Borrowing an idea from the Boston Celtics, the Jazz will retire former coach Frank Layden's number in ceremonies during the last home game of the regular season, April 22 against Golden State.
The Jazz will raise a No. 1 banner to honor Layden, joining Pete Maravich as the only Jazzmen to have numbers retired. Among Boston's collection of retired numbers are No. 1 for former owner Walter Brown and No. 2 for former coach red Auerbach."I've been struggling all year to come up with something that said what I wanted to say about Frank," said Jazz general manager David Checketts. "Frank was here from the start of the Utah years, and built this franchise."
The Jazz also named Karl Malone and John Stockton as co-most valuable players in awards presented at the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner Monday night. According to team officials, fewer than five votes separated the two players, with more than 500 fans' ballots submitted.
Other award winners included Malone, best offensive player; Mark Eaton, best defensive player; Jim Farmer, favorite newcomer; Darrell Griffith, most improved player; Stockton, Mr. Hustle; Jose Ortiz, most team spirit; and Thurl Bailey, community service.
Stockton averaged 20.8 points and 14.8 assists while shooting .560 from the field in four games last week, but still lost the NBA Player of the Week award to Portland's Clyde Drexler, probably because the Jazz went 2-2. The Jazz have won no weekly or monthly NBA awards this season, after having four players of the week and two players of the month last year . . . The Jazz are playing to 99.8 percent of capacity this season, but rank 20th in the NBA in average attendance . . .
With seven games left in the season, the hottest statistical race involving a Jazz player is Stockton's battle for the steals title with San Antonio's Alvin Robertson - they're tied at 3.05 a game. Stockton also leads in assists (13.6) and is seventh in field-goal shooting (.545), while Mark Eaton is a distant second to Manute Bol in blocked shots (3.9) and seventh in rebounding (10.2) and Karl Malone is second in scoring (28.9) and fifth in rebounding (10.7).