Legendary Utah Jazz Hall of Fame head coach Jerry Sloan died Friday of complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia at age 78.
Tributes to Sloan, who is fourth all-time in NBA regular-coaching wins with 1,221, poured in from the basketball world and beyond. Here’s a sampling:
“I didn’t expect to cry today. Jerry wouldn’t like that. I’m heartbroken. Much will be written and said about him, but this is all you need to know. They say you should never meet your heroes...but over the past few years I did. And he was everything I hoped he would be.” — Utah Lieutenant Gov. Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox)
“Jerry Sloan was among the NBA’s most respected and admired legends. After an All-Star playing career in which his relentless style shaped the Chicago Bulls in their early years, he became one of the all-time greatest head coaches during 23 seasons with the Utah Jazz – the second-longest tenure in league history. He was the first coach to win 1,000 games with the same organization, which came to embody the qualities that made Jerry a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer: persistence, discipline, drive and selflessness. His more than 40 years in the NBA also paralleled a period of tremendous growth in the league, a time when we benefited greatly from his humility, kindness, dignity and class. Our thoughts are with Jerry’s wife, Tammy, and their family, as well as his former players, colleagues and the Bulls and Jazz organizations.” -- NBA commissioner Adam Silver
"Before coming to Utah, I was certainly aware of Coach Sloan and what he meant to the NBA and to the coaching world. But, upon living in Utah, I became acutely aware of just how much he truly meant to the state. I was honored by the opportunity to follow in Coach Sloan’s giant footsteps, and subsequently humbled by the task of trying to uphold the standards and the success that are synonymous with his legacy. The clear identity that he established for Jazz Basketball - unselfishness, toughness and the essential importance of Team - has always left a palpable responsibility to strive for in carrying forward. He will be missed and mourned by the Jazz family, the NBA and beyond.” -- Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
“It’s a sad day for all of us who knew Jerry Sloan. Not only on the basketball court, but more importantly as a human being, he was genuine and true, and that is rare. He was a mentor for me from afar until I got to know him. A man who suffered no fools, he possessed a humor, often disguised, and had a heart as big as a prairie.” -- San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich
“Jerry Sloan was a fierce competitor and disciplinarian - and he was the heart and soul of the Utah Jazz for years. His emphasis on defense and team play got the most raw talent out of the players. Our prayers are with Jerry Sloan’s family and friends as they mourn his passing.” -- Gov. Gary Herbert (@GovHerbert)
“RIP Coach Sloan! Legend!!” — Donovan Mitchell (@spidamitchell)
“Jerry Sloan is a Utah icon who amplified Utah’s values of hard work, determination, and grit. He not only blessed the lives of those on the Jazz roster but all of us in Utah. His imprint was large and will be missed.” — Rep. John Curtis.
“We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of the legend, Coach Jerry Sloan. Our thoughts go out to his family and everyone at the @utahjazz.” — Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham (@UtahCoachWhitt)
“Jerry brought a farming and working man’s discipline to this great game of basketball. Nothing ever complicated...just get the job done! He was a fighter and epitomized the word TOUGHNESS, but also had the ability connect with everyone around him. You knew with Jerry you had a chance because he was in the foxhole with you. Always loyal and dependable. It will always be an honor to call him Friend and Coach.” -- Utah basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak
“There’s certain people you come across in your life that you want to emulate. Jerry is certainly one of those guys, a Jon Huntsman-type, there’s just something about him.” -- Krystkowiak, via ESPN700
“I didn’t get to spend a lot of time playing for Coach Sloan, but coming in as a rookie he had a major impact on my transition to the @NBA. I’m grateful for that. Prayers to his family, friends and loved ones. May he Rest In Peace.” -- Gordon Hayward (@gordonhayward)
“Thank you for the opportunities, thank you for the lessons, thank you for help mold me into a great basketball player and man. I will always bring my “lunch pail” to work! RIP Coach Sloan” -- Paul Millsap (@paulmillsap4)
“Jerry Sloan wasn’t just a coach for the @utahjazz, he was our coach. We looked up to Coach Sloan and learned from him because he was a man of dignity and principle. His impact is profound, and we will forever appreciate his contribution to our State.” ‚ Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall (@slcmayor)
“I learned so much about basketball sitting at the bar with Jerry Sloan and his longtime assistant Phil Johnson. They were beyond patient with a young, dumb reporter. And Jerry never made excuses if his team lost-which wasn’t that often. RIP to a great, great coach.” — David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc)
“Very sad to hear about the passing of Coach Sloan this AM. I’m praying for [Tammy] and their family during this time. I know things didn’t end well between us in Utah. However, I’m glad that I got the chance to sit down with him before it was too late. Definitely something that would have haunted me for the rest of my life. Blessed that I got to play for him and learn so much from him during my 5.5 years in Utah. You knew he always had your back when you stepped out on that court. #ripcoachsloan #legend.” — Deron Williams, via Instagram
“For what he did for my career overall, I’ll be eternally grateful. The type of player I became, he was instrumental in that. Give no layups away, fight for everything and every inch on the court.” — Raja Bell, via CBS Sports
“Jerry Sloan was ‘The Original Bull’ whose tenacious defense and nightly hustle on the court represented the franchise and epitomized the city of Chicago. Jerry was the face of the Bulls organization from its inception through the mid-1970’s, and very appropriately, his uniform No. 4 was the first jersey retired by the team. A great player and a Hall-of-Fame NBA coach, most importantly, Jerry was a great person. Our sympathies go out to the Sloan family and all of his many fans.” — Jerry Reinsdorf, Chicago Bulls chairman
“Heaven better be ready for you Jerry. Go coach ‘em up! Thanks for the privilege of playing for you. Rest In Peace coach.” -- Thurl Bailey (@bigTbailey)
“Sad day man.. Rest easy legend .. Thank you for everything.. you changed my life for the better..” — C.J. Miles (@masfresco)
“Jerry Sloan was once asked why he wore a John Deere hat and his response was something along the lines of “because they make good tractors.” A legitimate tough guy with a soft side. RIP” — Frank Isola (@TheFrankIsola)
This story will be updated.