NBA commissioner: Jazz name “belongs to Utah”

New Orleans’ new owner-to-be is going to have to find a less jazzy nickname than the one he currently covets.

While awarding the Big Easy the 2014 NBA All-Star Game, commissioner David Stern let Saints/Hornets owner Tom Benson know that Utah will not be returning the Jazz to its original home.

After announcing he will purchase the Hornets, Benson said changing the city’s team name — hopefully back to the Jazz — was high on his priority list.

“It belongs to Utah,” Stern said (via “I wouldn’t make it such an important point. There are many things that are indigenous to the area. I’m sure there will be some wonderful nicknames (suggestions).”

According to The Times-Picayune, Benson reiterated his wish to change the current team’s name from Hornets to the Jazz or something more reflective of New Orleans. The city had the Jazz for five years — from 1974-79 — before folding up its tent and moving to Utah.

“I’m going to ask all of you to help me with this, too,” Benson said. “We want to change the name from Hornets . . . . to something that means New Orleans and Louisiana. The ‘Hornets’ doesn’t mean anything.’ ”

For more on this subject, visit (“Jazz nickname stays in Utah”) and read Monday’s Jazz Extra “It is, and will be, the Utah Jazz, not New Orleans.”


Categories: General

About the Author

Jody Genessy

Jody Genessy is the Utah Jazz beat writer for the Deseret News. To answer some of your questions: 1) Yes, he travels everywhere the Jazz do. 2) No, he doesn't fly on the team charter. 3) No, he can't sneak you into the game, let you take notes for him or get you tickets (sorry, Mom). 4) Yes, he realizes that other people out there have to work for a living so he's a lucky dude. 5) Yes, he usually answers questions in the third person.


  1. Joe Jericho

    You quoted an erroneous report from Jimmy Smith. If I were you, I would watch the Stern presser on the subject. What he basically says is that “going in, I assume all 29 clubs will be keeping their nicknames”. A lot to work with there.

    Not everyone wants the Jazz name back, but if Larry Miller was willing to consider it – for a price, I want Benson to approach baby Miller and see if he is willing to sell it out. I want the name back. I group up watching Pistol Pete in the Superdome and he lived up the street from me. Y’all have been good fans, but I want our name back. If not, maybe Brass. Still no Jazz in Utah. Sorry.

  2. Chris

    Let them Dump the name and the colors and give it to Charlotte. Win win. Get the hornets back in charlotte and get rid of the bobcats name.

  3. tyler

    i know it’s kinda late, but if new orleans wanted the name back so bad why did they get rid of it in the first place? they were only the jazz for five years! utah has been the jazz for over 30 years. keep it that way we have had it longer so it stays.. get over it! it’s our name now, so think of something different, you big cry babies!