NBA stars and Utah Jazz legends react to Jerry Sloan’s death


Jerry Sloan, a player known as “The Original Bull” in Chicago before becoming a legendary Utah Jazz head coach, died on Friday. He was 78 years old.

Many members of the NBA community have turned to social media to pay tribute to Sloan, who retired in 2011 as the oldest head coach with a franchise in any major professional sport .

“Jerry Sloan was one of the most respected and admired legends in the NBA,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Friday. “He was the first coach to win 1,000 games with the same organization, who came to embody the qualities that made Jerry a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: persistence, discipline, drive and selflessness. “

Current jazz head coach Quin Snyder, in his sixth season with Utah, spoke fondly of his time with Sloan and what it means to follow in his footsteps.

“The clear identity he established for Jazz Basketball – the altruism, tenacity and vital importance of the team – has always left a palpable responsibility in striving to continue,” said Snyder. tweeted. “He will be missed and mourned by the Jazz family, the NBA and beyond. “

Opponents also paid tribute to Sloan, including Oklahoma City Thunder goalkeeper Chris Paul, and Pat Riley, the former Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat head coach, who is now the president of the Heat.

Sloan left a lasting legacy in Salt Lake City, coaching 133 players during his tenure as head coach of the Jazz. Many prominent names in the franchise shared their memories and appreciation for their coach.

“I think despite all his intensity on the field and his request to do it the right way, the fact that he came to shoot with his John Deere hat and be so down to earth in terms of who he was off the field , I think it was the most endearing quality of him that really caught the attention of the players, “said former jazz star center Mark Eaton to ESPN’s Eric Woodyard. “In the crazy world of the NBA and all the crazy stories you hear every day and here is this guy who just [Illinois] the heart of america who just came to work, put on his work boots and just said, “Let’s go. It was just something that is a rare find in the world today and I think that is what made it so unique and what everyone loved about it. ”

“I remember him sitting there watching almost all the years of training after he retired. I also know that he really respected hard work, more than anything, and I could feel that he really respected and loved players who had this mindset since the first day I spoke to him. “

Utah Rudy Gobert Jazz Center (via Eric Woodyard of

Darrell Griffith, who with Eaton’s Jazz number has echoed Sloan’s impact on the franchise.

“He brought a lot to the game. He knew a lot about the game, he was a student of the game, he learned a lot from [former Jazz coach Frank Layden] and as a player, he brought that to the players on the field, “said Griffith. “He brought a lot to the game and I learned a lot from him as a coach and as a human, so it was sad news for me to hear today. “

Other former jazz stars like Gordon Hayward, Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams went on Twitter and Instagram to pay tribute to Sloan.


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