SALT LAKE CITY — The first question for Jazz coach Quin Snyder in the pregame interview was puzzling to him. He was asked if he was a Star Wars fan.
Snyder answered by saying he saw the original "Star Wars" in the late 1970s “at the UA 150 Cinema in Seattle when I was 12.” Then Snyder asked why a Star Wars question.
Well, it turns out it was Star Wars night Friday at Vivint Arena, of which Snyder had no idea.
Fans were encouraged to dress in their favorite Star Wars attire, though no masks or weapons (lightsabers, etc.) were allowed. Nearly everything in the arena — including gear from the team store, concessions, pregame videos and music — was Star Wars-themed throughout the evening.
Several Star Wars characters were seen on the concourse and the Jazz played up the theme all night as P.A. announcer Dan Roberts called New Orleans “the dark side” in pregame introductions and, as the Jazz took the floor, said, “The Force is with us, make some noise.” Even the Jazz dancers did a routine with each wearing white Princess Leia costumes and “earmuff” wigs.
As for Snyder, he didn’t say whether the original was the last Star Wars movie he’d seen, but did say, “I’ve lost touch, but I remember the original.”
WHITE JERSEYS WORK TOO: Besides not paying attention to what the theme for the game is, Snyder doesn’t worry about which uniforms his players are wearing.
Before Friday, the Jazz had worn their new “Statement” gold uniforms for three straight games and won all three. They were back to their traditional white uniforms against New Orleans Friday night and won again.
“I don’t pay attention to our uniforms,” he said. “Whatever we’re wearing — blue, white, gold. . . the guys inside of the uniform that’s what I’m worried about.”
Snyder said he didn’t think the gold jerseys were responsible for Utah’s recent winning ways.
“I don’t know that it’s been the jerseys,” he said. “I like the uniform, though.”
QUOTEWORTHY: When asked about the brutal schedule in December, which is ranked as the toughest in the NBA, Snyder called it “ominous,” and added, “I don’t want to go into it like we’re evacuating for a hurricane.”
NEW TEAM FOR CLARK: Former Jazzman Ian Clark was in the house as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans Friday night.
After two seasons with the Jazz and a brief stint with Denver, Clark played two seasons with the Golden State Warriors and was a key contributor to the NBA championship team last year. He played in all but five games, averaging 6.8 points on 49-percent shooting.
After the season, he signed as a free agent with New Orleans, hoping to see even more time with the Pelicans.
It hasn’t worked out as hoped for Clark. After seeing 20-plus minutes a night during October, his minutes have gradually dwindled and he's averaged only six minutes over the past seven games. He went scoreless in nine minutes Friday.
“It’s been tough for him, because he hasn’t played as many minutes as he anticipated,” said coach Pelicans' coach Alvin Gentry. “The thing I told him is, 'You just got to continue.' He’s the consummate professional. There’s going to be situations where we really need him. He shoots the basketball and you can always use shooters.”
“It’s been an adjustment,” Clark said. “It’s a different team but it’s still good. I’m working every day battling with my teammates trying to get wins."