Star and six-time All-Defensive Teams. In 1978, the Bulls retired his No. 4 jersey, the first time they did that for a player who had been known as "The Original Bull."

"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," said the Bulls in a statement.

Multiple NBA players and veterans mourned Sloan's death.

Jerry Sloan (L), head coach of the Utah Jazz, talks to John Stockton during a game in 1998.

"RIP Coach Sloan! Legend!!" Wrote Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell on Twitter.

"RIP Coach.. You don't think of the Jazz without thinking of Coach Sloan, Thankyou." Posted Jazz forward Joe Ingles.

"Thank you for the opportunities, thank you for the lessons, thank you for help mold me into a great basketball player and man. I will always bring my "lunch pail" to work! RIP Coach Sloan," tweeted former Jazz forward Paul Millsap.

Jerry Sloan (R), head coach of the Utah Jazz, talks to Karl Malone during a game in 1998. 

"I loved everything about Jerry Sloan, from the way he played to the way he coached. He was a tenacious competitor who represented the Bulls of the 70s so well. Jerry became one of my favorite coaches when he was on the 1996 Dream Team staff and it was an honor to learn from him," wrote Bulls legend Scottie Pippen.

"I learned so much about basketball sitting at the bar with Jerry Sloan and his longtime assistant Phil Johnson. They were beyond patient with a young, dumb reporter. And Jerry never made excuses if his team lost – which wasn't that often. RIP to a great, great coach," posted journalist for The Athletic, and Hall-of-Fame inductee David Aldridge on Twitter.

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