SALT LAKE CITY — On May 22, Utah Jazz legendary coach Jerry Sloan died due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia at the age of 78.
When the NBA restarts, the Jazz will be remembering him.
On Tuesday, the team announced plans to wear a special tribute patch on jerseys and warms-ups during the NBA restart in Orlando. The tribute patch will feature the number 1,223 in recognition of the total number of wins — regular seasons and playoffs combined — Sloan had during his 23 seasons leading Utah. The Jazz will wear the patch for the first time in their scrimmage game on Thursday.
“Coach Jerry Sloan will forever be in the hearts of the Utah Jazz organization and fans everywhere, and we feel it is only fitting to honor him in this way,” said Greg Miller, member of the NBA Board of Governors and director of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. “His contributions to our Jazz family and communities are a defining part of our franchise history and we look forward to seeing 1,223 on the jerseys of our players in Orlando as a nod to his legacy.”
This won’t be the last tribute for the late coach. Sloan’s passing came during the coronavirus pandemic, which eliminated the chance of a public memorial or tribute from the organization; but there are plans in place to honor the coach next season.
During the 2020-21 season, the Jazz jerseys will have a commemorative black strip with the same “1223” design. The franchise said additional details on plans to honor Sloan next season will be announced at a later date.
Fans can purchase a commemorative jersey patch for $12.23 with proceeds benefitting the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Patches can be purchased both in-store and at www.jazzteamstore.com and can be affixed on a jersey. The Jazz have made a financial contribution in Sloan’s memory to the Michael J. Fox Foundation and direct donations are also encouraged at www.michaeljfox.org/donate.