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Ex-Jazz coach Jerry Sloan turns down second job in a month

Published July 13, 2012 4:55 pm

NBA • Blazers GM says he offered Sloan the Portland head coaching position.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Portland general manager Neil Olshey on Friday told media in Las Vegas that ex-Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was formally offered the Blazers' vacant head coaching position this week.

According to media reports, Olshey said Sloan decided to sleep on the offer, then turned it down.

Sloan confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday that he'd declined the Blazers' offer. Initial reports were that Sloan was only a candidate, though, and didn't reveal the longtime Jazz coach had actually been offered the position.

"There's nothing to talk about, really," Sloan told The Tribune on Thursday. "The Portland people are great people and were great to work with. It's just one of those things that didn't work out on my end."

Sloan, 70, has now pulled out of two public searches in a month. He removed himself from consideration for Charlotte's head coaching job June 14, after going through the initial interview process.

When Sloan resigned Feb. 10, 2011, from the Jazz, he said he'd never take another NBA coaching job, and cited fatigue as the primary reason he unexpectedly retired. Sloan also often clashed with former Utah All-Star guard Deron Williams, though, and he stepped down midseason, taking longtime assistant Phil Johnson with him.

Sloan told The Tribune last summer he was open to returning to coaching. He was privately contacted by several teams last year, and he's searched for a way to get back into the league.

Sloan, who doesn't have an agent, moved to the forefront of multiple coaching searches in 2012. But he's yet to accept a job, and Olshey's statement Friday insinuates the Hall of Fame coach could have been leading an NBA team again if he'd accepted the Blazers' offer.

Asked Thursday if he would be interested in future NBA job openings, Sloan told The Tribune, "I couldn't speculate on that."

Sloan coached the Jazz for 23 seasons and ranks third in the league in all-time coaching wins (1,221).