If you watch a lot of Utah Jazz home games you seem to see a lot of empty green seats. It's not a good look, but this is the case for many home games that have a tip off a little too close to when work gets out and a little too close to when people want to get together with their families. I understand that. There are a lot of tickets that are sold, and sadly, some that remain unsold. But if you've been watching the team for as long as I have (since the 80s) you've seen some ups and downs with fan attendance. From to , and now Quin Snyder we've seen ebbs and flows of fan engagement and attendance. It's not always related to wins and losses, or even franchise momentum. But whatever it is, the Jazz have put it all together to bring the fans back to where they belong -- the
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Looking at the last two decades of Jazz basketball +this on going season we see Jazz fans packing in their home arena. We also saw them go away a few times, but this time coming back in larger numbers. Behold:
Championship Contenders: The Jazz went to the NBA Finals 2/5 times, the Western Conference Finals 3/5 times, and the 2nd Round 5/5 times. These were good teams with John Stockton, Karl Malone, , Bryon Russell, , , Antoine Carr, , and others playing for Jerry Sloan.
1st Round Exits: This was the swan song of that era, adding playing like Danny Manning, , John Starks, and a bunch of other vets looking to try to win a ring.
- Saint Sloan Era: We need to talk about this era more. 42-40. 26-56. 41-41. That's a crazy three year stretch where Jerry Sloan had some bad teams and really pushed them to the limit. It was amazing.
Light Blue Jersey Era: This is Deron's second season and included going to the playoffs four years in a row, with two second round exits, and one Western Conference Finals appearance. I'm not surprised that the fans were all over this period.
Post- Sloan Era:
was traded for , , and future picks. Jerry Sloan retired, Tyrone Corbin got the battlefield promotion. The offense became slow, predictable, and did not inspire a lot of wins. They made the playoffs once, but did not look like they wanted to be there (the bench younger guys tho....). The fans were at their lowest point in two decades during this period.
- Current Era: New GM at the helm, Dennis Lindsey. New head coach, Quin Snyder. The ball in the hands of all the lotto picks and young guys: Derrick Favors, , , , , . . . and . Fans want to see this club. Especially the fans who were denied seeing them play earlier in their careers.
For reals, this is a team trying to bust out of the lotto, with fun exciting players, currently playing without two starters (Rudy Gobert and) and the fans get enough of this team. I love it. And I love the Jazz fans. Fans are excited about this team!
And this is a team without any main star power. There's no John Stockton or Karl Malone style Hall of Famers. There's no quartet of Western Conference All-Stars like the team had with Deron Williams,, , and Andrei Kirilenko. This team doesn't even have a former NBA Player as a head coach either!
What does this team have? Well, they have an exciting and talented group of players in their primes and still in their youth. And a group of players who are all on board with the front office and coaching staff. And most importantly, a team that wants to grow together, learn together, and win together.
They don't have the wins right now. But the wins will come. I know the will. I also know that the fans are already back too!