It has been a milestone season in every respect for Jerry Sloan, who celebrated his 1,000th victory as Jazz coach in November followed by his 20th anniversary of taking over for Frank Layden in December.
Now Sloan can officially be called a Hall of Famer. A source familiar with the results told the Tribune on Saturday that Sloan was elected to the Hall and will be enshrined with John Stockton in Springfield, Mass., in September. Fame.
"That means you don't have much time left," Sloan joked earlier this week about this season's accomplishments. "You're playing on a short rope."
Sloan is away from the Jazz in McLeansboro, Ill., attending the funeral of his 80-year-old brother, Buck, who died Tuesday. He will be part of the Class of 2009 along with Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Stockton and Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer.
Sloan said Thursday in Denver that he never had been to the Hall of Fame and knew little about it other than that Arad McCutchan, his former college coach at Evansville, had been previously inducted.
He also was asked what has kept him coming back season after season. Sloan turned 67 a week ago and is the longest tenured coach in American professional sports.
"It's like your kids to a certain extent," Sloan said. "They have tough times, but can they fight out of it or are they just going to curl up in a corner and feel sorry for themselves, like the world's mistreated them?"