This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by bt102 bt102 22 hours, 38 minutes ago.

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  • #1232465
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    Dazzling Dunks and Basketball Bloopers
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    One of the best coaches in NBA history coached passed away at the age of 78 today. Sloan had a very strong playing career and briefly had a forgettable run as coach of the pre-Jordan Bulls in the the early 80s. However, the bulk of his legacy was built during his tenure as coach of the Jazz from 1988-2011. His teams were an absolute model of consistency. While he was lucky to have had 2 remarkably durable franchise cornerstones in Stockton and Malone throughout the majority of his career, he is no doubt responsible for maximizing their abilities as players. He was also responsible for building the tough, no-nonsense culture of the franchise. He proved it was possible to have sustained success with a small market franchise. His Utah teams were in many ways a precursor to the modern day Popovich Spurs. For a long time, I just assumed that it was impossible for a Sloan coached team to finish with a losing record (it only happened once in his 23 seasons in Utah).
    He was stubborn, uncompromising, and could be extremely tough on his players. There were certain guys who couldn’t play for him. But he had such a proven method and record of success that you couldn’t really question his approach. He just always seemed to get the absolute most out of his teams. Perhaps the best example of this was the 2003-04 season. This was the year after Stockton retired and Malone had left for the Lakers. The Jazz were left extremely short on talent and most assumed they would be one of the league’s worst teams. Instead, Sloan managed to lead them to 42 wins and within a game of the playoffs. All things considered, it might be one the most impressive coaching jobs in NBA history.
    Sloan came extremely close but never won a title. Unfortunately, his best chances came at the height of the Jordan Bulls dynasty. He also somehow never won a Coach of the Year Award. His legacy is more about consistency and sustained excellence over a remarkably long period of time. He was just so consistently good for so long that it often seemed to be taken for granted. It would have been nice to see his tenure as coach of the Jazz end under better circumstances, although in many ways I guess the way his coaching career ended was exactly what you would expect from someone who was as adverse to spotlight as Sloan was. Due to the lack of titles, Sloan’s name will likely never be brought up in the absolute top tier of all-time coaches (with guys like Aurebach, Riley, Jackson, Popovich, etc.). But it probably deserves to be there.

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  • #1232485
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    OhCanada-
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    Damn RIP Jerry Sloan.

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  • #1232487
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    SwatLakeCity
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    My favorite NBA Coach. I strongly believe that his style and attitude that he instilled in his players, is still the foreground , the makeup of type players that Utah to this day looks for. It shapes their entire culture, their entire fan base. Even the staff is made up of these type of people. This is part of the reason why even after all the heartbreak I’ve seen the Jazz endure they are still my favorite team, many years after Stockton, Malone, and Sloan retired.

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  • #1232497
    bt102
    bt102
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    No doubt about that.

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