2019 welcomed back the 1990s on Saturday night.
For the first time in 15 years, the Jazz wore the purple mountain uniform look that defined them during the team’s NBA Finals era. The team wore the old-school threads, complete with purple shorts and purple, teal and copper socks. It’s the first of 15 nights that the team will wear the uniform this year, 11 of those at home.
That wasn’t the only thing that changed, though. The Jazz debuted their new court with the old look: a purple ring, teal colors in the key and the snowflake basketball logo in the middle of the words “Utah” and “Jazz” on the baseline.
Music from the ’90s was played throughout the night, and the team’s television broadcast, jumbotron graphics and social media posts all showed off the new package, completed by Jazz art director Ben Barnes and his team.
And importantly, the players seemed to like the look. “They might be my favorite,” Royce O’Neale said. Mike Conley agreed: “The mountain jerseys are legit.”
The players were also given purple mountain backpacks and hats, to be used or worn if they so chose. Donovan Mitchell, though, placed his hat on top of Rudy Gobert’s head while he gave postgame interviews.
Luke Walton not thrilled
Understandably, Kings coach Luke Walton wasn’t happy with his team’s performance in a game it lost by 31 points. Truthfully, it wasn’t even that close, as the Jazz’s biggest lead was 37 points right before they pulled their starters for the entire fourth quarter.
“I don’t know what that was tonight. That’s not who we are," Walton insisted. "It was an embarrassing performance that we gave out there. Coaches included. That’s everybody. The Kings fans and the organization deserve better than that.”
However, big losses might be who the Kings are more than any other team in the NBA. It’s been less than a week, yes. But in the season’s opening action, the Kings already have two 25-point or greater losses. The other was a season-opening loss by 29 points to the Phoenix Suns. No other team has lost a game by 25 points yet.
Star guards De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, who combined to score 38 points per game last season, scored just 12 points on Saturday. Together, they shot 4 for 16 from the field with five assists and four turnovers in their 40 minutes on the court.
When asked how they can turn the season around, Hield answered “I don’t know. You tell me. We didn’t get any stops, we didn’t get any shots up. It’s evident we just got to get together and figure our way.”