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Petition launched asking Jazz for ‘overdue’ Jerry Sloan statue

Utah Jazz fans believe it is long past time to pay proper tribute to legendary head coach Jerry Sloan, and action has been taken with the launch of a petition asking the organization to do something about it.

Sloan, who coached the Jazz for 23 seasons, retired following the 2010-11 NBA season, though he returned in 2013 to serve as a consultant.

In a petition posted to Change.org, Jazz fan Chad Crowell pleaded with the organization to commission a statue in honor of Sloan that would be erected outside Vivint Smart Home Arena.

“Please build Jerry Sloan his much overdue statue while we still have this wonderful man here to see it,” the petition reads. “We all know a statue is probably the last thing Jerry wants since he has always shied away from attention, but would be a great tribute for all he has done for our community and the Utah Jazz organization. If you’re a Jazz fan, please help by passing along and hopefully we can get some attention.”

As alluded to in the petition, the movement to pay tribute to Sloan has an added sense of urgency due to the recent news that the iconic 77-year-old coach’s health is deteriorating due to issues related to diagnoses of Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Sloan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, the same year his longtime player, John Stockton, also was enshrined. Sloan coached the Jazz from 1988-2011, compiling a 1,127-682 regular-season record, a run that included consecutive trips to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998.

The Jazz previously honored Sloan by retiring a No. 1223 jersey, which represented his overall career victories, regular season and postseason combined, during his remarkable stretch in Salt Lake City.

As of Tuesday morning, the petition has garnered over 1,200 signatures.