On the day he turned 66 years old, Jerry Sloan reflected on when he was 46 and had just taken over as head coach of the Jazz.
"When I took this job 20 years ago," Sloan said Friday, "(predecessor) Frank Layden said, 'Don't get on the officials, and don't over-coach.' I think I'm about 50 percent with that."
But seriously ...
"I never thought I'd last the first week," Sloan said.
He has, and now is tenured with the same team longer than any coach in major professional American sports.
It's a run that amazes even his own players, including those who appreciate what he puts into his work at an age that for some means retirement is looming.
"He still has the intensity," forward Matt Harpring said. "He still has the passion to coach."
"It's definitely something that's hard to do be as active as he is, care as much, being as emotional as he is," forward Carlos Boozer added. "He's so invested into it at 66, it's incredible."
How much longer Sloan continues remains to be seen.
Asked Friday, he gave his stock answer: "I'm just a day-to-day coach."
But Sloan could be influenced by the reality that he has a decent team, something point guard Deron Williams noted when asked if he thinks the longtime coach will see things through with his current group.
"I think so. I definitely think he feels like we have a championship team if it's not this year, the next," Williams said. "But I think we have all the tools we need, and we have a great coaching staff as well, so ... "
"This team will be good regardless who coaches them," he said. "They have the talent to be a good team. If they stay together, and work together, and believe in each other, they'll be a good basketball team."
Sloan did concede, though, that his passion hasn't waned over the years.
"For the most part, I think I've been just as excited about winning now as I was when I first started playing," he said. "I don't jump up and down, because I can't. ... (But) I have pretty good energy for my age."
HOEDOWN: Sloan was asked Friday if Lil' Jon would be performing at his party, as the rapper did last Saturday to celebrate birthdays for teammates C.J. Miles and Ronnie Brewer.
After first thinking he'd been asked about John Deere his favorite brand of tractor the farmer from Illinois made it clear that would not be the case.
"We're gonna have a big hoedown," he said.
No, really ...
"I'll probably be in bed," Sloan said before the Jazz's game against the Los Angeles Clippers at EnergySolutions Arena, "as soon as I can get out of here."
STANDING PAT: With veteran NBA big man Marc Jackson reportedly getting unexpectedly released this week by his Greek team Olympiacos Piraeus, Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor was asked Friday if Utah planned any late-season roster moves.
"I think we're gonna stand pat," O'Connor said.
The Jazz are likely to recall rookies Kyrylo Fesenko and Morris Almond, though, after their season with the NBA Development League's Utah Flash ends.MISC.: The Clippers on Friday signed forward Marcus Williams from Austin of the D League and waived veteran forward Aaron Williams, who played six games for the Jazz in the 1993-94 season. Marcus Williams, a rookie from the University of Arizona, played game for San Antonio in December. Aaron Williams has been injured for much of the season. ... The Jazz have now won 10 straight home games and are 32-1 all-time at home vs. the Clippers, who were without injured Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston, as they have been all season. ... The extent of Andrei Kirilenko's calf injury Friday was not immediately made known, but he reportedly was seen leaving EnergySolutions Arena in a walking boot.
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