About Utah: 'Jazz' name belongs back in New Orleans

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • sid 6.7 Holladay, UT
    April 24, 2012 12:13 p.m.

    Send the name back to it's home. It's a stupid name any way. I like the idea of sending the Jazz to New Orleans, the Hornets back to Charlotte and bringing the Bobcats to Utah. If that dosen't work then here are a few suggestions.

    The Salt Lake Samuriz
    The Utah Snow Flakez
    The Utah Angry Beez
    The Utah Diet Cokez
    The Utah Fightin Cricketz
    The Utah Orange Barrelz
    The Utah Larry Millerzzz
    The Utah Maronizz
    Sweet Utah Cornz

    And my personal favorite

    The Utah Choose The Rightz!

    Or we could just stick with the Jazz, whatever...

  • Sampsorama Kaysville, UT
    April 24, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    Jazz nation no more? That's some serious crazy talk people. Sure, if millions of dollars were up for grab and the Millers wanted to capitalize I could understand but the majority of team names have nothing to do with their area(s). Many Jaguars in Jacksonville these days? How about penguins in Pittsburgh or Raptors in Toronto. When you have a large group of people that have allegiance to the team/brand changing it may have a short term $ benefit but a long term cost, especially when you are selling that brand to someone else. Is the only thing New Orleans famous for is Jazz music? Why do you think they want that name specifically? Yeah it fits but they would restore a whole lot of nostalgia to that region which creates value for them.. The only exception is the ago old addage of "Winning fixes everything". If they sold the name and lost, adios pro ball in Utah. If they sold and won it would give it a chance. You don't say "utah basketball" it's "Jasz basketball".. I don't care what you replace it with, it wouldn't feel/be the same for me.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    April 22, 2012 9:47 p.m.

    Hmmmm......something indigenous to Utah.....

    Jack Mormons
    Trailblazers....oops,already taken
    Mountain Men

    Come to think of it, the Black Diamonds is the ONLY choice if this state has any chance of getting top athletes to take up residence here. Sponsorship by the ski industry would turn Utah into a sports mecca and the Utah Black Diamonds would bring in enough revenue to pay for the NBA's best. Utah would have to ease up on liquor licensing and keep the sidewalks from rolling up at 8:00 pm.

    Not sure if the demographics here would ever allow that to happen. Bummer.

  • myvision7 Golden, CO
    April 22, 2012 9:19 p.m.

    How about just a name swap? Utah is the beehive state so just become the Utah Hornets and the New Orleans Jazz. Definitely need a new logo however as that hornet is disgraceful.

  • Kakashi Tokyo, Japan
    April 22, 2012 7:54 p.m.

    would give the name back...for unprotected first round picks for the upcoming draft and the next 4 years + 400M cash...but i'd still prefer...rooting...for the one and only...Utah Jazz

  • Winglish Lehi, UT
    April 22, 2012 5:27 p.m.

    I love the Utah Jazz. If we are going to change nicknames, change it to something indigenous to Utah. There has been a lot of money and effort spent to protect indigenous life down at Utah Lake lately. How about the Utah Suckers?

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    April 22, 2012 1:02 p.m.

    Larry risked everything he had to keep the Jazz in Salt lake. It would be an insult to Larry and what he built to send the name back. When it comes to NBA basketball Utah is the JAZZ and then some.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    April 21, 2012 6:07 p.m.

    @ Weston Jurney 12:59 p.m. April 20, 2012

    Never thought of that. I like it.

    Another idea... Jazz back to NOLA, Bucks to Utah, & let Milwaukee choose a new nickname

  • GreyWolf Weston, ID
    April 21, 2012 5:43 p.m.


    Are you regularly awed by the names of professional sports teams? The reason teams like the Washington Wizards and the Los Angeles Clippers are generally not considered scary is because of their play, not their names.

