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The Utah Jazz And The Case Of The Cursed Yellow Jerseys

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz shoots the ball against Matisse Thybulle #22 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on December 2, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It was a cold December night, the Utah Jazz wrapped up a five-game road trip on the east coast, limping their way to the finish line.

The Jazz were 1-4 on the trip and played their two worst games of the season, back-to-back blow out losses to the Raptors and the 76ers.

Quin Snyder’s guys left the Wells Fargo Center with their heads hung low.

The final score was 103-94 but wasn’t at all indicative of the butt-whooping that took place. The Jazz trailed by 18 at the half and made it seem respectable by outscoring Philly by 10 in the fourth quarter. This was a team the Jazz has beaten just weeks before at home and was one of the best wins of the young season.

The night before Philly was worse. The Jazz trailed at halftime by 40 points to Toronto. Yes, 4-0. The Jazz only mustered to score 37 points in the first half.

They were defeated.

Fans across the NBA joked about the Jazz as a realistic Western Conference contender, no team had ever trailed by so much in a half. It was a historic beat down.

It wasn’t expected that the Jazz would fair well on the trip, a 3-2 record was an optimistic viewpoint, 2-3 was realistic, but their play coupled with a 1-4 record was atrocious.

They didn’t just play bad, they LOOKED bad.

The Jazz donned the yellow Statement Edition jersey for three of the five games on the road trip and were 0-3 in those games.

The yellow jerseys have a unique, minimal design with the focus being put on the J-note. It’s simple, but stands out with the blaring yellow contrasting against the court.

One of the dumbest cliches in sports is “look good, play good.”

The record on the season in the Statement jerseys? 1-6.

Oddly, the one win was against Philly on November 6. One of the 3-4 best wins of the season for the Jazz in a playoff atmosphere that went down to the final buzzer.

“Look bad, play worse.”

Thank goodness they haven’t worn them since.

They’ve stayed locked up in the back of the closet, like an old shirt from high school or an old concert, you always convince yourself you’ll wear it again one day – but that day never comes and instead it’s left gathering dust while your wife insists you should just throw it away.

Since that game on December 2, the Jazz are 18-4 with a 10-game winning streak right in the middle. Again, they haven’t worn those atrocious Statement jerseys.

Will they again? Don’t know, don’t care.

Some of my favorite Jazz moments over the last few years have happened in the Statement jerseys. I already mentioned the Philly win, but who will ever forget Ricky Rubio’s triple-double in the playoffs against OKC? I get chills when I think about it still.

But sometimes, as good as the memories are, the course is run and time is out. Just like the old shirt in the back of your closet (you know exactly which one you’re thinking of).

They were scheduled to wear the Statement jerseys last night against the Warriors, but instead wore the white Association Edition jerseys (8-4).

In fact, the Jazz have a winning record in all their other uniform combinations.

  • Icon (Navy): 9-0
  • Classic (Purple): 7-1
  • City (Red): 5-2

Last night’s game against the Warriors would’ve been a perfect chance to break the slump, but the Jazz aren’t taking any chances.

The Jazz were scheduled to wear the Statement jerseys against a terrible Warriors team, but still didn’t risk it. Instead, they wore the Association jerseys en route to a 33-point beat down of the Dubs and the first sweep against Golden State in a decade.

They’re scheduled to wear the Statement jerseys on Saturday against the Mavericks. Do I think we’ll see them with Luka in town?

No way.

With seven more scheduled dates to wear the Statement Edition jerseys, I doubt we’ll see them in even half of those games.

But what should they wear instead?

If it were my pick, I’d go with the Icon Edition.

The minds behind SportsBeat bring you sports, pop culture and debauchery. The host with the most, Hema Heimuli Jr. is joined by the local, lovable, Canuck, Zak Hicken for a weekly podcast delving into the sports and pop culture landscape from a millennial perspective. This is SportsBeat Afterhours.

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