Skip to main content

Shawn Kemp on why Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings were the toughest crowds to play in front off

utah jazz copy

Hopefully, we'll see fans back in the stadiums attending the games with no restrictions next season at full capacity. Having fans in attendance brings another excitement to the game, and at the end of the day, the game, teams, and the players would be nothing without the fans. With that being said, some of the fans are nicer and more polite than the others, which is another aspect that makes the whole experience of attending live games so much more fun. Of course, the interaction between the fans and players can go both ways, but it's interesting to hear from current and former players which NBA team has the toughest home crowd.

We had the opportunity to ask former NBA player Shawn Kemp this question in one of our interviews and received a fascinating answer which in some way wasn't so surprising. Kemp had a longstanding career in the '90s when things were slightly different around the league, and rules were a bit looser if fans interacted with the players. Nowadays, we see fans getting banned from the game if they insult players, but 20-30 years ago, that was one of the challenges of playing against those types of home crowds in the league.

For Kemp personally, the most challenging arena to play in was in Salt Lake City in front of the Utah Jazz fans. Kemp remembers the Jazz fans would go to extreme lengths to give their team an extra edge, like constantly calling the hotel room or waiting before the games.

The toughest city to play in was, no doubt Utah. They got some fans there that are relentless. They don't stop. They will call your hotel room; they will meet you outside before the game.

Shawn Kemp, via 1-on-1 with Basketball Network

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

That doesn't sound like a big surprise if you watched The Last Dance documentary and remember there is still a conspiracy theory going around how they poisoned Michael Jordan's food during the 1997 NBA finals. The late great Kobe Bryant also said he loved the challenge of playing against the Utah Jazz and their fans because they would constantly trash-talk you saying some pretty nasty things. The Jazz arena is constructed in such a way you feel the fans are closer to the court, which is an aspect that adds to a more personal connection between the fans and the players.

They are relentless. And also the Sacramento Kings because they have the cowbells, and they ring those cowbells. It's the worst sound ever. So the Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz have the worst fans ever.

Shawn Kemp, via 1-on-1 with Basketball Network

Not all home crowds are the same, obviously, and some fans are more likely to push the limits on what is considered polite in the sports arena. Of course, going to the extreme is never beneficial but giving that extra edge to your home team definitely means a lot, and sometimes fans are creative in the way they doit it, no matter which country their from or which sport is played.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook hasn't committed a turnover in two games, and it's the first time in his career

Los Angeles Lakers Russell Westbrook hasn't committed a turnover in two games following their victories over the Portland Trailblazers and Milwaukee Bucks

Zach Lowe & Kendrick Perkins

Come on now Perk, I don’t want to fight with you Perk" - Zach Lowe goes in on Kendrick Perkins' MVP list

ESPN's Zach Lowe disagrees with Kendrick Perkins' MVP list that includes Indiana Pacers' Tyrese Haliburton and not Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley’s guarantee that the USMNT would beat the Netherlands in the 2022 World Cup aged like sour milk

Barkley guaranteed that the US would beat the Netherlands, and promptly caught a lot of flak after they failed to do so

Stephon Marbury as a member of the New Jersey Nets in 2000

"They picked the wrong coach at the time" - Stephon Marbury on why the 2004 USA Olympic Team failed terribly

It is unknown if Starbury and Brown ever ended their feud which began at the 2004 Olympics.

Philadelphia 76ers center Moses Malone and center Darryl Dawkins

“Moses Malone did help me make up my mind” — why Darryl Dawkins jumped straight from high school to the NBA

Darryl Dawkins was inspired and motivated by how Moses Malone quickly hit his stride in the pros despite coming straight out of high school.

Dennis Rodman is honored during halftime as an NBA 75th anniversary team member at the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

How Dennis Rodman became successful in marketing the bad boy image in the NBA

Dennis Rodman didn't try to tame his wild side and instead use it to market himself as a bad boy in the NBA.