I apparently like San Antonio more than Tyrone Corbin does. Maybe he toured the Alamo one too many times when he played for the Spurs at the beginning of his 16-year NBA career, from 1985-87. Could be he doesn’t like dining outdoors on the Riverwalk under the stars at night that are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. Perhaps he has an aversion to belt buckles, Garth Brooks music, mariachi bands and chaps.
Or maybe he wanted to see if Deseret News columnist extraordinaire Brad Rock will shoot me at high noon after being my roomie for five days — more than I’ve seen my wife all season — but didn’t want to find out if his players would go stir crazy in SanAntone. Who knows?
What Corbin does like is having his team in Utah during this prolonged intermission between Games 1 and 2. The Jazz flew out of San Antonio on Sunday afternoon and won’t return until Tuesday after practice for Wednesday night’s game.
This might come as a shock, but the Jazz coach didn’t consult me on this matter because I would’ve much preferred the team I follow around for a living to have stayed in the same town, state and geographical region of the country that I’m in until their next game.
But, alas, Corbin took his ballers and went home.
Instead of going to Jazz practice this morning off of I-15 in Salt Lake City, The Rockmonster and I made our way up I-10 East, took a breakfast burrito detour at Sonic and ended on Spurs Lane.
Instead of talking to Big Al, Paul Millsap and Gordon Hayward, the guys I interviewed had French, Argentinian and U.S. Virgin Islander accents.
For a couple of days, I’ve been relieved of Jazz beat writer duties — go get ’em, Randy Hollis and Dirk Facer. I’ve become the Spurs beat writer. (I’ll wait a few days before changing this blog to Spursland.)
I’m sure I’ll get used to Texas this week. The warm, muggy air has made me sweat more than usual, and I was reminded, “You’re in Texas. Everything is big!” by a restaurant employee when I replied “Oh my gosh!” upon seeing how big the onion straws appetizer was at Saltgrass Steakhouse on the Riverwalk. (I imagine a similar reaction when my boss sees the bill.)
Jazz players had mixed reactions about going back home for a couple of days. Neither option was perfect — either try to find things to do in San Antonio for three days or return to the comforts of home for a couple of days (while leaving the traveling beat writers, a couple of columnists and three TV reporters behind to fend for themselves).
“I’d rather stay here,” Derrick Favors said Sunday in the Alamo City. “But, you know, I don’t call the rules. I just do what they tell me.”
“It’s really not my decision, you know, but it is what it is. We’re going back,” Paul Millsap said Sunday. “We get to get to our facilities and get a few maintenance thigns down. It will work out.”
DeMarre Carroll tweeted this after Sunday’s 106-91 loss to my new team: “Flight back to Utah… SMD.” (That stands for ‘smacking my dreds,’ which is his version of ‘smacking my head.’)
I’m not sure what the best call was for the Jazz. Ridiculously priced airfare and exorbitant change fees made my decision simple. Selfishly, I would’ve preferred the Jazz stay here where I am (not sure the feeling is mutual from the players). But, honestly, fans benefit from getting extra coverage from two teams in two towns. Plus, I now know Stephen Jackson has two rap CDs and he informed us that he’s a dang humble dude, saying, “I’m really humble about having the talent of basketball and the gift of basketball.”
Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’ve got another trip to the Alamo to plan. (Some people on Twitter have said the basement there is awesome.)