This column would be nothing without your questions, and for more than three decades, Gambit readers have been the driving force behind my weekly Crescent City Q&A. Now, Ol' Blake will take it a step further by waxing nostalgic on a topic of my choosing. This week, I'm missing my old New Orleans Jazz.
For my money, they had one of the best names in all of basketball, though now it seems really out of place. Forty years ago this week, it was all that jazz — the New Orleans Jazz. On Oct. 24, 1974, the city's new NBA team played its first home game at the Municipal Auditorium. With early star "Pistol" Pete Maravich, the Jazz had played four games on the road before its home opener, which drew about 7,000 fans. The team lived up to its name by featuring jazz music from trumpeter Al Hirt and the Olympia Brass Band during halftime. Unfortunately, the Jazz lost to the 76ers that night. You also may remember some early games played in the Loyola Field House before the team moved to the Superdome in 1975.
In 1979, the Jazz trumpeted a move to Utah, where team owners bizarrely kept the name and even the team colors of purple, green and gold.