The Utah Jazz is a professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is currently a member of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The franchise began in 1974 as the New Orleans Jazz, based in New Orleans, Louisiana, but the team moved to Utah in 1979 after just five seasons.
After the move to Utah, the team and fans thought it was odd that they kept the name "Jazz" despite the fact that the state of Utah has little to do with the jazz scene. "What's next? The New Orleans Saints will move to Utah and become the Utah Saints?" But, the name stuck.
Though Salt Lake City was not known for any jazz music culture, the team decided to keep the name, as well as the team's original colors of green, purple and gold (the colors of Mardi Gras). Some musicians were offended by the Jazz keeping the franchise name after moving from New Orleans, citing it as a metaphor for the theft of Jazz from its cultural roots.
The Story of the Utah Jazz (The NBA: a History of Hoops)
Stockton to Malone: The Rise of the Utah Jazz