This Jazz has its roots in the Big Easy but now it entertains fans in the Beehive State. Jazz Basketball Investors owns and operates the Utah Jazz professional basketball franchise, which joined the National Basketball Association in 1974 as the New Orleans Jazz. Since moving to Salt Lake City in 1979, the team has made two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998 (losing both times to the Chicago Bulls). The Jazz host loyal fans at EnergySolutions Arena. Iconic head coach Jerry Sloan resigned in early 2011 after 23 years in charge. The family of Larry Miller (Larry H. Miller Group) has owned the team since 1985.
Utah returned to post-season form during the 2007-08 season, breaking a five-year playoff drought that began after the departure of star players John Stockton and Karl "The Mailman" Malone in 2003. (Stockton retired that year and Malone joined the Los Angeles Lakers for one final season.) Thanks largely to their talents, the Jazz had been a perennial playoff contender during the 1990s.
Environmental services company EnergySolutions acquired the naming rights to the team's home arena in 2006, taking over from struggling Delta Airlines. Because the company is known mostly for nuclear waste disposal, the 10-year sponsorship deal caused some concern among Jazz fans.