Third all-time with 1,221 wins.
SALT LAKE CITY — Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan stepped down yesterday after 23 seasons and 1,127 wins at the helm of the Utah Jazz, saying he simply ran out of energy to coach anymore.
“I had a feeling this time was the time to move on,’’ an emotional Sloan said. “[That’s] a long time to be in one organization. Again, I’ve been blessed. Today is a new day. When I get this over with, I’ll feel better. My time is up and it’s time to move on.’’
Longtime assistant Phil Johnson also resigned, surprising even Sloan during their postgame chat Wednesday night with general manager Kevin O’Connor.
“I came with him and I’ll leave with him,’’ the 69-year-old Johnson said.
The two men agreed to sleep on their decisions Wednesday night at the request of team owners and O’Connor.
Nothing changed in the morning and Sloan reported sleeping better than he has in weeks. Asked what he’ll do now, he didn’t know, and said he expected to be a “dizzy duck’’ for a while.
Jazz CEO Greg Miller said he tried to talk Sloan out of retiring.
“I want to make it clear that nobody pushed Jerry or Phil out,’’ Miller said. “I loved and respected Jerry for as long as I can remember . . . I will miss him but benefit from the things he taught me for the rest of my life.’’
Jazz assistant Tyrone Corbin was named the new coach, and team officials made it clear there is no “interim’’ tag next to his name.
The 48-year-old Corbin called it a “bittersweet’’ moment.
“While it’s a great opportunity for me, it’s a bitter moment for me because I will miss these guys a lot.’’
The moves came on the heels of an emotional 91-86 loss Wednesday night to the Bulls, Utah’s 10th in the last 14 games.
But Sloan, the longest-tenured coach in the four major professional sports, insisted that wasn’t the final straw.
O’Connor also said reports that star guard Deron Williams had said it was either “me or Sloan’’ were false and unfair to Williams.
Williams’s late turnover helped Chicago seal Utah’s third straight home loss.
Afterward, Sloan hinted that something was in the works after delaying his postgame press conference more than 30 minutes.
Sloan just recently signed a one-year contract extension to carry him through the 2011-12 season, but he also indicated that he would not make anything official until after the current season.
The team started 15-5 but fell to 31-23 after the loss to Chicago, the only other team Sloan has coached (he was 94-121 in nearly three seasons with the Bulls). The Chicago loss was the third straight at home, where the Jazz are only 17-11 this season.
He is the only coach in NBA history to win 1,000 games with one team, a feat he accomplished Nov. 7 against Oklahoma City.
“Few people have epitomized all the positives of team sports more than Jerry Sloan,’’ NBA commissioner David Stern said in a written statement.
While he has headed the Jazz there have been 245 coaching changes around the league — 13 alone by the Los Angeles Clippers, and five current NBA teams (Charlotte, Memphis, Toronto, Orlando, and Minnesota) did not even exist when Sloan took the helm in Utah.
He ranks third all-time in NBA wins (1,221) behind Don Nelson (1,335) and Lenny Wilkens (1,332).
Sloan also is one of only three coaches in NBA history with 15-plus consecutive seasons with a winning record. Pat Riley and Phil Jackson, both with 19, are the others.