NEW ORLEANS — Finally, after a six-year drought, the Utah Jazz will be represented in Sunday’s All-Star Game with Gordon Hayward being selected among the NBA’s top 24 players.
The Jazz have had representation at the last five All-Star Weekends, including Jeremy Evans in the Slam Dunk Contest and an assortment of Jazz players in the Rising Stars Challenge, but none for the Sunday main event since 2011 when Deron Williams played for the Western Conference in Los Angeles.
Since the inception of the franchise in 1974, the Jazz have had 11 players selected for the All-Star Game with 42 appearances total before this year. Karl Malone leads the way with 14, followed by John Stockton with 10, Adrian Dantley with six and Pete Maravich with three. Williams and Carlos Boozer each played twice, while Rickey Green, Mehmet Okur, Andrei Kirilenko Mark Eaton and Truck Robinson each played in one All-Star Game.
Here’s a look back at some of the highlights of Jazz players in previous All-Star Games:
1977 – Pete Maravich became the first Jazz player to be named an All-Star and he scored 10 points with four assists and four steals in the first All-Star Game played after the merger of the NBA and ABA.
1980 – Adrian Dantley was voted in as a starter despite playing for one of the sorriest teams in the NBA that year (24-58 final record). He led a West team that included Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 23 points, but the East team led by MVP George Gervin won 144-136 in overtime.
1985 – Dantley made his fifth All-Star start and scored 10 points. Former Jazzman Maravich and former Utah Stars standout Zelmo Beaty each scored 10 points for the winning East team in the Legends Game. Darrell Griffith, who was never named an All-Star Game, was one of eight participants in perhaps the greatest Slam Dunk Contest ever, as Dominique Wilkins edged Michael Jordan with Julius Erving close behind.
1989 – At the Houston Astrodome, the Jazz had three players for the first and only time as Karl Malone, John Stockton and Mark Eaton each played. Malone earned MVP honors in leading the West to a 143-134 victory with 28 points and nine rebounds, while Stockton finished second in the MVP voting with 11 points and 17 assists. Eaton, who was picked as one of three centers for the West, didn’t score, but came up with five rebounds and two blocks in nine minutes of action.
1993 – The only All-Star Game played in Salt Lake City couldn’t have gone better as the West team won in overtime and Utah’s two players, Stockton and Malone, were named co-MVPs as Stockton had 15 assists to go with nine points, while Malone had 28 points and 10 rebounds. Jeff Malone won the All-Star Shootout and the Legends Game included 58-year-old Jazz voice Hot Rod Hundley (4 points), Ron Boone (4 points) and Beaty (2 points).
1998 – At New York, the East won 135-114 and Michael Jordan won the MVP award. Stockton wasn’t selected, despite finishing third in the voting, while Malone had only four points and three rebounds. Malone and Utah Starzz player Tammi Reiss finished second in the 2Ball shooting competition.
2000 – Malone was the center of attention for much of the All-Star Weekend in the Bay Area, because he chose to spend time with his family in Arkansas and was apparently miffed because he felt underappreciated by the NBA for promoting its younger stars. He skipped the first two days of festivities and showed up just in time for the game on Sunday, where he played just three minutes and didn’t score. Stockton scored 10 points in 11 minutes. Jeff Hornacek won the 3-point contest over Dirk Nowitzki and Ray Allen and also won the 2Ball championship with Natalie Williams of the Utah Starzz
2002 – In what would be his 14th and final time selected to the All-Star Game, Malone stayed back in Salt Lake for personal reasons, one of which was carrying the torch at the Winter Olympic Games. Andrei Kirilenko played in rookie-sophomore game and scored 4 points
2004 – In the West’s 136-132 victory in Los Angeles, Kirilenko played just 10 minutes, less than anyone else in the game and scored two points with one rebound.
2007 – Carlos Boozer was named to the West squad, but couldn’t play because of a knee injury. Jazz center Mehmet Okur was named as an injury replacement and scored four points in 15 minutes. In the Rookie Challenge Game, Paul Millsap led the West with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting with eight rebounds, while Deron Williams scored 19 for the sophomore team.
2008 – In New Orleans, Boozer 14 points 10 rebounds in a loss. Williams won Skills Challenge beating out Chris Paul, Jason Kidd and Dwyane Wade and topping Steve Nash’s record time.
2010 – In Dallas, Williams had 14 points and six assists for the West team that lost 141-139. Williams also finished second in the Skills Challenge behind Nash.
2011 – MVP Kobe Bryant had 37 points and 14 assists, LeBron James had a triple double and Williams had five points and seven assists in 18 minutes.
2012 – No Jazz players made the All-Star Game in Orlando, but Jeremy Evans made the Jazz proud by winning the Slam Dunk competition, edging Chase Budinger. Hayward helped his buddy Evans with his dunk routine and also scored 14 points in the Rising Stars Game. Derrick Favors also scored 14 in the game.
2015 – Three Jazzmen played in the Rising Stars Challenge in Brooklyn with Rudy Gobert putting up 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Dante Exum had four points and three assists in the World Team’s victory. Trey Burke played on the losing Team USA and scored 17 points.
2016 – At Toronto, the Jazz had three players in the Rising Stars Challenge again with Rodney Hood scoring 11 points for Team USA. Trey Lyles and Raul Neto each scored two points for the World team.