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From cursed to blessed: The Jazz's yellow uniforms have made quite the turnaround

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

From cursed to blessed: The Jazz's yellow uniforms have made quite the turnaround

By Ryan Miller, | Posted - May 4, 2021 at 8:08 a.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — In late February of last year, Quin Snyder joked that a certain reporter only showed up when the Jazz lost.

"No, I make you lose," the reporter quipped back.

"You and our yellow uniforms," Snyder responded.

With that, the world got confirmation that the Jazz locker room agreed with what many Utah Jazz fans had dubbed the "yellow jersey curse." Frankly, how could it not? Sports has always been marred in superstition, so of course the team noticed that most of their losses came while wearing a certain colored jersey.

"We're not wearing those anymore," Snyder continued. "I'm gonna get as superstitious as our guys."

He then trailed off and finished: "Somehow I don't think that's it."

Actions, though, speak louder than words.

On Feb. 21, 2020, the Jazz lost to the San Antonio Spurs, bringing their season record to a lowly 1-7 while sporting the evil yellow uniforms that season. That was the final straw. Utah had already taken a two-month sabbatical from the supposed cursed uniforms, and after that loss they were tabled for good.

The Jazz were originally scheduled to wear the yellow jerseys 16 times last season but ended up wearing them in only eight games. Was some of that COVID-19 related? Sure, but suffice it to say the jerseys didn't see the light of day during the NBA restart in Orlando. That loss to the Spurs was supposed to be last time they would ever be worn.

The Nike "Statement" jersey, the official name of the yellow uniform, was supposed to be swapped out with a new design every two seasons. Based on that schedule, the 2019-20 season would have been the last time the Jazz would wear those no-good, loss-making jerseys. They were gonna be retired — and maybe lit on fire and burned back to whatever hell they came from.

But, like most everything else, the COVID-19 pandemic changed some plans. Nike's schedule got pushed back, which meant the jerseys in all of the their yellow glory returned to Utah's uniform rotation.

Utah, though, unsurprisingly, wasn't gung-ho about sporting them again. It wasn't until Jan. 19, nearly a month into the season, that the Jazz brought them out of the boxes they had hoped would be their final resting place. But a funny thing happened that night: The Jazz won — and won comfortably. Utah beat the New Orleans Pelicans 118-102, a victory that now, in hindsight, can be seen as a curse breaker.

On Monday, the Jazz wore the uniforms for the final time of the regular season in their win over the Spurs. The final record wearing the once-reviled uniforms? A perfect 9-0.

In those nine wins, Utah outscored opponents by 19.1 points per game and all the wins have come by double digits. The Jazz even set a franchise record by scoring 154 points in a 49-point win (also a franchise record) over the Sacramento Kings wearing the once terribly cursed jersey.

That all begs the question: Are the once cursed uniforms now the blessed ones?

"I didn't even know that they complained last year, but if we're undefeated, let's save those jerseys for the playoffs," Bojan Bogdanovic said when asked about the jersey turnaround.

So don't be surprised to see plenty of yellow in the postseason. After all, Snyder might just be as superstitious as his players.

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