SALT LAKE CITY — While Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday will provide many with a day of relaxation and celebration, the Utah Jazz won’t get time to do either.
The Jazz will have the privilege of flying into one of the busiest cities in the country on Thursday in preparation for their Friday night game against the Los Angeles Lakers. They’re set to depart later in the afternoon, but it won’t leave time for coaches and players to be with family for a traditional Thanksgiving celebration.
Utah head coach Quin Snyder said before his team took on the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night at Vivint Arena that he celebrated the holiday with his family on Tuesday night.
“We have our extended family,” Snyder said, referring to the team.
It’s a rather unique position for the Jazz, who have been able to be in Salt Lake City for the entirety of Thanksgiving Day each year since 2013 before this one.
LAUREN MCCLUSKEY’S MOM GETS NBA PLAYERS’ SHOES: Following the murder of University of Utah track and field athlete Lauren McCluskey on Oct. 22, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and former Ute Kyle Kuzma, now of the Lakers, wrote messages on their game shoes honoring her.
Earlier this week, McCluskey’s mother Jill posted on Twitter that she had received the pairs of shoes, along with the framed track jersey the university had given to her family.
After thanking Kuzma, Mitchell, the Jazz organization, and the Utah athletic department, McCluskey wrote, “Protect sisters, daughters, friends…” and added #NBA and #ForLauren.
Mitchell responded by writing, “I’m so glad I could help I know @kylekuzma feels the same way,” and a minute later, Kuzma wrote, “No problem!! #ForLauren @spidadmitchell.”
Both players added the praying emoji to their responses.Comment on this story
IS THERE NO PLACE LIKE HOME?: The Jazz are second in the NBA in most road games played thus far at 11 (the Brooklyn Nets played their 12th Wednesday night) after a 10-day, five-contest trip, but even though they were home on Wednesday, it’s a common refrain around the league that the first home game after a long road trip often feels like another away game because of the travel involved.
Ricky Rubio said at shootaround Wednesday morning that he was happy to play at Vivint Arena again, though, and that being in his own house for a few nights was nice, even though the team will have to leave again so soon for their game against Los Angeles.
“You live day by day,” he said. “Today we’ll be home. I’ll sleep in my own bed, and that feels great, I’m telling you.”