Jazz have solid foundation in place

Utah's emphasis on teaching and teamwork has allowed it to overcome the losses of Karl Malone and John Stockton.

Updated: December 11, 2003, 12:22 PM ET
By By Terry Brown | NBA Insider
The Delta Center was not built in a day.

There are 29 teams in the NBA, but it's the Utah Jazz who have the 20-year run of consecutive playoff appearances, a former point guard who set the league record for consecutive seasons with the same team at 19, a former power forward who is second on the list at 18 and a head coach who is the longest tenured field boss in professional sports with the same team at 17.

This is not coincidence.

"We've had such a long run of success because we're stable and we get all the support we need from ownership," said a Jazz scout. "They've developed a philosophy of stability from the top down that extends to the front office, coaches and players.

"I can remember the day coach Sloan told us that whether we failed or succeeded we were all in this together and that has given us the chance to weather the bumps that come along and build something for the long run rather than other organizations who try to cut corners for the quick fix."

John Stockton retired last year as the NBA's all-time leader in assists and steals. Karl Malone signed a free-agent contract with the Lakers after scoring the second-most points in league history with the Jazz. But if you think much else has changed, then you're wrong.