Are MLS or NBA players more real?

            Maybe it’s delivery more than intent that makes the difference.

            After losing in the MLS Cup final on Saturday, Real Salt Lake’s players seemed genuinely grateful to be there. And to get paid. And to have fans who travel to watch them.Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 9.06.08 AM

            That doesn’t always translate in the NBA. I know Jazz players such as Richard Jefferson, Gordon Hayward, Marvin Williams and John Lucas III are great in the community, but when it comes to expressing the gratitude, NBA players seem to freeze up.

            Before tipoff on game nights, one Jazz player will take the court with a microphone and thank the crowd for its support. It’s usually in the form of a rapidly strung together “thanks-for-coming.” But usually the player seems to be reciting something he’s been told to say.

            After RSL’s loss on Saturday, nobody handed anyone a microphone and nothing was recited.

            “Fans love a winning team and a team that’s consistent, and I think Salt Lake City has embraced us that way,” said goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

            “The support that they give us is huge,” said midfielder Kyle Beckerman, “and we really appreciate it.”

            Strange thing is, I think they really do.

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