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A look at some of the highs and lows during the Millers’ ownership of the Utah Jazz

SHARE A look at some of the highs and lows during the Millers’ ownership of the Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller speaks during a news conference introducing Quin Snyder as the new Jazz head coach Saturday, June 7, 2014, in Salt Lake City.

Associated Press

Here’s a look back at key moments from the Miller family’s three decades-plus ownership of the Utah Jazz, with Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith set to take over as the NBA team’s new owner.

April 11, 1985 — Larry H. Miller becomes a co-owner of the Utah Jazz when he purchases a 50% stake in the team for $9.5 million.

June 18, 1985 — The Jazz select Louisiana Tech forward Karl Malone with the 13th pick in the 1985 NBA Draft.

June 16, 1986 — The Millers purchase the franchise outright, paying $17.3 million to Sam Battistone, in order to keep the franchise in Utah.


Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller announcing the financing plans for a new arena, April 29, 1990.

Gary Bryant, Deseret News Archives

Dec. 9, 1988 — Jerry Sloan is hired as head coach of the Jazz, after Frank Layden resigned to become team president 17 games into the 1988-89 season.

June 11, 1990 — Construction begins on the arena located on the west side of downtown Salt Lake City.

Sept. 24, 1991 — John Stockton and Malone are among the 10 players invited to form the 1992 Olympic U.S. men’s basketball team, aka The Dream Team.

Oct. 7, 1991 — The Delta Center — now known as Vivint Smart Home Arena — officially opens after 15 months and 24 days of construction, at the cost of $66 million.

May 18, 1997 — All-Star forward Malone is named MVP of the NBA.

May 29, 1997 — Stockton nails a buzzer-beating 3-pointer — aka “The Shot” — to send the Jazz to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.


Utah’s John Stockton sinks a 3-point shot at the buzzer to beat the Houston Rockets 103-100 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday, May 29, 1997, in Houston. 

Pat Sullivan, Associated Press

June 6, 1997 — Powered by a 37-point, 10-rebound performance by Malone, Utah wins its first-ever NBA Finals game.

June 14, 1998 — The Jazz fall short of winning an NBA title for the second consecutive season, lose to the Chicago Bulls in six games.

Aug. 26, 1999 — Kevin O’Connor is hired as general manager.

May 2, 2003 — Stockton announces his retirement. He is the the NBA’s all-time leader in assists and steals.

Nov. 22, 2004 — The Jazz retire Stockton’s No. 12 jersey.

April 20, 2005 — The 2004-05 regular season mercifully ends, after the Jazz suffer through the lone losing season of Sloan’s head coaching tenure with the team (26-56).


Jazz coach Jerry Sloan announced he’ll be back next season but Larry Miller still shows his emotions. The Jazz announced his contract extension on May 12, 2005, in Salt Lake City.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Feb. 13, 2005 — After 19 seasons in the NBA, the majority spent in Utah, Malone retires.

June 28, 2005 — With the third pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, the Jazz select Illinois point guard Deron Williams.

March 23, 2006 — The franchise retires Malone’s No. 32 jersey.

Feb. 20, 2009 — Miller dies at the age of 64 after battling various health problems. 

April 14, 2010 — The franchise retires the jersey of the late Larry H. Miller.


Greg Miller, left, and Gail Miller, son and wife of the late Larry H. Miller, hug while looking up at the jersey that had been retired in the name of Larry H. Miller, at EnergySolutions Arena during halftime of an NBA basketball game between the Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns Wednesday, April 14, 2010, in Salt Lake City. Miller was the owner of the Utah Jazz.

Associated Press

Feb. 10, 2011 — Sloan retires as head coach of the Jazz after 23 years in the position. His was the longest coaching tenure with the same team in pro sports history. He finished his career with a 1,221-803 record, including a 1,127-682 mark in Utah, and is No. 4 on the all-time NBA coaches wins list.

Feb. 10, 2011 — Tyrone Corbin, a longtime Jazz assistant, takes over in the wake of Sloan’s retirement.

April 7, 2012 — Spurs executive Dennis Lindsay is hired as Utah’s general manager, taking over for O’Connor, who was made executive vice president of basketball operations.

June 27, 2013 — The Jazz trade for center Rudy Gobert, after he was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 27th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

June 7, 2014 — Gail Miller officially introduces Quin Snyder as the Jazz’s new head coach. Snyder replaces Corbin.

Jan. 23, 2017 — Transferred ownership of the Utah Jazz and Vivint Smart Home Arena into a legacy trust in order to keep the franchise in Utah.

June 22, 2017 — The Jazz trade for Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell, who was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 13th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.


Utah journalists watch as Donovan Mitchell is drafted by the Nuggets and traded to the Jazz during the NBA draft at the Zions Bank Basketball Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 22, 2017. 

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

July 4, 2017 — All-Star forward Gordon Hayward announces he is leaving the Jazz to sign with the Boston Celtics.

Mar 14, 2019 — Three days after an ugly verbal altercation between Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook and a Utah fan made national headlines, Jazz owner Gail Miller denounces racism, pleads for civility.

Jun 19, 2019 — In an effort to bring an NBA championship to Utah at long last, the Jazz trade for Memphis point guard Mike Conley, in exchange for Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder and Utah’s pick (No. 23) in the 2019 draft.

May 31, 2020 — Gail Miller speaks out following a night of protest and unrest in Salt Lake City and across the country.

Sept. 17, 2020: Gail Miller sells late husband’s $25M coin collection, donates money to children’s hospital.

Oct. 28, 2020 — The Miller family announces the sale of the Jazz to Qualtrics co-founder and CEO Ryan Smith.