Ex-Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan Reveals Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease Diagnoses


Apr 7, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY — Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan said Wednesday that he has Parkinson’s disease and a form of dementia.

The 74-year-old Sloan, who coached the Utah Jazz from 1988 to 2011, told The Salt Lake Tribune in an interview Wednesday that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia last fall.

Sloan told the Tribune that he decided to go public about his illness because the Parkinson’s symptoms have become noticeable. Symptoms include tremors and a hushed voice. Lewy body dementia is a neurological disorder whose symptoms include difficulty with memory and problem solving.

Sloan was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. He currently holds the title of senior basketball adviser with the Jazz and regularly attends games.

Sloan played 11 years in the NBA, including 10 with the Chicago Bulls. He was a two-time All-Star and was selected to the first-team all-defensive team four times and to the second team twice.

Sloan coached four years with the Bulls, the first as an assistant, after a knee injury forced him to retire in 1976. The Bulls retired his jersey in 1978.

Sloan joined the Jazz as an assistant coach in 1985, moved to the lead spot in 1988 and held the head-coaching position for 23 seasons. He led the Jazz to the NBA Finals with Karl Malone and John Stockton in 1997 and 1998, but lost to Michael Jordan’s Bulls both times.

Sloan finished with the third-most wins in NBA history (1,221) and the sixth-best winning rate (60.3).

Thumbnail photo via Chris Nicoll/USA TODAY Sports Images

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