Clippers 82 Grizzlies 72 + NBA Western Conference Round 2 Preview

Wow. If someone would have told you beforehand that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin would combine for 2 points in the fourth quarter of this game 7, would you have picked the Clippers to win by 10?                      

I will admit upfront that I totally blew my analysis of this series. I stated that the Clippers were awful defensively on the wings, and that proved to be flat out wrong, for several reasons. First of all, Caron Butler was superb defensively on Rudy Gay, which surprised the heck out of me.  Secondly, Eric Bledsoe was a complete revelation defensively, and he got some important minutes not only at back-up point, but at the two alongside Paul. Based on this performance, Bledsoe is one of the best on the ball defenders in the league.  And third, KMart was absolutely incredible on the defensive end, in the Ekpe Udoh role: switching out on guards, and covering the whole floor.  Neither Gay nor Mayo could shake him on the perimeter, and Gasol and Randolph struggled for everything inside.

I did predict that the Grizzlies would suffer chemistry problems with Zach Randolph’s reinsertion into the starting lineup after missing the entire season. I had no idea they would be this bad, though.  The Grizzlies offense was a complete mess, with Hollins never figuring out how to exploit his edge inside, and Rudy Gay perhaps unwilling to follow that agenda.  The much maligned Vinnie del Negro looked like a genius in this series, completely outcoaching Hollins.

Please note that Lacob target DeAndre Jordan averaged about 20 (horrible) minutes in this series, and that the Clippers came out on top playing small, with Griffin and Evans at center in crunch time. Yes, you can win in the playoffs going “small”, as the Thunder are about to prove to the big, bad Lakers, the Heat are about to prove against Indiana, and the Celtics and the Sixers are about to prove against each other.

And I think we’re going to see a lot of small ball in this next series as well:

Spurs vs Clippers:  There’s no line on this series yet, probably because of the uncertainty surrounding Blake Griffin’s knee.  I expect the price to be around 9-1 favoring the Spurs. And I think the Spurs will very likely sweep, regardless of Griffin’s health.

The Spurs can do what the Grizzlies couldn’t against the Clippers: Spread the floor and hit the three.  Unlike Mayo — who doesn’t have playoff length, and struggles to get his shot off — and unlike Gay — who is mediocre from three, the Spurs have a legion of proven playoff three-point shooters: Ginobil, Jackson, and Bonner. Not to mention the three point shooting wing rookies Pop added, who in the best Don Nelson mold, all have playoff length: 6-5″+.

And the Spurs can and will run, led of course by Parker and Ginobili.

I don’t think the Clippers’ defense will look nearly as good in this series as in the last.  I think the Spurs will average close to 100 points a game, and the Clips will struggle to break 90.

Thunder (-450) v. Lakers (+325):  I thought Kobe Bryant was amazing in game 7 against the Nuggets, in the way he unselfishly looked to set up his teammates all game long.  And in particular Pau Gasol, who is a fantastic player with the ball in his hands. Kobe made the Nuggets double-team pay.

Will he continue to play this way in the Thunder series?  I think it’s the only way the Lakers can win.  And in my experience Kobe has never played that way before.

And will Scottie Brooks go to school on the fabulous defensive game plan that George Karl designed for the Lakers?  Will he double Kobe or let Sefolosha and Harden try him one-on-one?

Lot of fascinating matchups to watch in this series, with Artest v. Durantula at the top of the list.  This year’s Metta World Peace is a far better player than last year’s Artest.  He’s completely healthy and in fantastic shape, and is back to playing some of the most ferocious defense in the league. Durant is in for a lot of pain, such as he’s never felt before. How will he react?

Kobe vs. Harden:  Harden is really, really good. Is he old-Kobe good? It’ll be tough for me to decide whether to focus on this matchup, or on World Peace tenderizing Durant’s kidneys out of sight of the refs.

Ibaka vs. Gasol: This will look like an utter rout, unless Kobe continues to set up his teammate.  If the Lakers continue running the Kobe/Gasol pick and roll that was so successful in game 7 against the Nuggets, Gasol will have a fighting chance.

Popovich, Nellie and Karl could win this matchup with Gasol. Phil Jackson couldn’t. Can Mike Brown?

