By: Sherwood Strauss
“It is the most intimidating place to play because of the configuration of the arena… and, let’s be honest… they are Mormon. They are in St Lake, and there’s nothing up there. [Mormons] gotta smile and be happy all the time… and this is the one opportunity for people to get vicious in a fair arena. And the fans seem to take full advantage of it.”
Those are comments that a younger Ric Bucher had to apologize for—though I’m not sure why. Perhaps he could have phrased it more artfully, but these are facts:
- Utah is a staid, non-drinking state
- Utah’s NBA fans have a reputation for racially-tinged vitriol.
- Utah state law allows Jerry Sloan to keep 15 wives, and two mistresses during playoff season…kidding…
Anyway, I’m just happy to funnel my unserious hatred toward these SLC punks. Also, it’s fun when ESPN turns national cameras toward the Dubs. It’s like when you fish into the deepest crevice of your fridge, only to discover a substance that’s sticky, rotting, and wholly inscrutable (What IS that?). This is what national announcing teams do when they spy someone named Anthony Tolliver airballing a three, or Devean George actually existing on a NBA court. The intermittent autopsies are especially amusing when Jeff Van Gundy administers, but we were deprived of his Larry David act.
At least Mark Jackson came with it: “Wes Matthews turns Steph Curry into Stuff Curry.”
There was a great visual in the third quarter. Curry sat alone on the bench, bookended by two chairs on each side. He looked miserable, as he clutched a towel with both hands. To his left rested an “in case you need it” tissue box. All the chairs were adorned by that third-grade cursive, schmaltzy “NBA Cares” logo. Instead of getting a ROY, this guy should get a basketball version of the purple heart. Call it the JRich.
This game was Sam Cassell level ugly. There’s not much to say other than, “Utah is good, and we’re starting our own branch of the D-League.” Deron Williams did everything short of this to Curry, which wasn’t surprising. Like everything bad, it was a learning experience. I hope it was a learning experience for Reggie Williams, who looked F-League out there.
- In other NBA news: Wizards and Wolves won! Call off the tanks! Call off the tanks!
- In “totally unrelated to this disaster of a game” news: I made a mistake when I interviewed Stephen Curry and asked after a golf game between him and Matt Steinmetz (the match happened between Curry and Fitz). When I inquired about who won, Curry claimed to have beaten his competition. I sincerely apologize because Steinmetz shouldn’t have to suffer the indignity of Fitz’s golf beatdown. He’s been through enough, covering this wretched season and all.
Follow Sherwood Strauss on Twitter