The Utah Jazz celebrate 50 years, complete with vintage uniforms

Oct 23, 2023, 12:59 PM | Updated: Jan 11, 2024, 11:28 am

Live at 8:45 a.m. Jeremiah Jensen joins Utah’s Morning News to talk about Thanksgiving weekend sports! 

SALT LAKE CITY — Break out the birthday candles, this Wednesday marks 50 years for the Utah Jazz. Game one of the 2023-2024 NBA season will celebrate the half-century since the Jazz first donned the purple, yellow and green in Louisiana.

The Jazz were born in 1974 in New Orleans and moved to Salt Lake City five years later.

“From New Orleans to Salt Lake City, the Jazz legacy has been built by storied on-court performances, larger-than-life personalities, and incredible fans locally and around the world who continue to cheer us on game after game, decade after decade,” said Utah Jazz President Jim Olson.

“We are excited to immerse the community in countless celebrations of both the talented Jazzmen, coaches, and leaders who’ve led our organization over the past 50 years and those who are actively contributing to what will be our legacy for the next 50 years,” said Olson.

To celebrate five decades of basketball, the Jazz organization is bringing back the past with a retro uniform, a vintage court, and special decades games that highlight the 1970s to the 2010s.

Return to retro

The new (old) uniform calls back to the original purple and gold worn by NBA Hall-of-Famer “Pistol” Pete Maravich back in 1974.

The court also sports the 1974 lettering and takes inspiration from the 1980s and 1990s courts at the old Delta Center and Salt Palace.

NBA.com reports that both the uniform and the court will make their first appearance Wednesday night when the Jazz take on the Sacramento Kings in Utah’s home opener.

The “Decade Nights”

The Jazz have also planned out five games that will showcase the team’s players, style and history from the 1970s to today. The first decade night is November 27 and will bring the current New Orleans team — the Pelicans — to Utah. The last decade’s night celebrates the 2010s and will bring the Boston Celtics to town.

A documentary and podcast

The history of the Jazz will also hit the TV screen with an upcoming documentary in Spring 2024. NBA.com reports this film will show what the current organization is doing behind closed doors and highlight “never-before-seen footage.”

Fans can start listening to a brand new podcast today, called The Note: The History of the Utah Jazz. The program has exclusive interviews with basketball giants like John Stockton, Dan Patrick and Doris Burke.

Community initiatives

The Jazz will collaborate with Delta to revamp the basketball court at Liberty Park. The renovated spot will feature a new perimeter fence, seating and gathering spaces and will open later this month.

NBA.com reports the NBA team and airline will also put on 10 basketball clinics for kids from underserved communities. Each event will mentor 50 children ages 7 to 15.

Next month, the Jazz are clearing the shopping wish lists of teachers in struggling schools. More service activities will focus on military families during the holidays.

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The Utah Jazz celebrate 50 years, complete with vintage uniforms