Steve Ballmer bellowed into the microphone a request from his players: They wanted more energy from fans early in games.
“They said the first quarter can be a little lonely,” the Clippers owner told season ticket-holders during an event in October at Universal Studios.
Actually, the solitary feeling inside Staples Center hasn’t been confined to the early going of games this season.
Blake Griffin became the second Clippers star to question the decibel level inside his home arena after Golden State fans often muffled their more numerous counterparts Tuesday night during the Warriors’ 110-106 victory.
“Home-court advantage is just not there for us,” Griffin said. “If that’s how it feels in the playoffs, it’s not looking good.”
Large pockets of Golden State fans loudly cheered Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson throughout the Warriors’ second-half comeback and chanted “M-V-P!” when Curry shot free throws.
There have been times this season when it’s hard to tell who is the home team inside Staples Center. The Clippers’ in-house deejay, DJ Dense, often proclaims during games that “they say we’re the loudest fans in the NBA,” but not even Clippers players seem to believe that.
Center DeAndre Jordan called the Clippers’ loss to the Miami Heat in January a “road” game because of continual “Let’s go, Heat!” chants on his team's home court. There were similar chants supporting the visiting team when Chicago Bulls beat the Clippers in December.
“I don’t know what we could do, but it would be great if it wasn’t that way,” Griffin said Tuesday. “It’s kind of like when we play the Lakers — I don’t know, maybe worse. It’s one of those things where it would be great if it wasn’t like that.”