Why the Utah Jazz could ditch their yellow jerseys for rest of season

The team hasn’t worn the brightly colored uniform since a November loss in Portland.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon, center, passes the ball as Utah Jazz forward Kelly Olynyk, right, defends, and forward Lauri Markkanen, left, looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

The last time the Utah Jazz played in their yellow uniforms things got ugly — even for the fans who find the fluorescent threads fashionable.

The Jazz were blown out — 121-105 — during that late November game in Portland, prompting head coach Will Hardy to give one of the most pointed postgame news conferences of his career so far.

“You’re going to wear a Utah Jazz jersey,” Hardy said that night, “you’re going to have to give a s--- about the Utah Jazz.”

A lot of things have changed for the better for the team since that night. Depending on your perspective, that seems to include the yellow jerseys.

Recently, an eagle-eyed Jazz fan who runs a social media account called “Jazz Uniform Tracker” on X noticed something unusual: the Jazz weren’t slated to wear their yellow jerseys again for the rest of the season.

They’d wear white 15 more times, black 12 times, and the two purple jerseys ten times combined, but there was no appearance for the yellow on the upcoming schedule.

That’s a departure from protocol.

As The Athletic recently reported, the NBA has rules on how frequently a team must wear each of its jerseys. For the Jazz, the rule indicates that they should wear their Nike-labeled “Association” white jersey and the “Icon” yellow jersey at least 10 times each. The black “Statement” jersey must be worn six times, and each of the purple “City” and “Classic” jerseys must be worn three times.

The Jazz, however, have only worn their yellow uniform once this season — that lopsided loss in Portland.

Perhaps the solution was to change the laundry.

NBA teams are allowed to apply for exceptions to the jersey rule and such an exception had been approved by the NBA in this case, The Salt Lake Tribune has confirmed.

The Jazz’s rebrand has been the target of criticism from some since being announced in the summer of 2022, with the yellow jersey garnering perhaps the most negative reviews. On the other hand, Jazz star Lauri Markkanen has told reporters he likes the yellow jerseys.

In December of 2022, the Jazz started to poll fans about new uniform designs to potentially be unveiled in the 2024-25 season. The team’s current schedule does not feature any appearances of the Jazz’s yellow “Icon” jersey, however future changes for jersey selections for remaining games are possible.