Professional athletes are just like regular people in that their travel preferences are at least partially contingent on what the city has to offer in terms of food and entertainment. But in the NBA, you don’t get to choose your ideal destination. Sometimes you have to go to Utah, for example.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Utah. It’s a lovely place. But if you’re a young millionaire looking for a sultry nightclub scene, you could be forgiven for maybe wanting to go to Los Angeles instead. That’s exactly why the Warriors were pulling for the Clippers in Game 7 on Sunday, and they weren’t afraid to admit it to Chris Haynes of ESPN.com
“No comparison. There’s no such thing, man,” Warriors’ forward Matt Barnes told ESPN. “There’s no nightlife in Utah. Obviously as players, you want to be able to have a little bit of a nightlife, but the main focus is winning games. Me personally, I want to get out there because I want to beat the Clippers. That’s my former team and my kids are out there. But as far as nightlife, there’s no comparison to nightlife in Utah and L.A.”
“The problem with Utah is that you’re just sitting there and your mind is like dead, because in L.A., you still got energy for the game,” Andre Iguodala said. “Because you’re in L.A., you’re like, ‘Man, this is just the vibe in L.A.’ but in Utah, it can kind of lull you to sleep. And then you’ve slept too long or I’m bored out of my mind and now you got to try to pump yourself up for the game. You know you’re in the playoffs and you’re supposed to be pumped anyway, but the vibe is just like, ‘Man, let’s just get out of here.'”
On the one hand, it’s truly stunning how brazenly dismissive the Warriors are of their competition, that it never even occurred to them to be concerned about which team they’ll face in the second-round and whether one might be a better match-up than the other on the court. On the other, they are the best team in the league, and you have to do something with the other 21 hours of the day you spend there.
Jazz fans obviously won’t take kindly to this, and we certainly wouldn’t put it past the Warriors for deliberately firing a little passive-aggressive shot across the way just to make things interesting in a series that otherwise lacks conflict. Game 1 tips off on Tuesday night at 10:30 ET on TNT in Oakland.