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Jerry Sloan coaching the Utah Jazz

Hall Of Fame NBA Coach Jerry Sloan Passes Away At 78 Due To Parkinson’s Disease And Lewy Body Dementia

Gettyimages | Christian Petersen
By Yuriy Andriyashchuk

Jerry Sloan is one of the most legendary NBA head coaches of all-time as he's known most for his tenure for coaching the Utah Jazz. He coached in Utah from 1988-2011. He reached two straight NBA Finals with the team in 1997 and 1998 but fell both times to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Nonetheless, he was still able to put together some amazing teams in Utah has he coached Hall of Famers such as John Stockton and Karl Malone.

Jerry Sloan at his Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Induction in 2009.
Gettyimages | Jim Rogash

Sloan has sadly been dealing with health issues over the past year as early Friday morning, he passed away due to complications with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia, as announced by the Jazz. This comes after Karl Malone revealed earlier this week that Sloan wasn't doing well health wise. At that point, he had asked everyone to pray for one of the greatest coaches that the league had ever seen. Sloan was initially been diagnosed with Parkinson's and dementia in 2016.

Jerry Sloan disputing a call with a referee as Karl Malone and John Stockton look on.

“Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz," said the team in a statement. He will forever be a part of the Utah Jazz organization and we join his family, friends and fans in mourning his loss. We are so thankful for what he accomplished here in Utah and the decades of dedication, loyalty and tenacity he brought to our franchise.

“Our Hall of Fame coach for 23 years, Jerry had a tremendous impact on the Jazz franchise as expressed by his banner hanging in the arena rafters. His 1,223 Jazz coaching wins, 20 trips to the NBA Playoffs and two NBA Finals appearances are remarkable achievements. His hard-nosed approach only made him more beloved. Even after his retirement, his presence at Jazz games always brought a roaring response from the crowd."

Jerry Sloan drawing up a play for the Utah Jazz in the 1990s.
Gettyimages | Jonathan Daniel

“Like Stockton and Malone as players, Jerry Sloan epitomized the organization. He will be greatly missed. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Tammy, the entire Sloan family and all who knew and loved him.”

Larry H. Miller, co-owner of the team, also released a statement with his family regarding the passing of Sloan.

“It was an honor and a privilege to have one of the greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history coaching our team. We have appreciated our relationship with Jerry and acknowledge his dedication to and passion for the Utah Jazz."

Jerry Sloan at a press conference for the NBA Finals.
Gettyimages | Brian Bahr

"He has left an enduring legacy with this franchise and our family," the family continued. "The far-reaching impact of his life has touched our city, state and the world as well as countless players, staff and fans. We pray his family will find solace and comfort in Jerry’s life. The Miller family and Jazz organization will be proud to honor him with a permanent tribute.”

Sloan also helped bring the Jazz 16 consecutive winning seasons and is 1,221 career wins are the fourth most in league history. He also coached in 1,809 consecutive games are the second most. Sloan reached the playoffs in 20 out of his 23 seasons that he coached in Utah. Prayers and condolences go out to his friends and family at this time.

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