UTAH JAZZ

Top 50 Utah Jazz Players Countdown: #18 Thurl Bailey

Sep 28, 2023, 11:44 AM

Thurl Bailey #41 of the Utah Jazz rests during an NBA game at The Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Ut...

Thurl Bailey #41 of the Utah Jazz rests during an NBA game at The Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1988. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The countdown for KSL Sports’ 50 greatest Utah Jazz players continues and coming in at number 18 is forward Thurl Bailey.

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 Thurl Bailey’s career with the Jazz.

Jazz 50: Rank No. 18 – Thurl Bailey

Selected by the Jazz with the seventh pick of the 1983 NBA Draft after leading the North Carolina State Wolfpack to the NCAA Championship, Bailey ushered in a culture of winning that hasn’t abandoned the organization since he arrived.

As a rookie, Bailey started 54 games in 81 appearances and helped lead the Jazz to their first-ever trip to the postseason where they downed the Denver Nuggets in five games.


Though Bailey was never a true full-time starter for the Jazz, he was a key cog in the rotation that made the playoffs in each of his 10 seasons in Utah.

In 708 games with the Jazz, Bailey averaged 14.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks while making 205 starts.

The forward ranks among the Jazz all-time leaders in points (fifth), games played (fifth), minutes played (sixth), field goals made (fifth), free-throws made (seventh), rebounds (eighth), blocks (sixth), and blocks per game (ninth).

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. You can see the full list here.

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: #18 Thurl Bailey