RIP Jerry Sloan


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2018 Award Winner
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From getting close to a championship in the 90s, it was hard as people kept dropping off thinking it’s depressing that if/when we win a title, some of the guys who were on the journey so long wouldn’t be there. When Hornacek left, there was a bit of a sting thinking that if we won it all, he wouldn’t be part of it. Then John and Karl. Really wanted us to knock off San Antonio (automatic title, IMO) in the WCF but the bittersweet part would have been going all the way without having the crew that drove us for so long being there.

People now actually dying leaves more finality to that. I sometimes suggest we should sign Karl to be our backup center. I usually say that only part way joking.


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Back in the day, Chicago Bulls guard Jerry Sloan played against the Lakers and, as was his style to get an edge, stepped in front of the giant Wilt Chamberlain, trying to draw a charge, do something, anything to disrupt the super star.

As the story goes, a ticked off Chamberlain told Sloan: "Step out in front of me again and I'm going to run over you."

Sloan replied through a voice coming out from under a nose that had been broken half a dozen times, "I'll be right here. You can't do anything more than stomp on me."

A dose of nastiness.

It's a simple Jerry Sloan recipe for bringing balance into a game where some wear tuxedos and tongue caviar while others don hard hats and bring lunch boxes. At times, it can be a great equalizer.

This Jazz team doesn't have enough of it, Sloan says.

And he should know. As a player, he had it. Sloan rode a tractor on a court laced with race cars and this trait often made things almost equal between him and the likes of the great Oscar Robison, Pete Maravich, Walt Frazier and Jerry West.

If you didn't have the hops, the quickness, the beauty of a game one could put to music, you could always put a tractor and plough in the way and the blessed could trip over a clod.

Nastiness may not be the right word to describe what Sloan told reporters Sunday his team lacked after the 113-100 Jazz loss to the Lakers in the first round. That's a word that could be taken to mean cheap, obnoxious, foul, disgusting, indecent or obscene.

A better word might be punishing as in rugged, stout and uncompromising with a dash of presenting one's self as knotty tough.

Is this a trait or attitude woven into the fiber of some teams? Or more specifically, is being a punishing player or being tough melded into the DNA strands of some players? Once a guy settles for playing matador defense, is he always going to wave the red cape as the bull goes by? What exactly is this trait Sloan talks about? Well, it's setting hard picks and harvesting bone and teeth when opponents come waltzing down the lane trying to make SportsCenter highlights.

It's the embodiment of a certain attitude about a job. In sports, it's definitely about projecting oneself physically or as a threat to another's body or sense of self comfort.

Will that get Utah a win today? Probably not. But it could make it more interesting if Laker players aren't using Utah as a doormat.

Look back at the Karl Malone, John Stockton days. Throw a little Matt Harpring in there. You get the idea. Ask Isaiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman or Yao Ming. They know the term from a Jazz perspective from first-blood experience.

This came naturally to Sloan back in the day. Perhaps his farm boy upbringing ingrained something into Sloan, a former Chicago Bulls hit man, who made a career out of making pretty boys suffer.

David Ginola 14

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For me this is a very sad moment, I liked the Coach more than John and Karl, Sloan was Utah Jazz, I loved his basketball madly, especially his offense, I regret every day that basketball system: the wings that cross during the transition, the pick and roll, the blocks of our Gs, in addition to the physical and mental hardness that he pretended to give his players. Our community in Italy (we are so many) learned the news with dismay and sadness, today is a terrible day for those who support Utah Jazz. I will miss you very much.

Handlogten's Heros

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Very sad. I really enjoyed seeing him at the games the last few years, though it was kind of rough at the end.

Easily the toughest SOB of a head coach ever. I wish they'd put a statue of him next to the Stockton/Malone ones, though honestly I don't think he would have cared for it.
Honestly... now that he is gone I think it could happen. He didn't care for that nonsense.

Handlogten's Heros

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2019 Award Winner
2020-21 Award Winner
2020 is really sucking.
**** 2020... it is the darkest timeline.

I promise you my dad gonna call me today in tears. I have not heard anyone that had a bad experience with him off the court... well fans anyway. He was tough as hell and meaner than snot on the court... he was the nicest dude off the court and quite warm.

Sad day... RIP Jerry... there will be no jackpotting around in heaven today... better take all them silly *** pillow forts down.