Quantcast

Utah Jazz: Friday will be 'Jerry Sloan Day' in Utah

Published: Tuesday, July 28 2015 11:46 a.m. MDT

Karl Malone, right, Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson talk as the Utah Jazz scrimmages in Salt Lake City, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013.  (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Karl Malone, right, Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson talk as the Utah Jazz scrimmages in Salt Lake City, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz will be honoring Jerry Sloan with a banner-raising ceremony during Friday night’s game at their arena.

The NBA basketball team won’t be alone in officially celebrating the Hall of Fame coach’s career.

Friday has been declared “Jerry Sloan Day” in the Beehive State by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

This might be bad news for state legislators who were planning on having ice-pick fights in the parking lot of the Utah Capitol or jackpotting around that day. As he reminded reporters throughout his 23-year Jazz career, Sloan would have none of that.

Herbert’s declaration recognized “the enduring legacy of one of the greatest and most respected coaches in the history of the National Basketball Association.” It lauded Sloan for “invaluable contributions to elevating and advancing the visibility and status of professional sports, particularly basketball, not only in our state but throughout the nation.”

Karl Malone is congratulated by coach Jerry Sloan after he scored his basket that broke Wilt Chamberlain's record Tuesday Dec. 5, 2000 against the Toronto Raptors. Malone announced Wednesday he is returning to Utah in a part-time coaching capacity. (CHUCK WING) Karl Malone is congratulated by coach Jerry Sloan after he scored his basket that broke Wilt Chamberlain's record Tuesday Dec. 5, 2000 against the Toronto Raptors. Malone announced Wednesday he is returning to Utah in a part-time coaching capacity. (CHUCK WING)

The governor also highlighted the fact that Sloan has the third-most wins in NBA coaching history (1,221 with Jazz and Bulls), that he made two Finals appearances, had 19 playoff appearances, tallied 16 consecutive winning seasons and won seven division titles.

Fittingly, Sloan will be joined by fellow Hall of Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone, huge factors in the aforementioned success, at a press conference before Friday’s game against the Golden State Warriors.

"When I played here — before I came (and) after I left — when you thought about the Jazz, if you didn’t think about Jerry Sloan, John Stockton and Karl Malone, then it wasn’t the Jazz," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said.

"Even today when you go around the country and people hear the Utah Jazz, the three names that you hear are Jerry Sloan, Karl Malone and John Stockton. That’s just the impact that they’ve had on this franchise."

Utah Jazz's John Stockton, right, walks off the court with teammate Karl Malone, center, and coach Jerry Sloan after beating the Houston Rockets 103-100 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals Thursday, May 29, 1997, in Houston. Stockton hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to win the game and advance his team to The NBA Finals to meet the Chicago Bulls. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) (PAT SULLIVAN, Associated Press) Utah Jazz's John Stockton, right, walks off the court with teammate Karl Malone, center, and coach Jerry Sloan after beating the Houston Rockets 103-100 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals Thursday, May 29, 1997, in Houston. Stockton hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to win the game and advance his team to The NBA Finals to meet the Chicago Bulls. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) (PAT SULLIVAN, Associated Press)

Corbin has spent parts of his interviews this week fielding questions about the man he replaced after Sloan’s midseason resignation three years ago.

The current Jazz coach said he can’t sum up Sloan’s contributions to the organization with which he won 1,223 games in the regular season and playoffs from 1988-2011. That number will be on the banner that will be raised to the EnergySolutions Arena rafters alongside the previously retired jerseys (and banners) of 10 other all-time Jazz greats, including Frank Layden (1), Adrian Dantley (4), Pete Maravich (7), Larry H. Miller (9), John Stockton (12), Jeff Hornacek (14), Karl Malone (32), Darrell Griffith (35), Mark Eaton (53) and Hot Rod Hundley (3,051).

Sloan’s ceremony will take place at halftime of the ESPN-televised 8:30 contest.

“It’s a lot of work, man. It’s a great accomplishment for him,” Corbin said when contemplating the number of wins Sloan had with Utah. “Coach is a tremendous guy to watch and understand and learn from. I’ve respected his work as a player, respected his work as one of his coaches on the staff.”

Recently retired Jazz coaches Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson are honored in the House of Representatives at the Utah State Capitol on March 7, 2011.  From right to left, Gail Miller, Jerry Sloan, Sloan's wife Tammy Sloan and Phil Johnson enjoy the comments made by the legislators. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News) Recently retired Jazz coaches Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson are honored in the House of Representatives at the Utah State Capitol on March 7, 2011. From right to left, Gail Miller, Jerry Sloan, Sloan's wife Tammy Sloan and Phil Johnson enjoy the comments made by the legislators. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

Corbin appreciated that the respect was mutual.

In fact, he had to encourage Sloan to speak up and give him advice and to not worry about stepping on his toes after stepping down. Corbin said his Hall of Fame predecessor “wanted to make sure that I didn’t feel any undue pressure” after taking over on Feb. 9, 2011.

“I loved having him around. I appreciate his friendship, his leadership throughout the process,” Corbin said. “Anytime you replace a legend like him, there’s going to be some comparisons, there’s going to be some talk about how he would’ve done it. … Coach himself has been great, and I really appreciate him helping me through it.”

Sloan, hired this past offseason as a senior basketball adviser, is often seen at Jazz practices and games. Corbin said they talk often and that he appreciates the honest, non-sugar-coated input he receives from Sloan.

Tyrone Corbin__1989: Playoff plans with Karl Malone__2009: Hall of Fame with John Stockton__2007: Strategy with Deron Williams__2011: Tearful retirement moment__Jerry Sloan smiles for  a grateful Jazz fan as he leaves Zions Bank Basketball Center after Thursday's announcement.  (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) Tyrone Corbin__1989: Playoff plans with Karl Malone__2009: Hall of Fame with John Stockton__2007: Strategy with Deron Williams__2011: Tearful retirement moment__Jerry Sloan smiles for a grateful Jazz fan as he leaves Zions Bank Basketball Center after Thursday's announcement. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

“I appreciate his loyalty to me and this franchise and this city and this state,” Corbin said. “But he enjoys the game and he enjoys being a part (of it). We should all welcome him around and want him to be a part of what this thing is because he helped build it.”

On Friday, the Jazz and the state of Utah will thank Sloan for doing just that.

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com TWITTER: DJJazzyJody

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company