He was one of the best NBA coaches to ever win a title: Jerry Sloan, who led Utah Jazz to two lost finals in 1997 and 1998 against the Michael Jordan Bulls, died Friday at 78 years old.
Jerry Sloan, who led the Salt Lake City team for 23 years, died of complications from Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies that gradually made him lose his memory and his faculties. 'analysis.
"Like John Stockton and Karl Malone as players, Jerry Sloan has embodied the club. He will be greatly missed. He will always be synonymous with Utah Jazz. We extend our sincere condolences to his wife, Tammy, the entire Sloan family and to everyone who knew and loved him, "said Jazz.
"We are so grateful for what he has accomplished here and for the decades of dedication, loyalty and tenacity he has shown in our franchise," the statement said.
With Sloan's death, a long page in the history of Jazz turns, probably the most glorious if not to have been victorious. Because if in the opinion of many the impressive collective of Jazz, which he had built around the prolific duo Karl Malone / John Stockton, could at the time have rewarded him with a ring, the 1990s were indeed those of Jordan and Bulls.
– "Old school" –
"Jerry was old school and his retro style of play was perfectly reflected in the 90s. He was always fiery, challenged his players. Go to the basket! Search for stray balls! Leave everything on the floor! J "loved everything about him", reacted on Twitter former Bulls Scottie Pippen, who played under him when he was assistant coach of the 2nd Dream Team at the Olympics-1996.
Ironically, it was in Chicago that it all started in professional basketball, for the native of McLeansboro (Illinois).
First as a player of Bulls just created in 1966. The back played for ten years, forging a reputation as a rough defender – he was named six times in the best defensive five – which does not prevent him from d '' be selected twice at the All-Star Game.
He then started his coaching career there. An experience of less than three seasons (1979-1982) which does not prevent him from having his flocked jersey of number 4 removed in 1978, the first for the franchise, long before Jordan and Pippen.
– Record of technical faults –
"Jerry Sloan was" The Original Bull ". His tenacious defense and energy every night on the floor represented the franchise and embodied the city of Chicago," franchise owner Jerry Reinsdorf said. .
Sloan then definitively settled in Utah in 1988, leading a team he led twenty times to the playoffs including fifteen seasons in a row, without ever being awarded the trophy for best coach in the league.
Perhaps he paid there for his 413 technical faults, an unequaled record in the NBA? Because if the work and the perfection of the collective obsessed this man with the well-known hardness, his propensity to shout at the referees never left him.
Upon his retirement in 2011, two years after being inducted into the Hall of Fame, he presented the fourth record in NBA history with 1,221 wins behind Gregg Popovich (1,272, still active with San Antonio), Lenny Wilkens (1,332) and Don Nelson (1.335).
"He was one of those iconic coaches who was a wonderful example of consistency, mental and physical tenacity, demanding but fair," said Gregg Popovich. "And we did our best to try to emulate all of this because it was quite impressive and quite successful from a great coach and an even better human being."