Jerry Sloan seems to be one name that survived the first round of interviews during the Bucks current hunt for potential head coaches. He was one of many that want to be the man to fill the team's vacant position. At least three other people have also been to Milwaukee to vie to replace Jim Boylan at the helm of the Bucks in the past two weeks, though Sloan is reported to be leading the pack as of now.
Rockets assistants J.B. Bickerstaff and Kelvin Sampson, Lakers assistant Steve Clifford, and former Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan are known to have interviewed prior to Sloan, who was had his initial meeting with team staff last week. The 71 year-old Hall of Fame inductee is eldest and most experienced person to be considered for the position so far, as well as arguably the most accomplished.
Sloan Played NBA Ball Before Coaching Career Took Off
Sloan began his career in the NBA as a player for the Baltimore Bullets in 1965. He left Baltimore just a year later to play with the Bulls under Johnny Kerr for ten years. Earning the nickname “The Original Bull”, Sloan was a two-time All-Star in the late-sixties, and he still stands as Chicago's fourth most-scoring player in franchise history. A number of knee troubles during the mid-seventies forced an early retirement, however, shifting Sloan's focus from playing to coaching. The Bulls provided him his first opportunity at the helm, promoting him from an assistant after just a year. He would win ninety-four games in three seasons in Chicago before being replaced in 1982.
For three years following his ousting from Chicago, Sloan found work as a coach in the Continental Basketball Association and as a scout for the Utah Jazz. It wouldn't be until 1985 that the Jazz would bring him back into the NBA as an assistant. In 1988 he was awarded the head coaching position in Utah, beginning a storied twenty-three season career leading the Jazz.
With double-digit seasons of fifty or more wins, nineteen playoff appearances, and a pair of trips to the NBA finals, Sloan became the most successful coach in Utah before abruptly resigning in 2011. He was tired of the way his young talent was performing, and perhaps the ranks of those new NBA players were tired of him. Either way, he has been publicly flirting over whether or not to attempt a return to the bench since bouncing mid season. Jazz fans have seen Sloan hanging around at games for some time now. He’s taken some time to reflect on what’s important in life, but the NBA may be just fine without him.