Marshall Snow Thomas
For those outside of the state of Utah, Salt Lake City may not come to mind for sports fans. It will definitely not come to mind, when you think of die hard fanatics and fans who will stand by their time. Nevertheless, the Utah Jazz, in my opinion, have the most loyal fans in the entire NBA.
In the winter time, there isn’t much to do in Utah, except ski, and of course, cheer for the Jazz. From the pick and roll days of John Stockton and Karl Malone, to the dynamic duo of Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer, the Jazz faithful have continued to pack the Delta Center (or whatever they call it).
Even today, with players not well known to fans around the league, Utah fans bring the noise every home game. For years now, Salt Lake City has been a daunting place to play for opposing players. One of the most memorable fan moments in recent memory, came in the 2007 western conference semi-finals against the Golden State Warriors. In game two, the jam-packed arena witnessed the return of Derek Fisher, the same day his daughter had surgery. Fisher arrived in the building in the second half, entering the game to a deafening roar. Fisher hit a key three, to help the Jazz win that game, and later win the series.
Since those days in 2007, the team has slipped off as championship contenders. The fans watched as legendary coach Jerry Sloan resigned, and the team lost players like Williams and Boozer. Even with the losing seasons, the team still had top-ten attendance figures each year. The fans even stuck with Gordon Hayward, even when he had his hideous haircut early in his career. These are fans who love their players, that teenagers will play with the 1997-1998 Jazz team on NBA 2K instead of Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Also, if you want to stay friends with Utah fans, don’t ever bring up the Jordan shot. Utah fans are the kind of fans, who named their child Stockton, after John Stockton hit the game winning three point shot to put the Jazz in the finals for the first time in 1997. Several years ago, Alex Kennedy wrote an article about Jazz fans, calling them the most disgusting fans in the NBA. No Alex, they’re not the most disgusting, but they do expect you to work. Yes, there are classless fans for Utah, just like there are in every sport, in every team, and even I’ve been described as a classless fan. That being said, the Jazz and Salt Lake City will be rowdy and in your face all night long.
Although they will jump out to anyone outside of the Beehive state, the Utah Jazz and their fans will always be a staple of the NBA, and in a league that is constantly changing to the new way of basketball, the Jazz are penciled in and based on tradition.