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Jazz Fan Beginner’s Guide

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Why is the Jazz mascot a bear?

It's easy to figure out that Karl Malone and John Stockton are the two most popular players on the Jazz team are.

But who's the third?

Well, he's not actually a player. Bear, the wild furry and funny mascot of the Jazz ranks just below the dynamic duo in surveys done by Utah Jazz officials asking fans their fancies.

The product of marketing minds, Bear was born three years ago to fill the "dead time" during games for the Jazz faithful and make public appearances when players couldn't.

But the organization wanted a mascot that was tough, cool, strong, intimidating and, in the right light, lovable. And finding an animal that had anything to do with jazz was, well, impossible.

"We wanted an animal that could command respect, not like a Seagull," said Grant Harrison, vice president of promotions and game operations. "We wanted to pick an animal that was kind of indigenous to Utah, and brown bears are indigenous to Utah. So the Bear does kind of fit he just kind of evolved."