Jazz Bear is the mascot for the Utah Jazz, a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jazz Bear was introduced to the league on November 4, 1994.[1][2] Since Jazz Bear's introduction, he has performed at over 800 Jazz home games.[1] Utah Governor Gary Herbert declared October 10, 2013 as "Jazz Bear Day" in recognition of his 20th season as the Utah Jazz' mascot, and also his countless hours of community and public service and his standing as an important citizen of Utah.[1][3] In 2006, Jazz Bear was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame. Jazz Bear has been named Mascot of the Year 5 times, and has won 8 Mascot Leadership Awards.[4] The Bear has suffered many injuries while performing, including tearing his bicep and rupturing a tendon in his calf.[5]

On October 19, 2018, it was reported that Jon Absey, who had performed as the Jazz Bear for twenty-four years, had been fired for unknown reasons.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b c "Larry H. Miller Charities" (PDF). 2017–18 Utah Jazz Media Guide. NBA Media Ventures. October 14, 2017. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Genessy, Jody (April 11, 2010). "The Bear facts: The Utah Jazz 16-year mascot, Bear, balances life of court jester, charity king". Deseret News. Retrieved October 3, 2015. Bear debuted at the Delta Center on Nov. 4, 1994, rappelling down from a catwalk high above the court (a stunt now banned by the NBA) to introduce himself.
  3. ^ "Utah Governor Declares October 10 as the Utah Jazz Bear 20th Anniversary Day". UtahJazz.com (Press release). NBA Media Ventures. October 10, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "Jazz Bear". UtahJazz.com. NBA Media Ventures. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  5. ^ Lake, Shauna (November 3, 2013). "Person 2 Person: Utah Jazz Bear". KUTV 2News Utah. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  6. ^ Furlong, Josh (October 19, 2018). "Reports: Jazz fire Bear performer after 24 seasons". KSL.com. Deseret Digital Media. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  7. ^ Horrow, Ellen J. (October 19, 2018). "Utah Jazz fire longtime employee who played team's Jazz Bear mascot". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 21, 2018.