After 25-plus years of distinctive-looking uniforms with bold logos on the chest, the Utah Jazz have gone to, in the word of Jarron Collins, a "basic" style with just block lettering for the 2004-05 season.

Basic, but also apparently popular.

When the Jazz unveiled their new outfits of mainly navy and light blue — "Utah" and "Jazz" blue, according to team president Dennis Haslam — on Thursday evening near the beginning of the NBA Draft party in the Delta Center, most comments were favorable.

"I think they're beautiful; I really do," said Collins, who modeled the away uniform that now reads "Utah" on the front instead of having the team logo. The away shorts say Jazz on the sides, and vice versa for the home uniforms, with Jazz on the jersey and Utah on the shorts. "Bear," the Jazz mascot, modeled the home uniform.

For this season, abiding by league rules, the Jazz will have no third alternate uniform, such as the black-and-copper outfits they've worn for years. Maybe next year there will be another, said Haslam.

He said research has shown that the uniform color that young people buy most right now is a light blue, followed by navy. Those colors dominate the updated logo, which has purple mountains, light blue Jazz lettering with dark blue encircling the perimeter.

"I think people are going to love the colors," he said, calling it "a younger look."

And apparently, Haslam is right.

"I love this stuff. I like the new colors, the style," said Travis Howland, a young man from Murray who rushed to buy some new merchandise at a booth on the Delta Center floor.

Colette Campbell, of Riverton, finds the new colors "awesomer" than the old look. "I like purple," she said. "I like blue because of the (BYU) Cougars." She saw some similarity in Utah's new uniform and those worn by BYU.

Aleta Parker, of Sandy, who was rushing back to her Delta Center seat with a handful of new items, just likes the Jazz and wanted to be updated. She'll miss the old uniforms with the mountains on the front but said, "Everyone likes changes." When she first heard Utah was switching, she feared the uniforms would look too similar to the new ones unveiled recently by Memphis, but she was satisfied they were different. The new uniforms do, however, somewhat resemble those now worn by the Dallas Mavericks.

"They look great. They look like champion colors," said Tyson Price, of Sandy, hopeful that the youthful Jazz team could carry its new colors into the NBA Finals.

Which is just what the Jazz did the last time Utah changed logos and colors, from the original Mardi Gras green, yellow and purple and Jazz note it brought with it from New Orleans to the stylized lettering and copper, light blue and purple of the recent uniforms. Utah went to the finals the next two seasons.

Haslam was cognizant of that — "It's a sign of good things to come" — and said the team actually had wanted to change last season to coincide with the very new and youthful look of its personnel, but it takes six to nine months to get colors and designs approved by the league and manufacturer, so this season became the target time. Fanzz stores president and Jazz senior v.p. Robert Hyde and senior v.p. of sales and marketing Jay Francis were at the forefront of picking the designs.

When the league shifted to Reebok last season, many teams began changing, partly at the request of the NBA and Reebok, which wanted its own look.

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"It's appropriate now with the new team, new style, new colors," said Haslam, whose team still had three first-round draft picks to play with and expected to get a lot younger at the time he said it.

People always speculate that new looks are designed simply to sell more merchandise. Haslam said that's not necessarily right because there will be a lot of obsolete merchandise on the Jazz's hands now.


E-mail: lham@desnews.com