Hall of Fame NBA coach Jerry Sloan’s health is in steep decline as he suffers from Parkinson’s disease and severe dementia.
“He is dying,” one person close to Sloan told The Salt Lake Tribune.
The former Jazz coach, 77, was diagnosed with the illnesses in 2016, and he went public with his ailments when his symptoms became noticeable. He said at the time of his diagnosis that he doesn’t “want people feeling sorry” for him.
Now, his condition is worsening and he receives full-time care. He needs help to do everyday tasks. He “walks when he can,” though his mind is “slipping away.”
The once-fierce lion’s eyes are growing sleepy. @GordonMonson offers up a prayer for Jerry Sloan as the legendary @utahjazz coach enters a new, and perhaps final phase in his battle with dementia. https://t.co/0JFkeTR9Q9 pic.twitter.com/LpOJlScYoS
— Salt Lake Tribune Sports (@sltribsports) July 16, 2019
The Tribune described Sloan’s declining health as: “Every day is different for him, some better than others, most not so good. It’s basically a slide into oblivion. He’s frail. He’s physically and mentally limited. Around the clock care is required for him. Although, in the more recent past the old coach has been able to attend Jazz games, he will go no more.”
— Jazz Nation (@JazzNationCP) July 17, 2019
Sloan started his career in the NBA as a player, making two All-Star Games and was a six-time All-Defensive selection for the Bulls in 10 seasons.
He went on to become a coach in the league, starting with the Bulls as an assistant in 1977. He was Chicago’s head coach from 1979-82, going 94-121, before joining the Jazz in 1985 as an assistant. Three years later, he became Utah’s head coach and stayed with the franchise into the 2010-11 season.
Sloan earned 1,221 regular-season wins throughout his career, 1,127 of which came with the Jazz. He guided Utah to the playoffs 14 straight seasons from 1989-2003. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009, and is the fourth all-time winningest coach in NBA history after Gregg Popovich recently passed him.