The John Deere hat coach Jerry Sloan always wore to basketball practice fittingly and accurately symbolized the legendary coach.
"I've been studying his team for over 22 years, and he has been a master of adjusting to the way the game has changed, the way his personnel has changed," Rick Carlisle, coach of the Dallas Mavericks and president of professional basketball's coaches' association, told the Dallas Morning News. "His contributions to coaching and coaches have been gigantic."
Sloan resigned Thursday after coaching the Utah Jazz for 23 years.
One of his former players believes Sloan's pressure and demand served a long, lasting purpose for a multitude of players.
"He had one style, and it was hard," said DeShawn Stevenson, now with the Dallas Mavericks. "He was real hard. But either he was going to break you or he was going to make you. He made a lot of people in the league who, if they didn't know him, would have been out of the league. A lot of guys feel like, if you can make it with him, you can make it with anybody."
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