Jazz, Sloan Close to Extension

OAKLAND, Calif. – Jerry Sloan is close to signing a contract extension as coach of the Jazz, he told NBA.com Friday in a predictable development but important signal of his continued passion for the job at age 68.

“It’s pretty much done, as far as that’s concerned,” he said before the Jazz played the Warriors at Oracle Arena.

Sloan is in the final season of his deal, making extension offer inevitable in line with the team policy initiated by late owner Larry Miller that Sloan should never feel the uncertainty of an expiring contract and, just as important, that players and the coach himself understand Sloan had firm control of the locker room. That approach remains in effect with Greg Miller, Larry’s son, in charge, and insiders confirm an agreement is on the way.

Sloan, in his 23rd season, is the longest-tenured head coach in any of the four major sports. He has no desire to work anywhere else and the Jazz have no desire to hire anyone else. The only doubt for years has been how long he wants to stay on the job, with Sloan taking time each summer before deciding whether to return and some people familiar with his thinking speculating in recent years that he had been close to stepping down at least once to get away from the grind and allow close friend and top assistant Phil Johnson to take over a good team in what once would have been an automatic promotion.

The forthcoming extension changes nothing – Sloan undoubtedly will still debate in the summer of 2011 whether to return for another season, labor peace willing. That he has agreed to the framework of an extension, though, is a loud indication he still feels he has the necessary energy and desire for the job.

Sloan, a Hall of Famer, went into Friday’s game against the Warriors with 1,192 victories, four away from passing Pat Riley for third place on the career win list. He would trail only Lenny Wilkens (1,332) and Don Nelson (1,335).

21 Comments

  1. Jazzfan says:

    Wow. Sloan will be coaching for yet another year. As a Jazz fan, I am on the fence about it. He’s done some questionable things sometimes, as illustrated by previous comments; however, he does at least deserve Coach of the Year at least once. It amazes me how he is passed up every single year, yet he has only had two seasons in his entire career that he didn’t win at least 50 games and go to the playoffs. That’s quite a feat, and he needs to finally get his due. He is able to mold young players into hustle machines, if they choose to anyway. Just take Wesley Matthews. Undrafted, picked up by Jazz right before 2009 2010 season and played like a stud, only being outplayed, IMO, by Derron Williams. Portland picks him up for quite the price tag, but they did notice something great in that kid. Anyway, not sure he will win the title (as Derron doesn’t have the talent around him yet) but I’d love for him to get Coach of the Year and have the most wins. That would be sweet. Cheers!

  2. yeah says:

    wow 23years. now thats a coach. his years as a jazz coach was up and down and the closest he got to a championship was a game 6 but 1 guy stood in his way MJ. hey but who knows if jordan hadn’t stolen the ball from malone. they could have a shot at winning that title if they forced game 7 but as history speaks MJ made history from the jazz, sloan is the greatest coach that hasn’t won an nba title for me of course my opinion

  3. John in VA says:

    I have been a huge fan or the Utah Jazz for many years, I have NOT however been a fan of Sloan. I remember back a few years ago when the Jazz were in the play-offs against Portland and Hornesek was basically crippled, yet sloan kept him in the game and guarding Scottie Pippen to boot, when that was a hard task for someone that was healthy and at the same time there was a healty Shannon Anderson (a much better defender) sitting on the bench during most of that series, and Shannon was a descent offensive player as well. Sure, you may give up a little on offense, but overall (because of Hornesek’s knee problems) going with Shannon would have been a better choice, yet Sloan didn’t do it. The following year neither of these two players were on the team. With Hornesek’s bad knee problems, Sloan made the comment that he would like to get one more year out of Hornesek.
    The Jazz lost that series against Portland, and I am not making these statements using hindsight, I was ticked when the game was in progress that Sloan did the things the way he was doing them.
    Another thing Sloan used to be guilty of was when the starters weren’t getting the job done and went to some of the bench players, the bench was playing better than the starters, yet when it got crunch time, Sloan would put the starters (the big money players) back in and then lose the game. I havent seen these action as much in recent years, but it was during the timeframe that Blue Edwards and David Beniot were there. Remember those days ?

