SALT LAKE CITY — While the Utah Jazz competed 20 years ago in the NBA Finals with the snow-capped mountains of the north on their chest, some warmer parts of Utah may have felt a little bit left out.
The Jazz have tried to rectify that imbalance with a red rock and canyonland-inspired alternate uniform and court set, revealed Monday, that pays homage to the other parts of the state. The Jazz will play nine times in the 2017-18 season in the new jersey, and six times at home on the new court.
"The Utah Jazz represent an entire state and its tremendous diversity in landscape and terrain," Bart Sharp, senior vice president of marketing for the Jazz, said in a press release. "This year’s uniform design gives us the opportunity to showcase the signature red rocks and canyon lands of southern Utah as well as the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets that exemplify our state."
The jersey features color bands going all the way down from shoulder to short, transitioning from light orange to dark red. The shape of Utah with basketball lines embedded is represented in the middle of the short's waistband. Delicate Arch is printed in the flap at the side of the shorts.
Along the sides of the jersey, two roadways are represented: the left is the path along I-15 from Salt Lake City to St. George, on the right is the set of highways needed to go from Salt Lake to Moab.
The court has the word "Utah" in the gradient orange and red in the center, and a silhouette of Delicate Arch prominently featured in the middle. The state logo is placed in two opposite corners, where the Jazz note logo is located in the Jazz's standard court design.
The uniform is the Jazz's fourth jersey this season, labeled the "City Edition" uniform. Under Nike's new contract with the NBA this season, each NBA team had four uniforms: "Association," "Icon," "Statement" and "City" jerseys. The Jazz's white, navy, and gold jerseys were released in August and September. The full array of all 30 "City" jerseys will be revealed before the new year.
"Our family is proud to have the Jazz jersey represent various parts of the state we all love," Greg Miller, who represents the Jazz on the NBA Board of Governors, said in a press release.
The bold uniforms are also surprising NBA insiders. ESPN's Zach Lowe, for example, said the court and jersey are "awesome, and like nothing you’ve seen before in the NBA."
The jersey and court will be first used on Jan. 30, in the Jazz's matchup against the Golden State Warriors. No word on the other five times the court will be used at home. As for the three away games in which the Jazz will wear the fourth uniform, the home team decides which uniform to wear, then the Jazz choose a uniform to wear with a contrasting color.
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