Calling Utah home for more than four decades, the Utah Jazz have made their mark on the National Basketball Association (NBA) and fans the world over. With a record of 30 playoff appearances and two NBA Finals appearances, the Jazz have delivered some of the league’s most “nothing but net” moments, many of which were made possible by talented players and coaches. Join us as we tip off and revel in the most memorable moments and faces of the Utah Jazz.
The History of the Jazz
It’s well known that the Utah Jazz basketball team started as the New Orleans Jazz on April 22, 1974. The team name was, of course, synonymous with the famous jazz music played in New Orleans. They called New Orleans home for five seasons until the team was sold to a group of businessmen in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1979. The team became the Utah Jazz on June 26, 1979.
While there was little connection to the music the team was originally named to celebrate, the double “z” of Jazz was carried forward into nearly every semi- or professional sports team name to call Utah home over the following decades.
The Utah Dream Team
The Utah Jazz have seen some great players wearing its colors over the years including Mark Eaton, Jeff Hornacek, and Deron Williams—with John Stockton and Karl Malone being two of the most important players in the team’s history. Stockton played 19 seasons with the Jazz and finished his career as the league’s all-time leading assist and steals leader. Malone played 16 seasons with the Jazz, and remembered as one of the best power forwards in NBA history.
No team can exist without a great coach and Jerry Sloan was a legendary one. Sloan coached the Utah Jazz for 23 seasons and during his tenure was instrumental in the development of Stockton and Malone. Under his leadership, Stockton to Malone and the Utah Jazz made two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998.
Dunking on some Utah Jazz Memorable Moments
Of all the games played by the Utah Jazz, the 1997 NBA Finals against the Chicago Bulls still stands as one of the most memorable series. The Jazz, led by Karl Malone and John Stockton, were on the cusp of their first NBA title but lost to Michael Jordan and the Bulls in six games.
More recently, in 2021, the Utah Jazz ended the NBA regular season with the leagues’ best record that landed them in the number one seed. Led by all-star Donovan Mitchell and the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert, the Jazz headed into the playoffs strong and ready.
Let’s Make Some Noise for our Utah Jazz!
The Utah Jazz have seen plenty of time in the paint over the years. Although the team has yet to win an NBA championship, Jazz fans are lucky to have watched some of the most talented and entertaining basketball players to ever hit the court.
As the team enters a new season, it’s time to grab your Jazz jersey and head over to your nearest neighborhood location and cheer on the Jazz with us!