Old logo could be right note for Jazz
To Jazz fans with a certain nostalgia, the news will be music to their ears and eyes: More than just a throwback jersey this season, the Jazz are considering bringing back their old logo on a full-time basis.
Jazz president Randy Rigby confirmed that the team has talked to the NBA about the possibility of returning to the music note logo worn through the team's history by everyone from Pete Maravich and Darrell Griffith to John Stockton and Karl Malone.
"We're looking at that," Rigby said, adding, "We've kept that mark so that we can look at maybe doing a redesign."
The Jazz used the music note logo from the team's founding in New Orleans in 1974 through the 1995-96 season, before switching to the current logo with the team name against a background of mountains.
But the Jazz returned to the music note as a secondary logo two years ago and are wearing green and yellow throwback jerseys from the 1979-80 season featuring the logo this season. The newest shirts their players wear on the bench again feature the music note.
All of which has led to much speculation that the music note is set to return next season. Rigby said that the Jazz still are "discussing it with [the league] and looking at it with them on options and possibilities."
The NBA typically requires teams to seek approval of logo changes at least two years in advance. Rigby said of the music note, "My leaning would maybe look at it potentially as the primary [logo], but we're just still looking at it."
Deron Williams, however, said he'd already seen designs of the new jerseys the Jazz could wear next season. He wouldn't reveal details, but they are expected to be a return to the music note in updated colors.
"As long as we don't go back to the ones with the mountains, I'm cool, the one that Jeff Hornacek has up in the rafters," Williams said, adding of the new uniforms: "They're really nice. I think people are going to like them. I like them."
"I think it's probably a good idea," Andrei Kirilenko added of the change. "It's reminding people of a lot of good players."
The Jazz are not expected to bring back their original Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and yellow. Instead, the updated colors are rumored to be blue, green and gold.
"The possibility of a return to the music note was greeted warmly by Mark Eaton, whose retired No. 53 featuring the old logo hangs at EnergySolutions Arena.
"I loved those uniforms, especially because I've struggled with some of the other designs and colors they've gone to," Eaton said.
"The original note was the original Jazz. It goes back to the foundation of the franchise -- what the team was built on. ... My hope is [the new uniforms] will represent what the Jazz were like in those years -- the culture of teamwork and hard work; what Frank [Layden] started and what Jerry [Sloan] took to the next level."
There is a belief in the organization that the music note better identifies the Jazz brand than the mountain logo.
The green and yellow throwbacks have been well received, Rigby said, and the Jazz have a 6-1 record in them.
"I've been really impressed with the response that we're getting from the young fans of how much they really enjoy the throwback and the whole look," Rigby said. "The players have enjoyed it, the fans have enjoyed it. There seems to be a real interest in this market for looking at that."
Rigby added that late Jazz owner Larry Miller was a fan of the music note from a tradition standpoint.
Should they return to their old logo, the Jazz would become the second NBA team to do so in as many seasons. The Philadelphia 76ers this season brought back the familiar red, white and blue colors and logo from their championship past.
"We were seeing a lot more of the retro gear before we made the change," said Lara Price, the Sixers' vice president of business operations, "and then we started doing some surveys and the fan feedback was they loved that old logo and they wanted to go back.
"We got an overwhelming response that they loved us going back to our old logo. Our season-ticket holders and our fan base were very happy about it."
The Sixers have enjoyed an increase in merchandise sales, Price added, even during a 16-31 season. She said the team had to begin alerting retailers and phasing out merchandise about a year and a half in advance of the logo change.
Staff writer Steve Luhm contributed to this report