Pelicans coach says Warriors' arena noise might be too loud
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams stirred up fans in the Bay Area before Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors on Monday night, saying the decibel level at Oracle Arena might be illegal.
During his pregame news conference, Williams clarified the comments he made at the team's morning shootaround in San Francisco. He said he was trying to compliment the crowd and didn't mean to suggest the Warriors were breaking any rules.
''They've got 20,000 people here, so I'm sure everything they generate is authentic,'' Williams said.
Earlier in the day, Williams was responding to a question about crowd noise at Oracle Arena - which has long been considered one of the NBA's loudest venues - when he made his attention-grabbing remarks.
''I'm not so sure that the decibel level is legal there, and I'm serious,'' Williams said. ''They've done studies on that. Being on the competition committee, there's got to be something to that because it does get a little out of hand.
''I've talked about it for years, they've got some of the best fans in the league here, and they show up early,'' he continued. ''The music before the game, they're playing old-school music, and it's right above your locker room. And you're like, `These people are crazy, man. This is pretty cool.' So I'm sure it has an effect, but after a few minutes it's just basketball.''
Williams said he took ''full responsibility'' for his comments and didn't blame anybody if they took him ''out of context.'' He said Golden State's crowd noise has never come up in conversation with the league's competition committee.
The Warriors have taken advantage of their rollicking home court this season. They had won 19 straight and 40 of 42 entering Monday night's game.
Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis even credited the crowd - an announced sellout of 19,596 wearing golden yellow shirts - for his team's slow start in Game 1. The Warriors went ahead by 15 points after the first quarter, 18 at the half and 25 late in the third quarter before holding off New Orleans 106-99 on Saturday.
''My first playoff experience, it was pretty hectic. So much going on, it was so loud I couldn't hear my teammates, my coaches,'' Davis said after Sunday's practice. ''We started off bad as a team and picked it up as a team when we all got calm.''
Warriors coach Steve Kerr had some fun with Williams' comments. He joked before Game 2 that ''I'm just going to make an appeal to our fans to be as quiet as possible. It's the least we could do.''
Arena officials rolled with Williams' remarks on social media, too. The verified Twitter account of Oracle Arena posted, ''Dear Monty Williams: (hashtag)SorryNotSorry for being loud,'' with a clip of rapper Kanye West shrugging his shoulders.
Williams said Warriors' fans now are as loud as Utah's in the 1990s and Sacramento's in the early 2000s. But he didn't think his comments would make the Warriors' arena any louder.
''If I'm the lightning rod, man, it's a messed up world,'' he said, chuckling.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson and forward Andre Iguodala said that they've heard the arena louder than it was Saturday afternoon. They said it's typically louder for night games.
''It's something you got to get used to,'' Thompson said. ''We all got to adjust, and that's not just them. That's why we have the best homecourt in the NBA is because our fans are great and they show up every night.''
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP