Storyline: Jerry Sloan Health

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A week ago, Karl Malone flew in for what Tammy calls “a five-hour lunch.” John Stockton calls weekly, and whenever he’s in town takes the coach to lunch. Hornacek, who coached after his playing days, met with Sloan outside the Knicks locker room last year. Andrei Kirilenko once wept at practice over differences with Sloan, yet last season walked down the Vivint Arena hallway, one arm draped around him. “All his former players call,” Tammy says. Even Deron Williams, whose clashes with Sloan triggered the coach’s retirement, has since praised the longtime coach.

Friday morning started with a visit to, at least by Tammy Sloan’s estimation, the only man in Utah who hasn’t been following the Jazz’s first-round playoff series: her husband’s doctor. It has been just more than two years since Jerry Sloan revealed to the world that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia, diseases that have begun to strip the mind and motor skills of one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. There are good days. More and more, there are bad ones because that’s how diseases so cruel work.

Jerry Sloan is still a towering figure, standing 6 feet, 5 inches tall, dressed in a blue Jazz sweatshirt with the team’s blue and purple mountain logo from 2004-10, blue pants and white Adidas sneakers. He is no longer as imposing as he once was when he was the fiery leader of the Jazz. He moves a little more slowly and his eyes have softened. He takes a seat in the corner of his office and places his massive hand on his knee. It immediately starts to shake.

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January 17, 2019 | 6:43 pm EST Update