NBA

Legendary Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan dies aged 78

By Sports Desk May 22, 2020

Legendary Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has died at the age of 78, the team announced on Friday.

The Jazz said in a statement Sloan passed away as a result of complications from Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia, diagnoses he received in April 2016.

Sloan spent 26 years as a coach in the NBA, 23 of which were spent leading the Jazz between 1988 and 2011.

Utilising their famous pick-and-roll offense, and inspired by Hall of Famers Karl Malone and John Stockton, Sloan led the Jazz to the Western Conference title in 1997 and 1998 but they were beaten in the NBA Finals on both occasions by the Michael Jordan-inspired Chicago Bulls – a team he both played for and coached.

"Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz. He will forever be a part of the Utah Jazz organisation and we join his family, friends and fans in mourning his loss," the Jazz statement read. 

"We are so thankful for what he accomplished here in Utah and the decades of dedication, loyalty and tenacity he brought to our franchise. 

"Like Stockton and Malone as players, Jerry Sloan epitomised the organisation. He will be greatly missed. 

"We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Tammy, the entire Sloan family and all who knew and loved him."

Sloan led the Jazz to 15 consecutive playoff appearances and 19 in total and finished his career with the third-most wins in NBA history.

As a player, Sloan was a two-time NBA All-Star and had his number 4 jersey retired by the Bulls, and twice lost in the Conference Finals.

Related items

  • Hailing the unsung heroes, really really unsung Hailing the unsung heroes, really really unsung

    In 2004 Ron Artest, then Metta World Peace and now Metta Sandiford-Artest, leapt into the stands and fought with a fan. In 2010 he shouted out his psychiatrist, Dr Santhi Periasamy, at a post-game interview for helping him “to relax”. An honourable mention— he didn’t get to this stage alone. Still, mental health workers should be recognized on a bigger scale.

    Artest, a former defender for the Lakers, unwillingly gave up his position when a fan threw a drink at him and he reacted violently. He was now playing plain crazy. Not only that. He thought it was a good idea to wear boxers for his attire to chat with Jimmy Kimmel on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” His outlandish behaviour suggested he was going through a rough patch in life.

    Hip hop legend Jay Z tried helping Artest regain his cool at a gathering they both attended. “Yo, you got to chill out,” Jay Z recommended. To which Artest replied, “Come on man. You’re from Brooklyn. You know what it is.” Artest’s mindset deeply reflected his unstable childhood. Jay Z couldn’t get through to him. Artest’s psychiatrist did.

    During a post-game interview, Artest answered questions about his performance on the night of June 2010. He was asked to comment on the impressive plays he had in the game. Artest insisted it was a team effort. Then proceeded to thank his psychiatrist.

    "I'd like to thank my psychiatrist, Dr Santhi. She really helped me relax in these moments because usually, I’m not good at these moments..."

    His statement put the role of mental health workers in perspective. Mental health workers should have their own category at sports award shows.

    I never understood why Dr Santhi wasn’t awarded publicly. Sports award shows salute team athletic achievement. Mental health workers are part of the team. They have to be. Research shows that up to 35% of professional athletes suffer from mental health issues. Though athletes get paid to be in tune with their minds and bodies, they can still experience burnout, stress, eating disorders, depression and anxiety. Artest said it himself, "there were things I could not handle, and I needed help.” Dr Santhi helped him to become a better basketball player and a better man.

    An afterthought: If I’m being honest, 35% seems sketchy. I think it’s more. Did you guys see Dennis Rodman’s interview on the Breakfast Club? If not, I suggest you watch it. Rodman broke down while discussing past trauma he was carrying for years. He said, “I don’t talk too much about stuff like that” and trust me, it showed. I bring that up to say, not every athlete talks about mental health. Before meeting Dr Santhi, Artest said he probably saw eight different psychologists but he couldn’t open up to them. He considered the media and the seemingly happy players around him; what would they say?

    I believe there’s a growing need to give mental health workers the acknowledgement they truly deserve. It could help in so many ways. Mental health workers need support too. Give them the opportunity to come together to celebrate one another’s achievements and most importantly share conversations about mental health in the athletic space.

    Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

  • Nets' Durant says he will not play if NBA season resumes Nets' Durant says he will not play if NBA season resumes

    Kevin Durant made it clear on Friday that he will not make his Brooklyn Nets debut if the NBA season restarts.

    Durant ruptured an Achilles tendon a year ago for the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

    There was speculation that he could return with the league forced to suspend operations for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    However, Durant ruled out returning this season, meaning his Nets debut will have to wait until 2020-21.

    Speaking to The Undefeated, Durant said: "I don't plan on playing at all.

    "We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season."

    The 10-time All-Star announced his decision to sign a four-year, $164million deal with the Nets in June last year.

    Durant also had COVID-19 earlier this year.

  • Jordan Brand and Michael Jordan donate $100M to racial equality Jordan Brand and Michael Jordan donate $100M to racial equality

    Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand will be donating $100million to organisations that support racial equality, they announced in a joint press release on Friday.  

    NBA great Jordan and his Nike-affiliated company began the release, "The Jordan Brand is us, the Black Community."

    The donations will be made over the next 10 years, going to organisations "dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education."

    The announced donations are the latest and largest corporate response to date in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. 

    Floyd, who was African American, died in the custody of a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, sparking protests against police brutality and racism across the United States and worldwide.  

    "Black lives matter. This isn't a controversial statement," the press release said. "Until the ingrained racism that allows our country's institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of Black people." 

    Jordan, who was criticised at times during his playing career for not being more of an activist, is now the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets.  

    Forbes estimates that Jordan is worth over $2billion and is the fourth-wealthiest African American.  

    "Jordan Brand is more than one man. It has always been a family," the statement said. "We represent a proud family that has overcome obstacles, fought against discrimination in communities worldwide and that works every day to erase the stain of racism and the damage of injustice."

    The company plans to continue its Jordan Wings Program, which has provided college funding for over 1,800 students in the U.S. and China.  

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.