A "Really" New Look Jazz
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
The Utah Jazz added new faces throughout the roster and the organization's relax headband policy will make for a "really" new look Jazz team
The Utah Jazz have a fresh new look, in more ways than one.
Following a season that featured just one personnel change (adding Grayson Allen, subtracting Jonas Jerebko), the Utah Jazz overhauled their roster in a manner unprecedented in Jazz history.
The Jazz moved on from key pieces like Rubio, Crowder, and Favors. They brought in big time players like Conley and Bogdanovic. Every Jazz lineup this coming year is likely to feature at least one new player to the roster.
The new faces aren’t likely to be the only visual difference from last year’s team.
Following the formal announcement of the Utah Jazz blue mountain throwback jerseys, the organization confirmed that player headbands will be allowed since the early days of the Jazz in Utah.
While headbands weren’t the rage back in the 70’s, former coach Frank Layden instituted the policy as a way to promote and preserve team unity. Unsurprisingly, Jerry Sloan continued to enforce the rule thus creating a unique identity.
No headbands has been a forgone conclusion for decades. The closest a Jazz player ever got to a headband was Ronnie Brewer sporting some headwear in the Rookie-Sophmore game back in 2008.
Following the game, he acknowledged his controversial decision by saying, "I'm probably gonna get fined when I go back to Utah."
Suffice it to say, no headbands has been a BIG deal in Utah.
For that reason Jazz fans were shocked and delighted when Quin Snyder (via @E_Woodyard) said that Mike Conley “can wear [a headband].”
He continued saying:
“We ran the analytics and found he shoots better with a headband. So, I have encouraged him to wear one. ... Joe Ingles also thinks he shot better with one last year, so he asked me if he could wear one ... if that’s the case I might wear one too!”
Deseret News beat writer Eric Woodyard is heading for a job at ESPN. He dropped a reporting bombshell during his final days in Utah.
With Quin not ruling out even himself from the headband craze, we got to think who on the team will be sporting headwear this season?
The “For Sures”
Mike Conley, Royce O’Neale, Emmanuel Mudiay
With Mike sporting a headband last year and with the Jazz convinced his shooting improves with the accessory, there’s no way Conley isn’t holding back his mane with a headband this season.
Royce O’Neale sported a headband during his playing days at Baylor and overseas. He clearly likes the accessory and it just feels having him with a headband. Emmanuel Mudiay also used a headband while on his previous teams Denver and New York.
Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Ed Davis, Tony Bradley, Georges Niang
While Ingles garned the “Headband Joe” nickname last year after a brutal game in Memphis, it’s not a guarantee this year, despite Quin’s statement. Ingles has never been the type to wear accessories so until further notice, he’s a “maybe”. George Niang will likely follow suit.
Donovan Mitchell joked recently that he would consider wearing a headband this season. With no guarantee, he’s a “maybe” in the headwear department. Ed Davis wore a headband for a brief stint in Toronto but not since. Tony Bradley is a tossup at this point.
The “Definitely Nots”
Rudy Gobert, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jeff Green, Dante Exum
Rudy Gobert is the living embodiment of the old policy: let your play standout, not your fashion. While off the court Rudy will don a pink suit, on the court he’s all business. We won’t be seeing Rudy in a headband this season.
Bojan has a low profile personality which doesn’t fit with headwear or any accessory in general (he’s avoided them throughout his NBA career). Dante Exum will likely be focused on not getting hurt that he won’t have time for a headband.
Jeff Green hasn’t been shy about accessories, yet he’s never sported a headband. We anticipate he’ll continue the trend and avoid headwear this season.
The New Look Jazz
After one offseason, the Utah Jazz will completely transform their makeup.
New faces wearing old jerseys and new accessories is a complete 180 from previous seasons. All signs point to a fun, exciting, and successful season.
If “Headband Joe” makes a comeback with his new look Jazz in tow, who knows what could happen.