The Utah Jazz are an American professional basketball franchise based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are a part of the Northwest Division in the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The franchise began in 1974 as the New Orleans Jazz in New Orleans, Louisiana; the team moved to Salt Lake City in 1979.
The Jazz were one of the least successful teams in the league in their early years. Although it took the Jazz 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 NBA season, the Jazz began a restructuring after Sloan’s retirement and Williams’ trade to the New Jersey Nets. The team has made the playoffs since then: in 2012 under coach Tyrone Corbin, and are beginning a new era under head coach Quin Snyder.
The Jazz are one of two teams in the major professional sports leagues located in the state of Utah; the other team is Real Salt Lake, a professional soccer team in Major League Soccer (MLS).