Jerry Sloan was fourth in coaching wins in NBA history
Jerry Sloan, the Hall of Fame coach who was a fixture for decades in Utah and took the Jazz to the National Basketball Association Finals in 1997 and ’98, died Friday. He was 78.
The Jazz said he died from complications of Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. Sloan had been in failing health for many years.
Sloan spent 23 seasons coaching the Jazz. The team — with John Stockton and Karl Malone leading the way in many of those seasons — finished below .500 in only one of those years. Sloan won 1,221 games in his career, the fourthhighest total in NBA history. Only Lenny Wilkens, Don Nelson and Gregg Popovich have more victories.
“It was an honour and a privilege to have one of the greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history coaching our team,” the Miller family, who own the Jazz, said in a statement. “He has left an enduring legacy with this franchise and our family.”
“I’m not into numbers and stuff like that,” Sloan said when he passed Pat Riley for No. 3 on the NBA’s all-time win list in 2010; Popovich has since surpassed him for that spot. “I never have been.”
He spent 34 years in the Jazz organization and entered the Hall of Fame in 2009..
“Like Stockton and Malone as players, Jerry Sloan epitomized the organization,” the Jazz said in a statement. “He will be greatly missed.”