Bynum vs. Perkins:  This should be an utter rout, and is the key to the Lakers’ chances in this series.  They need to get the Thunders bigs in foul trouble if they want to win. Will Bynum show up to play in every game?

Westbrook vs. The World:  The Lakers will need their whole team to keep Westbrook out of the lane.  If Westbrook’s jumper is falling — and it was much improved this season — the Lakers are in trouble.  But if it’s not, Westbrook will keep on shooting.  I suspect that he will badly want to be the star of this series, and that could be the Thunder’s Achilles heel.

But on the defensive end, Westbrook will completely devour Blake and Sessions.

It’s pretty hard to see the Lakers coming out of this series, considering how badly they struggled against Denver. The supercharged Thunder are the Nuggets on steroids.

On the other hand, the Lakers played Denver without Metta World Peace. And I’m pretty sure they tanked the middle games of the Denver series so that they’d have MWP back to start this series against the Thunder.

So maybe this series will be more competitive than the line suggests. It will be fun to watch, regardless — clearly the best series of the second round.

Let’s drop the puck.

194 Responses to Clippers 82 Grizzlies 72 + NBA Western Conference Round 2 Preview

  1. I guessed 100% on the wrapup of the first round, so my confidence is up. Here’s another guess:

    Spurs over Clippers in 5. Stopping M Gasol and Z Randolph was (barely) enough for the Clips to shut down the Grizzlies, and K Martin was the key. But he won’t be as successful with The Big Fundamental, doesn’t bring enough help D to stop smaller, faster players, and doesn’t contribute enough O to stay on the floor for extended minutes. Griffin is a weak defender at the best of times and he’s hurting now, limiting his mobility even more. And the Clips have no answer for Parker, Ginobili and SJax. I give Chris Paul one single-handed win in this series. The rest is all Spurs.

    Thunder over Lackers in 7. This could go either way, of course. Barring a complete Lacker meltdown – and the team does have a league-leading number of candidates for “most brain-dead” – the Lackers can win this series. But MWP is going to be under a magnifying glass by the refs so he won’t be able to abuse Durant enough to stop him. Ibaka has Gasol’s number, and as is usual for him Gasol won’t force the issue. Bynum is gong to have an absolutely brutal time under the boards – watch for him to blow. Kobe’s heroics can’t match Durant’s efficiency. No one on the Lackers can stop Harden. And the only player in the league who can stop Westbrook is Westbrook. If he sticks to what he does best (driving the lane), the Lackers bigs will be in foul trouble throughout the series.

    Celtics/76ers: Wow, tough call, but I gotta give experience and desire the edge. No one is hungrier than Garnett for One Last Title, and he’s been playing out of his head to get the chance. But this is as far as either team goes in any case. For the East, it going to be the Heat playing for the title.

    Pacers/Heat: It’s the Heat.

    • This entire regular and postseason is one big fluky asterisk. Accordingly my predictions:

      David Stern announces a 1 game playoff between the biggest loser and biggest tanker from 2011-12, and with Mark Jackson coaching to win for a change the Warriors defeat the Bobcats.

      The win qualifies the Dubs for the Coin Flip Playoffs, made necessary by the fact the remaining postseason teams have become too tired to continue playing. In an upset GSW wins the CFP tournament and is declared the NBA champs. YES!

      Joe Lacob, also in the running for NBA Owner of the Year (“Best Tanking Strategy”), wins that coin flip as well and gets an immediate congratulatory telegram from Utah management.

      Stay tuned for the resumption of (real world) NBA hoops in November.

  2. From Matier and Ross:

    It’s official – San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is openly calling on the Golden State Warriors to jump the bay and return to San Francisco “in time for the 2017 NBA season.”

    In a letter also signed by all 11 city supervisors, the Port Commission, San Francisco’s legislative contingent and a host of business and labor leaders, Lee told the team the city would “work with you to achieve this goal.”

    Nothing is official, but it’s clear from the letter that the city is talking about a waterfront arena – most likely on Piers 30-32, the decrepit pier near the Bay Bridge now being used for parking.

    The idea would be to get the arena built the same way the Giants’ ballpark was down the street – with private financing.

