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New Orleans Jazz - Year Five

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New Orleans Jazz - Year Five
        The 1978-79 Season

The 78-79 season was the team’s swan song in New Orleans. Maravich was never the same player after his knee injury, and in fact sat out the last 21 games of the season. The best remaining player, “Truck” Robinson, was traded to Phoenix in a deal that involved players, draft picks, and cash. Several veteran players had obviously seen better days. All those first-round picks traded away left the Jazz an aging team with little in the way of young talent, and it showed on the court. The team at one point had a 4-37 record, and in an effort to improve, the Jazz acquired Spencer Haywood from the Knicks. Haywood played the final 34 games, and averaged 24 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, but it was too little, too late.


The team finished the season with the worst record in the NBA, 26-56. Attendance was down as a result, but still a respectable average of 8,631 per game. At season’s end, the word was out that Sam Battistone (who had by this time become majority owner) planned to move the team to Salt Lake City, Utah. With little fanfare (and little effort to retain them) the Jazz were officially former residents of New Orleans when the move was approved at the June 1979 NBA meetings.


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