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Utah Jazz: Former coach Jerry Sloan is in the spotlight (whether he likes it or not)
(Chris Detrick  |  Tribune file photo)   
Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan before the game at Energy Solutions Arena on Friday, Oct. 22, 2010.
(Chris Detrick  |  Tribune file photo)   
Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan before the game at Energy Solutions Arena on Friday, Oct. 22, 2010.
This Dec. 3, 2010, file photo shows Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks,  in Salt Lake City. Sloan stepped down as head coach of the Jazz on Thursday. (AP Photo/Colin E Braley, File)
(Rick Egan  | Tribune file photo)   

Jerry Sloan watches the  Jazz play the Orlando Magic, in Salt Lake City,  Saturday, April 21, 2012
Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan, left, is escorted off the court by assistant coach Phil Johnson and John Stockton, right, as DeShawn Johnson, middle, watches the commotion Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003, in Sacramento, Calif. Sloan was ejected for shoving official Courtney Kirkland in the first quarter after arguing that Kings guard Doug Christie stepped out of bounds on the sideline right near where Kirkland was standing. Sloan got down and put his hand to the spot where he thought Christie stepped out. Sloan then shoved Kirkland and was immediately ejected. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Hector Amezcua)
(Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, owner Larry H. Miller and Jazz Vice President of basketball operations Kevin O'Connor discuss their options in the final moments of the 2006 NBA draft.
(Tribune file photo)  

Karl Malone, right, and John Stockton played most of their Jazz career with Jerry Sloan, left, as their coach.
(Tribune file photo)  

Jerry Sloan, left, and John Stockton applaud Michael Jordan during the Hall of Fame press conference in 2009. Sloan and Stockton were inducted.
(Lennie Mahler  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan receives an ovation from the crowd during timeout as the Jazz announced they will retire a jersey in the rafters at EnergySolutions Arena in an upcoming home game on Jan. 31. Monday, Dec. 9, 2013.
(Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan shakes hands with Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller as Sloan is honored for winning his 1000 game prior to the start of the Utah Jazz Milwaukee Bucks game at the EnergySolutions Arena Wednesday  November 19, 2008.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Jerry Sloan won his 1,000th game as coach of the Jazz on Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
(Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Former Utah Jazz Jerry Sloan hugs Jazz owner Gail Miller after announcing his resignation as head coach in 2011.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. Utah Jazz  is seen in a game against the New York Knicks on Feb. 10, 2007.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan before the game at Energy Solutions Arena Friday October 22, 2010.
(Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan holds up the game ball from his 1000 victory as he is honored for the achievement prior to the start of the Utah Jazz Milwaukee Bucks game at the EnergySolutions Arena Wednesday  November 19, 2008.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan before the game at Energy Solutions Arena Friday October 22, 2010.
(Scott Sommerdorf  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan and assistant coach Phil Johnson (far left) listen as they are applauded In the Utah House of Representatives, Monday, March 7, 2011. The two former coaches were accompanied by Gail Miller, wife of former Jazz owner Larry Miller (right).
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

In this 2009 file photo, Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan does a pre-game interview with Rod Hundley.
(Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Tyrone Corbin, left, head coach of the Utah Jazz speaks with former coach Jerry Sloan during Media Day at the Zions Bank Basketball Center in Salt Lake on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
This Nov. 12, 2010, file photo shows Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan during an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, in Atlanta. Sloan stepped down as head coach of the Jazz in February.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan before the game at Energy Solutions Arena on Friday, Oct. 22, 2010.
This Dec. 3, 2010, file photo shows Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks,  in Salt Lake City. Sloan stepped down as head coach of the Jazz on Thursday. (AP Photo/Colin E Braley, File)
Jerry Sloan during his playing days with the Chicago Bulls.
(Danny Chan La  |  Tribune file photo)  

Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan expresses himself to the officials at EnergySolutions Arena on December 3, 2007.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Jerry Sloan is seen in a game against the Detroit Pistons on November 13, 2004.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Utah's Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan confer during game three of their series against the Houston Rockets during the 2007 NBA playoffs.
(Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Jerry Sloan on the sidelines at a game in 1989.
Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan, left, is escorted off the court by assistant coach Phil Johnson and John Stockton, right, as DeShawn Johnson, middle, watches the commotion Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003, in Sacramento, Calif. Sloan was ejected for shoving official Courtney Kirkland in the first quarter after arguing that Kings guard Doug Christie stepped out of bounds on the sideline right near where Kirkland was standing. Sloan got down and put his hand to the spot where he thought Christie stepped out. Sloan then shoved Kirkland and was immediately ejected. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Hector Amezcua)
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan answers questions from reporters prior to Monday morning's practice at Factory of Champions Gym in San Antonio on May 21, 2007.
(Scott Sommerdorf  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan answers questions about the 2007/2008 season as the team clans out their lockers on May 5, 2008.
(Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, owner Larry H. Miller and Jazz Vice President of basketball operations Kevin O'Connor discuss their options in the final moments of the 2006 NBA draft.
(Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan and introduces Deron Williams at a news conference on June 20, 2005, at the Delta Center.
(Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan wasn't too happy as the Chicago Bulls builds up a lead just before halftime during a game in 2004.
(Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Jerry Sloan yells at a ref as the Jazz face the Spurs  Spurs at the EnergySolutions Arena on Jan 31, 2007.
(Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Jerry Sloan talks to the team during a practice in 1991.
(Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, owner Larry H. Miller and Jazz Vice President of basketball operations Kevin O'Connor discuss their options in the final moments to their first round pick at the Delta Center during the Draft Day watch party on June 28, 2006.
(Tribune file photo)  

