IN BRIEF Ex-Jazz coach Sloan dies at 78
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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