The Utah Jazz are an American professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City. The Jazz compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference, Northwest Division. The franchise began play as an expansion team in 1974 as the New Orleans Jazz (as a tribute to New Orleans' history of originating Jazz music).
The Jazz were one of the most successful teams in the league in their early years. Although 10 seasons elapsed before the Jazz qualified for their first playoff appearance in 1984, they did 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.
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.
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