The Utah Jazz will honor the late Jerry Sloan with a uniform patch that the team will wear for the remainder of the 2020 season and playoffs, the team announced Tuesday.
A round, black patch with yellow number “1223” will rest on the upper-right front space of the Jazz jersey tops, as shown by a photo released by the team.
Sloan, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, died in May due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia at the age of 78.
The number 1,223 is in recognition of the total number of wins during Sloan’s 23 seasons as head coach of the Jazz. It will be worn for the first time on July 23 as part of the NBA restart when the Jazz begin scrimmage play.
Utah has eight “seeding” games starting July 30 that will finish regular-season play ahead of the playoffs, all of which will be staged at Disney World in Florida.
The Jazz also announced the team will wear a black stripe with the same “1223” mark during the 2020-21 season.
“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, Director of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, in a release from the team. “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.”
Fans can purchase a commemorative jersey patch for the price of $12.23. Proceeds benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease, the team said. Patches can be purchased at jazzteamstore.com.
The team also announced it had made a financial contribution in Sloan’s memory to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Others can donate directly to the foundation at michaeljfox.org/donate.
Sloan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. He spent 23 seasons as the head coach of the Jazz (1988-2011), finishing his career with the third most wins in NBA history (1,221-803), sixth best winning percentage (.603) all-time, two NBA Finals appearances (1997-98) and seven division titles.
Sloan also guided the Jazz to 16 consecutive winning seasons and thirteen 50-win seasons. Sloan’s teams made 20 trips to the NBA Playoffs (19 with Utah: 1989-2003, 2007-10) and his 98 playoff wins are the sixth most in NBA history.
His 34 years with the Jazz started as a scout (1983-84). He was hired as an assistant coach to Frank Layden on Nov. 19, 1984, and was named the sixth head coach in franchise history on December 9, 1988, when Layden resigned.
After 23 seasons and 1,809 games later, Sloan finished his career as Utah’s winningest coach based on wins and winning percentage (1,127-682, .623). The longest tenured coach with one franchise in all of major professional sports at the time of his retirement, there were 245 NBA head coaching changes during his Jazz coaching career.