One of the first things that might come to mind when talking or referring to Utah and Salt Lake City, might very well be the American NBA professional basketball team, Utah Jazz. The interesting fact that most people might ignore, though, is that the franchise was founded in 1974 and that its original name was actually New Orleans Jazz. As the name indicates, the franchise was based in New Orleans, in the state of Louisiana, instead of Utah. Karl Malone, one of the most prolific players of the Jazz team is originally from New Orleans. In 1979, however, the franchise moved to Salt Lake City, due mainly to economic reasons.
Probably what most people remember when talking about Utah Jazz, is the prolific career that spawned for quite a few years during the 90’s decade, after renown coach Jerry Sloan took the reigns of the team. During this period, they were able to make it past the playoffs and to the finals twice and contest for the Gold/Silver Ring with Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. The Jazz’ s shining starts during that period were, without a doubt, Karl Malone (chosen MVP two times in a row) and John Stockton. Together, they became two of the best point guard–power forwards duos in the history of NBA. Other notable players from the same period are Jeff Hornacek, Bryon Russell, Howard Eisley and Antoine Carr.
Utah Jazz made it for the first time in history to the finals 96/97 by defeating NBA’s Western Conference (West Coast) giants Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Houston Rockets.
The NBA finals contested by Utah Jazz and Chicago Bulls between the years 96 and 98 were epic and in the last ones, the Jazz team had the upper hand during most games. Although, the determination and passion NBA legend Michael Jordan poured out in the last games ultimately led to the Bulls epic triumph.