Jerry Sloan, the former coach of the Utah Jazz that led them to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, has died at the age of 78 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia, the Jazz announced on Friday.
Sloan revolutionized the NBA by bringing the pick-and-roll into the mainstream with his legendary duo of Karl Malone and John Stockton. The three of them spent a total of 18 seasons together, 15 with Sloan in the top job in Utah. The Jazz have not been back to the NBA Finals since they left.
Before he was a coach for the Jazz, he was a player. Drafted No. 4 overall out of the small University of Evansville by the Washington Bullets in 1965, Sloan was traded to the expansion Chicago Bulls only a year into his career. As their point guard, Sloan made the All-Star Game twice and earned four All-Defensive Team honors. His No. 4 jersey is retired by the Bulls.
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