Chris Paul denies ‘homer’ talk about Jazz fans was a criticism
Los Angeles Clippers evened up their first-round series with the Utah Jazz courtesy of Tuesday’s 99-91 home-court victory. And with the series set to change venues and head to Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City for Friday’s Game 3, Chris Paul is denying comments about Jazz fans should be construed as criticism.
Paul had previously referred to passionate Jazz fans as “homers” when speaking to how the Clippers should expect a rowdy fan base in Utah’s home arena. The Clippers point guard expressed surprise over the reaction, especially among Jazz fans on social media.
Chris Paul has something to say about his comment that Jazz fans are homers. pic.twitter.com/gBbhKQw7E0
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) April 19, 2017
“Tell me what you took that as,” Paul said following Wednesday’s win, as transcribed by Dime Mag. “If you reachin’ that much, then you tell me what you took it as. Exactly, that means they like their team. Why even try that, though? I’ve said that before, they’re homers. When you go play there you don’t really see opposing team’s jerseys. You know what I mean? Like, they support their team. Which is good! So how can you even take that another way?”
Paul’s original comments that caused all the fuss were as follows.
“They’ve got true homers there,” Paul said, via desertetnews.com. “Usually when we travel, we might see a few fans. But everybody there is for Utah. You’re very rarely going to see a Clippers jersey in there.
“It’s a cool environment. They support their players and the players feed off that energy.”
Several members of the Clippers organization echoed Paul’s seemingly innocuous at worst and complimentary at best comments.
Austin Rivers said the Jazz’s home arena is “probably one of the best home-court advantages in the league.” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said Jazz fans make for “a very rowdy crowd but a great crowd.”
In short, Paul’s original comments were effectively much ado about nothing. But in the playoffs, any perceived slight is typically chalked up as “bulletin board material.”
It’s unlikely any Jazz player will take offense to Paul’s comments. Nor is it likely Jazz fans need any added incentive to be riled up for Game 3.