While sporting one of the most mismatched names in professional sports, the Utah Jazz has managed to become a mainstay among NBA teams. It can owe its thanks to longtime coach Jerry Sloan, who kept the team competitive regardless of its roster. The superstar combo of Karl Malone and John Stockton, both of whom lead the Jazz team stats, also made Utah formidable.
Even after the Sloan era in Salt Lake City, the Jazz managed to consistently create contenders. Several stars like Donovan Mitchell have elevated the franchise’s status. Find Utah as a decent bet on the NBA odds even if they undergo a rebuild.
Team Ranked Stats
Utah Jazz All-Time Records
Karl Malone, 36,374
Utah Jazz Stats & Team History
The Jazz came to the NBA as an expansion franchise in 1974. Right off the bat, the team had star power, with Pete Maravich as the face of the franchise, and with Laker great Elgin Baylor coaching. New Orleans could have been a powerhouse had they not traded for Gail Goodrich. Their pick was used to select Magic Johnson, while the other was the draft rights to Moses Malone.
With a floundering team, the Jazz relocated to Salt Lake City. Despite still being terrible on the court, the fans supported the team. But in early 1983, the Jazz began to become a respectable team under the leadership of executive-coach Frank Layden. He acquired the likes of John Stockton, Karl Malone, and Mark Eaton.
The trio won numerous accolades together and made Utah a consistent playoff contender. The Jazz even came close to upsetting Johnson’s Lakers during the 1988 NBA Playoffs. The following year, Sloan took over head-coaching duties. He would remain the coach of the Jazz until 2011.
Malone and Stockton went on to dominate the Utah Jazz’s team stats for over a decade. They consistently made All-Star appearances and even won the All-Star Game MVP Award together in 1993. The Jazz peaked during the mid-90s, where Malone won two MVPs as Utah made consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. These, however, ended in losses to Michael Jordan’s Bulls.
When Jordan retired, Utah became one of the favorites to win the NBA Championship. However, the Jazz lost to the Trail Blazers in consecutive seasons. Utah began to decline, with both Malone and Stockton getting older. In 2003, Stockton retired and Malone left the Jazz to chase a title with the Lakers. Utah missed the playoffs for the first time since the 1982-83 season, but otherwise remained competitive.
Utah quickly rebuilt by drafting Deron Williams and acquiring Carlos Boozer. Together with Andrei Kirilenko, the Jazz had a core that led them back to the playoffs in 2007. Utah returned to the Conference Finals for the first time since losing to the Bulls.
After one final run in 2009-10, the Jazz disbanded. Boozer left for Chicago while Sloan resigned as coach midway through the 2010-11 season. Williams was also traded to Brooklyn, while Kirilenko returned to Europe.
The rebuilding Jazz endured a few bad seasons in the early 2010s, but became a playoff contender again. Quinn Snyder was an excellent coach while Mitchell and Rudy Gobert blossomed into young stars. In 2022, both Snyder and Gobert left, leaving both Mitchell and Utah in another retooling phase.
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