    Jazz management may make mistakes from time to time, but I would sooner have a consistently competitive team that may eventually get a title than the roller coaster ride that is many other small market teams. Unfortunately, no professional team has it so easy as its fans when it comes to "knowing" what will win a title.

  • GreyWolf Weston, ID
    April 21, 2012 5:32 p.m.


    I think most of us realize that we don't get to vote on it. That doesn't mean we can't express our opinions.

    I agree with BGuy. It isn't so much the origin of the name that matters, but the association. It would be somewhat comparable to a business having to give up its trademarked name just because it "fit" better in a different region than that business was located in.

  • Voice Saint George, UT
    April 21, 2012 4:44 p.m.

    No way on name change! Lee, I like much of your writing and look forward to what you have to say. However, the names you suggest, in my opinion, are just plain lousy!

  • Old Scarecrow Brigham City, UT
    April 21, 2012 3:25 p.m.

    BGuy had it right. The Utah Jazz aren't just a Utah team name -- they are the Utah Jazz, with a history, tradition and reputation that only belongs to the Utah Jazz. To sell the Jazz name now would be to discard the legacies of Karl Malone, John Stockton, Jerry Sloan and most importantly Larry H. Miller, as well as others. When I used to travel to China on business, poeple in far cities around china would look at my business card intently for a moment, and then say excitedly "UTAH! UTAH Jazz! Karl Malone!" and grinned widely at meeting someone from Utah. Regardless of its origin, the Jazz name cannot be sold or separated from the quality legacy of the Utah Jazz. Benson knows that, he's just trying to stir up a little discussion.

  • TNmtman Fairfield Glade, TN
    April 21, 2012 10:38 a.m.

    How about the "Utah Pioneers"? Is the another pro team in any sport called the "Pioneers"? Keep the colors.
    Cost: "JAZZ" = 2 #1 picks and cash

  • simtang slc, UT
    April 20, 2012 8:48 p.m.

    Wow, that was a lot of hot air. For nearly 40 years the Jazz worked to make a quality, recognizable, and profitable product, that included two visits to the finals, and you're acting as if changing the name is no big deal. Are you some how going to edit the name off the jerseys hanging in the rafters and the bronze statues outside? or maybe send the whole shabang with the name to nola too?

  • Basketballogy Orem, UT
    April 20, 2012 8:40 p.m.

    Sorry, but the Jazz does not "belong" back in New Orleans. If New Orleans wants "Jazz, they should have supported the Jazz when they were in Louisiana and not let it go.

    But New Orleans gave it up, sold it -- the team, the name, all of it -- to Utah, locale that supported it better.

    And having "Hornets" in the "Beehive State" would be even worse, so please don't even think of trading team names.

    The "Lakers" were named after the "Land of Ten Thousand Lakes," Minnesota, but they moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, the land of Ten Thousand traffic jams. Keeping the name certainly hasn't held back the Lakers brand any.

    On the other hand, the "Supersonics" changed to the "Thunder" when they went from Seattle to Oklahoma City, and that's worked out well for them too.

    So if the owner wants to change the team name, change it! Involve the public and make it a statewide project; the publicity will be great.

    But "Jazz" is taken.

    So taken, how about: "The New Orleans Blues" or "The New Orleans Dragoons"?

  • Jazzsmack Holladay, UT
    April 20, 2012 6:36 p.m.

    I do not and have never understood some people's affintiy to the name "jazz".

    It inspires no awe, it instills no fear, and it has never won a championship,

    what is there to like?

    Clinging to tradition is not a good reason to keep a name.

    The sooooner the utah franchise puts its stuck in mud history behind them the sooner they move forward to champioship.

    The millers and many fans seem so afraid of change.

    They were afraid to change coaches, they are afraid to change names, they stick with players much too long, they rather win a few extra games now rather actually get the kind of players that can actually win a champioship...

    it goes on an on.

    I would much prefer the "Stars", they are a proven winner.

    And if you are a player would you rather play play for the "jazz" or the "Stars"?

    Names are important.

