By Will McDonald
In a long overdue announcement, team officials for the Utah Jazz announced Thursday that the team would be retiring Jazz-legend Kenny G’s jersey during a pregame ceremony at the start of the 2020-2021 season. In a post shared on the Jazz’s social media pages, the team credited G with, “being an integral member of the Jazz community for over five decades,” and
one of, “the most recognizable Jazz faces in the latter part of the 20th century.”
G is best remembered by Jazz fans for his contributions in the early 1990s, which led to worldwide fame and regular high-profile appearances in movies, late night television, and radio.
Jazz fans and G have a complicated history, with many claiming his skill never warranted the amount of popularity he achieved. This is likely why the jersey announcement is a surprise to some, including G himself. When asked to comment, G said, “genuine surprise,” and that he was not expecting this.
Regardless of his natural abilities as a player, G appealed to contemporary Jazz fans due to his smooth style of play and perpetual rhythm. At the height of his popularity he was considered the most influential Jazz player alive.
The retirement ceremony is set for Saturday, October 26th, when the Jazz host the Lakers (subject to change dependent upon Covid-19 complications). Promotional games are a growing trend in the league and drive fans to the arenas. Utah’s announcement follows a similar one from the Orlando Magic last week in which the team announced their plans to retire the late Harry Houdini’s straight-jacket at next season’s home-opener.