    The city sent the letter a few days after the mayor’s meeting in Los Angeles with new Warriors owner (and Hollywood mogul) Peter Guber.

    By happy coincidence for San Francisco, it also went out on the heels of state Controller John Chiang’s demand that Oakland hand over $3.5 million in redevelopment money that the city had hoped to spend on planning a new sports complex that would include an arena.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/13/BAR61OGTFK.DTL#ixzz1uuIgLuu8

  3. The Lakers won’t win a single game in this series with that defensive gameplan. Quite obviously, they need to trap Westbrook on the pick and roll. And Harden’s pick and roll as well, when he’s on the ball.

    And since Bynum is completely helpless against PNR out on the floor, the Lakers need to play zone virtually the entire time he’s in. That 3-2 zone we saw at times, but trapping every single PNR.

    The Thunder have 2 weaknesses on offense: Westbrook’s passing, and three point shooting. So why not make them try to beat you the hard way? Why not try to frustrate Westbrook, turn him over, and make him take bad shots?

    Unfortunately for the Lakers, Mike Brown is a walk-it-up defensive guru, who preaches accountability and no excuses. Those are the guys that always have the toughest time making adjustments, especially against teams that demand a defensive game plan that scraps man-to-man principles.

    • The Lackers did OK with Westbrook. His shot chart showed a lot of jumpers and only a couple of layups. Harden got in close to the hoop often though, usually by pushing the pace and not giving LA time to set up their D.

      Despite the final score, LA still looked like the better “traditional” half-court team last night. If they can slow down the Thunder’s transition game, they have some real advantages to exploit. Last night the Thunder simply didn’t permit LA to play half-court defense. They repeatedly pushed the ball up court before LA’s bigs could get into position. The result was 57% shooting through the 3rd Q, at which time the game was already decided.

  4. Wow! What a game last night by the Thunder! Despite pushing the pace all night they only had 4 turnovers. The fast pace against a tired older team was an obvious tactic, but even the Thunder must have been surprised by just how well it worked. It stopped being a contest just after halftime.

    In my guess above I said this would be a 7-game series if the Lackers didn’t melt down. They melted last night. It would be a real coup for coach Brown if he could pull his team back together at all after last night. It wouldn’t affect the final result, though. Their whole starting 5 has already quit. The only question left is who will be the next Lacker to embarrass himself when he’s thrown out of the game.

  5. @ #4, re public financing of stadiums:

    Here’s an overview of what new sports venues do for cities:

    http://www.tgci.com/magazine/A%20Game%20of%20Give%20and%20Take.pdf

    It’s an old paper (1999), but its findings are consistent with every independent study I’ve seen on the topic: government assistance to sports venues almost always delivers a net loss for governments and the local population in general.

    New arenas are a big plus for politicians, though. They’re popular with voters.

    Mayor Johnson in Sacramento probably managed the question the best. He “tried hard” to satisfy the Maloofs, and any “reasonable” team owner would have taken his offer – but in the end Sacramento gets to keep its money for city services instead.

  6. “This entire regular and postseason is one big fluky asterisk.”

    From ESPN’s TrueHoop:

    “The NBA has gone to some trouble to tamp down suggestions that the compressed, post-lockout schedule has changed much of anything. What’s an extra game or two a month, they say?

    Just the other night, for instance, Commissioner David Stern deflected a question about injuries this season by pointing out how few anterior cruciate ligaments players torn this season compared to normal. Two, he says, in the regular season, as compared to a typical five.

    John Hollinger and others took a look at the data (Insider) and found the same thing the NBA did: There does not seem to be evidence more players are getting injured this season.

    And yet, around the NBA you’ll hear the story again and again: Guys are getting hurt because they’re exhausted by the condensed schedule. It’s a story that could be true — there could be oddities in the data (for instance, maybe coaches were more careful about resting players this year, and so a flat injury rate would actually represent an increase of a sort).

    But mostly it’s a story that sticks because it makes sense: There was a lockout. There was a condensed season that everyone said would lead to injuries … and then there were injuries.

    Done and done.

