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Hall of Fame coach and Wizards/Bullets alumnus Jerry Sloan dies at 78

Though he is best known as a Hall of Fame coach, Sloan was the Baltimore Bullets’ first round pick in 1965 where he played one season. He went on to continue his playing career with the Chicago Bulls.

Chicago Bulls v Washington Bullets
Jerry Sloan played for the Baltimore Bullets in his rookie season in 1965-66.
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Coach Jerry Sloan passed away in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday morning due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy body dementia, according to the NBA.

Sloan is best known as the head coach of the Utah Jazz from 1988-2011 when his teams won two Western Conference championships, and coached Hall of Fame players like John Stockton and Karl Malone.

Sloan was also the head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1979-82, not long after playing for the Bulls from 1966-76. He was a two-time NBA All-Star and the Bulls retired his No. 4 jersey. Sloan was their biggest star before Michael Jordan in the 1980s and 1990s.

What you may not know about Sloan was that he was part of the Washington Wizards family as well. He was the fourth overall pick in the 1965 NBA Draft, going to the Baltimore Bullets where he spent his rookie season, averaging 5.7 points per game before getting selected by the Bulls in the 1966 Expansion Draft for their inaugural season.

Rest in Paradise, Jerry Sloan.