Bits from Interviews with Brian Sloan and Kathy Sloan
Tony Abbott hosts an “outdoors” show for KFAN and is known around the Jazz organization as “Coach’s hunting buddy.”
Tony Abbott’s interview with Brian Sloan (Jerry’s son)
One. [Hunting story told by Tony to Brian] Someone shoots an elk on a mountain hunting trip that Karl Malone had helped them arrange and Jerry and Tony walk up to it. “In a split second, this bull elk jumps up and comes at me full bore at about 10 yards. I’m a sitting duck. Your dad, without a blink, steps in front of me, pulls up [his old rifle that he got for $80 at a garage sale], puts a bullet in this elk’s chest, and it falls at my feet. I have no chance to even react. I turn and look at your dad and he looks at me and he goes, ‘That’s as good as a fast break.'”
Two. Brian: I was telling my kids the other day, “Grandpa’s gone from the Jazz.” “Who do we root for now?” I said, “We root for the Jazz! That’s our team. Look at the organization. Look at the people there. This is our team. We’re going to cheer for them.” … I’m a Jazz guy. I really hope they do well. It’s just wonderful, wonderful people there.
Tony Abbott’s interview with Kathy Sloan (Jerry’s daughter)
Three. Kathy on what happened to the Bobbye and Jerry Sloan Hand-in-Hand Foundation: Well, Dad unfortunately decided to shut things down with the foundation…he always had trouble with [the fundraising events]. He said, “I make such a good living. I feel like I don’t want to ask people for money.”
Four. [What’s one thing people don’t know about Jerry Sloan?] Kathy: He used to run his own basketball camp when Brian and I were growing up. He was still playing for the Bulls and he’d run it out in Chicago at a church facility. I was a junior in high school and he was demonstrating to the 200+ kids and all the coaching staff that were there how to take a charge. And he called me up to demonstrate.
He comes down and doesn’t try to hit me really hard, but his elbow caught me in the nose and bloodied my nose everywhere. I was laying on the ground and he just says to me, “Sug, sug, are you ok?”…I played a lot like him as far as I was pretty rough and tough, so he knew of all the campers there that I was probably the only one that could handle him.
I gladly did it, and I think then later that day, someone dropped a big wad of Bubble-Yum from up high. My hair was really, really long at the time, and he cut it out with a knife.
Five. Kathy on how she was raised and how Jerry and Bobbye taught them to have respect for everyone: That’s what we try to teach our kids and show them about Grandpa. It is sad though, the other part of that is that we try to teach the kids what a great guy he is, and then they go in the Guinness Book of World Records and say, “Hey, Papa’s in here for the most technicals EVER!”
Six. [Is your dad ever going to coach again?] Kathy: I know him probably better than anybody, and I think he probably will come back. That is my gut feeling because he doesn’t really have too many hobbies besides what you guys do.
I had a discussion with him about the players in the NBA and I don’t know if it’ll ever be NBA. Maybe it’ll be more of a consulting basis with teams or what have you. Basketball’s been his entire life since he was a little kid and I just have a gut feeling that he’ll get back into it in some capacity, but I think he does need the time to just relax and enjoy life and enjoy Tammy and Rhett and his grandkids and see what happens.
Seven. Tony also said that he received a text message from Jerry a few days ago. He and Kathy discussed it, and concluded that it must have been [Jerry’s wife] Tammy that had sent it for him. (KFAN)
On the day that Jerry and Phil announced their resignation, KZNS asked Phil whether he would be looking for other opportunities. Phil replied, “No. Maybe if the Jazz want me to do something, that’s a possibility. But not anyplace else.” That struck me as really odd at the time because it didn’t sound like Phil was done with coaching. Add onto that, that Jerry’s daughter thinks he’ll coach again but not necessarily NBA players, and conclude what you will.