    If “the schedule is killing us” rhetoric was at a high pitch before, watch out this weekend, when both West series will play back-to-backs. The Thunder and Lakers play Friday and Saturday nights. The Spurs and Clippers play Saturday afternoon and Sunday night. Throw in single days off between games, and you have some of those three-games-in-four nights, and four-games-in-six nights stretches that are routinely blamed for sub-par regular season play.

    Meanwhile, the Spurs and Lakers are two of the older teams in the league, and the Clippers are wounded warriors. Special sympathy has to go to the Lakers, who are chapped about the Chris Paul trade that didn’t happen at the outset of the season, are coming out of a grueling contest against the Nuggets during which they often looked exhausted and are now facing the league’s most astonishingly rested and young team in the Thunder.

    Even, knock wood, if no one from any of those teams gets hurt in the days to come — although injuries happen all the time, of course — it is a lock that a week from now fans in one city or another will blame the schedule-makers.

    Early next week both West series will have a team trailing 3-2, or worse. Maybe fans of that team will blame their predicament on the other team simply being better, or some other basketball factor.

    But more likely they’ll blame David Stern and his minions, for their lockout, their dense season and their unusual second-round playoff schedule. Mark my words: In some city or another, this weekend’s schedule will become the lockout’s most noticeable legacy.”

    • It’s not like any team was singled out for preferential treatment. These are athletic contests. OF COURSE fitness is an advantage. This year it counts for slightly more than normal, evenly, across the board, for all players. Fine. One could make the argument that a regular season unfairly coddles out-of-shape players, and this year’s schedule is more like regular neighborhood street ball – real basketball played by real people.

  7. Anybody heard anything about this?

    We all heard about the SH charge against Ellis in December, but the article linked below claims that the dubs have settled AT LEAST FOUR sexual harassment suits in the last two years.

    http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/05/sources-warriors-settle-sex-harrassment-suits/

    • no reason to doubt that article and its tally of four settlements, since we heard about two of them when the suits were filed. the lacobites as we know well are extremely retentive in controlling their media image and relations. an informed public should be extremely skeptical of a corporation that seemingly offers voluminous access to its c.e.o. and blustery ‘guarantees’ to season ticket holders. the potential of tarnishing that image is obviously what gives leverage to the plaintiffs.

      the team’s official position on Ellis’ escapades were, whatever went on was consensual between adults. apparently they took K.Lacob’s indiscretions with the ‘cheerleaders’ and their coach seriously enough that they promoted him to ass’t. g.m. right after settling the suit.

      • The 2nd suit they just settled involved Kirk Lacob? The Slam article just mentioned a claim against “a team executive.” Would that explain Kirk’s 4-month banishment to the Dakotas? He returned to Oakland as Asst. GM just days after the suit was settled.

        Is that for real?

      • Moto, I think you’re going to have to explicate that last paragraph! Do you know something?

        • Did a little digging around. All of the reports I found about K. Lacob and the alleged multiple earlier lawsuits were sourced by SlamOnline. Slam “overheard a conversation” re K. Lacob, and cites “unnamed sources” concerning the earlier claims. Slam has no documentation. All issues have been settled out of court. All settlements have been sealed. No one’s talking. There is no story.

          • the allegations contra Lacob the Younger came out when the suit was originally filed, probably because legal filings are in the public record. as we know, when non-disclosure is a condition of an out of court settlement, it’s a variation of what is euphemistically termed ‘hush money’. there can be ‘no story’ because that’s the intention of the settlement.

            the burden of proof for plaintiffs in civil cases isn’t as stiff as criminal trials. settling out of court is a concession that the defendant does not want the allegations detailed, elaborated, or corroborated in public. if the lacobites were sure the plaintiffs had ø case, ø evidence/corroboration, why would they not be willing to go to trial ?

    • Another source has inappropriate emails and other communication coming from an executive:

      http://forums.warriorsworld.net/main/msgs/3238536.phtml

      But it looks like everyone is recycling the Slam report.

      It’s a good thing the Ellis situation was settled out of court. I understand cellphone pictures were sent of his, um, parts. I’m trying to imagine what the police lineup would have been like.

