‘1223’: Utah Jazz unveil tribute plans for late former coach Jerry Sloan

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In this March 22, 2017, file photo, former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan speaks at a news conference in Salt Lake City. The Utah Jazz have announced that Jerry Sloan, the coach who took them to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998 on his way to a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame, has died. Sloan died Friday morning, May 22, 2020, the Jazz said, from complications related to Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. He was 78. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Days before the professional basketball season restarts, the Utah Jazz announce plans to honor the late former Jazz head coach who led the team for 23 seasons.

Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan (R) and players John Stockton (2R) and Karl Marlone (2L) argue with official Bob Delaney (L) after Stockton felt he was fouled by a Washington Wizards player during their NBA matchup at the MCI Center in Washington, DC, 14 November 2002. The Wizards won 105-102. AFP PHOTO / Pablo CUARTEROLO (Photo by PABLO CUARTEROLO / AFP) (Photo credit should read PABLO CUARTEROLO/AFP via Getty Images)

The Jazz made the announcement on Tuesday of plans to honor the legacy of Hall of Fame Coach Jerry Sloan with a special tribute patch to be worn on team jerseys and warm-ups when the remainder of the 2019-20 season resumes in Orlando.

The tribute patch is set to feature the number 1,223 – in recognition of the total number of wins during Sloan’s 23 seasons as head coach of the Jazz. The patch will be worn for the first time on July 23 as part of the NBA season restart.

Courtesy: Utah Jazz

Sloan passed away in May 2020 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia at the age of 78.

Greg Miller, member of the NBA Board of Governors and Director of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies said “Coach Jerry Sloan will forever be in the hearts of the Utah Jazz organization and fans everywhere, and we feel it is only fitting to honor him in this way. His contributions to our Jazz family and communities are a defining part of our franchise history and we look forward to seeing 1,223 on the jerseys of our players in Orlando as a nod to his legacy” added Miller.

Once the 2020-21 season is underway, Jazz jerseys will display acommemorative black strip with the same “1223” design. Additional details on how the franchise will honor Sloan next season will be announced later.

Coach Sloan’s Legacy:

As a 2009 inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Sloan spent 23
seasons as the head coach of the Jazz (1988-2011), finishing his career with the third most
wins in NBA history (1,221-803), sixth best winning percentage (.603) all-time (min. 500
wins), two NBA Finals appearances (1997 and 1998) and seven division titles.

He also guided the Jazz to 16 consecutive winning seasons and thirteen 50-win seasons. Sloan’s
teams made 20 trips to the NBA Playoffs (19 with Utah: 1989-2003, ’07-10) and his 98
playoff wins are the sixth most in NBA history.

Former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan’s banner is hung from the EnergySolutions Arena during a banner ceremony honoring Jerry Sloan Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

If you’d like to purchase a commemorative jersey patch, fans can do so for $12.23 with proceeds benefitting the Michael J. Fox Foundation, dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Patches can be purchased both in-store and at www.jazzteamstore.com and can be affixed on a jersey. The Jazz have made a financial contribution in Sloan’s memory to the Michael J. Fox
Foundation and direct donations are also encouraged at www.michaeljfox.org/donate.

Coach Sloan worked for the Jazz organization for 34 years as either head coach, assistant, scout or
senior basketball adviser. He began as a scout (1983-84), became an assistant coach to
Frank Layden on Nov. 19, 1984, and was named the sixth head coach in franchise history
on December 9, 1988, when Layden resigned.


Twenty-three seasons and 1,809 games later, Sloan finished his career as the not only the Jazz’s
but the longest tenured coach with one franchise in all of major professional sports at the time of
his retirement, there were 245 NBA head coaching changes during his Jazz coaching career.


The late Hall of Fame coach led 133 different players during his tenure as head coach of the Jazz
The Jazz have created a website hub that honors Sloan’s remarkable career at
www.nba.com/jazz/history/jerry-sloan.


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Tracy Smith
Curtis Booker, joined the ABC4 family in January of 2019 as a Digital Content Producer. In May of 2019, he transitioned into learning the inner workings of becoming a news producer assisting with various shows. Curtis most recently rejoined the Digital team as a multi-media journalist in February of 2020.

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