New Orleans Jazz 1974
Utah Jazz 1979
Utah Jazz 1996
Utah Jazz 2004
Utah Jazz 2010
|UTAH JAZZ HISTORY
Arena: Vivint Smart Home Arena
Built in: 1991
Origin: New Orleans Jazz(1974)
Team Colors: Purple, Light Blue, Green, Copper & Black
Owner: Gail Miller
Central Division titles: none
Midwest titles: 6(84,88,92,96,97,00)
Northwest Division titles: 3(07,08,17)
Western Conferance titles: 2(96,97)
NBA Titles: none
Coach with the highest win percentage: Jerry Sloan .600
Coach with the lowest win percentage: Scotty Robertson .067
Most points in a season: 2540 Karl Malone (89-90)
Highest PPG total: 31.1 Pete Maravich(76-77)
Most points in a game: 153 vs San Antonio(4/9/78
Behind the name:
The name Jazz was chosen when the city of New Orleans was awarded the franchise. Jazz was chosen because of New Orleans rich music history, notably the jazz genera.
When the team relocated to Salt Lake City in 1979 the name was kept and has been with the team ever since.
Out of the gate stumbles:
Today the Jazz are seen as one of the more successful teams in the league, but their start was dismal. The Jazz lost their first 11 games and 23 of their first 25 games. The 0-11 start was at the time the worst start for an expansion team in NBA history, though it has since been eclipsed by the 0-18 start of the Miami Heat. The start was so bad that it cost head coach Scotty Robertson his job after just 15 games. NBA Hall-of-famer Elgin Baylor took over for one game, which he also lost, and finally the coaching reigns fell to Butch van Breda Kolff who guided the Jazz to a much more respectable 22-44 record the rest of the way.
The Jazz also failed to make the playoffs at any point during their first 9 seasons in the NBA. The 9 seasons is the NBA record for most seasons before an expansion team made the playoffs. In that 9 year span the Jazz went through six different coaches: Robinson, Baylor, van Breda Kolff, Baylor again, Tom Nissalke, and Frank Layden. The Jazz also changed cities from New Orleans to Salt Lake City and almost moved again to Minneapolis.
Since the Jazz first playoff appearance they have become one of the most consistent teams in the NBA. Since the 1983-84 season the Jazz have made the playoffs 28 times, made the NBA finals twice, the western finals six times and advanced to the second round 16 times. They have won 50 or more games 16 times and have cemented themselves as the best NBA team never to win a title.
That one time a Saudi arms dealer connected to Iran-Contra tried to buy the Utah Jazz|
We sometimes forget that sports and other forms of entertainment are not done in a vacuum and that some times the real world comes crashing into our beloved sports. In 2020 the Coronavirus or COVID-19 has put a harsh stop to our games, and this latest real life interference is not the first time or will it be the last time the real world and the sports world collide.
The 1980's where a great time for the NBA. Most see it as the beginning of a golden era for the league and it was the building blocks for the league we see today. It was also a time of cold war politics and tension.
But while the Lakers and Celtics of the 1980's were seeing success, some NBA teams were struggling and on the brink of financial ruin. No team was more close to financial ruin in the early 1980's than the Utah Jazz.
Today we think of the Utah Jazz as one of the most stable franchises in sports, but in June of 1984 that was anything from reality. The Jazz had just relocated to Salt Lake City five years earlier from New Orleans, and actually had finally made the playoffs the season prior for the first time. But the team was in financial disarray and the future looked bleak for their survival in Salt Lake City.
Jazz owner Sam Battistone was losing money fast, not just with the Jazz but with a lot of his businesses. The highly inappropriately named Sambo's restaurant chain was dying and with it his fortune
Top 5 free agent signings in Jazz history |
The Jazz are not known as a destination for free agents, so it is no surprise that they lack quality free agent signings. During their early years in New Orleans nobody wanted to go there because the Jazz were terrible. Once the team moved to Salt Lake City, nobody wanted to sign because Utah does not have a good nightlife compared to the rest of the country. Add to that, for the majority of their history they have had their stars locked in long term, really limiting their ability to sign free agents.
So who are the Jazz top free agent signings? To qualify for this list the player had to be a free agent who signed with the Jazz, and played with an NBA team the season before. So that eliminates guys like Wes Matthews and Joe Ingles. It cannot have been a trade acquisition either, for obvious reasons. Waiver claims are also eliminated because the player didn't willingly choose to sign with the Jazz, thus eliminating someone like Rickey Green.
Honorable mentions: Joe Johnson (2016), Matt Harpring (2002), Chris Morris (1995)
Military Veterans who have played in the NBA |
The United States Military has been a big piece of American history and American lore. Before every basketball game fans stand an honor America and the men and women who have served with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. The song immortalizes the defense of Fort McHenry from the war of 1812. The Veterans Administration (VA) estimates that 22 million Americans have served in the military. Countless famous Americans have served in the armed forces and that includes several NBA players.
During the early days of one of the NBA's precursors, the NBL, it was not uncommon for a player to leave the league to join the military. The military offered better pay and better accommodations than the league did.
World War II was nearly the end of the NBL as the majority of players left to serve. The lack of players caused the first racial integration in any major sport in American history
Top 50 players to play for the Utah Jazz|
1t- Karl Malone: Two time MVP, second leading scorer in NBA history, what's not to like about Karl Malone? Well other than when he talks about himself he talks in the third person. Regardless if you like him or not, he is passably the greatest player to ever play the power forward spot in NBA history, he and Stockton lead the Jazz to their only two NBA finals' appearances, and he is probably the most recognized player to ever play for the Jazz.
1t- John Stockton: He and Malone made the Jazz for 18 years from 1985-2003, in that time the lead the team to its only Western Conference finals appearances, its only two NBA finals' appearances, and made Utah one of the consistently best teams of the 90s. Stockton's points per game average don't reach out and grab you, but his assist and steals per game averages do. Stockton is the NBA all-time leader in both categories and one of the 50 greatest NBA players.
3- Adrian Dantley: AD, is quite possible the greatest forgotten star of the 80s, while his defense lacked, his scoring was phenomenal. Dantley was a 56% field goal shooter for the Jazz, and averaged over 30 points a game four seasons, a feat no other Jazzman has yet to accomplish, his 29.6 point per game average is a top the Jazz points per game leader board.
4-Pete Maravich: Pistol Pete Maravich, the Jazz first star. Maravich was traded to the Jazz for the #1 pick in 1974 from the Atlanta Hawks. Maravich was a three-time all-star for the Jazz, and the teams first player to average 30 or more a game. Maravich was also the first Jazz player to have his number retired.
Many people do not realize that long before there was the WNBA, there was a woman who attempted to join the ranks of professional basketball. six-foot-three Lusia Harris of Delta State University was taken in the seventh round of the 1977 NBA draft by the New Orleans Jazz. the pick was well deserving. Harris is still one of the greatest center to ever play women's college basketball.
She was a three-time All American at Delta State, Four-time All-State, All-Region, team MVP and team high scorer. set a then record of 58 points in a game, the most points by a woman in a college game until Cheryl Miller broke that mark. by the time she graduated, she held 15 of 18 Delta State team, single game and career records.
When Harris was drafted by the Jazz in 1977 she thought it was a joke.
Jazz Draft First Woman Player
Delta Center AKA Energy Solutions Arena AKA Vivint Smart Home Arean
Probably the most iconic image for a Jazz fan
Jazz center Rudy Gobert
NBA Hoops Online