IN BRIEF Ex-Jazz coach Sloan dies at 78

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEEKEND -

Jerry Sloan, the Hall of Fame coach who was a fix­ture for decades in Utah and took the Jazz to the NBA Fi­nals in 1997 and 1998, 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 fourth-high­est to­tal in NBA his­tory. Only Lenny Wilkens, Don Nel­son and Gregg Popovich have more vic­to­ries.

“It was an honor 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. “We have ap­pre­ci­ated our re­la­tion­ship with Jerry and ac­knowl­edge his ded­i­ca­tion to and pas­sion for the Utah Jazz.”

The Jazz went to the fi­nals twice un­der Sloan, both times fall­ing to Michael Jor­dan and the Bulls.

Sloan en­tered the Hall of Fame 2009.

“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’ve got a great or­ga­ni­za­tion to work for that’s given me an op­por­tu­nity to stay there for a long time.”

He also was the coach for the Bulls for parts of three sea­sons, go­ing 94-121. But his ties with the Bulls were much deeper. His No. 4 jersey was re­tired by the team af­ter a play­ing ca­reer in which he av­er­aged 14.0 points, 7.5 re­bounds and 2.5 as­sists in 755 games over 11 NBA sea­sons. ■ Lawyers for Pel­i­cans rookie Zion Wil­liamson want a fed­eral judge in North Carolina to rule that a mar­ket­ing firm su­ing Wil­liamson for $100 mil­lion never had a valid con­tract with the for­mer Duke star.

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Col­leges: SEC schools will be able to bring ath­letes in all sports back to cam­pus for vol­un­tary ac­tiv­i­ties start­ing June 8 at the dis­cre­tion of each univer­sity, and the Big 12 plans to wel­come foot­ball play­ers back to cam­pus a week later . ... A group of Power Five coaches led by Michi­gan’s Erik Ba­kich is propos­ing a later start to the 2022 col­lege base­ball sea­son. Un­der the pro­posal, there would be nine weeks of pre­sea­son prac­tice in­stead of five, the reg­u­lar sea­son would run from the third week of March to the third week of June and the Col­lege World Se­ries would wrap up the last week of July . ... Mar­quette men’s bas­ket­ball F Brendan Bai­ley, son of for­mer NBA player Thurl Bai­ley, is by­pass­ing his fi­nal two sea­sons of el­i­gi­bil­ity to pur­sue a pro ca­reer.

NFL: The Jets and QB Joe Flacco agreed to terms on a one-year deal. The move to bring in Flacco gives third-year starter Sam Darnold a vet­eran backup, but one who is also com­ing off a her­ni­ated disk that cut short his only sea­son in Den­ver and re­quired surgery to re­pair. Fi­nan­cial terms were not im­me­di­ately dis­closed, but ESPN re­ported the deal is worth $1.5 mil­lion and could reach $4.5 mil­lion with in­cen­tives. Flacco, 35, spent his first 11 NFL sea­sons with the Ravens, in­clud­ing a Su­per Bowl vic­tory to cap the 2012 sea­son, beat­ing the 49ers. The Ravens traded him to the Bron­cos be­fore the 2019 sea­son. Flacco started the first eight games for the Bron­cos be­fore his in­jury. ... The Sea­hawks reached an agree­ment on a one-year deal with RB Car­los Hyde.

Soc­cer: Mex­ico’s pro­fes­sional soc­cer league has de­cided to can­cel the sea­son with­out crown­ing a cham­pion for the first time in its his­tory due to the un­cer­tainty gen­er­ated by the pan­demic. Liga MX an­nounced that de­spite hav­ing played 10 of the sea­son’s 17 dates, it would de­clare it over with­out a win­ner.

Ten­nis: Forbes re­ported Naomi Osaka, 22, earned $37.4 mil­lion over the last 12 months from en­dorse­ments and prize money, eclips­ing Ser­ena Wil­liams in that span to be­come the top-earn­ing fe­male ath­lete . ... No­vak Djokovic is plan­ning to set up a se­ries of tour­na­ments in the Balkan re­gion while the sport is sus­pended amid the pan­demic. Djokovic’s me­dia team says the Adria Tour will start in Bel­grade on June 13 and end on July 5 in Sara­jevo . ... Ash­ley Cooper, who won four Grand Slam sin­gles ti­tles in­clud­ing the Aus­tralian, Wim­ble­don and U.S. cham­pi­onships in 1958, has died af­ter a long ill­ness. He was 83.

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