On this day in 2008, Jerry Sloan became the first coach in NBA history to record 1,000 wins with the same club, when the Utah Jazz won 104-97 over the Oklahoma City Thunder. One of the most successful coaches of all time, Sloan ranks no.4 in regular season wins with 1221, and no.6 in playoff wins with 98. Sloan coached the Jazz to 15 consecutive playoff appearances from 1989 to 2003. The Jazz made the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, but they lost both times to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.
Sloan’s career in the NBA spanned over forty years. He spent 11 seasons as a player and the next 30 years as a coach. Sloan resigned in 2011 but left an indelible impact on the game. David Stern called Sloan “one of the greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history,” and legendary coaches, like Gregg Popovich, mentioned Sloan as his mentor. Sloan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.