SALT LAKE CITY — By rallying out of a double-digit hole and turning it into a comeback win for the 10th time this season, the Utah Jazz delivered Jerry Sloan his 1,211th victory as a head coach Wednesday night.
That's good for the No. 3 spot on the wins list for NBA coaches — one better than Pat Riley, 121 behind No. 2 Lenny Wilkens (1,332) and another three behind all-time victory leader Don Nelson (1,335).
"That's ridiculous. That's quite an accomplishment," Jazz guard Gordon Hayward said. "Congrats to Coach on that."
To help put Sloan's ridiculous achievement in perspective, consider this: Almost 200 of his coaching victories, including those from his Chicago stint from 1979-82, came before Hayward was even born on March 23, 1990.
In typical Sloan fashion, he downplayed the personal milestone and thanked his assistants and the Jazz ownership for allowing him to coach for so long.
Sloan said he was more proud that his team battled back for the sixth time after trailing by 15 points (though he also admitted to being disappointed that was necessary.)
"I've had a great organization to work for that's given me an opportunity to stay there for a long time," Sloan said. "I'm very thankful for that and the coaches that I have that work with me.
"It's not about me," Sloan added. "It's more about what we try to do as a staff and our guys are involved a great deal."
Despite what Sloan says, though, a big part of it is about him and the system he's put in place, the hard work he demands and the consistency he demands and receives from his club.
"It's a great, great accomplishment," Jazz point guard Deron Williams said. "He's a Hall of Famer."2 comments on this story
With Larry Brown having resigned at Charlotte, by the way, a whopping total of 244 coaching changes have been made outside of Utah since Sloan took over for Frank Layden on Dec. 9, 1988.