  8. Klay Thompson 6th in rookie of the year. Remarkably for me, I have no issue with the order of the top 6. I’m sure Sactown fans think Isaiah Thomas got stiffed though.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7932099/cleveland-cavaliers-kyrie-irving-runaway-winner-rookie-year

    • all five rookies above Thompson in the voting surpass him in defense, and the third through fifth places were drafted after him. we’ll never know for sure how much Thompson’s selection came from West’s confidence in his future improvement — a three season sample is much more reliable than a single rookie year — or if an assessment that the team couldn’t progress with Ellis dominating the offense also influenced the decision.

  9. George Karl says the 2012 champ will be the Thunder or the Spurs. “I think there’s four or five teams in the West that can beat Miami.”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/42882/george-karl-thunder-spurs-only-contenders

  10. In his last 5 games, Charles Jenkins averaged 15.2 points and 8.8 assists per game. If that were his season average, where would that place him in ROY voting?

    Just for comparison, in the last 5 games Thompson averaged 20 ppg but only 3.2 assists. Kawhi Leonard (3rd in ROY voting) averaged 7.9 pts. and 1.1 assists.

  11. The Thunder is the NBA’ s future- quickness, length, and deadly shooting. Can beat you at the rim and on the perimeter. The Lakers are big and slow inside. A relic of the past.

    • The section on Reggie Evans indicates clearly how the refs’ decision whether to call a series tightly or not can heavily influence the outcome. That decision clearly favored the Clippers against the much bigger and interior oriented Grizzlies.

  12. The great Greg Popovich:

  13. “The Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets are among the teams eyeing Lin as free agency approaches, according to sources close to the situation.”

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-pm-will-knicks-re-sign-jeremy-lin-2

  14. Bobcats continue coaching search.

    By Chris Broussard | ESPN The Magazine

    The Charlotte Bobcats’ coaching search will continue this week when owner Michael Jordan’s club interviews Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing on Thursday and Memphis Grizzlies assistant Dave Joerger on Friday, according to sources.

    The Bobcats, whose top priority is to find a coach capable of developing young players, are interviewing Mike Dunlap on Wednesday. Dunlap, a well-respected basketball mind in both college and pro circles, is the associate head coach to Steve Lavin at St. John’s University.

    Ewing, a close friend of Jordan’s and an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic, will be the biggest name yet to speak with the Bobcats. The club already has interviewed Golden State assistant Mike Malone and Cleveland assistant Nate Tibbetts.

    Joerger has quickly developed a reputation as one of the hot young assistant coaches in the league. He just completed his third year in Memphis working with coach Lionel Hollins. Joerger has won five minor league championships as a head coach in the NBA Developmental League, the International Basketball Association and the Continental Basketball Association.

    The Bobcats are not expected to make a hire for several weeks. They also have interest in Indiana assistant Brian Shaw, former Portland and Seattle coach Nate McMillan, and former Utah coach Jerry Sloan, sources said. Bobcats assistant Stephen Silas, son of recently released coach Paul Silas, also will be interviewed, according to sources.

  15. The NBA on Wednesday announced the members of the league’s new competition committee.

    The announcement follows a decision by the league’s board of governors last month to change the committee’s composition. The committee will now include two owners, four general managers, three head coaches and one representative from the NBA Players Association.

    The list of names: GMs Kevin O’Connor (Utah Jazz), Bryan Colangelo (Toronto Raptors), Mitch Kupchak (L.A. Lakers) and Sam Presti (Oklahoma City); owners Dan Gilbert (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Joe Lacob (Golden State); and coaches Rick Carlisle (Dallas Mavericks), Lionel Hollins (Memphis Grizzlies), and Doc Rivers (Boston Celtics).

    The NBPA will designate one of its members to serve on the Committee.

    The Competition Committee votes in favor of changing a playing rule or any other competition-related matter, the recommendation will be brought to the Board of Governors for its consideration and vote. The Committee will meet on a regular basis and its first meeting will take place during the Finals.

  16. OT: Music Time Out

    From 1960 the inimitable Roy Orbison.

  17. @ 27 re Sacramento:

    “…I’ll let you connect the dotes on how Ransacked, an arena deal opponent, got the emails, but…”

    The article goes on to suggest that the Maloofs leaked the emails, but it would make more sense for K. Johnson and Sacramento to do it. No matter how much it would financially hurt the city to keep the Kings, not keeping them in town will hurt Johnson’s reelection campaign. It’s in the city leaders’ interest to make the Maloofs look insanely greedy.

