'Our Hall of Fame coach for 23 years, Jerry had a tremendous impact on the Jazz franchise as expressed by his banner hanging in the arena rafters.
"Nobody fights with Jerry because you know the price would be too high", Jazz executive Frank Layden said in 1996, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
In the aftermath, Sloan, the longest-tenured coach in the National Basketball Association at the time, stepped down from his prestigious position. He's loyal. He's a hard worker. He was a two-time All-Star and he made the All-Defensive team six times. Over his 10 years in the organization, he averaged 14.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.2 steals per game.
Sloan signed as the Jazz's assistant in 1985 and spent three seasons in the role before stepping up to the top job, where he remained for 23 years.
He began his head coaching career with the Chicago Bulls (1979-82).
"Jerry was the face of the Bulls organization from its inception through the mid-1970s, and very appropriately, his uniform No. 4 was the first jersey retired by the team", Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said Friday.
Utah became Sloan's second home, and his timing was flawless.
Despite a record of success that included 16 consecutive winning seasons, thirteen 50-win seasons and 20 trips to the National Basketball Association play-offs, Sloan was never able to hoist the championship trophy.
'Like [John] Stockton and [Karl] Malone as players, Jerry Sloan epitomised the organisation. His 98 playoff wins are the sixth most in league history.
Williams, 35, played in Utah under the tutelage of Sloan for the first five-and-a-half seasons of his career. "He will forever be a part of the Utah Jazz organization and we join his family, friends and fans in mourning his loss", the team said in a statement. We are so thankful for what he accomplished here in Utah and the decades of dedication, loyalty and tenacity he brought to our franchise.
Former Jazz star Karl Malone appeared on a Zoom call earlier this week and revealed that Sloan "is not doing well", and asked for prayers. He will be greatly missed.
Opponents also paid homage to Sloan, including Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul and Pat Riley, the former Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Miami Heat head coach who is now the Heat's president.