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Tribune Editorial: Come for the scenery, stay for the erythrocytes

Published May 4, 2017 6:03 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"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," Iguodala said. "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.'"

— Golden State Warriors forward Andre Igoudala on the question of whether he would prefer a playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers or the Utah Jazz.

And with that the talented and occasionally outspoken Igoudala set Utah's social media on fire. As his coach, Steve Kerr, said about another controversial remark, we "just got Andre'd."

While some Utahns were defensive, many more saw opportunity. The Jazz is selling official "nightlife" shirts, and Mayor Jackie Biskupski offered to buy any Warrior the first drink. The Utah Department of Natural Resources answered Igoudala with, "Our strutting sage grouse have better moves than you at the club."

This is a recurring theme, of course. Almost a quarter century ago, when Salt Lake City hosted the NBA All-Star Game in the brand-new Delta Center, the legendary Michael Jordan said, "The best thing about Utah is that it's a hop and skip from Las Vegas."

The funny thing is that Jordan eventually bought a house in the Park City area. Even the legendary Dr. J, Julius Erving, whose high-flying athleticism and basketball-sized afro defined the 1970s NBA, ended up building a house in the St. George area. It seems we're an acquired taste.

But that was later in life for both of them, when Utah's scenery and climate wins out over our club scene. What do professional athletes from the nation's biggest cities do for entertainment on a night in Utah? There are options, but, yes, we'll never compare to Los Angeles. Or even Portland or Denver.

Forget nightlife. How about just shopping? Perhaps the cruelest irony is that we have a world-class shopping center with Tiffany, Coach, Michael Kors, etc., but ... oops … the Warriors' off-day between games is Sunday. The LDS Church-owned City Creek Center will be closed.

That raises the question as to why the Warriors millionaires don't just commute. All NBA teams fly by charter jet, and the flight is only an hour and a half. Why don't they just go home between games?

It may be because there's something else besides nightlife we're lacking in Utah: oxygen. If they travel back to the Bay Area and sea level, will their red blood cell levels stay high enough to compete at our altitude? Do the highly favored Warriors want to risk a sluggish performance just to stay out of sleepy Salt Lake City? Probably not.

Life elevated. Try finding that in L.A.






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