    Part of the problem Sacto is facing in an attempt to keep the Kings is that their current deal heavily subsidizes the owners under terms that any normal business would consider hugely risky and unacceptable. The key point is that city is holding a $68M note from the Maloofs with only $25M collateral. Like a homeowner whose mortgage is underwater, it would be difficult for the Maloofs NOT to walk away, take that $43M gift, and let the city try to sue them to recoup a portion later.

    That old deal doesn’t just favor the Maloofs, it gives them a huge amount of leverage in negotiating more concessions – i.e., double down with us or immediately lose a boatload. Sacto fans may not be happy with the situation, but the Maloofs playing their ace cards doesn’t make them stupid, or uniquely greedy. Any “sharp” investor would do the same thing. Ref. Bain Capital.

  18. From AW today on the Spurs:

    “They made the mistake of trading for Richard Jefferson and the $29 million still owed on his contract three years ago, and they paid a price for it.

    “The Spurs keep coming the way the Indiana Pacers have been built to do in the Eastern Conference: deep, versatile and able to attack in different ways.”

  19. And now for something completely different, perhaps the greatest NBA fan site ever:

    http://work.wongdoody.com/sonics/drobnjak/index.html

  20. Rusty Simmons:

    GS Warriors point guard Stephen Curry will take over NBA TV’s official Twitter account @NBATV on Saturday, May 19 for Game 4 of the series between Oklahoma City and the Lakers. During the takeover, Curry will provide analysis and chat with fans. To interact with Curry via @NBATV twitter account, use the hashtag #TWITTERTAKEOVER.

  21. “Stern’s new committee is expected to work on two major rules changes right away: Adopting the international rule for goaltending, meaning that balls could be legally knocked off the rim or backboard that now would result in a basket; and penalizing “floppers.”

    Stern has talked to GMs in the past about changing the goaltending rule, but never got anywhere. But now he’ll have a more receptive group to consider what would be a dramatic change in the defensive rules.”

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/nba-gm-lose-power-announcement-a-competition-committee-includes-owners-coaches-article-1.1081145#ixzz1vNcL2JVR

    • From the same article:

      “If Jeremy Lin wins his arbitration case and is able to squeeze more money out of the Knicks than the $5 million per year he’s going to get anyway, then tell me how that is good for anyone except Lin. The Knicks don’t need to be overpaying Lin when they’ve already done that with Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, which accounts for the financial straitjacket they put themselves in and will prevent them from signing a first-rate playmaker. The NBA Players Association expects to argue Lin’s case in June and hear a decision before free agency starts in July.”

      • “If Jeremy Lin… is able to squeeze more money out of the Knicks…” Really? LOL! Who’s fleecing who?

        Jeremy Lin is the legitimate big time NBA draw. I’m confident the Knicks/NBA can buy the New Orleans Hornets with all the money made off of Jeremy Lin Knicks #17 jersey and ticket sales around the NBA. Teams around the league can have Asian Heritage night sellouts wherever Lin plays – like Toronto and Charlotte! And I’m not joking too much here! LOL!

  22. One of the most selfish performances I’ve ever witnessed from Kobe last night. I continue to believe that he would rather lose than let a teammate outshine him in a win — particularly in Staples. And then postgame, of course, he threw Gasol under the bus, after stiffing him on about 10 pick and rolls.

    That and Mike Brown’s utter incompetence have sunk the Lakers. It boggles my mind that Brown has refused to make an adjustment against Westbrook, just acquiescing as the second most selfish player in the league tears his team apart. That won’t happen in the next round.

  23. @ 52

    Even though the Thunder looked like a better collection of athletes, it seemed that the Lackers had things under control last night, especially on D. That is, until Kobe decided to “take over.” I’m not sure how much influence Brown can really have on the offense when Kobe decides it’s Kobe Time, but Scott Brooks did the right thing by gluing Kevin Durant to him then. Until Kobe Time, it looked like the Lackers had the right game plan.

