Report: Sloan to Resign
According The Deseret News in Utah, long-time Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan will resign today at a press conference later today.
After a long, long chat with management following Utah’s loss last night to the Chicago Bulls, Sloan came out to face the media 30 minutes after the game ended instead of the usually 10. This prompted speculation something big was in the works, perhaps a major trade, as Steve Kyler discussed this morning.
No one expected this.
Sloan, 68 years old and an NBA Hall of Famer, has been head coach of the Jazz since a few games into the 1988-89 season. Over the course of his Jazz career (and two-and-a-half as head coach of the Chicago Bulls before then), Sloan has won 1221 games, 60.3 %. He also helmed the Jazz to back-to-back NBA Finals with John Stockton and Karl Malone in 1997 and 1998.
Just three times in his Jazz career has his team failed to make the playoffs (2003-06), and only one of those teams finished with a record of under .500 (2004-05). Sloan has a career playoff record of 98-104.
He has been the longest-tenured head coach in all the American major sports since Tom Kelly stepped down as manager of baseball’s Minnesota Twins in 2001.
The timing is also extremely odd considering Sloan just signed a one-year extension to his contract earlier this week (he is allowed a two-week evaluation period at the end of every season). What happened between then and now? A press conference is scheduled for 3pm local time in Salt Lake City, so it will be interesting to see if specifics are given.
What this means to the Jazz is a huge question mark. Reportedly assistant Phil Johnson will also resign, so first Utah has to figure who will be running the team. Utah also sits at 31-23 on the season, second in the Northwest Division and sixth in the Western Conference. Injuries have slowed the team down since a strong start, but there are still plenty of games to be played.
UPDATE: Early reports have targeted Tyrone Corbin as Sloan’s replacement.
What’s your take? Leave your thoughts on Jerry Sloan and his legacy in Utah in the comments below!