Jerry Sloan, a Hall of Fame basketball coach and a former Chicago Bulls player, died on Friday.
Sloan’s death comes on the heels of an announcement he made in 2016 communicating that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. The news is shaking up NBA Twitter as many take time to share their condolences.
As a head coach, Sloan was one of the most winningest coaches in Jazz and NBA history. Among the list of the all-time winningest coaches list is Sloan at No. 4 with 1,221 victories. The only head coach to achieve this same feat with a single team over consecutive years is Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.
With the exception of four losing seasons–three of which transpired during his days as the Bulls head coach–Sloan played a particularly “RememberBull” part in both Jazz and NBA history. Sloan was inducted as a coach into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
The Jazz, coached by Sloan and led on the court by Karl Malone and John Stockton, took Michael Jordan and the Bulls to task on more than one occasion only to fall short twice in the NBA Finals. He went on to coach several good Jazz teams in the years following with the emergence of Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer. Sloan resigned as the Jazz head coach late in the 2010-2011 season.
As a player, Sloan demonstrated a defensive prowess at the shooting guard/small forward position. Sloan was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets in 1965 with the No. 4 overall pick and he went to the Bulls in the 1966 expansion draft. During his 11-year career, Sloan was named an All-Star two times and received All-NBA first team defense recognition four times. He went on to retire in 1976.
Born in McLeansboro in 1942, Sloan was an All-State player for McLeansboro High School. He went on to attend college at the University of Evansville, a private school in Evansville, Indiana.
Sloan died at 78 years old. He was the youngest of 10 children raised by a single mother when his father died when Jerry was 4.