Jerry Sloan, longest tenured coach, not only in the NBA, but in all professional sports, announced during a scheduled press conference Feb. 9th 2012, that he would be stepping down and resigning as head coach of the Utah Jazz.
This came as a shock to not only Utahns, but to NBA fans and players around the league. LeBron said on his twitter page “Man its gonna be crazy and weird seeing anyone besides Jerry Sloan walking the sidelines for the Utah Jazz! Jerry Sloan is the Utah Jazz. Wow”.
I can relate to this statement from King James. I was 2 years old, LeBron 3, when Jerry Sloan took the Jazz reigns in 1988.
Sloan has been the backbone of the Jazz. Any Sloan-coached player that had success in Utah credits Sloan and his system for that success. He ran a tight ship and everyone had their place. Coincidence that John Stockton and Karl Malone needed to be replaced by Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer before they had playoff success again? I don’t believe so.
Although there have been recent reports of altercations between Sloan and Williams, Sloan said “…my energy level has dropped off a little bit…and it’s time to move on.”