When you think about the people who helped slowly transform the New Orleans/Utah Jazz from a woeful expansion team in the mid-’70s to a playoffs mainstay, two-time NBA Finals challenger and one of the league’s best overall organizations, a handful of names immediately come to mind.
Sam Battistone. Pete Maravich. Hot Rod Hundley. Larry H. and Gail Miller. Frank Layden. Adrian Dantley. Karl Malone. John Stockton. Jerry Sloan. However, they’re not the only people who should be on the Jazz’s proverbial Mount Rushmore. Without question, Don Sparks, the team’s first athletic trainer — who went on to man the post for 20 years — definitely earned his own spot on the mountain.