The first legendary Chicago basketball player, who then made an even more impressive career as a coach, died today at the age of 78.
Jerry Sloan wore the Bulls for 10 years as a player, then dedicated one season to the team as an assistant and three more as a head coach.
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He passed away after a long illness with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Sloan was the first basketball player to be taken out of service by the Bulls. His №4 tank top was “retired” in 1978. He has played for the team since his appearance in the NBA in 1966.
As a coach, his career was even more successful, especially during his years in Utah. He was part of Jazz for over a quarter of a century – first as an assistant (1985-1988) and then as a coach (1988-2011). For his work there, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
At the head of the “Jazzmen” only three times did not reach the playoffs, four times he qualified for the finals of the Western Conference, and in two of them he advanced to the actual finals of the League, where in 1997 and 1998 his alumni lost to Michael Jordan and Chicago.
He has 1223 wins in the regular season, giving him fourth place in the eternal rankings. In front of him are only Greg Popovich, Lenny Wilkins and Don Nelson. Sloan never managed to win a championship.