Utah Jazz Logo
The Utah Jazz are a professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are currently a part of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The franchise began in 1974 as the New Orleans Jazz, in New Orleans, Louisiana, but the team moved to Utah in 1979 after just five seasons. The Jazz were one of the most unsuccessful teams in the league in their early years, and it would be 10 years before they made a playoff appearance (in 1984). They would not miss the playoffs again until 2004. During the late 1980s, John Stockton and Karl Malone arose as the franchise players for the team, and formed one of the most famed point guard–power forward duos in NBA history. Led by coach Jerry Sloan, who took over for Frank Layden in 1988, they became one of the powerhouse teams of the 1990s, culminating in two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998, where they lost both times to the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan. Both Stockton and Malone moved on in 2003. After missing the playoffs for three consecutive seasons the Jazz returned to prominence under the on-court leadership of point guard Deron Williams. However, partway through the 2010-11 season, the Jazz began a restructuring after the retirement of Jerry Sloan and trade of Deron Williams. As of 2011, the Jazz are the only team in the "Big Four" sports leagues located in the state of Utah.