Monday, January 30, 2012

Locker rooms and tricky business

Please feel free to enlighten me if you know how the following works, because I'm not at all sure.

A couple examples where 2 different teams call the same stadium, or arena, their home field/court, come to mind.

The New York Jets and New York Giants both play in New Jersey, which is weird enough, but they share the Meadowlands stadium as their home field. Unless they're playing each other, when one's playing at home -- the other has to be on the road. That's probably easy enough for the NFL schedule makers to work around. Being the Jets are from the AFC and the Giants the NFC, they can't meet in the playoffs and, trust me -- even if they both got that far the same year -- there will NEVER be a Super Bowl in the Meadowlands.

Keeping that one in mind, consider another situation that isn't so easy to figure out. That would be the LA Lakers and LA Clippers of the NBA, both sharing the Staples Center as their home. They play in the same division, so they meet several times over the course of the year.

Which raises the question --- how do they work out the locker room situation?

Most assume, including yours truly, that the home team's locker room is quite a bit nicer than what is provided for the "visiting" team. When the ultimate goal is to beat their brains out, why give the other bums all the comforts of home? In days of old, it was rumored the Boston Celtics even went so far as to turn off the hot water in the visitors' locker room. If true, yes, the players probably wouldn't shower until after the game, but knowing what might await them would have to be nagging somewhere in their heads during the course of the game itself. Anything for an edge....

Nowadays, such dirty tricks wouldn't be allowed, of course, but it's probably still a safe bet to assume the visitors' locker room facilities aren't on the same luxury level as the home team's.

Let's say the Lakers were having a 5 game homestand while the Clippers were on the road. You've likely seen TV shots of NBA locker rooms. Each player has a cubicle with his name above it. Contained within are normally a couple uniforms, a few different pairs of sneakers and dress shoes, and the player's personal hygiene products. Throw in a couple "civilian" outfits, a hat or 2, and maybe a picture of the player's wife, kids, or even Grandma. Too boot, most pro locker rooms have these cubicles arranged in a certain pecking order. Though they all play for the same team, it just wouldn't do to have Kobe lockering next to some rookie -- ya know?

But what happens when the Clippers come "home" to play the Lakers in the same building, and the Lakers are now the "visiting" team?

Do they take all the Laker stuff out of the home team locker room, nametags, Grandma, and all, and haul it over to the other one?

And what would happen if they played back to back games, certainly not out of the realm of possibility, where the Clippers were the home team one night and the Lakers the following night?

Do they switch it yet again?

I don't know, but I've got a hunch the hot water isn't a problem anymore.


  1. I would assume they each have permanent locker rooms at Staples Center.

    1. OK, but unless they have a third locker room, when the Clippers are playing at home -- the visiting team would occupy the Lakers' locker room, and vice versa. Either way, Grandma's getting moved. Yes/no?

  2. the staples center has 12 locker rooms.

  3. That sounds about right. Probably take at least 9 or 10 to provide enough room for Kobe's ego.