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The origins of the Utah Jazz franchise began far away from the rocky mountains of Utah; they entered the league in 1974 as the New Orleans Jazz, named after the city's rich musical heritage. But the Jazz did not last long in the Big Easy, as they struggled to find a stadium to play at, which hurt ticket sales and attendance. After just five seasons, they moved out of New Orleans and headed for Salt Lake City, looking for a fresh start and a boost in sales of Jazz basketball tickets.
They arrived in Utah in 1979 and struggled to compete for their first four seasons, not winning more than 30 games in any of those years. Though they were able to find their way into the playoffs during the 1983-84 season, the team's history changed beginning the following year. In the NBA Draft, Utah selected John Stockton with the 16th pick in the first round and followed the next year with the selection of Karl Malone with the 13th selection. While the front office and fans knew who these players were, they could have never guessed how good they would become.
The combo of Stockton and Malone became one of the most dynamic duos the National Basketball Association has ever seen. John Stockton ended up playing 20 seasons with the Jazz, accumulating 19,711 points and 15,806 assists. His assist number is an NBA record, over 5,000 more than the second place player. Karl Malone, a.k.a. "The Mailman," delivered over his career to the tune of 36,928 points, second all-time. Due to their accomplishments with the Jazz, Stockton and Malone both have had their jerseys retired, in addition to having a statue erected in front of the team's home stadium, the EnergySolutions Arena.
While the Utah Jazz have not won an NBA championship yet, they continue to build with dreams of reaching the NBA Finals once again. If you want to go to a game this season in Salt Lake City, make sure you get Utah Jazz tickets and join in the action of the NBA!