Over the years we’ve written several times about the famed Jerry Sloan (#6 BEIR), an intense, talented, and fiery, successful Hall of Fame NBA coach who was most well-known for leading his team against fellow #6 Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.  Sadly, Sloan passed away from Parkinson’s disease Friday, the Jazz announced.  “Like Stockton (#6 BEIR) and Malone (#5 FEIR) as players, Jerry Sloan epitomized the organization. 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 was the fifth coach in NBA history to reach 1,000 wins and is one of two coaches to record 1,000 or more wins with one franchise.  Long-time Chicago Bulls GM, Jerry Krause (#13 FCIR) once insightfully compared Sloan to Michael Jordan, saying, “Jerry is one of the greatest competitors I’ve ever seen, on par with MJ. There will never be another like him.”  BTI director Jonathan Niednagel had known Sloan since Sloan’s college days at Evansville College in Indiana, when, as a local high school hoopster, Niednagel would play pickup games with college players in the summer. Niednagel described Sloan as, “The toughest guy I’ve ever been around in terms of playing with passion and seriousness. He is a salt of the earth type, very humble and contrite’a rare breed nowadays.”

Lastly, Jerry once played for the Bulls, and averaged 14.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 755 games played over 11 NBA seasons. Nicknamed “The Original Bull” because he was selected in the 1966 expansion draft, Sloan was a two-time NBA All-Star (1967, 1969) known for his toughness and grit.  He is one of a number of fellow #6s who have successfully made the transition from player to coach (i.e. the ‘tactician’).

We’ll miss you, Jerry.

Written by: Staff