SALT LAKE CITY — When visiting NBA teams roll into Utah, they typically stay at the Grand America Hotel in the heart of Salt Lake City.
The hotel is luxurious, and less than 2 miles away from the Utah Jazz’s Vivint Arena.
But for one NBA coach, the city is allegedly missing his go-to spot: Starbucks.
“Utah’s one, it throws me for a loop. I’m serious,” Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told Sports Illustrated. “I dread going there. I like Utah, but they don’t have a Starbucks.”
D’Antoni’s love for Starbucks was chronicled in a SI feature by Jake Fischer Thursday, where the league’s reigning Coach of the Year admitted his longtime obsession. His daily ritual includes ordering a Venti, sugar-free, vanilla latte while reading the latest USA Today newspaper.
“I don’t actually like coffee,” D’Antoni said. “But I’m addicted to Starbucks.”
In Utah’s defense, at least 10 Starbucks restaurants are within reasonable distance from the hotel. While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints culture shuns coffee, there certainly isn’t an inferior amount of Starbucks within the vicinity.
On Sunday, D’Antoni coached the Rockets to a 137-110 victory over the Jazz with star guard James Harden erupting for a career-high 56 points in Houston.
“They’re a good team, coached really well,” D’Antoni said of Utah after the win.
The longtime coach will get a chance to continue his search for Starbucks in Salt Lake City when the Rockets visit Utah on December 7, to face the Jazz at 8:30 p.m.