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article imageNBA: Utah’s Hall of Fame Coach Jerry Sloan steps down with team

By Kristofor Molson     Feb 10, 2011 in Sports
Salt Lake City - In a shocking turn of events in the city of Salt Lake City, Utah, Sloan walks away from Utah in the middle of his 23rd season. Sloan has been a part of the Jazz organization since Dec. 9, 1988, and had just signed a one-year contract extension Monday.
The Utah Jazz have named one of his assistants Tyrone Corbin as the head coach and will take over immediately for now resigned Jerry Sloan. He stated in his news conference that stepping down was his decision and that the team had tried to talk him out of it. But he says it's time to move on.
The reports are an incident during the first half of the game with disgruntle point guard Deron Williams and was supposedly a problem. Coach Sloan called a play for Williams to run and he did not run it, and during halftime the two of them got into a heated exchange in the locker room according to ESPN.com’s Mark Stein.
A discussion after the game with general manager Kevin O’Connor could have lead to the decision by Sloan as well. Reporters at the game said they were kept waiting for more than 30 minutes for a post game interview. The reporters waited because Sloan was in a discussion after the game with GM O’Conner and his assistants. After that practice was cancelled and a press conference was scheduled.
Guard Williams has been un-happy in Utah for little over a month now with Sloan’s play calling and the losses by the team. With the relationship between Williams and Sloan failing, reports came out that the play calling incident was just a problem in a laundry list of problems.
Sloan is the longest-tenured head coach in any of the four major sports at the age of 68. Even though he signed an extension for next season, he said that he would not make a conclusion about returning to the team until after this season was complete.
Sloan started with Jazz as a scout in 1983-84 season and one year later became the assistant under Frank Layden. Sloan is 98-104 in the post season and led Utah to the NBA Finals in back to back years 1997 and 1998. His teams ended them with losses to the hands of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the Chicago Bulls both times. Both times they played the series ended with a 4-2 in the Bulls favor.
Sloan’s overall coaching record including his two years with the Bulls is 1,221-803 as an NBA head coach giving him a .603 winning percentage. He is the third-winningest coach in NBA history, only behind Don Nelson and Lenny Wilkens. Sloan also is one of only three coaches in NBA history with 15-plus consecutive seasons with a winning record behind Pat Riley and Phil Jackson who both have 19 respectively.
Sloan got his 1,000 win this year when the Jazz beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 7. He has taken the Jazz to 16 consecutive playoff appearances with that ending in the 2003-2004 season and missed it again for the two seasons after that.
He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2009 along with former Jazz point guard John Stockton for both his coaching and playing career.
As a player with the Bulls, Sloan averaged 14.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 755 games over the 11 seasons. He was nicknamed "The Original Bull" because he was selected in the 1966 Expansion Draft by the Bulls. He was the only player in NBA history to average 7-plus rebounds and 2-plus steals per game for his career.
Sloan was known for his toughness and grit as a player and carried that over to his coaching style. Sloan has been known for his straightforward answers and dry sense of humor, but also sat in with the reporters eating free food during his pregame interviews.
During his interview he said I am not looking for a new job, my wife has a job for me when I get home.
Long time assistant coach Phil Johnson also resigned with Sloan.
More about Jerry Sloan, Sloan, Jerry, Utah jazz
 
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