On Wednesday, June 19, Utah Jazz president Randy Rigby announced the return of Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan to the Jazz organization via an interview on 1280 The Zone. Sloan, who lead the Jazz to 19 playoff appearances, two Western Conference championships, and 16 straight winning seasons, said “I’m happy to be back in the organization” Wednesday. The discussions leading up to the announcement started “about a year ago” said Sloan. The Jazz stated that in the role, Sloan will support the Jazz basketball operations and coaching staff through player evaluations at workouts, camps, and summer league; limited pro and regional college scouting; occasional practice observation; and as host of an annual prep and college coaches clinic.
Rigby said Sloan will be “especially helpful in scouting, his basketball knowledge is extremely valuable.” When asked what he thought about the current Jazz roster, Sloan replied “It remains to be seen. They’re trying to decide whether to go with a younger group of guys or an older group of guys, and I think they have a wonderful group of young guys to try to build around and add to, and I don’t think it’s an overnight thing. The young guys need time to mature, and grow. If you look at the NBA Finals, you don’t see a lot of young guys on the floor, most of the teams are older and have a great deal of experience. It will take a lot of patience to help them grow.” Sloan said he won’t be working with the players, and he wants to stay out of the way, and help in a “more quiet way.” Asked about coaching opportunities before the Jazz job, Sloan replied “in hindsight, there was one offer I should have maybe looked at and taken, but I’m not looking for jobs now. He added that he kind of felt like “jumping off a tall building” after being away for basketball for a few years. “In my new role with the Jazz franchise, I hope to help the basketball operations staff and Ty in any way that I can to achieve their goals,” said Sloan. “I would like to thank the Miller family for the opportunity to be part of the organization again.”
At a press conference at the Zion’s Bank Basketball Center Thursday, June 20, Ty Corbin and Sloan took the stand together to answer questions and talk about the new role. Sloan, who is infamous for few words to reporters, was seen taking to them informally before the press conference started. Sloan said that “any way I can help Ty out, that’s what I’ll try to do. Winning is the name of the game.” “I’m just happy to back, and hope I can give some advice.” Asked if he will attend practices, Sloan said “Not if they are too early”, to laughter from the press. Sloan also complimented Corbin on keeping guys together, and running the team. Sloan told reporters, “Corbin was not treated fairly, and he deserves to be treated better, some of you guys need to get off his back.” Corbin said he would “lean on Sloan to help him grow, and that Sloan can’t hurt his feelings.” “I want to be told if I am screwing up.”
Sloan said that Deron Williams was going to leave, and they got a lot of young talent out of it. Sloan said that he got spoiled with the organization, and that he always had the Jazz on his mind. Sloan said he didn’t know if he would travel yet. Answering what the Jazz biggest need is, Sloan replied “patience”. His pick for the championship: San Antonio. We will see how much of an impact Sloan has on the Jazz this season, but one thing is for sure: it’s nice to have him back.