Jerry Sloan Rumors

The Chicago Bulls legend with the steely defense and the hard-nosed reputation walked into Frank Layden’s office, hoping the Utah Jazz head coach would hire him for a scouting job. Layden didn’t know it at the time, but the two would become attached at the hip and lifelong friends and lead a team together that would become one of the standards of small-market NBA franchises. Layden, already legendary in Salt Lake City for the work he had done with the Jazz to that point, could feel Jerry Sloan’s presence. It didn’t take more than a few minutes for Layden to know exactly what he was dealing with. He liked him immediately.
Storyline: Jerry Sloan Death
And that loyalty, all stemming from an initial meeting, it meant everything to Layden, who is an icon himself, still sharp as a tack at 88 years old and very deserving of his flowers while he is still with us. “We lost a giant today,” Layden said. “We were fortunate here. We had a Lombardi type. He always told me that you had to be tough enough to take the losses and the disappointment with the wins. He lived by that.”
Sloan told Layden that day that he was coming to the Utah Jazz to learn from him. Layden told Sloan: “I know. That’s why I’m hiring you.” A few years later, Sloan informed Layden that he would never look for another job, that he would be fine being Layden’s assistant for the bulk of his career. Layden responded by resigning as head coach, taking the job as team president and offering to make Sloan his first hire. Sloan told Layden to slow down, take some time. “Is hiring me what you really want to do?” Sloan asked him. “He actually tried to talk himself out of the job,” Layden said with a laugh. “He was so humble and so appreciative. It was wonderful.”
Storyline: Jerry Sloan Death
Forty-six of his 78 years were in the NBA, where he was a player, a gangly man with dark hair and elbows that busted open noses and a piss-and-vinegar grit that allowed him to climb comfortably under the skin of some of the legends in the game. Legends Sloan, himself, would say he had no business being in the same sentence with, but unfortunately for him, that’s not true. He was “The Original Bull,” selected by the expansion Chicago Bulls way back when, a man whose No. 4 jersey is now retired in the rafters. He was an All-Star, a man who felt like his job was always on the line every night.
Storyline: Jerry Sloan Death
And, of course, there was (and forever will be) the aura of Sloan. The man who so many felt connected to, despite never having shaken his massive right hand. To countless folks, he was a father or grandfather or uncle or family friend who knew basketball, who led their favorite team for 82 games a year for 23 straight seasons. He was the man who called for the “High C” over and over. The Jazz had a stunning 20 straight playoff appearances from 1984 to 2003 and made back-to-back NBA Finals in the late 1990s. Out front of what is now Vivint Smart Home Arena, the men who Sloan helped mold are melded in bronze and frozen in time: Karl Malone is about to drop a nifty hook shot. John Stockton is dishing out what seems to be a patented no-look pass that only his teammates would grab hold of.