Last Wednesday, Coach Jerry Sloan, NBA Hall of Famer reported that he is suffering with Parkinson´s and Lewy body dementia.
Jerry Sloan was coach of the Utah Jazz from 2009 to 2011. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009. He is currently the senior basketball adviser for the Jazz and attends games regularly.
He told The Tribune that the reason why he decided to go public is because the symptoms of the disease are more noticeable now. Parkinson´s disease is a degenerative disease that causes constant tremors. In the case of Lewy body dementia, this is a neurological disease that causes memory loss and difficulties with problem solving.
The Jazz said in a statement, “Jerry Sloan is and always will be a beloved member of the Utah Jazz family, and we know he will approach this fight with the same grit and determination he displayed as a Hall of Fame coach and All-Star player in the NBA for 40-plus years.”
Sloan, who is 74 years old, has made it very clear that he does not want anybody to be sorry for him. In fact, he still walks 4 miles every day.
Sloan started his career in professional basketball in the 1965-66 season with the Baltimore Bullets. After that, he moved on to play with the Chicago Bulls for ten years. This is where he made his greatest accomplishments. He was a two-time All-Star and he was selected four times to the first-team all-defensive team and twice to the second team.
He averaged 14.0 points a game. An injury in 1976 forced Sloan to retire. Right after, he coached the Bulls for four years. In 1985, he joined the Jazz as assistant coach, moving to the lead spot three years later, a position that he held for 23 seasons.
Sloan took the Utah Jazz to the NBA finals in 1997 and 1998 but lost both finals to Michael Jordan´s Chicago Bulls. Sloan left coaching with 1,221 victories, the third best ever.