March 7, 1974, birthed the New Orleans franchise, as a nine-man group led by Sam Battistone and Fred Rosenfeld paid $6.15 million for the expansion franchise. The franchise became the eighteenth member of the NBA. Pete Maravich was then purchased from Atlanta on May 3, 1974, and became the first player in the history of the franchise. Because the team was in financial trouble and couldn’t attract very much local support or local investors in those early days, Battistone decided to move the franchise to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1979. The main reason for the move was that New Orleans could charge an 11% amusement tax which was the highest in the nation.
The Utah Jazz is a franchise that competes in the NBA Western Conference, Northwest Division. It took the Jazz 10 seasons before they eventually reached the NBA Playoffs. Despite the wait, the franchise never missed the playoffs again until 2004. John Stockton and Karl Malone are the most famous Jazz players of all time. They formed a very notable point guard-power forward duo in NBA history. Their union began in the late 1980s and they were led by coach Jerry Sloan who took over in 1988. The 1990s were an amazing period for the franchise as they played in two NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, both times losing to the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls. Utah had their best season in 1996-1997 with a 64-18 run.
This season, the Utah Jazz were knocked off in the first round of the NBA Playoffs in what was a heated contest with the Denver Nuggets who clinched a win in game 7. Below is a full list of the 2019-2020 squad.
Player Name – Position – Age
Emmanuel Mudiay – Point Guard (PG); 24
Mike Conley – Point Guard; 32
Nigel Williams-Goss – Point Guard; 25
Justin Wright-Foreman – Point Guard; 22
Jordan Clarkson – Point Guard; 28
Miye Oni – Shooting Guard; 23
Donovan Mitchell – Shooting Guard; 23
Joe Ingles – Shooting Guard 32
Rayjon Tucker – Shooting Guard; 22
Royce O’Neale – Small Forward; 27
Georges Niang – Small Forward; 27
Juwan Morgan – Small Forward; 23
Bojan Bogdanovic – Small Forward; 31
Jarrell Brantley – Power Forward; 24
Tony Bradley – Center;22
Ed Davis – Center; 31
Rudy Gobert – Center; 28
Donovan Mitchell led the team averaging 24.0 points per game. Rudy Gobert led the team in rebounds averaging 13.5 per game. The team assist leader is Joe Ingles averaging 5.2 assists per game.
The Jazz has continued to lose front office employees with the most recent being assistant coach, Johnnie Bryant who is credited with the development of Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Gordon Hayward. Reports suggest that he will be joining the New York Knicks in the same capacity under the leadership of Tom Thibodeau. This move will mean that two high-level employees have left the Jazz franchise this summer following Walt Perrin’s departure who is now the Knicks’ assistant manager under Leon Rose. The Utah Jazz team is led by Quin Snyder who signed a multi-year extension in 2019 which will have him stay on for at least the next three seasons. Quin and the Jazz ended the regular season with a 44-28 run.
Gail Miller, who is the richest person in Utah, owns the Jazz team. She took over ownership upon her husband’s death – Larry H. Miller – who purchased complete control of the franchise in 1986 after being a part-owner for one year. In 2017, she announced ownership of the Utah Jazz had been transferred into a Legacy Trust. This move was to ensure the franchise stays in Utah for generations to come.