It's a 'bad city,' but Utah has good fans

SALT LAKE CITY -- Dirk Nowitzki uttered the infamous line during the first playoff series of his career: "Utah is a bad city."

Never mind the big German's geographic confusion. Jazz fans have never forgiven him, greeting him with boos every time he makes a trip to Salt Lake City.

Nowitzki gives the Jazz faithful their props. He says they make Energy Solutions Arena one of the most difficult NBA stops for opposing teams.

"Those buildings where they don’t have football, where they don’t have nothing else like Portland and here, that’s usually the buildings where they get the loudest and the craziest," Nowitzki said after the Monday morning shootaround. "The fans just really get into it.

"It’s a challenging building to play in, so hopefully we can keep our emotions in check. There will be some stuff called we don’t like or whatever. Some stuff will go down. We’ve just got to do a good job of staying calm and keeping the emotions in check."

That's been a problem for Dirk here in the recent past. He's been ejected twice for flagrant fouls -- one on Andrei Kirilenko, another on Matt Harpring -- during Utah road trips the last two seasons.