Utah, the Warriors say, has no nightlife.
“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 told ESPN’s Chris Haynes. “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.’”
Matt Barnes agrees, although his reasoning also includes his kids living in Los Angeles.
“No comparison. There's no such thing, man,” Barnes told Haynes. “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."
It wasn’t a team-wide mandate to trash Salt Lake City — while Kevin Durant said he had never been out in Utah, but said his “approach was the same,” while Draymond Green said this: “It's the playoff. Nobody worried about nightlife during the playoffs.”
However, the damage has been done, and Utah is surely hanging up those quotes from Iguodala and Barnes somewhere in the locker room.
I have two main takeaways from this.
1. Yes, this is so, so, so, so Warriors, who are fueled by arrogance from the top of the organization on down to the players. Put anyone in that situation — the Warriors’ past three seasons is the winningest stretch ever in NBA history — and they might struggle to do the same. But Golden State literally threw a “Super Villains” party so let’s not act like they don’t know what they’re doing.
2. (whispering so Jazz fans don’t see this) They’re also not wrong. You shouldn’t say those things before a playoff series, even if you’re the overwhelming favorites, unless you’re just trying to piss off the other team. (OK, yes, that is exactly what the Warriors are trying to do.) But I checked out Salt Lake City on Google maps, and this is what it came up with.
Yes, that’s TWO Chili’s listed in the top 37 results for “nightlife.” Chili’s. CHILI’S.
I guess it could’ve been worse. What if those two had been Applebee’s?