Utah Jazz Stop Selling Bizarre Jumpman Shirt After Fan Backlash. Utah Jazz Pull “Jumpman” Shirt From Sale After Fan Outcry. Michael Jordan dunking on the Jazz name isn’t really going to resonate with local fans.
The Utah Jazz has confirmed that they will no longer sell a shirt that appeared to show Michael Jordan dunking over the team name. The shirt was part of a minimalistic overhaul of the team identity last season driven by Nike and the Jordan Brand. However, the shirt riled up Jazz fans after its discovery given the painful memories of the two 90s Finals the Malone-Stockton Jazz lost to Jordan’s Bulls. The design can be found leaguewide, with each team having their own variation of the shirt. However, it’s one that unfortunately will get very little love amongst the Jazz faithful.
The Jazz lost back-to-back Finals against Jordan’s Bulls in 1997 and 1998. Jordan averaged 32.3 points per game in 1997 (4-2 Bulls) and 33.5 points per game in 1998 (4-2 Bulls). The two-season stretch also included perhaps Jordan’s most iconic game – Game 5 of the ’97 Finals, aka “The Flu Game”. Jordan put up 38 points despite being visibly ill. In subsequent years, Jordan has floated the idea that he was poisoned by a Jazz-supporting pizzeria the night before. Regardless, it’s a particularly painful stretch of Jazz history that is not best served by a minimalist t-shirt celebrating Jordan.
Jazz Quietly Confident About 2023-24
— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) October 17, 2023
The upcoming NBA season is a chance for the Jazz to bounce back after a down year in 2022/23. The Jazz finished 37-45 amid something of a roster rebuild, having traded away Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. This is now Lauri Markkanen’s team. The Jazz have three rookies on the roster after making three picks in the first round of this year’s NBA draft. If everyone takes the developmental steps they need to, the Jazz could be a Play-In team this year.
However, they have the misfortune of being in the Western Conference. That means regular meetings with the defending champion Nuggets and the conference superteams in the Suns and Warriors. Furthermore, teams like the Lakers and Grizzlies will be eager to keep up their forward momentum. Despite fans, have are quietly confident that the team is finally in a place to truly move on from the losses of Gobert and Mitchell.