Utah Jazz

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Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz old logo

The Utah Jazz are a National Basketball Association team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They were originally the New Orleans Jazz, but were unsuccessful and moved to Utah. They were one of the most successful teams in the late 1980s and 1990s, making it to two championships in 1997 and 1998 under coach Jerry Sloan and anchored by John Stockton and Karl Malone, considered two of the best players in the era. However, they lost both championships to the Chicago Bulls in six games, and since then have faded. Their streak of 19 consecutive playoff appearances ended with the 2003-2004 season, which was followed by their worst season since the 1981-82 season.

Founded: 1974
Formerly known as: New Orleans Jazz (1974-79)
Home Arena: Delta Center
Uniform colors: Purple and blue
Logo design: The word "JAZZ" superimposed over a mountain inside a gold ring with the word "UTAH" at the top
NBA Western Conference Championships: 1997, 1998
NBA Championships: None
2004-05 Record: 26-56


Franchise history

In 1974 the Jazz franchise began in New Orleans. The franchise proved unsuccessful, both on the court and financially, even after the addition of "Pistol" Pete Maravich as the star player. Though Maravich was viewed as one of the NBA's most entertaining and talented players, the Jazz were continually a losing team. After five losing seasons in New Orleans, they moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1979. Although the team nickname was not fitting for Salt Lake City, which was known more as a center for Mormon culture than as a mecca for jazz music, the franchise decided to keep it.

In Utah, the team continued to languish toward the bottom of the standings until the 1983-1984 season, when it won the Midwest Division title and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. That spring, the Jazz drafted John Stockton from Gonzaga University. In 1985 the team drafted Karl Malone from Louisiana Tech. The pair flourished under the guidance of Frank Layden and later Jerry Sloan. The Jazz became one of the most successful teams throughout the late 1980's and throughout the 1990's. Stockton eventually set NBA records for the most career steals and assists, and would be recognized as one of the top point guards in league history. Malone finished his career second in the record books for career points scored and would be recognized as one of the top power forwards in league history. Stockton and Malone developed a remarkable rapport with each other, running pick-and-roll plays with great success. "Stockton to Malone" was a common phrase, as Stockton regularly found ways to pass the ball to Malone in good scoring position. Other good players of the era included Mark Eaton, Adrian Dantley, Jeff Malone, and later Jeff Hornacek and Bryon Russell. Malone went on to score the second most points in NBA history (behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), and received MVP awards in 1997 and 1999. Hornacek was one of the best three-point and free throw shooters in the league. He retired in 2000.

Though the Jazz were consistently strong in the league's regular season, earning 19 consecutive playoff appearances (19842003), the franchise failed to win a league championship over that time. The Jazz won Western Conference titles in 1997 and 1998, but were defeated by the Chicago Bulls both times, each in six games. After that, the team declined in the standings, although they continued to make the playoffs until 2003, after which Stockton retired and Malone moved to the Los Angeles Lakers.

In the 200304 season, the Jazz were expected to be one of the weakest teams in the league. Instead they greatly exceeded most analysts' expectations. The team featured several unheralded players who emerged into key contributors, including Andrei Kirilenko, Raja Bell, Matt Harpring, Gordan Giricek, Carlos Arroyo and Ral Lpez. In particular, Andrei Kirilenko demonstrated tremendous versatility on both offense and defense, and earned a spot in the all-star game. Led by Kirilenko, the team remained in the playoff race to the end of the season, missing out by just one game to the Denver Nuggets. Jerry Sloan finished second in the voting for the NBA Coach of the Year Award, losing to Hubie Brown of the Memphis Grizzlies. In the 2004 offseason, with the free agent signings of Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur, the franchise was expected to again contend in the West.

Under a realignment plan that went into effect in 2004, the Jazz were transferred to the new Northwest Division with the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Seattle SuperSonics.

The 2004-05 season began well for the Jazz, as it won six of its first seven games behind strong performances from Boozer and Kirilenko. A series of injuries, first to Arroyo and Lopez, and later to Boozer and Kirilenko, caused the team to fall to the bottom of the division. Kirilenko returned, but was injured again near the end of the season. They ended the 2004-05 season with a record of 26-56, their worst since 1981-82. While the season proved disappointing on the whole, the team has seen promising performances in some of its young players, especially Bell, Giricek, Keith McLeod, and Okur.

Players of note

Basketball Hall of Famers


Retired numbers

Current roster



Injured Reserve (as of April 21, 2005)


Years Coach Record

1974-75 Scotty Robertson 1 - 14

1974-75 Elgin Baylor 0 - 1

1974-77 Bill Van Breda Koff 74 - 100

1977-79 Elgin Baylor 86 - 134

1979-81 Tom Nissalke 60 - 124

1981-88 Frank Layden 277 - 294

1988- Jerry Sloan 823 - 440

1974-03 1321 -1107

External links

Template:NBAfr:Jazz de l'Utah it:Utah Jazz nl:New Orleans Jazz ja:ユタ・ジャズ pt:Utah Jazz sv:Utah Jazz de:Utah Jazz


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