Spurs bracing for loud, hostile crowd in Utah

The Utah Jazz traditionally have one of the loudest, most vociferous crowds in the NBA. It’s been that way since John Stockton and his short basketball shorts were wreaking havoc across the NBA in the late 1980s.

Even as the old Delta Center has changed its name to the EnergySolutions Arena, the crowd still are loud and hostile when the Jazz are at home.

Tony Parker said Thursday he would rank the Utah crowd as one of the five loudest in the NBA.

“Since I’ve been here back with Karl Malone and John Stockton, suddenly there are no more calls, it’s like super physical and it’s almost like no referees,” Parker said, chuckling. “It’s great over there. I like the atmosphere, the fans they are great and it’s going to be fun.”

Parker said the Utah crowds remind him a little of the crowds he sees in Europe because of their historic passion for their team and their insults for rival teams.

“Especially back in the day when they had John Stockton and Karl Malone, it was just like that,” Parker said. “When the fans were scremaing and cursing at you … it was just like Europe except they didn’t throw coins or stuff  at you.” 

But Manu Ginobili, a veteran of many European seasons, says the Jazz fans aren’t nearly as obnoxious as those across the pond.

“Believe me, it’s not like Europe,” Ginobili said. “I’ve been scared. They’ve thrown rocks at me. Batteries. Coins. Luckily, it’s not like that here.

“It gets loud, of course. It gets fun. But you never feel threatened. I did feel threatened over there.”

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