I talked to ex-Jazz coach Jerry Sloan last week about his life after resigning. Here are his answers to a few questions that did not make it into the story that appeared on-line and in the Tribune.
Question: Did you follow the Jazz last season after you resigned in February?
Sloan: "It was easier for me to watch basketball than at any other time -- not having any connection to anything. .... I hope the Jazz win, but there was no pressure from my standpoint. So it was fun to watch the games."
Question: What do you do for fun these days?
Sloan: "Go back to the farm [in southern Illinois]. That really hasn't changed for me."
Question: Do you ever reflect on the fact you coached one NBA team, the Jazz, for almost 23 full seasons?
Sloan: "This is a hell of a game. A terrific game. There are so many terrific coaches in this business. To think I was able to stay in one place for so long, it's scary."
Question: What are your thoughts on the current labor situation in the NBA, and the fact that the coming season is in jeopardy because of the lockout?
Sloan: "I've always hated to see it. It's difficult enough for an organization to cultivate fans. And now you put [fans] in a position of not wanting to go to the games, maybe, because of what's going on. That has always concerned me because nobody is going anywhere without fans. ... That's the thing that I hope isn't overlooked. I hope we don't lose any fans."
Question: You are 69 years old and turn 70 in March. Does that impact the possibility of ever coaching in the NBA again?
Sloan: "... I'm sure some people would be concerned about my age, at this point. But I feel like I'm in terrific shape. I don't know what that means. And that can change tomorrow, of course. But I feel good."
-- Steve Luhm
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