The Jerry Sloan coaching era in Utah evidently won't be ending any time soon.
Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said Friday night that negotiations on a contract extension between Sloan and the franchise are ongoing, and suggested he's hopeful that an agreement will be reached.
"I'd like to think we can get something done at some point," said O'Connor at halftime of the Jazz's 2009-10 NBA season home-opener against the Los Angeles Clippers at EnergySolutions Arena. "But there's no urgency to it."
Sloan, inducted last September into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, began his 22nd season as head coach of the Jazz with Wednesday night's loss at Denver.
His current deal expires at the end of this season.
The 67-year-old Illinois native signed a one-year extension to return for the 2008-09 season on Dec. 3, 2007, and he did the same for this season last Jan. 18.
An NBA.com report by longtime NBA beat writer Scott Howard-Cooper — posted Friday on the Web site — suggested an announcement regarding season No. 23 and perhaps beyond for Sloan is on the horizon. O'Connor didn't deny that another deal is in the works, but he indicated it won't necessarily be announced anytime soon.
"We've had discussions about it," the Jazz GM said, "but there's nothing imminent."
According to the Internet report, though, "the next Sloan contract will be completed and announced early in the regular season, barring the kind of holdups that don't happen in the Sloan-Jazz relationship.
"He's on board and new owner Greg Miller is on board in a continuation of the coaching stability fostered by his late father (Larry), making it a matter of the sides scheduling a time to finalize details."
Greg Miller's mother, Gail, is technically the owner of the Jazz, and Greg Miller is chief executive offer of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, which includes the NBA franchise that his father owned until his passing last February.
Howard-Cooper reported that "the extension is expected to be for one or two years, per Sloan tradition, though it will not preclude him from again considering retirement every offseason."
The NBA.com reporter cited no sources for the report, but he did cover the Jazz's preseason-ending win at Sacramento last Friday night.
Sloan has typically extended his contract a season or two at a time in recent years, and there is now ample reason to believe that will again be the case this season.
O'Connor, however, did not address the length-of-extension matter.
Sloan began coaching the Jazz on Dec. 9, 1988, when he was promoted from assistant to the top job to replace longtime coach, general manager and team president Frank Layden.
He currently is tenured with the same team longer than any other coach or manager in America's four major professional sports league, two seasons longer than Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox.
Sloan also has been tenured as coach of the same club longer than anyone in NBA history, with Red Auerbach's 16-year run with the Boston Celtics the closest behind him.
At 14 seasons, San Antonio's Gregg Popovich is the second-longest active coach tenured with the same NBA team.
e-mail: [email protected]