Utah Jazz has always been a recognizable name in the NBA. They are based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Utah Jazz is a part of the Western Conference and of the Northwest Division in the NBA. They are very popular in the 90’s being the rivals of the great Chicago Bulls lead by Michael Jordan.
The franchise started in 1974 and was based in New Orleans. They were the 18th team to be in the NBA. The superstar Pete Maravich played for the Jazz when he was traded from the Hawks. He was one of the most entertaining players in the NBA with an average of 31.1 points per game that won him the scoring title in 1977 NBA season. Despite having that average, the Jazz’ best standing was 39-43 then he struggled with injuries from that season onwards.
In 1979, the franchise is having problems with their finance because of the amusement tax. It was concluded that they could not continue the franchise and it should be moved elsewhere. It was decided to move it to Salt Lake City that proved that the people could support the basketball team.
In 1983-84 season, the Jazz was qualified in the postseason. They won over the Denver Nuggets in 3-2 record and advanced to the second round to play against the Phoenix Suns. They lost to the Suns 4-2.
In 1984-85, Mark Eaton emerged as one of the prominent and best defenders in the NBA with an average of 5.56 blocks per game with 9.7 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. He won the Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA that season. They advanced in the playoffs and defeated the Houston Rockets and moved on against te Denver Nuggets.
They lost to the Nuggets in 4 games to 1 in the second round. John Stockton replaced Rickey Green as the starting point guard in the 1987-88 season and Karl Malone was just starting to show his incredible skills and to be one of the recognizable power forwards of the league.
The 1988-89 season, Jerry Sloan was the replacement for Frank Layden as the head coach of the Jazz. This season, Malon, Stockton and Eaton emerged as one of the All-Stars and they became an improved team overall and won 51 games. The following season, the 55-27 win-loss record of the Jazz was the best in the team history.
Both Stockton and Malone had their best season statistically with Malone averaging 31 points and 11.1 rebounds per game and Stockton with 17.2 points and 14.5 assists per game. From 1990 to 1996, the Jazz has been a top contender and one of the most prominent team in the Western Conference.
And in the 1996 to 98 seasons was the NBA Finals years of the Utah Jazz. For the 1996-97 season, they reached the NBA Finals for the first time and it was against the Chicago Bulls lead by Michael Jordan. They lost to the Bulls in 4-2. In the 1997-98 season, they again were expected to be a contender for the title, and as expected they entered the NBA Finals again and it was also against the Bulls. They lost again in the series with 4-2.
From 1999-2003 was the last years of John Stockton and Karl Malone. Stockton retired and Malone joined the Los Angeles Lakers. From 2003-2006, it was the rebuilding years for the Jazz, they acquired their key players such as the defensive specialist Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur.
In 2005, they acquired Deron Williams, and soon to be one of the leading point guards in the league. From 2006 to 2010, it was the Boozer-Williams era, they led the team to several trips to the playoffs but they never reached the NBA Finals.
On 2011, Jerry Sloan resigned as the head coach of the Utah Jazz and there has been surprising trades after that. Deron Williams was traded to the New Jersey Nets for Derrick Favors and Devin Harris with two first round picks.