    April 20, 2012 4:30 p.m.

    I totally agree with jimmyO, sodiedog, and LindonMan. Over the past 30+ years, the name "Jazz" has become an integral part of our Utah culture and identity. As I've traveled throughout the U.S., people readily associate Utah with "Jazz" just as they associate our state with our unique snow powder, the canyonlands, and even the LDS Church. And it sounds a lot more formidable than names like the "Pioneers" or "Saints", and includes everyone in the state, not just those of the predominant faith.

    As LindonMan stated in his post, Benson could not be farther off in his article.

  • LindonMan Lindon, UT
    April 20, 2012 3:36 p.m.

    If you are in favor of the Jazz giving their name to N.O. you should have your fan-hood permanently revoked.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    April 20, 2012 3:23 p.m.

    If New Orleans doesn't like Hornets then they should certainly come up with something else; are they ONLY defined by Jazz? There must be something else city-specific they can use. The Cajuns? Too bad they weren't forethinkers like Seattle...Seattle kept Supersonics in case they ever get another team.

    Don't leave the Kings and Clippers off the moved list.

  • RH2011 Payson, UT
    April 20, 2012 2:55 p.m.

    I love the Jazz, but am not totally against returning the name to New Orleans. When and if the Jazz name goes I hope the Laker name goes back to Minn also. As for a new name; if that happens look no further and our old ABA franchise name of the Utah Stars? Our Stars were winners, just like our Jazz are.

  • sr Manti, UT
    April 20, 2012 2:52 p.m.

    Dear Mr. Paine….errr... Benson;
    Like Thomas Paine, your "common sense" is refreshing, timely and certainly
    appreciated! I totally agree with you about sending the Jazz name back to where
    it belongs. Our family was in NOL years ago and while visiting the former home
    of the New Orleans Jazz, the guide asked if anyone knew where the Jazz had gone?
    Of course we knew, but we also knew, in that setting, that that name didn't really "fit"
    in Utah. It would be great for NOL, and for Utah, to have that name go home and for
    us to get our "own" name….....as long as it isn't the "Utezz!"
    Thank you for speaking up and telling it like it is. Here's hoping that you have given
    a push to a movement that will make this happen.
    A Utah NBA Fan

  • LindonMan Lindon, UT
    April 20, 2012 2:48 p.m.

    The name Jazz is going to stay in Utah. I don't really like Greg Miller, but good for him for saying the name isn't going anywhere. Lee Benson couldn't be more off in this article.

  • Little Andy Tremonton, UT
    April 20, 2012 2:29 p.m.

    Looks like you are wrong Lee. Along with other comments of teams moving but keeping their names you can add the Rams and Cardinals.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    April 20, 2012 2:11 p.m.

    Our Utah Jazz change colors and logos constantly. It's not like we're suddenly traditionalists and need to keep things the way they always were.

    We'd be wise to let New Orleans have "Jazz" back--all we want is a percentage of the marketing profits for the next two years. The word "Jazz" means absolutely nothing to us--we're just used to it--while the word means everything to folks in N'awlins.

    How about the Utah City Creeks? People around here buy anything that says "City Creek" on it. Okay, that was sarcasm. How about the return of the Utah Stars?

  • BGuy Falls Church, VA
    April 20, 2012 1:16 p.m.

    When a name is used in the context of branding, the name ceases to have its original meaning, but instead gains a secondary meaning. If I'm talking about electronics and I say, "Best Buy," you do not think I'm referring to some deal on a product, but you know I'm referring to a big box electronics store. Similarly, in the context of basketball, if I say Utah Jazz, L.A. Lakers, or whatever, people do not think of music or lakes, but of NBA teams. The names have acquired a new meaning--the brand--which is now associated with the team and not the original word. This is why people don't want to change the name of the Jazz or the Lakers. It's the name they associate with the team--not the original meaning.

  • aljmac Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2012 1:06 p.m.

