Utah Jazz legend Jerry Sloan has passed away. © Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan has died following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

The Utah Jazz announced on Thursday morning that Sloan has died at age 78. The team issued a statement praising the former coach for all he meant to the franchise.

“Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz,” the statement read. “He will forever be a part of the Utah Jazz organization and we join his family, friends and fans in mourning his loss. We are so thankful for what he accomplished here in Utah and the decades of dedication, loyalty and tenacity he brought to our franchise.”

Sloan revealed in an interview several years ago that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. He said he did not want people to feel sorry for him.

Sloan, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, spent 23 seasons as the head coach of the Jazz. He was also the head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1979-1982 and had a brief tenure playing in the NBA in the 1960s, during which he was named an All-Star twice. Sloan’s 1,221 wins are the third-most for any coach in NBA history

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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