After 23 Years Coaching Utah, The Longest Tenured Head Coach In The NBA Jerry Sloan Steps Down From Coaching The Jazz.

Posted: February 11, 2011 in NBA Basketball

What’s up sports fans? It’s funny how things turn out. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was having a discussion with a friend of mine about the Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan. The reason why we were having the discussion is because we were at the Warrior v.s. Jazz game. I told my friend, ” Jerry Sloan is the longest tenured head coach in the NBA.” My friend said, “They won’t get rid of him.” I told him, “Theres talk through the NBA grapevine that they might not extend his contract next season.” My friend was right and I was wrong. The Utah Jazz didn’t get rid of him, Jerry Sloan decided to walk.

On Febuary 10, 2011 the longest tenured coach in the NBA resigned from the Utah Jazz NBA franchise. It was reported at that Jerry Sloan and starting guard Derron Williams had a falling out after the Jazz loss to Chicago. It apparently got so heated that two of them almost came to blows.  Wikipedia had information that a KSL-TV reporter asked Coach Sloan if the tension between him and Derron Williams forced him out of Utah, he responded, “I forced myself out.

Former Utah head coach Jerry Sloan

Former Utah head coach Jerry Sloan

Before coaching Jerry Sloan was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets in 1964. He didn’t except it because he was only a junior in college, the next year he was drafted by the Bullets again. This time he accepted and he wasn’t there long, after one season he went and played for the Chicago Bulls during the franchise’s beginning years. The Bulls had an expansion and Jerry was selected. He is still referred to as “The Original Bull”.  Jerry was a terrific player. Four times he was named to the NBA All Defensive Team. Several times he helped the bulls reach the playoffs, and they eventually captured a division title. He is currently fourth on the all time Chicago Bulls scoring list. Jerry is ranked tenth all time in scoring in the NBA.

” Gerald Eugene “Jerry” Sloan coaching career began in Evansville. He had a short coaching stint, and eventually moved on to be a scout for Chicago Bulls.  After a season with this role he became an assistant to the team. He moved up in the Bulls operations and eventually became head coach. After less than three seasons that was less than stellar success, he became a scout for the Utah Jazz for one season. He then became a coach for the Evansville Thunder in the CBA or Continental Basketball Association in 1984,  only to find himself back as an assistant for the Jazz. In 1988 Frank Layden felt it was time to retire and there was talk that Sloan would take his place.  His time at Utah paid off the very next season he became head Coach of the Utah Jazz.

His time at Utah proved positive. He went to the playoffs sixteen consecutive seasons with the Jazz. The players he got to coach was the cream of the crop. Names like John Stockton, Karl “The Mailman” Malone, Jeff Horncek, Mark Eaton, Tom Chambers, Antonine Carr, and who could forget Jeff Malone.  He also coached Carlos Boozer, Derron Williams, and Andrei Kirilenko. With that much talent over time you can only succeed, but any coach knows succession only come with good coaching. Sloan’s good coaching captured him 6 division titles in ten seasons of over 50 wins. Twice he went to the NBA finals, in 1997 and 1998. Only to fall short to his old team the Chicago Bulls, which at that time they had this 6’6 guard known as his Airness Michael Jordan.

Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz did reach the Western Conference finals again in 2007 after beating who else, the Golden State Warriors 100-87.  Jerry broke the 1000 win barrier with a win over the Oklahoma Thunder in the 2009-10 season. April of 2009 the NBA could no longer ignore his coaching passion. He was inducted to the NBA Hall of fame.  Jerry Sloan is the only coach in NBA history to win 1000 games with one NBA franchise. His hard work ethic and tenacity to produce winning basketball will be missed by the NBA, it’s fans and the sports enthusiasts. Remember folks it’s ALLBAYAREASPORTS.COM. Bay Area Sports Magnified!

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