ColorWerx

Utah Jazz - Early '80s Green Road Unis

Recommended Posts

I hadn't noticed this as being a mistake until late last night, but both the NBA and this very site (sportslogos.net) have claimed that the Utah Jazz wore Green and Gold road uniforms from their very first season in Salt Lake City - 1979-1980. I was about 99.9% sure that was incorrect; I distinctly remember going to an preseason game between the Mavericks and Jazz around 1981 or 1982 that was one of the very first games that the Jazz wore those uniforms and remember the crowd being confused by them as well.

I dug out a bunch of old Street & Smiths and Sporting News annuals, but couldn't back up my claim. However, I have found a pic of Darrell Griffith that might just put this issue to rest:

57176275.jpg

Note the '35th Anniversary' patch on the shorts. This logo was used by all teams during the 1980-1981 season.

For reference-sake, here's a shot of the infamous Green roads:

88098395.jpg

I maintain that the Jazz wore the Purple roads for at least the first two seasons in Utah...the Green roads didn't come into play until the 1981-1982 or 1982-1983 seasons, and were used for maybe two seasons.

Any input would be welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The green jerseys were worn for at least the 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons. I believe the 1984-85 (Stockton's first year) is when they first wore the full logo in purple on the roads. From photos I've seen of Stockton as a rookie, their home jerseys were the usual "Jazz" script. I believe was been both the home and road bore the full logo. But, if that said, I remember about five years ago or so seeing footage of I believe a preseason game in 1985 of the Jazz and Pistons both in color. Karl Malone was wearing the Green jersey. Which would be two seasons after they supposedly dumped the greens. I wish I could find that footage. I want to say it was in Stockton's tribute DVD. But, I could be wrong.

I also know that in the mid-90's when secondary jerseys were allowed the Jazz thought about wearing the green jerseys, but instead went with the rebrand and subsequent black jerseys. What a shame. It will nice to see the green jerseys as Hardwood Classics this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[sNIP]

I also know that in the mid-90's when secondary jerseys were allowed the Jazz thought about wearing the green jerseys, but instead went with the rebrand and subsequent black jerseys. What a shame. It will nice to see the green jerseys as Hardwood Classics this year.

[/sNIP]

I agree. When will we see them in action? When are they coming out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

according to the official nba schedule, HWC nights week will be December 1-8, so maybe the December 4th game where Utah hosts Indiana? They also host San Antonio on the 7th...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hadn't noticed this as being a mistake until late last night, but both the NBA and this very site (sportslogos.net) have claimed that the Utah Jazz wore Green and Gold road uniforms from their very first season in Salt Lake City - 1979-1980. I was about 99.9% sure that was incorrect; I distinctly remember going to an preseason game between the Mavericks and Jazz around 1981 or 1982 that was one of the very first games that the Jazz wore those uniforms and remember the crowd being confused by them as well.

I dug out a bunch of old Street & Smiths and Sporting News annuals, but couldn't back up my claim. However, I have found a pic of Darrell Griffith that might just put this issue to rest:

57176275.jpg

Note the '35th Anniversary' patch on the shorts. This logo was used by all teams during the 1980-1981 season.

For reference-sake, here's a shot of the infamous Green roads:

88098395.jpg

I maintain that the Jazz wore the Purple roads for at least the first two seasons in Utah...the Green roads didn't come into play until the 1981-1982 or 1982-1983 seasons, and were used for maybe two seasons.

Any input would be welcome.

Well besides the 35 season patch I can guarantee you that if Darrel Griffith is wearing purple it had to be from the 1980-1981 season - old Dr. Dunk was throwing them down as a senior at Louisville in the 1979/80 season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well besides the 35 season patch I can guarantee you that if Darrel Griffith is wearing purple it had to be from the 1980-1981 season - old Dr. Dunk was throwing them down as a senior at Louisville in the 1979/80 season.

With his freakin' 48-inch vertical. Dude was amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had no idea this was a point of contention, I thought a point of trivia was that the unis didn't change when they moved to Utah, for monetary reasons. I remember all my old basketball cards just had the "Jazz" logo without a city name; I remember there was a transition from a white logo to yellow at some point. But the green jerseys coincided with the absence of major brand basketball cards - they were only in the Star years, so I was unaware of their existence - I remember seeing clips of Griffith in the dunk contest and being confused, thinking it was someone from Seattle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, everytime I see those pics they just remind me how much I miss the old Jazz jerseys. I think the current ones are better than those mountain ones, but they feel generic compared to the J-note. Plus, I gotta admit I also kinda miss Stockton and his short shorts lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The green and yellow Jazz jerseys never felt right to me, since purple was always their main color and these had no purple at all. I have very little nostalgia for the old Jazz jerseys: purple and yellow was already being done bigger and better in Los Angeles, and the plain one-color lettering and numbers looked really flimsy and cheap. Also, the sizes of the wordmark and front number never looked quite right to me. The number is too big, and the wordmark might be too. Too much real estate being taken up. The Finals set remains their best look, but even I have to concede that there were some flaws there that would've needed correcting if they were to last beyond 2004. Dropping the gradient and sprucing up the NOBs/numbers, maybe darkening the shade of purple, would've been better than the big bowl of nothing they went with instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The green and yellow Jazz jerseys never felt right to me, since purple was always their main color and these had no purple at all. I have very little nostalgia for the old Jazz jerseys: purple and yellow was already being done bigger and better in Los Angeles, and the plain one-color lettering and numbers looked really flimsy and cheap. Also, the sizes of the wordmark and front number never looked quite right to me. The number is too big, and the wordmark might be too. Too much real estate being taken up. The Finals set remains their best look, but even I have to concede that there were some flaws there that would've needed correcting if they were to last beyond 2004. Dropping the gradient and sprucing up the NOBs/numbers, maybe darkening the shade of purple, would've been better than the big bowl of nothing they went with instead.

