NBA: Legendary Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan passes away

Jerry Sloan, who twice led the Utah Jazz to the NBA Finals, passed away at the age of 78 as a result of complications from Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia.

Jerry Sloan spent 26 years as a coach in the NBA, 23 of which were spent leading the Jazz between 1988 and 2011.

Legendary Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has passed away at the age of 78, the team said in a statement on Friday.

The statement said that Sloan passed away as a result of complications from Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia, diagnoses he received in April 2016.

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Sloan spent 26 years as a coach in the NBA, 23 of which were spent leading the Jazz between 1988 and 2011.

Utilising its famous pick-and-roll offense, and inspired by Hall of Famers Karl Malone and John Stockton, Sloan led the Jazz to the Western Conference title in 1997 and 1998 but it was beaten in the NBA Finals on both occasions by the Michael Jordan-inspired Chicago Bulls – a team he both played for and coached.

"Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz. He will forever be a part of the Utah Jazz organisation and we join his family, friends and fans in mourning his loss," the Jazz statement read. 

"We are so thankful for what he accomplished here in Utah and the decades of dedication, loyalty and tenacity he brought to our franchise.

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"Like Stockton and Malone as players, Jerry Sloan epitomised the organisation. He will be greatly missed. 

"We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Tammy, the entire Sloan family and all who knew and loved him."

Sloan led the Jazz to 15 consecutive playoff appearances and 19 in total and finished his career with the third-most wins in NBA history.

As a player, Sloan was a two-time NBA All-Star and had his number 4 jersey retired by the Bulls, and twice lost in the Conference Finals.