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Best Performances From The Playing Career Of Jerry Sloan

Charles Barkley presents Coach Jerry Sloan to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony on September 11, 2009 in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Long-time Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan passed away Friday. The former coach spent 23 seasons as the signal-caller of the franchise. In 2009, Sloan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. However, Sloan’s stellar coaching career was prefaced by an All-Star career as a player for the Baltimore Bullets and the Chicago Bulls. These are the best performances from the playing career of Sloan.

Sloan spent one season in Baltimore before being selected by the Bulls with the first pick of the 1966 expansion draft. In 1978, Sloan’s number 4 jersey would be the first-ever retired by the Bulls. It would remain the only jersey in the rafters for Chicago until teammate Bob Love’s number was retired in 1994.

Best Playing Performances by Jerry Sloan

October 26, 1965: Baltimore Bullets at Detroit Pistons 

Sloan’s first breakout performance came in his rookie season with the Bullets. The guard reached the double-digit scoring mark for the first time in his career. Sloan scored 13 points in a 117-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Sloan’s Bullets were lead by Don Ohl who scored 27 points in the game. The Pistons roster feature future Hall of Famer Dave DeBusschere.

Sloan would score in double-digits just 12 times as a rookie. The guard would eclipse his 13 point total just three times during his inaugural season, including a 17 outing in a 31 point loss to Oscar Robertson’s Cincinnati Royals.

March 15, 1967: Chicago Bulls At Detroit Pistons

Sloan would again set a career-best mark in Motor City. Now with the Chicago Bulls, Sloan would set a new career high with 32 points in Detroit.

The Bulls guard connected on 12-23 field goal attempts, highlighting his ability as a scorer. The Bulls snapped a three-game losing streak with the 98-91 victory.

Most importantly, the win guaranteed the Bulls wouldn’t finish with the worst record in the Western Conference, sending them to the 1967 playoffs in their first year as a franchise.

November 25, 1967: Chicago Bulls At Philadelphia 76ers

Sloan was a versatile guard and showed his complete game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Sloan recorded the first triple-double of his career in Philly, scoring 22 points, grabbing 16 rebounds, and handing out 13 assists.

The 5-17 Bulls beat the 14-6 defending champion 76ers in a surprising 119-114 victory.

The 76ers were led by the legendary Wilt Chamberlain who scored  24 points and grabbed 22 rebounds.

December 13, 1967: Chicago Bulls At San Francisco Warriors

One of Sloan’s most statistically prolific games, the Bulls guard scored a career-high 35 points in San Francisco. Sloan connected on 11-11 free-throws, snared 11 rebounds and handed out four assists in the Bulls 109-104 victory.

The Bulls would erase a five-point deficit entering the fourth quarter, and outscore the Warriors 37-27 to secure the victory.

The Warriors roster featured future Hall of Fame big man Nate Thurmond.

March 5, 1969: Chicago Bulls At Milwaukee Bucks

Sloan would set his career-high scoring mark at 43 points in a 124-108 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Sloan connected on 19-36 shots in the win. The guard also grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out seven assists.

The Bucks featured future Hall of Famer, and former Sloan teammate Guy Rodgers.

December 5, 1969: Chicago Bulls At Phoenix Suns

The Bulls guard recorded the second and final triple-double of his career in a 114-113 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Sloan scored 21 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and assisted on 11 baskets in the loss. The Suns featured future Hall of Famers Connie Hawkins and Gail Goodrich.

April 13, 1973: Chicago Bulls Vs. Los Angeles Lakers

In one of the best playing performances to show up on this list, Sloan set his career-best playoff scoring mark with 27 points against the Lakers. The Bulls fended off elimination in game six of the playoffs with a 101-93 victory in Chicago. It would mark one of the best postseason performances for Sloan.

The guard connected on 11-20 field goals and grabbed 11 rebounds in the win. The Bulls would eventually lose game seven to Chamberlain, Goodrich, and Jerry West in Los Angeles.

April 23, 1975: Chicago Bulls At Kansas City-Omaha Kings

In Sloan’s lone playoff series victory with Chicago, the Bulls closed out the Kansas City-Omaha Kings with a 101-89 victory in game six.

Sloan scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and recorded four steals in the contest.

The Bulls would fail to qualify for the 1976 playoffs, and Sloan would retire due to a knee injury that summer.

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