utah jazz history

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utah jazz history

It’s been two years since Utah Jazz tickets provided NBA fans with the chance to see a playoff-bound team. After winning only 26 games last season, Jazz management made a move in the draft that allowed the team to land the player they coveted, Deron Williams, the University of Illinois point guard with the magic to make the players around him perform at a high level. That pick may sweeten the aura of Jazz tickets for the fans who regularly pack the Delta Center.

After moving from New Orleans in 1979, the Jazz held onto their moniker, despite the absence of a jazz music history in Utah. The first year out west proved to be a tough one. The Jazz managed only 29 wins, but acquired the talents of Adrian Dantley from the Los Angeles Lakers. In 1980, the Jazz picked Darrell Griffith with the second pick in the draft. The addition of Griffith gave the Jazz a Rookie of the Year and freed Dantley to win the NBA’s scoring title at 30.7 points per game. Yet, the Jazz remained in the cellar.

Jazz ticket holders watched their team hit the playoff scene for the first time in the 1984-85 season. Adrian Dantley again won the NBA scoring title, while big Mark Eaton led the league in blocked shots, Rickey Green was tops in steals, and Darrell Griffith was the Jazz’ deep threat. The strong individual performances got the Jazz to the second round of the playoffs, where they were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in a six-game series.

The drafting of John Stockton was a major mile stone in Jazz history. Followed up with the pick of Karl Malone the next year, the Jazz would create one of the best combinations of players in NBA history. Malone took over as the team’s scoring leader and Stockton led the league in assists on an annual basis. Stockton would lead the NBA in assists for the next nine seasons, perfecting the pick-and-roll. The Stockton- Malone era came to an end in 2003 with Stockton announcing his retirement and Malone moving on to the Los Angeles Lakers after scoring 36, 374 points as a member of the Utah Jazz.

Through 2003, the Jazz would make 20 playoff appearances. During that time span, Utah reached the NBA Finals twice (1997, 1998), appeared in the Western Conference Finals five times, and won six division championships. Though their record of playoff appearances is impressive, the Jazz have yet to win an NBA Championship.

While Utah Jazz tickets got a shot of glamour with the drafting of Deron Williams, it’s going to take some time for things to jell in Utah. Head coach Jerry Sloan has his work cut out for him keeping the fans in the Delta Center happy while giving his younger players time to develop. Still, Jazz ticket holders with a long-term view should enjoy watching young talented players with something to prove.




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