    Not sure about Westbrook. The Thunder don’t really run plays, they simply play street ball. And Westbrook is a good street ballplayer. Maybe his coach tells him to always look for his shot.

  24. The loveliness of Paris
    Seems somehow sadly gay
    The glory that was Rome
    Is of another day
    I’ve been terribly alone
    And forgotten in Manhattan
    I’m going home to my city by the bay.

    I left my Golden State in San Francisco
    High on a hill, it calls to me.
    To be where little cable cars
    Climb halfway to the stars!
    The morning fog may chill the air
    I don’t care!
    My love waits there in San Francisco
    Above the blue and windy sea
    When I come home to you, San Francisco,
    Your Golden State will shine for me!

    http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2012/05/20/report-warriors-reach-deal-for-new-arena-in-sf/

    • I like the some of the Clippers bench players like Kenyon Martin (smart defender, skilled shooter), Eric Bledsoe (awesome on the ball defender), and Reggie Evans (rebounding machine). Tough players. Physical defenders. Would look great in the blue and gold!

  25. So, five seasons left at Roaracle? I figure, at the very least, We Believe parts 2 and 3.

  26. Reading between the lines of the sketchy announcement about the GSWs moving to SF, here’s what it sounds like Lacob & Co. get from the City:

    City donates the property gratis.

    City donates parking, infrastructure, streets and traffic system enhancements, gratis.

    “No new taxes and no money from the general fund” translation: City issues new bonds.

    “Privately funded arena” translation: using money borrowed from City bond issue.

    I don’t know that helping the Warriors move to SF is a bad idea for the city. That property has been under-utilized for at least 30 years. But to anyone who believes the City is not going to sink city funds into the Warriors: I have some magic beans you might be interested in.

    • From Yahoo:

      ”Man,” Guber said, ”we got to do this.”

      ”We can turn this dream into a goal by giving it urgency,” said Guber, the movie mogul and Mandalay Entertainment’s chief executive. ”We will play here in 2017. Take that as a promise that we will fulfill. There will be a world-class entertainment venue. We’re all-in.”

      Why am I not excited. . . .

  27. (From TK)

    Right to the transcript of Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob speaking with reporters after the gala presentation/announcement of the team’s planned move to San Francisco’s Pier 30/32 site…

    -Q: Are you ready for complaints by “green” environmental organizations?

    -LACOB: We’re going to make this a “greener” place than it was before. There will be green space around this thing, it’s going to be a “green” building, it will be architecturally very significant, I can assure you…

    It’s an amazing site. We feel honored and respectful of the fact that we’re getting the opportunity to develop something here.

    It’s going to cost us a lot to do it–but we understand that. That’s the way it goes in this day in age, it has to be privately financed to build the arena, and we’re going to do it.

    -Q: Did you consider a bond measure to raise public money for this?

    -LACOB: Not for one minute did we consider it. I’m a resident of the Bay Area, too. We just don’t believe it’s appropriate. I’m not saying it’s not appropriate in other places… But it’s appropriate in this market place with these cities, given the conditions of the state economy…

    We just felt that if we could make the numbers work as entrepreneurs, as financiers, and we think we’re pretty good at this… we think it can work and we can make a return for our investors and do something great for this city.

    -Q: How far along are you in the financing plans–you’ve made the announcement, so do you know you have the money to do this already or is this just speculative?

    -LACOB: It’s not speculative. We’ve said we have assurances from our group–me, from Peter and our investor group–that we are committed to doing this and making it happen.

    Could something in the economy happen like 2008 and throw all of us into a loop? I’m never going to sit here and be arrogant about it. Things happen. Things could happen to turn this around.

    But as we sit here today, we would not be sitting here today in fact if we did not feel absolutely comfortable that we have this financed.

    -Q: And the licensing and permits…

    -LACOB: Well, that all has to happen.

    -Q: What’s your confidence level that it will all happen?

    -LACOB: I’m not an expert in all that but we’ve got some really good people working on it. And the city, I’m really, really impressed with Mayor Lee–extremely impressed with Mayor Lee–and extremely impressed with his staff…

    They claim to know all of… look, they’ve gotten a lot of other buildings through in this city, on the waterfront as well as AT&T Park and the Ferry Building and so on. I think they know what they’re doing.

