Former Utah Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan Passes Away

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The Utah Jazz have announced that long-time head coach Jerry Sloan has passed away at age 78.

Sloan averaged 14 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game for his career.

They were six-time divisional champions, and NBA Championship finalists in 1997 and 1998. If you have been watching "The Last Dance", you would know that he was heavily featured in the final two episodes of the series. "Our thoughts are with Jerry's wife, Tammy, and their family, as well as his former players, colleagues and the Bulls and Jazz organizations". 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. Sloan launched his National Basketball Association coaching career as an assistant with the Bulls in 1978, rising to the head job one year later.

That coaching longevity allowed Sloan to collect a total of 1,221 wins over the course of his lengthy coaching career with both the Bulls and Jazz.

"Blessed that I got to play for him and learn so much from him during my 5 1/2 years in Utah".

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"The clear identity that he established for Jazz Basketball - unselfishness, toughness and the essential importance of Team - has always left a palpable responsibility to strive for in carrying forward".

"Jerry Sloan was among the NBA's most respected and admired legends", NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.

Beginning in the 1985-86 season, Sloan became an assistant with the Utah Jazz, before being elevated to the head-coaching post during the 1988-89 campaign.

Sloan drew motivation from a high school coach who warned against laziness by referring to his players as "drugstore cowboys sitting up there drinking milk shakes". His no-nonsense style blended perfectly with Hall of Fame players Malone and Stockton, leading to 15 consecutive playoff appearances. He will be greatly missed.

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