Quin Snyder Remembers Former Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan

Jul 22, 2020, 7:38 PM
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)
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – On Tuesday, the Utah Jazz announced they would wear a 1223 jersey patch to honor former head coach Jerry Sloan who passed away in May. On Wednesday, current Jazz coach Quin Snyder remembered the man who helped build the Jazz into one of the NBA’s most consistent winning franchises.

On May 22, Sloan passed away at age 78 after a four-year battle with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. The number 1223 signifies the number of wins Sloan had during his coaching career.

Snyder replaced coach Tyrone Corbin just three and a half seasons after Sloan abruptly retired from basketball.

“You can’t talk about the Utah Jazz without talking about coach Sloan,” Snyder said. “His impact really throughout the state of Utah, the organization, players, fans, coaches. You just can’t overstate it.”

Sloan coached the Jazz for 23 seasons after his predecessor, Frank Layden retired from coaching mid-year. Sloan would lead the Jazz to two Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998 alongside John Stockton and Karl Malone. Snyder said he felt the Hall of Famer’s presence from the moment he was hired by the Jazz.

“The first year that I arrived in Utah, the level of support he gave to our staff was really unique,” Snyder said.
“From the beginning of the time that we got there he couldn’t have been more supportive of our group, of our coaching staff, and the things that we were trying to accomplish.”

Though his time with Sloan was shorter than many within the organization, Snyder remembered his predecessor fondly.

“There’s nothing you can say other than he’s a great coach and a great man,” Snyder said.

Jazz Honor Sloan

The Jazz will debut the jersey patch Thursday when they face the Phoenix Suns in the first of three scrimmages before resuming the NBA season on July 30.

“Coach Jerry Sloan will forever be in the hearts of the Utah Jazz organization and fans everywhere, and we feel it is only fitting to honor him in this way,” said Greg Miller, member of the NBA Board of Governors and Director of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies in the press release. “His contributions to our Jazz family and communities are a defining part of our franchise history and we look forward to seeing 1,223 on the jerseys of our players in Orlando as a nod to his legacy.”

According to the team’s website, “fans can purchase a commemorative jersey patch for $12.23 with proceeds benefitting the Michael J. Fox Foundation, dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Patches can be purchased both in-store and at www.jazzteamstore.com and can be affixed on a jersey. The Jazz have made a financial contribution in Sloan’s memory to the Michael J. Fox Foundation and direct donations are also encouraged at www.michaeljfox.org/donate.”

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