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Nightlife Shouldn’t Matter To Warriors Right Now

Those Warriors that are upset about having to go to Utah should focus their attention elsewhere, writes Spencer Davies.

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What professional athletes do in their spare time is their own business. Putting in the minutes, hours, days and years into perfecting their craft should allow them to do whatever it is they want to do with their time.

It’s a harsh world out there are far as criticism goes. There are real fans out there that believe players are robots rather than human beings, and demand some nearly impossible expectations out of them.

There is certainly a time and a place where leisure activities can take precedence over a pro athlete’s profession. The playoffs are not one of them.

Monday afternoon, an article was published regarding who the Golden State Warriors preferred to take on in the second round of the postseason: the Utah Jazz or the Los Angeles Clippers. Andre Iguodala, Matt Barnes, and Kevin Durant collectively agreed on the latter.

Now, usually the answer would depend on what types of styles the differing teams play, or maybe wanting to take on a team with more star power over the other. Maybe there isn’t a preference between who they play because the mindset will be the same. But none of those were included in the response to the reporter’s question, and it wasn’t even close to in the same ballpark.

Before going further, know a reality of the sports world: the answers you get are shaped by the way you ask questions.

For example, say a team just came back from a huge deficit to win a game. A journalist would probably ask something like, “What does this say about [Team X]’s resiliency?” The player often answers back in a restatement: “We’re very resilient…” Boom. There’s your headline. This happens a lot, and could very well have been the case here.

Those Warriors, who are coming off of a four-game sweep over the Portland Trail Blazers, based their answer on location due to the much better nightlife in L.A. There’s no question Hollywood has a ritzier area full of celebrities and buzzing clubs. But this particular answer is quite bothersome for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, shouldn’t those three be more preoccupied with their opponents rather than what they’ll be doing after the games? Obviously they have their game plan and will be focused on the upset-minded Jazz, but still, to say that on record is a little disrespectful. It sends a message to Utah: “We’re not taking you seriously.”

Their teammates Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, as well as current interim head coach Mike Brown, couldn’t have cared less about where they went, and they’re the ones that have the right mentaility.

Per ESPN’s Chris Haynes:

“It’s the playoff,” Green said. “Nobody worried about nightlife during the playoffs.”

“Obviously, most of the guys here are more familiar with L.A. than Salt Lake City,” Curry said. “But at the end of the day, if you’re worried about extracurricular during the playoffs and that’s your priority, then you got it twisted already. It’s a business trip wherever we end up going. We’ll be ready.”

When it’s the regular season, fine, have some drinks and a good time between games in the schedule. Even in between series it’s common to do. That’s normal and completely understandable.

But when it’s the second round of the NBA Playoffs, “having a good time” needs take a backseat. Relaxing is one thing, but going out clubbing in between games isn’t a good look or beneficial for a team trying to win its second championship in three years.

In addition, is it really that difficult to stay entertained? The maximum amount of time the Warriors will spend in Salt Lake City will be around four or five days. It’s not like you’re going to be stuck there for weeks. This isn’t saying it’s an ideal place to spend time for everyone, but it’s where you’re going to play for a guaranteed two games.

If it’s really that difficult to keep occupied, pull up Google on your phone and search for a good place to go get food. Maybe go check out some of the things unique to that place. Surely you can kill the time by exploring a little bit. Outside of that, there won’t be too much of a chance to be bored because there will be film study and scouting to prepare for the upcoming match ups.

“I think if you really want to find something to get into, I don’t care where you are, you can find something to get into,” Brown said.

It’s not anyone’s place to tell somebody how to live their life, especially when it’s a club as talented as these Warriors. They could probably go out and party before game nights and still tear it up on the floor. It’s a team with a championship pedigree that’s been there before and knows how to handle itself on the court.

To bring up a subject like this, though, is unnecessary. It’s complaining just to complain. Golden State has everything going its way right now collectively as a well-oiled machine.

If the trio’s focus stays on that end, then they’ll ensure they stay in Utah for as little time as possible. But if they allow this juvenile detail to distract them from a hungry Jazz team with plenty to prove, the Warriors could be in for a tough few games on the road.

Spencer Davies is a Deputy Editor and a Senior NBA Writer based in Cleveland in his third year with Basketball Insiders. Covering the league and the Cavaliers for the past five seasons, his bylines have appeared on Bleacher Report, FOX Sports and HoopsHype.

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