Should Jazz Retire Number 27 For Rudy Gobert?

Aug 3, 2022, 5:11 PM

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert dunks (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)...

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert dunks (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Should the Utah Jazz retire the number 27 jersey worn by Rudy Gobert when he decides he’s done playing in the NBA?

After nine seasons in Utah, the Jazz sent Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in early July in a blockbuster trade that saw five rotation players return to Salt Lake City, plus a significant haul of future draft capital.

Will Gobert’s number 27 eventually hang in the rafters, never to be worn again by a Jazz player? Let’s look at his resume and the Jazz history of retiring numbers.

Prior Retired Uniform Numbers

As it stands, the Jazz have nine former players who have had their jerseys retired. Here they are in numerical order.

  • #1: Frank Layden (Coach and Executive)
  • #4: Adrian Dantley
  • #7: Pete Maravich
  • #9: Larry Miller (Team Owner)
  • #12: John Stockton
  • #14: Jeff Hornacek
  • #32: Karl Malone
  • #35: Darrell Griffith
  • #53: Mark Eaton

Jerry Sloan has also been commemorated by the team with the number 1223 retired to acknowledge his win total as a head coach.

The Jazz’s nine retired numbers between 00-99 are more than 17 other teams in the NBA, a significant lot considering only they are the 13th youngest team in the league.

The Boston Celtics (23) have the most retired numbers in the league, while the Charlotte Hornets and New Orleans Pelicans each have only one.

The Jazz’s relatively high number is due to two competing concepts.

First, they’ve had an inordinate number of Hall of Famers in their limited existence with Pete Maravich, Adrian Dantley, John Stockton, and Karl Malone all enshrined in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Second, the Jazz have a relatively low bar for non-Hall of Famers who have had their jerseys retired by the team.

In 1993, the Jazz retired number 35 for Darrell Griffth despite his relatively short career. Griffith appeared in 765 games for the Jazz, only 412 of which he started.

While Griffith remains the only Jazzman to ever win Rookie of the Year and held the NBA record for career made three-pointers when he retired, he was never elected to an All-NBA team nor an All-Star team, and never played in a Conference Finals.

Jeff Hornacek played in even fewer games for the Jazz, appearing in just 477 games over a six-and-a-half-year period in the 90s. Hornacek averaged 14.4 points and 4.0 assists during his tenure with the Jazz, and helped the team earn two Western Conference titles, but never made an All-Star game in Utah nor was he named to any All-NBA teams.

The guard had his number retired by the Jazz in 2002.

Mark Eaton has the best resume among non-Hall of Fame Jazzmen to have their number retired. The big man won two Defensive Player of the Year awards, made five All-Defensive teams, led the league in blocks in four different seasons, and earned an All-Star nod in 1989.

After 11 seasons in Utah, Eaton’s number was retired by the Jazz in 1995.

Should Jazz Retire Number 27 for Gobert?

A look at the resumes of players who have had their numbers retired by the Jazz makes Gobert seem like a lock to have his jersey enshrined in the rafters upon his retirement.

Gobert’s 611 games in a Jazz uniform are more than Hornacek’s 477, his 519 starts are more than Griffith’s 412, and his three Defensive Player of the Year awards, six All-Defensive teams, four All-NBA appearances, and three All-Star nods all easily outpace Eaton.

In fact, Gobert’s resume compares favorably to both Maravich (5X All-Star, 4X All-NBA) and Dantley (6X All-Star, 2X All-NBA), each of whom has been inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame.

Barring a serious fallout between Gobert and the team that drafted him, the number 27 should unquestionably hang in the Vivint Arena rafters upon his retirement.

Perhaps the only question remaining is whether he’ll play well enough in Minnesota to have his number retired by two franchises.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz


Ben Anderson

Will Hardy: Jazz ‘Not Trying To Drag This Out Into’ Long Rebuild

Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy said the organization isn't planning to undergo an extended process to rebuild the team.

2 days ago

Utah Jazz general manager Justin Zanik and Utah Jazz CEO Danny Ainge talk to journalists during an ...

Ben Anderson

Can The Utah Jazz Trade Up In The Draft?

With the NBA Draft less than two weeks away, could the Utah Jazz realistically trade up in the first round?

2 days ago

Jarace Walker #25 of the Houston Cougars reacts during the second half against the Auburn Tigers...

Ben Anderson

Jarace Walker NBA Draft Analysis

The Utah Jazz own three first-round selections in the 2023 NBA draft, and will look closely at Houston forward Jarace Walker.

3 days ago

Nick Smith Jr. #3 of the Arkansas Razorbacks warms up before a game against the Mississippi State B...

Ben Anderson

NBA Draft Insider Peek: Draft Opens Up At Jazz Ninth Pick

Yahoo Sports insider Krysten Peek said the talent in the NBA draft dips just before the Utah Jazz are on the clock with the ninth pick.

4 days ago

Steve Wojciechowski speaks during a press conference after being introduced as the new Salt Lake Ci...

Ben Anderson

Stars Introduce Steve Wojciechowski As Head Coach

The Salt Lake City Stars officially introduced Steve Wojciechowski as the team's new head coach on Wednesday.

4 days ago

Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith...

Ben Anderson

Ryan Smith: Anyone With ‘Rabbit Ears’ Will Catch Jazz Games

Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith hinted that the team's games will be available to fans without a cable or satellite subscription next season.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

ksl sports logos...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.

Should Jazz Retire Number 27 For Rudy Gobert?