New Orleans Jazz

First Game Played October 17, 1974 Last Game Played April 6, 1979 Moved to Utah in 1979

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ete1974/75: The NBA came to the city of New Orleans for the first time. However, it was not the first professional basketball entry into the Crescent City as they had a team called the Buccaneers in the ABA from 1967-1970. Their NBA team, known as the Jazz hoped to hit a sweet note with fans by acquiring Pistol Pete Maravich from the Atlanta Hawks. Maravich, a star in college at Louisiana State, was a showman. He wore a signature pair of floppy good-luck sweat socks that always appeared to need washing. Pete Maravich shot the ball from anywhere and everywhere. Pistol Pete never made a simple pass when he could make an entertaining one, so his assists regularly came from behind the back or through the legs. However, the Jazz got off to a rocky start as they scored just 74 points while losing their first game on the road to the New York Knicks on October 17th. A week later, after four road losses, the Jazz lost their first home game to Philadelphia 76ers. The Jazz would not get their first win until November 10th when they beat the Portland Trail Blazers by one point at home. The Jazz would continue to struggle throughout the season as they went through three coaches while winning just six of their first 50 games. However, in their final 32 games, the Jazz started to come together and finished strong posting a 17-15 record, as they finished in last place with an NBA worse 23-59 record.

1975/76: In their second season, the Jazz would move into the spacious Superdome. At first, the Jazz played sweet music at the dome as they won their first dome game 114-106 over the Detroit Pistons on October 24th on the way to a 6-1 start. However, the Jazz would struggle in November and December as Pistol Pete Maravich missed 20 games due to injury. Maravich would return, and the Jazz would play competitive basketball escaping last place by finishing in fourth [lace with a record of 38-44 as Pistol Pete Maravich finished third in scoring with 25.9 ppg.

1976/77: The Jazz played inconstant basketball as they took a step backward, finishing in fifth place with a record of 35-47. However, Pistol Pete Maravich would be thrilling all season as he led the NBA in scoring with 31.1 ppg, highlighted by an unbelievable 68 point night at the Superdome against the New York Knicks on February 25th.

1977/78: The Jazz fall four games short of a trip to the playoffs as they finish in fifth place again with a 39-43 record in an up and down season, which included a rough December where they won just three of 13 games. Pistol Pete Maravich again had a solid season with 27.0 ppg. However, injuries would limit him to 50 games, which was not enough games to qualify for the scoring title. The Jazz would still have a league leader, however, as Truck Robinson led the NBA with 15.7 rebounds per game.

1978/79: Pistol Pete Maravich would struggle all season as he tried to return from offseason knee surgery. Without, Maravich the Jazz would struggle in the stands, and on the court, the struggles were made even worse as they dealt Truck Robinson to the Phoenix Suns for Ron Lee, Marty Byrnes, two draft picks, and cash. Without Maravich and Robinson as the Jazz plummeted back into last place with a league worse 26-56 record. Following the season, the Jazz would stun their fans in New Orleans by announcing plans to move the team to Utah, as their April 6th loss against the Milwaukee Bucks ended up being their swan song on Bourbon Street.

1979-2002: After the Jazz left New Orleans, the city would play occasional host to Atlanta Hawks games. However, their best connection to basketball came when the Superdome hosted the Final Four in 1982 when a Freshman named Michael Jordan hit the game-winning shot as North Carolina won the Championship. New Orleans would also host the Final Four in 1987 and 1993, both of which had classic endings as well. So the desire to bring the NBA back to the Crescent City remained strong. In 2000 the city decided to build a new arena with hopes of luring a team, and in 2002 they hit pay dirt as the Hornets moved in from Charlotte, later becoming the Pelicans.

©MMXV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Basketball Association. This site is not affiliated with the New Orleans Jazz of the NBA. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on April 5, 2003. Last updated on May 6, 2015 at 1:50 pm ET.