GARDEN PARTY

WalletHub.com rates Salt Lake the fifth-best city to be a basketball fan, based on 17 metrics, such as performances of local pro and college teams, ticket prices, arena capacity, attendance, championship wins and fan engagement.

Los Angeles ranks No. 1 overall. However, Boston is first among places to be strictly an NBA fan.

Do Bostonians know something about Gordon Hayward’s pending free agency they want to share with Jazz fans?

AN OPERA TOWN

The lowest-rated place for basketball is in New Britain, Connecticut, just 11 miles from Bristol — home of ESPN.

No, there wouldn’t be any interest in sports there.

GROUP RATE

The keep-Hayward campaign caused quite the stir, with several billboards bearing the slogan #Stayward appearing in Salt Lake.

No truth to the rumor there is also a campaign to retain Jeff Withey called #StayWitheyJazz.

TREE TROUBLE
Utah State Elections Office via AP

Tanner Ainge, son of you-know-who, is running for Congress in Utah.

Sources say if he expects to win, he’ll have to certify that neither his father, nor he, bit Tree Rollins in 1983.

TIME SENSITIVE

The Utes have announced kickoff times for five of their upcoming football games, beginning with a 5:30 (MDT) home game against North Dakota on Aug. 31.

Apparently the Pac-12 Network is also hoping to reach that coveted 6:30 p.m. television audience in Grand Forks, or the 4:30 p.m. jobless audience on the West Coast.

CAPTIVE AUDIENCE

Meanwhile, the Utah-BYU game is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9 at 8:30 p.m. at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

If the game goes past midnight, officials might want to consider keeping fans in their seats long enough for a Sunday morning devotional.

Church attendance figures for that week would be strong. Real strong.

GOLDEN THOUGHTS

Asked last month about the first two playoff rounds being boring, Golden State’s Draymond Green said, “Blab, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” while Kevin Durant pretended to be sleeping.

Considering how the Finals have gone, is there any way these guys don’t win the “Prognosticators of the Year” award?

CUSTOM CUT

Two Cleveland neighbors mowed the phrases “Cavs” and “Defend the Land” into their lawns.

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were allegedly seen leaving the premises with a container of Roundup.

REALITY TV

The Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal sniping could have far-reaching implications.

Barkley accused O’Neal of “riding Kobe’s coattails” while O’Neal threatened to “punch (Barkley) right in your face.”

No truth to the rumor that “Inside the NBA” is being folded into “WWE Total Divas.”

SHOCK TALK

Before the NBA Finals began, previously sidelined Warriors coach Steve Kerr expressed surprise his team was favored to win the NBA title.

Maybe he was away from the game longer than we thought.