I have to say, the light blue alternates are the only remotely attractive and/or interesting thing about the Jazz' current look. It helps that I'm a sucker for text running down the side of the shorts. The mountain sets were fun, but a bit overdone for my tastes. The set used immediately before that - with the full logo and the 2-color numbers on the road - remains my favorite. Something about that J-note just makes me smile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree, my favorite jersey is the light blue alternate. The template would be a good start for the full-time roads and homes. As much as I love the old jerseys, I like the idea of wearing them a few times a year and call it good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The green and yellow Jazz jerseys never felt right to me, since purple was always their main color and these had no purple at all. I have very little nostalgia for the old Jazz jerseys: purple and yellow was already being done bigger and better in Los Angeles, and the plain one-color lettering and numbers looked really flimsy and cheap. Also, the sizes of the wordmark and front number never looked quite right to me. The number is too big, and the wordmark might be too. Too much real estate being taken up. The Finals set remains their best look, but even I have to concede that there were some flaws there that would've needed correcting if they were to last beyond 2004. Dropping the gradient and sprucing up the NOBs/numbers, maybe darkening the shade of purple, would've been better than the big bowl of nothing they went with instead.

I have to say, the light blue alternates are the only remotely attractive and/or interesting thing about the Jazz' current look. It helps that I'm a sucker for text running down the side of the shorts. The mountain sets were fun, but a bit overdone for my tastes. The set used immediately before that - with the full logo and the 2-color numbers on the road - remains my favorite. Something about that J-note just makes me smile.

Ditto.

I wish they would commission some designer to go back and do a modernized update of their 80's/90's look, kind of like what the San Diego Chargers did to their 60's look with their newest uniforms. Get rid of the current garbage and revert back to the "classic" Jazz colors. That would be heavenly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is odd. I knew the Jazz kept the purple unis their first year in Utah and reintroduced purple jerseys for 1984-85, but I was sure they used the green jerseys in 1980-81.

Looking on Getty Images, the 1984-85 unis were purple with a yellow "Jazz" wordmark and yellow on white numbers. These unis didn't have the J-note on the shorts.

From the looks of it, the green jerseys were introduced in the 1981-82 season - there's a picture on Getty of Danny Schayes wearing them, who was drafted by the Jazz in '81 but only played the first 20-odd games for them before being traded to the Nuggets.

So it goes:

New Orleans-era unis: 1979-81

Green roads: 1981-84

Updated purple roads: 1984 -

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is odd. I knew the Jazz kept the purple unis their first year in Utah and reintroduced purple jerseys for 1984-85, but I was sure they used the green jerseys in 1980-81.

Looking on Getty Images, the 1984-85 unis were purple with a yellow "Jazz" wordmark and yellow on white numbers. These unis didn't have the J-note on the shorts.

From the looks of it, the green jerseys were introduced in the 1981-82 season - there's a picture on Getty of Danny Schayes wearing them, who was drafted by the Jazz in '81 but only played the first 20-odd games for them before being traded to the Nuggets.

So it goes:

New Orleans-era unis: 1979-81

Green roads: 1981-84

Updated purple roads: 1984 -

Works for me. Thanks for helping out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is odd. I knew the Jazz kept the purple unis their first year in Utah and reintroduced purple jerseys for 1984-85, but I was sure they used the green jerseys in 1980-81.

Looking on Getty Images, the 1984-85 unis were purple with a yellow "Jazz" wordmark and yellow on white numbers. These unis didn't have the J-note on the shorts.

From the looks of it, the green jerseys were introduced in the 1981-82 season - there's a picture on Getty of Danny Schayes wearing them, who was drafted by the Jazz in '81 but only played the first 20-odd games for them before being traded to the Nuggets.

So it goes:

New Orleans-era unis: 1979-81

Green roads: 1981-84

Updated purple roads: 1984 -

I think what's even more fascinating than the jerseys is the warmups by the Jazz over the years. I will have to dig some pictures, but they had some killer ones in NOLA and a mountain version in the early to mid-80s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out the warmups in the first few minutes of this coverage. Awesome application of the jazz note basketball into the warmups. Also check out the outline of the Superdome on the back. I wish warmups these days had more character.

Video

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all for the info. I had been under the misguided thought that the Jazz wore green from the first season in Utah through 1983-84. I was glad they went back to purple in the mid-1980s because I followed them closely when they were in New Orleans when I was a small child. The first NBA game I attended was in the Superdome in March 1979 (Cavs-Jazz, no Pistol Pete because of an injury), their last season in N.O.

But I had not realized they actually wore purple in Utah before then. Must have to do with the fact that we didn't get cable until 1983 and couldn't see SportsCenter highlights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the problems is that unlike other sports leagues, there's so little information on NBA uniforms prior to the mid-late 80's. There were so many manufacturers and design changes from year-to-year, and the NBA's own records are spotty and mostly inaccurate.

I've been researching now for several years and my own records are still only around 25% complete - I've been speaking to several other enthusiasts over the past couple of years about putting together either a website or book (not to step on the toes of either Colorworx or this site) that will comprehensively document NBA uniforms, but it's such a huge task...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now