For a brief moment in time, the Golden State Warriors were avid fans of the Los Angeles Clippers. Not because of Blake Griffin or Chris Paul, it was because of the L.A. nightlife.
After the Jazz defeated the Clippers in game seven of a first-round matchup in the NBA playoffs, the reality of the Warriors going into a second round matchup with the Jazz can be aptly describe as “No more parties in L.A.” as the Western Conference’s best team will travel to Salt Lake City for games 3 and 4 of the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.
It’s something the Warriors players aren’t too happy about.
“No comparison. There’s no such thing, man,” Warriors’ forward Matt Barnes told ESPN on Tuesday on after hours activities in Salt Lake City. “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.”
Warriors forward Andre Iguodala echoed Barnes’s sentiments on Utah’s 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,” Iguodala told ESPN. “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.'”
While the Warriors’ stay in Salt Lake City will be brief, current and former African-American Jazz players know the culture shock in Utah all too well. Utah’s nightlife, the lack thereof, along with the small African-American population, was the subject of an article written by Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated called “How black Utah Jazz players have embraced Salt Lake City.”
“When I first got there is when my school [Long Beach State] went out there to play Utah State,” Former Jazz forward Byron Russell told The Undefeated. “I was like, ‘Man, I hope I never come out there again. There was nothing to do out here.’ The next thing I knew, ‘The Jazz draft Bryon Russell with the 43rd pick.'”
Joe Ingles, a Jazz forward, got wind of the Warriors’ take on Utah’s nightlife.
“They can still go to L.A. between games if they want,” Ingles told reporters Monday. “They’ve got enough money to pay for a jet and go home and come back on game day, so… If they want the entertainment, they can drive to Vegas too if they really want. I’ll hire a car for them if they want.”