The Utah Jazz were established in New Orleans, Louisiana, as the New Orleans Jazz in 1974. As history goes, a contest was held to name the expansion team, which received more than 6,500 entries. After much consideration, team officials announced the team’s name as the “Jazz” on June 7, 1974. With New Orleans being the “Jazz Capital of the World,” you can see how that name would be a widely popular one to choose.
The Jazz stayed in New Orleans until they posted the NBA’s worst record in the 1978-79 season, after which ownership decided to move the team to Salt Lake City, Utah. Utah wasn’t the capital of jazz, but they kept the name, and that’s where it all began.
The Utah Jazz are no strangers to the playoffs. They made the NBA Western Conference playoffs 20 straight seasons from 1983 to 2003. The Jazz have made two NBA Finals appearances in team history, both back-to-back years in 1997 and 1998. In 1997, the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers 3-0, the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1, and the Houston Rockets 4-2, all leading up to the meeting of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in what would be their first NBA Finals appearance. Unfortunately, the Jazz lost to the Bulls 2-4.
Although the Jazz lost to the Bulls in the finals, the team received another opportunity to bring home a championship the next year. In the 1998 playoffs, the Jazz beat the Houston Rockets 3-2, as well as the San Antonio Spurs 4-1. Utah advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the third time, returning with a stocked roster of Karl Malone, Jeff Hornacek, and John Stockton. The Jazz faced the Los Angeles Lakers, led by Shaquille O’Neal, Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel, and Kobe Bryant. The Jazz won the first game of the series with a score of 112-77. In game two, the Jazz took another victory with a score of 99-95. The third and fourth games in Los Angeles were decided by an average of 7.5 points. Utah swept the Lakers and had another chance to redeem themselves in the NBA Finals.
In the 1998 NBA Finals (against the Chicago Bulls, again), the Jazz had a home win in overtime in game one with a score of 88-85. The Bulls fought back and won game two with a score of 93-88. The Bulls also won game three and game four. However, the Jazz came back and won game five on the road 83-81. The Jazz then led most of game six, but the Bulls pulled through in the final seconds of the game. The Jazz lost to the Bulls in the NBA Finals once more.
John Stockton played for 19 years with the Jazz from 1984 to 2003. Stockton led the NBA in assists for nine straight seasons from 1987 to 1996. He was a 10-time All-Star during those same years, as well as in 1999. Stockton was the 1993 All-Star Game MVP and is the NBA all-time leader in assists.
Karl Malone also played for 18 years with the Jazz and was a 14-time All-Star. He was even the NBA MVP in 1996 and 1998. He’s a 19-time All-League selection and two-time All-Star Game MVP.
1979–1995: The Utah Jazz’s (then known as the New Orleans Jazz) original logo is purple, yellow, and green, which can be associated with Mardi Gras. The logo has a basketball with a music note connected to it, which also acts as the “J” in “Jazz” (written in purple). “Utah” is written at the top in purple as well.
1996–2003: The Jazz decide to go with a logo that is more true to Utah. The team changes the logo entirely to have a basketball with mountains in the background and “Utah” written at the top, with “Jazz” written across the circle. The logo colors are now blue, purple, and maroon.
2004–2009: The logo remains relatively the same, but the colors change to navy, blue, and purple.
2010–2015: The team goes with a completely different color scheme. The logo remains the same, but the colors are now dark green, dark yellow, gray, and navy.
2016–2017: The Jazz do away with the mountain for the logo and go back to the original jazz note, but this time with the same colors: dark green, dark yellow, gray, and navy.
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There have been a lot of changes to the Utah Jazz logo, but you can bet we’ve got them all. Go visit Fanatics.com to look your best in your favorite Utah Jazz gear!