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Jerry Sloan, longest-tenured active U.S. pro coach, resigns from Utah Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY — Jerry Sloan, whose roll-up-your-sleeves, no-excuses, Hall-of-Fame playing style didn't change as an NBA coach, stepped down Thursday after 23 seasons and 1,127 wins at the helm of the Jazz, saying he ran out of energy.

That leaves Tampa's Tony La Russa of the St. Louis Cardinals as the longest-tenured coach in the four major U.S. pro sports.

"I had a feeling this time was the time to move on," Sloan said. "(That's) a long time to be in one organization. I'll be 69 years old next month. I'm not as lively as I used to be."

General manager Kevin O'Connor denied reports that All-Star guard Deron Williams had said it was either "me or Sloan." CEO Greg Miller said Sloan and longtime assistant Phil Johnson, who also resigned ("I came with him, and I'll leave with him,'' Johnson said) were not pushed out by anyone.

There have been reports of a growing rift with Williams that led to a heated argument during a loss to the Bulls on Wednesday. After the game, Sloan and Johnson talked with O'Connor and agreed to sleep on the decision. Then Sloan reported sleeping better than he has in weeks. As for his future, he expected to be a "dizzy duck" for a while.

Asked if he was forced out, Sloan said: "I've had confrontations with players since I've been in the league. I forced myself out.''

Williams said he and Sloan "had a disagreement" Wednesday.

"I've seen him have worse ones with other players," he said. "I would never force Coach Sloan out of Utah. He's meant more to this town, more to this organization, than I have by far."

Assistant Tyrone Corbin, 48, becomes Utah's first black coach.

Sloan was named the sixth coach in franchise history on Dec. 9, 1988. Since then, there have been 245 NBA coaching changes — 13 by the Clippers — and the creation of five teams (Charlotte, Memphis, Toronto, Orlando and Minnesota). Forty current NBA players hadn't been born when Sloan was hired.

His NBA wins (1,221) trail only Don Nelson (1,335) and Lenny Wilkens (1,332).

Lakers rally in Boston

BOSTON — Kobe Bryant scored 20 of his 23 in the second half, and the Lakers spoiled Ray Allen's record-setting night by beating the Celtics 92-86.

In the first quarter, Allen surpassed Reggie Miller as the NBA's career leader in 3-pointers, hitting two to reach 2,561.

Bryant later put Allen on the bench in foul trouble during a rally from a 15-point deficit. Allen hit one more 3-pointer and totaled 20 points after scoring 12 in the first quarter.

Because of injuries and foul trouble, the Celtics had rookie Avery Bradley, recently recalled from the Development League, defend Bryant late in the third.

Lakers 92, Celtics 86

L.A. LAKERS (92): Artest 2-6 0-1 4, Gasol 8-13 4-6 20, Bynum 6-10 4-5 16, Fisher 2-6 2-2 7, Bryant 9-17 5-6 23, Odom 4-12 1-2 10, Brown 4-6 3-3 12, Blake 0-2 0-0 0, Walton 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 35-73 19-25 92.

BOSTON (86): Pierce 6-15 2-2 15, Garnett 4-13 2-2 10, Perkins 4-6 4-7 12, Rondo 5-14 2-3 12, Allen 8-18 1-1 20, Davis 3-10 3-3 9, Wafer 3-6 1-1 8, Robinson 0-0 0-0 0, Bradley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-82 15-19 86.

L.A. Lakers 20 25 27 20— 92

Boston 27 26 15 18— 86

3-Point GoalsL.A. 3-10 (Brown 1-1, Fisher 1-2, Odom 1-2, Bryant 0-1, Walton 0-1, Blake 0-1, Artest 0-2), Boston 5-16 (Allen 3-8, Pierce 1-3, Wafer 1-4, Davis 0-1). ReboundsL.A. 53 (Odom 12), Boston 44 (Garnett 11). AssistsL.A. 20 (Fisher 5), Boston 25 (Rondo 10). Total FoulsL.A. 22, Boston 25. TechnicalsBryant.

Suns 112, Warriors 88

GOLDEN STATE (88): D.Wright 1-9 0-0 3, Lee 5-12 1-1 11, Biedrins 1-5 0-0 2, Curry 5-9 0-0 12, Ellis 4-13 0-0 8, Udoh 8-12 0-2 16, B.Wright 5-7 0-3 10, Williams 3-9 9-10 16, Radmanovic 1-3 0-0 2, Lin 1-5 0-1 2, Bell 2-6 0-0 6. Totals 36-90 10-17 88.

PHOENIX (112): Hill 3-6 0-0 6, Frye 6-12 1-2 17, Lopez 3-8 6-7 12, Nash 6-10 3-3 18, Carter 3-6 0-0 6, Gortat 3-7 0-0 6, Dudley 5-8 0-0 13, Warrick 4-9 0-0 8, Dowdell 5-10 0-0 10, Pietrus 3-5 0-0 8, Childress 2-2 0-0 4, Siler 1-1 2-2 4. Totals 44-84 12-14 112.

Golden State 22 20 19 27— 88

Phoenix 32 33 22 25— 112

3-Point GoalsGolden State 6-20 (Curry 2-3, Bell 2-4, D.Wright 1-5, Williams 1-5, Radmanovic 0-1, Ellis 0-2), Phoenix 12-22 (Frye 4-6, Nash 3-4, Dudley 3-5, Pietrus 2-4, Hill 0-1, Carter 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsGolden State 47 (Udoh 7), Phoenix 56 (Gortat, Frye 9). AssistsGolden State 19 (Williams 6), Phoenix 25 (Nash 11). Total FoulsGolden State 15, Phoenix 16. TechnicalsEllis, D.Wright, Golden State defensive three second, Phoenix defensive three second 2.

.fast facts

Longest tenured

With Jerry Sloan's resignation, these are the longest-tenured coaches in the four major U.S. pro sports, with team and date of hire:

• Tony La Russa, MLB's Cardinals, Oct. 23, 1995

• Gregg Popovich, NBA's Spurs, Dec. 10, 1996

• Lindy Ruff, NHL's Sabres, July 21, 1997

• Barry Trotz, NHL's Predators, Aug. 6, 1997

• Andy Reid, NFL's Eagles, Jan. 11, 1999

• Mike Scioscia, MLB's Angels, Nov. 17, 1999

Jerry Sloan, longest-tenured active U.S. pro coach, resigns from Utah Jazz 02/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 10, 2011 11:48pm]
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