UTAH JAZZ

Top 50 Utah Jazz Players Countdown: #34 Rich Kelley

Sep 6, 2023, 11:40 AM

Rich Kelley, Utah Jazz...

Rich Kelley, Utah Jazz (Don Grayston, Deseret News)

(Don Grayston, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The countdown for KSL Sports’ 50 greatest Utah Jazz players is officially underway, and coming in at number 34 is center Rick Kelley.

Leading up to the tip-off of the 50th season in Jazz history, Jake Scott and Ben Anderson have been counting down the top 50 players in franchise history as voted on by fans and the media.

Here’s a look at Rich Kelley’s career with the Jazz.

Jazz 50: Rank No. 34 – Rich Kelley

The first ever first-round draft pick in Jazz franchise history, Kelley hit the ground running in New Orleans becoming an instant contributor during his rookie season.

Kelley appeared in 75 games or more in his first four seasons with the Jazz averaging a near double-double with 10.0 points and 9.3 rebounds in 313 games.

A well-rounded big man, the Stanford product also dished out 2.8 assists, blocked 1.3 shots, and grabbed 1.0 steals between 1975-79.


After stops in Phoenix, New Jersey, and Denver, the Jazz reacquired Kelley in 1983 to provide veteran leadership to a younger roster.

During his final two years with the organization, Kelley helped lead the Utah Jazz to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, before finishing his career in Sacramento.

In total, Kelley averaged 8.1 points and 8.0 rebounds in 497 appearances with the Jazz, and is the franchise’s seventh all-time leader in rebounds and rebounds per game, ranks 10th in blocks, and sixth in defensive rating.

Follow the rest of the Jazz 50 countdown with Jake and Ben Monday through Friday at 11:30 leading up to the opening day of the regular season.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Top 50 Utah Jazz Players Countdown: #34 Rich Kelley