Legendary NBA coach dies
Jerry Sloan served for Utah Jazz as coach for 23 years
A longtime Utah Jazz coach, Jerry Sloan died on Friday, the NBA franchise announced. He was 78.
"Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz. He will forever be a part of the Utah Jazz organization and we join his family, friends and fans in mourning his loss," the team said on its website.
A Chicago Bulls player from 1966 to 1976, Sloan served for the Jazz as coach for 23 seasons, from 1988 to 2011.
"We are so thankful for what he accomplished here in Utah and the decades of dedication, loyalty and tenacity he brought to our franchise," the Western Conference franchise added.
Regarded as one of the legendary coaches, Sloan carried the Jazz to the NBA Playoffs for 19 out of the 23 seasons.
In 1978 the Bulls retired his no. 4 jersey, making Sloan the team’s first-ever player to receive that honor.
A former Jazz player from Turkey, Mehmet Okur said that he expressed his sorrow for death of his ex-coach Sloan.
"RIP coach Jerry Sloan. You taught me so much on and off the floor. I’m gonna miss you.. #legend," Okur, 40, said on his Twitter account.
Okur made his NBA debut in 2002 as a Detroit Pistons player.
He became the NBA champion with the Pistons in 2004. Okur is still the only Turkish player, who won the NBA title in history.
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