Jerry Sloan yells support form the bench in his first quarter as head coach of the Utah Jazz in 1988.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan talks to his players on the sidelines on his way to earning his 1000th career victory after the Jazz beat the Mavericks 101-79 in 2006.
(Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

l-r John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Jerry Sloan, John Stockton, and C. Vivian Stringer. Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan and Utah Jazz point guard John Stockton were inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday in Springfield, Mass. before a crowd of mostly journalists and fans.
(Ryan Galbraith  |  Tribune file photo)  

Jerry Sloan watches as his team streches before a practice in 1999.
(Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Jerry Sloan, left, and John Stockton applaud Michael Jordan during the Hall of Fame press conference in 2009. Sloan and Stockton were inducted.
Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan makes a statement during a media availability before his enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., Friday morning, Sept. 11, 2009. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan seeks attention as often as someone on the FBI’s 10 most-wanted list.

When the spotlight manages to find him, Sloan is more uncomfortable than a billy goat in the pig pen, as they might say in his hometown of McLeansboro, Ill.

“I think that comes from the backgrounds — the rural backgrounds — that we both have,” says Phil Johnson, Sloan’s friend and long-time assistant.

“You don’t run around in the country and pound your chest and say how great you are. That’s the bottom line. It’s a rural-country thing and he’s always been that way.”

Remember his Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction in 2009?

Sloan walked slowly to the podium, exchanged words with presenter Charles Barkley, pulled a copy of his speech from a jacket pocket, put on a pair of glasses and glanced up.

Story continues below

“This is pretty tough for me,” he said. “It’s something I don’t like to do. But, uh, I guess I’ll get started.”

The audience laughed, not knowing exactly how much the man in front of them dreaded telling the world about himself, his life and his career.

He was petrified.

“I didn’t think I’d make it through that one,” Sloan recalled this week. “... It’s just hard to talk about myself. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything. I’ve always been team-oriented and, to talk about myself, is a difficult thing to do.”

It’s about to happen again.

On Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena, the Utah Jazz will raise a banner for Sloan, who coached the franchise for 23 years, and resigned nearly three years ago.

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Always uneasy on the stage, former Jazz coach finally lets franchise honor him.

At a glance

Jerry Sloan timeline

March 28, 1942 » Born in McLeansboro, Ill.

May 6, 1965 » Taken with the sixth pick in the first round of the NBA Draft by Baltimore

May 1, 1966 » Selected by the Chicago Bulls in the NBA expansion draft

Nov. 25, 1967 » Records the first of two career triple-doubles with 22 points, 16 rebounds and 13 assists at Philadelphia

March 5, 1969 » Scores a career-high 43 points at Milwaukee

Nov. 30, 1969 » Grabs a career-high 21 rebounds vs. the L.A. Lakers

May, 1976 » After playing only 22 games during the season because of injuries, he retires

Feb. 17, 1977 » Bulls retire his jersey (No. 4)

March 1977 » Hired as coach at Evansville but resigns five days later for personal reasons

Dec. 13, 1977 » Plane carrying Evansville team crashes; there are no survivors

Nov. 16, 1984 » Named assistant coach of the Utah Jazz

Dec. 9, 1988 » Replaces Frank Layden as the Jazz’s head coach

Jan. 24, 1994 » Jazz beat Seattle to make him the winningest coach in franchise history (278 wins).

Dec. 6, 2006 » Becomes fifth NBA head coach to win 1,000 games after a 101-79 victory over Dallas

Nov. 7, 2008 » Becomes first NBA coach to win 1,000 games with the same franchise when the Jazz beat Oklahoma City

Sept. 11, 2009 » Enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Feb. 7, 2011 » Gets regular-season win No. 1,127 as head coach of the Jazz (107-104 at Sacramento)

Feb. 9, 2011 » Jazz lose to Chicago, 91-86, at EnergySolutions Arena

Feb. 10, 2011 » Resigns as head coach of the Jazz

June 19, 2013 » Rejoins the Jazz as a senior basketball advisor


 
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