    • Vasu says:

      I agree. In fact in one of the two NBA finals, Jerry Sloan put Hornacek to guard MJ. That too with a suspect knee. I am ambivalent towards Sloan carrying on as Head Coach, but I have to point out few mistakes:
      1. During the peak of Stockton-Malone era, Jazz did not have a good centre. Ostertag used to be a lilability many times with non existent offense and pathetic shooting.
      2. Not enough importance was paid to Shandon Anderson and Howard Eisley. Anderson would have been better bet as defender than Hornacek.
      3. He is a clock sustitutioner and not a situation substitutioner

      One more thing I want to point out is Malone lost us two NBA finals matches. In Game 1 of 97 finals he missed both the free throws with 5 seconds remaining and in Game 6 of 98 finals when he was stripped by MJ with 14 seconds remaining he should have fouled him immediately. This would have allowed Stockton enough time to set play. Malone would have fouled out. Perhaps he was selfish or not in tune with the situation.
      Jazz during the Stockton-Malone era had potential to win the championship even with Stocton-Jordan in the way with better
      player management and substitutions. They would have definitely won with a better centre.

  4. sahil says:

    jerry sloan best bbal coach

  5. riley says:

    To have coached that long in the NBA as well as be an NBA player is a mile-stone achievement. His plays specifically pick n rolls are still very effective. I hope he can get a ring before his career ends. RESPECT

  6. RoLee says:

    Jerry cannot retire without a championship or being coach of the year if he does retire without one of those, he will have a very sad career. So Im very glad that they will sign an extension, and will will a championship with the Jazz. GO JAZZ!!!

  7. Grandmajz says:

    It’s too bad the naysayers can’t ask the present and past players how they feel about the things you have brought up. We only see the outside and they know what the facts are. If I had a son in the NBA it would be a coach like Sloan that I would want for him so his character would also be developed the correct way.

  8. Ramesh Jainani says:

    The best coach in any sport no doubt. Its a no brainer the Jazz has been so successful throughout the years….
    Bravo!!! Coach Sloan

  9. fedex says:

    Its not a knock on him that he hasnt won any championship…its not his fault if he doesnt have the caliber like other teams…the closest was malone and stockton but MJ was in the way…and to me he sticked to one team and no matter the situation he gets his guys to play hard…thats something not even Phil Jackson can do…lest we forget…when the roster wasnt up to par…Phil Jackson does not coach…Sloan is consistent and professional…and he understands priority…give him a couple more seasons .. just let him be the no.1 in wins..

  10. Terry Scar says:

    Sloan’s the only reason the jazz have won some years

  11. David says:

    Sloan has been a great coach for so many years, but as an avid Jazz fan, it is time for him to retire and give someone else a shot.

  12. Karlo says:

    For Jerry 2 b the longest tenured coach for 23 years is a massive agreement. The Jazz will win a champ very soon.

  13. Jake says:

    Jerry Sloan is like the basketball version of Joe Paterno.

  14. clover leaf says:

    not a jazz fan but a Sloan fan

  15. clover leaf says:

    he just needs a ring to solidify his greatness as a coach, he deserves it, but even without it his still awesome

  16. Michael Gallegos says:

    Hmmm 23 yrs at the helm, Seriously think its time for the Jazz to finish the season with Sloan then start with some new blood next year, maybe someone who the players will respond to and finally bring the long delayed championship to Utah. While Sloan is at the helm, this will never happen.

  17. […] never get one), but with 23 fantastic seasons (and counting!) on his resume, he’ll go down as one of the best NBA coaches of all time: “Jerry Sloan is close to signing a contract extension as coach of the Jazz, he […]