    I'm a Gen X Jazz fan who has followed the team since the mid '80s. While I have a sentimental attachment to the Jazz name, I TOTALLY agree with Benson. Let's dump the name. Give it back to the rightful heirs. Let's take on a name that does does the state of Utah proud.

    I get that all of us fans are used to the name, but the only constant is change. Fellow Utahn's, let's turn the page.

    (And while we're changing longstanding institutions, can we please redesign our state flag to something less... governmenty and boring!?)

  • Weston Jurney West Jordan, UT
    April 20, 2012 12:59 p.m.

    And once New Orleans has the Jazz name back they could let Charlotte have the name Hornets back. Charlotte earned that name from General Cornwallis clear back in 1780, when he called the town a "hornets' nest" of revolutionaries.

    Which would leave Bobcats available for Utah...

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2012 11:40 a.m.

    I would trade the name for
    1. The rights to Eric Gordon
    2. Unprotected draft picks in 2013 and 2015(can't trade 2 consecutive years of draft picks)
    3. 55 Million cash.

  • Logan Palmer, AK
    April 20, 2012 10:32 a.m.

    Change the name. It never fit. This would be a great time to westernize the team. Since we're on the cusp of a whole new generation of excellence what better time could there be. Just because the Lakers didn't change their name doesn't mean they shouldn't have- They probably just couldn't spell prima donnas. Maybe we get a three way trade going with LA. We're the ones with the lake.
    Maybe just become the Salt Lakers, Jordan River Rats, The Pioneers, the Spikers, 47ers, The Millers (with a logo of the Benson Grist Mill), the ox yokers... give me five more minutes and I'll think of something we'll all love.

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    April 20, 2012 9:58 a.m.

    I like the Utah Green Jello's not only is it a catchy name, but we could sell the naming rights to Jello and instead of the arena being known as "the dump" it could be known as the Jello Bowl. Concessions could include the tasty treat in all it's wonderful forms and the uniforms would be sick! I'm thinking Green (for the Jello) Orange (for the carrots) and white (for the cool whip).

    Maybe the Utah Powderhounds would be better? We could get rid of the ridiculous "Bear" and instead have a cool dog in ski garb as our mascot. The name would go along with something that actually happens in this state unlike "Jazz" because honestly, when is the last time you heard good Jazz in Utah?

  • J R Stewart Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 20, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    Before saying no...get the offer. Would Greg accept $338m and 2 first round draft picks?
    Maybe we're just quibbling about price?

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    April 20, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    If I'm the Jazz, I wouldn't give the name back to New Orleans until the Lakers give their name back to Minnesota.

  • Igualmente Mesa, AZ
    April 20, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    As stated above, there are plenty of team names that moved across country long before the Jazz. A name-change would be detrimental at this point. The change should have occurred at the the time of the move. It didn't, so now it is part of the team's soul and history.

  • sodiedog Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2012 8:01 a.m.

    Lee, I often agree with you. But this is simply revisiting the old question why the name Lakers followed the NBA team from the land of 10,000 lakes to the land of the concrete river. Same for the Dodgers. By the time they got to LA in 1957 there were few, if any, trolley dodgers in Southern California. As for Warriors in Oakland...well. As for Bills in Buffalo...they should be the Wings.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 20, 2012 7:40 a.m.

    I am not opposed to sending the name back, but be careful on the choice of a new name. Washington still hates the name "Wizards." And the names offered up at the end of this piece are even worse!

  • idahojazzfan ammon, ID
    April 20, 2012 7:29 a.m.

    They can have the Jazz name back but only if they give Utah the Saints! It would be fitting right? HA

  • jimmyO MAGNA, UT
    April 20, 2012 12:09 a.m.

    two things. first, when has a team that has a history of success, in the same place, over a long period of time ever changed their name? second, if the "jazz" name was to leave the team, the franchise would soon leave the state. franchise stability should be more important than selling out the fans. i'll only cheer for the utah jazz.