NBA Western Conference First Round: Utah Jazz vs. TBD - Home Game 1 (Date: TBD)
Vivint Smart Home ArenaSalt Lake City, UT
First based in New Orleans before making the move to Salt Lake City, the Utah Jazz have a rich history dating back to their founding in 1974. Over the course of more than 40 years, the team has taken 9 division titles and 2 conference championships, though they have yet to bring home an NBA Finals victory. The team was one of the least successful in the league in its early years but saw rapid improvement in the 1980s and ‘90s thanks to famous duo John Stockton and Karl Malone. Since then, the team has had many ups and downs, but that hasn’t stopped ticket holders from flocking to Vivint Smart Home Arena to watch them take on their rivals.
Debuting in New Orleans in 1974, the Jazz’s first few years were tough as they endured 5 straight losing seasons and no appearances in the NBA
Playoffs. Even after 1979, when the team moved to Salt Lake City and took on their fourth coach in just 6 years, it was still
another 4 losing seasons in a row. But then came 1983, when they finally began to turn things around. Not only did they have their first-ever winning season, but they took the Midwest Division title and appeared
in the playoffs for the very first time.
The following 2 decades would be the most successful in the team’s history. By 1985, the Jazz had signed both Karl Malone and John Stockton, who have since gone down as perhaps the most unstoppable point guard–power forward duo in all of the NBA. Together with Head Coach Jerry Sloan, they led the team to 6 division titles and back-to-back conferences championships in 1997 and ‘98. Those same 2 years, they made it all the way to the NBA Finals, but lost both times to the Chicago Bulls.
By the 2003 season, however, Stockton had decided to retire, and Malone left to spend his final season with the Los Angeles Lakers. This ushered in a period of rebuilding, with the team eventually bringing on power forwards Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap and point guard Deron Williams. After 3 seasons of failure to reach the playoffs, they returned for a 4-year run starting in 2007, making it far as the Western Conference Finals that same year. They failed again to make the playoffs in 2011 but came back in 2012—only to lose in the first round to the San Antonio Spurs.
By 2013, Williams, Boozer, and Millsap had all departed the Jazz, putting the team back into a period of rebuilding. Today, under Head Coach Quin Snyder, they’re working to regain their former glory, building a roster around up-and-coming stars like Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Ricky Rubio. After 4 dry seasons, they worked their way to the playoffs in 2017 but eventually lost in the Conference Semifinals to the Golden State Warriors. Fans of the Utah Jazz can’t wait for the day that the team brings home that NBA Championship victory. Show your support for the team by getting tickets to watch them duke it out in Salt Lake City.