Utah Jazz: The 50 greatest players in franchise history

Utah Jazz (Photo by Daniel Lippitt/Getty Images)
Utah Jazz (Photo by Daniel Lippitt/Getty Images) /
17 of 50
Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

All-time greatest Utah Jazz players: No. 34 Rich Kelley (NO and Utah)

  • Seasons with the franchise: Seven (1975-76 to 1978-79, 1982-83 to 1984-85)
  • Regular-season games played: 497
  • Averages as a Jazzman: 8.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.0 blocks
  • Shooting percentages: 49.4 from the field, 79.1 from the foul line
  • Playoff games with Utah: 20
  • Postseason averages: 5.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks

In the final season of his first stretch with the Jazz, Rich Kelley finished No. 2 in the NBA with 12.8 rebounds per game and No. 8 in the league with his average of 2.1 blocks. He did so while also pouring in 15.7 points per game.

Those lofty numbers led to the substantial hype in new Jazzland upon the return a few years later of the franchise’s former No. 7 overall selection at the 1975 NBA Draft.

Although the 7-foot center out of Stanford never delivered to the level of his last few years in New Orleans, he was a part-time starter for those three seasons around the age of 30. And those Kelley years in Salt Lake City included the Jazz seeing their first two playoff appearances, which then turned into 20 in a row between the Frank Layden and Jerry Sloan tenures as head coach.