I think it’s either they’re trying to draw some spiritual power for the Jazz or they think the Jazz is going to heaven tonight. One or the other, I don’t really know. —Tamara Green
SALT LAKE CITY — Approximately 1.6 miles separates Vivint Arena from The Green Ant mid-century modern furniture store.
Nestled in the outside corner of the building, not far from the Ken Sanders Rare Books store, is a spectacle that has random civilians lining up to catch a glimpse.
Tamara Green was so blown away that she decided to pull over in her red Dodge Dakota Sport truck to get a closer look.
There it was.
A Utah Jazz shrine which features random photos of ex-Jazz stars and late owner Larry Miller plus almonds, candles, flowers, pennies, cups, a rubber basketball, candles, Jesus and Mother Mary figurines, tickets, a rye bottle, a Junior Jazz uniform and other pointless artifacts.
Who did it, where did it come from — or even the meaning behind it — remains a mystery.
“I think it’s either they’re trying to draw some spiritual power for the Jazz or they think the Jazz is going to heaven tonight,” Green said, laughing. “One or the other, I don’t really know.”
The tipoff for the Jazz-Oklahoma City Thunder game wasn't scheduled for another three hours at 8:30 p.m. on TNT, but 19-year-old Gage Knori decided to add a home Russell Westbrook jersey to the mix.
Knori is a diehard Thunder fan from Stillwater, Oklahoma. He said he learned about the shrine via social media through the #JazzVoodoo hashtag and decided to see it up close as he currently resides in Utah while working for Real Salt Lake this semester.
“I thought it was kind of a joke then I got here and it looks pretty serious so I was kind of scared to touch it but I don’t really believe in Voodoo as much as I believe in Westbrook so I kind of just threw his jersey down and hoped for the best,” Knori said. “I’m saying Thunder in seven.”
Buried in the bottom of the shrine, underneath photos of Joe Ingles, John Stockton, Darrell Griffith, “Pistol” Pete Maravich and Karl Malone is a spooky note that mentions a funeral and another one with Rubio dressed as Jesus that says “Pushoff P ain’t got nothing on Tricky Ricky. #TakeNote”
Fifty-year-old Rich Johnson observed the setup from a distance. He didn’t want to get cursed by touching anything, so he soaked in the scenery at his own comfort level.
“This could be a shrine for Larry Miller that they’re finally going to have a championship because they couldn’t get it done when he was here,” Johnson said.
Ken Sanders of the Ken Sanders Rare Books Store has been in the area for more than two decades and hasn’t witnessed the corner of 300 South and 200 East in downtown Salt Lake City receive so much attention in all his years.
He first noticed it on Saturday morning after staying late Friday night for an event but enjoys what it’s becoming as the Jazz are making a playoff run.
“It’s turned into this phenomenon,” Sanders said. “It’s fun for a change.”