Top Moments From Jerry Sloan’s Hall Of Fame Career
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Hall of Fame Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan passed away Friday morning. The 78-year-old coached the Jazz between 1988 and 2011. However, Sloan’s career extended before and after his time with the Jazz. These are the top moments from Sloan’s career.
Sloan was a standout college basketball star. The Illinois native was a three-time All-American at the University of Evansville after transferring from the University of Illinois. Sloan’s Evansville Aces won back to back Division II National Championships in 1964 and 1965.
Sloan averaged 15.7 points and 13.1 rebounds over the championship seasons. The future Hall of Famer led the Aces to a perfect 29-0 season in 1965.
Drafted by the Baltimore Bullets
Sloan was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets after starring at Evansville. The guard was the seventh pick of the 1965 draft. The draft produced fellow Hall of Famers Bill Bradley, Gail Goodrich, Rick Barry, and Billy Cunningham.
The guard would spend only one season in Baltimore before landing with the only other team he would ever play for.
Drafted by the Chicago Bulls
Sloan was the first selection of the Chicago Bulls in the 1966 expansion draft. The guard would become an immediate contributor with the team. Sloan averaged a career-high 17.4 points in his first season in Chicago and earning an All-Star nod.
Sloan would score eight points, grab four rebounds, and hand out four assists. Sloan’s West team would defeat Wilt Chamberlain and the East team 135-120.
The Bulls guard was selected for his second and final All-Star game in 1969. Sloan started for the West and scored four points, and grabbed three rebounds. The defensive Stewart recorded a career-high 43 points on March 5, 1969, against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Sloan has No. 4 jersey Retired by Bulls
In 1976, Sloan retired from his playing career after suffering a knee injury. The guard, nicknamed “The Original Bull” retired with averages of 14 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Sloan is the only player in NBA history to average at least seven rebounds and two steals per game for their career.
In total, Sloan was named to six All-Defensive teams and helped lead the Bulls to the 1975 Western Conference Finals.
Sloan was hired as a scout for the Bulls after retiring.
On February 7, 1978, Sloan’s no. 4 jersey was retired by the Bulls. The guard was the first player to have his number retired in Chicago. The number was the only jersey retired by the Bulls for the first 28 years of the franchise’s history (Bob Love 1994).
Sloan was hired to coach the Bulls in 1979 but was dismissed after just three seasons with a record of 94-121.
Sloan begins career with Jazz
The Jazz hired Sloan as a scout in 1983 after losing his job in Chicago. Sloan was then promoted to assistant coach under Frank Layden in 1984.
The coach accepted the head coaching job at his alma mater Evansville but was rehired by the Jazz before coaching his first game. That same season, the entire Evansville coaching staff was killed in a plane crash.
In 1988, Layden would step aside from his gig, handing Sloan the head coaching job.
Sloan named lead assistant to 1996 Olympic Team
The Jazz coach was named to the 1996 US Olympic Basketball team in Atlanta. Sloan would serve under head coach Lenny Wilkins as the team went undefeated and claimed the gold medal.
The coach was passed over in 2000 for the head coaching job, breaking the longstanding tradition of the lead assistant assuming the next head coaching job. Rudy Tomjanovich would lead the 2000 Olympic team to the gold medal in Sydney, Australia.
Sloan leads Jazz to back to back Finals
The Jazz made back to back trips to the 1997 and 1998 NBA finals under Sloan’s tutelage. Coincidentally, the Jazz would face Sloan’s former team the Bulls in both series.
The team lost to the Bulls in six games each season, ending Michael Jordan’s legendary career in Chicago.
The two finals appearances would be the last of Sloan’s championship hopes in Utah.
In 1998, Sloan was named the Sporting News’ Coach of the Year. However, much like his Olympic hopes, Sloan was never awarded Coach of the Year by the NBA. The coach would repeat as Sporting News’ Coach of the Year in 2004.
Sloan wins 1,000th game of his career
On December 11, 2006, Sloan won the 1,000th game of his coaching career. Sloan was only the fifth coach in league history to break the 1,000 win mark.
Two years later, on November 7, 2008, Sloan won his 1,000th game in Utah. As a result, Sloan was the first coach to reach the 1,000 win mark with one franchise.
Sloan Inducted to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame
Though the coach was still active, on April 6, 2009, Sloan was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Sloan was announced alongside Michael Jordan, David Robinson, John Stockton, and C. Vivian Stringer.
The always humble Sloan finished his speech by thanking the entire Hall of Fame class.
“I could not be prouder,” Sloan said. “It is truly an honor to be among such a well-respected and talented group of individuals.”
Sloan calls it a career
On February 11, 2011, after a locker room spat with star guard Deron Williams, Jerry Sloan announced his retirement. Sloan and Williams clashed over playcalling during a loss causing Sloan to leave the franchise.
Within two weeks, Williams was traded to the New Jersey Nets, ending an era in Utah.
Sloan would finish his coaching career with 1,223 victories and 803 losses.
On January 31, 2014, the Jazz honored Sloan by hanging a banner recognizing his 1,223 wins with the franchise.
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