By Ryan Aston @mrmarykateolsen on August 30, 2014
The Utah Jazz are currently in a rebuilding phase, but over the last three decades they have seen great success, beginning with their first division championship in 1984. In that span (and also during the preceding years in New Orleans) a host of great players suited up for the club, including multiple Hall of Famers. Looking at each position, here is the All-Time starting five for the Jazz.
The NBA's All-Time leader in career assists and steals, an All-Star many times over, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a career 51.5-percent shooter as a backcourt player, John Stockton is arguably the greatest pure point guard in the history of the game. Together with his running mate, Karl Malone, the Jazz reached back-to-back NBA Finals in '97 and '98.
Pete Maravich remains one of the most creatively talented offensive players the NBA has ever seen. Magic Johnson once said he was the "original showtime". Isiah Thomas and John Havlicek called him the greatest ball-handler of All-Time. He was a scoring machine in college at LSU and as a pro. His improvisational style with the basketball was one of the few real highlights of Utah's early years as a franchise.
AD was the focal point of Utah's offense during his seven years with the team, twice leading the NBA in scoring during a stretch of four consecutive season at 30+ PPG. As a Jazzman, he was selected to play in six All-Star games and was named to the All-NBA second team twice. At only 6-foot-5 and just over 200 pounds, Dantley played larger than his frame.
Twice voted the Most Valuable Player in the NBA, Karl Malone is arguably the greatest player ever to play for the franchise. Like Stockton, he was a multiple-time All-Star and a two-time Olympic gold medalist. If not for the injury that essentially ended his career, he may have finished as the most prolific scorer in the history of the league.
The lone player in this five-man unit not enshrined at the Basketball Hall of Fame, Mark Eaton is a former Defensive Player of the Year and one of the greatest shot-blockers the game has ever seen. The 7-foot-4 force in the paint averaged more blocks per game than any player in NBA history at 3.50 per contest.
Ryan Aston covers the Utah Jazz for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @MrMaryKateOlsen or add him to your network on Google.
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