    And they claim that we can get through all that. We’re relying on them to some extent. We’re relying on the advisers and consultants we’ve hired…

    We have an incredible amount of expertise in terms of the people, which is what it all comes down to…

    -Q: When you hear developer after developer say it’s all but impossible to do something here…

    -LACOB: I cannot be responsible, we cannot be responsible for other people’s failures. That’s just not our problem. We’re thinking about the future, about what lies ahead, not what lies in the past.

    That’s the same thing with our team. I can’t worry about 17 out of 18 years not making the playoffs. I didn’t do it. We didn’t do it. We’re going to change that.

    It’s not easy, we realize that. That may be harder than building this building. But we’re going to hire great people and we’re going to do our very best to get it done.

    -Q: Have you learned from others’ mistakes, maybe?

    -LACOB: I can’t judge why the America’s Cup pulled out, at the end of the day. I don’t know why they made that decision. I think I know, but I don’t know for sure.

    All I know is what the facts are now. We have engineering firms, we have the city, we have everybody that’s involved in this, sitting down at the table, we’ve met with them all.

    We know there are certain risks, but we think we can address them. We think we can build a great building that this city can be proud of…

    -Q: Will the atmosphere in Oakland be uncomfortable for next five seasons?

    -LACOB: I suppose it could be. But I’m going to tell you something, the truth is, if you look at our season-ticket base, 50% from the West Bay, 50% from the East Bay, we have the numbers, that’s what it is.

    There are, in fact, more season-ticket-holders by quite a margin from the city of San Francisco than from the city of Oakland…

    Does that mean there are people that will be unhappy? Absolutely. And you know, I don’t blame them. Look, this is not easy. You’re never going to make everybody happy. It’s impossible.

    The bay is separated by bridges and San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland, and the surrounding communities all feel a little bit competitive, and I understand that.

    But at the end of the day, we’re an NBA team, unlike in baseball, with two teams on each side of the bay, at least currently, and unlike football, where there are two teams, there’s one NBA team in the Bay Area.

    Our fans come from all over the Bay Area… We’re making a judgment that this is the best thing for our fans…

    So will it be uncomfortable in Oakland? I certainly hope that I don’t get booed again by 20,000 people. That’s no fun. But we’re trying to do the best thing here for the most people.

    I want to say that we are very much appreciative of Oakland as a community, as a fan base, those that are from Oakland. We’re going to do our best over the next five years to make sure they have the very best experience they can have in that arena…

    -Q: Is the door completely closed to joining the Giants at the site near AT&T Park?

    -LACOB: Nothing is ever completely closed, that would be unfair to say.

    I talked to Larry Baer this morning. One thing people need to understand, it’s never been discussed. It has actually never been discussed–that we’d be on the Giants’ site. It has never been discussed.

    And I repeat that three times because Larry and I were laughing about it this morning. I don’t know why that is, but people assume that the Giants invited us there on Lot A where they’re doing this development. But that has never happened.

    -Q: Weren’t there discussions about it with your group even before you bought the Warriors? Weren’t the Giants talking about joining as part of your group?

    -LACOB: We talked with the Giants, there was a small discussion with them along with a lot of other people. It was very preliminary and very small and very short-lived.

    We like the Giants a lot. They’re going to be our neighbors. They’re great people. I respect them very much.

    We did discuss Pier 50 which is adjacent. We discussed it with the city. We did discuss it with the Giants, but it’s not the Giants’ to give. It belongs to the city and the Port.

    That’s who we’re negotiating with about this and Pier 50. Lot A has never been discussed.

    Could it be done on Lot A? I guess if we wanted to do it there, they’d have to change their plans, really. And I don’t want to go in there, we don’t want to go in there and bust up what the Giants and Cordish Corporation, who’s their partner there, are trying to do there.

    That’s really not on the agenda for them or for us. This has been really a misrepresentation by the media.

    -Q: Isn’t that site better suited for a new arena–they’ve already got some infra-structure, parking, etc.?

    -LACOB: Let me address the larger assumption–there’s more parking here than there is there. That’s a fact. We have the studies.

    It’s one thing for the media to make a statement, but we have the facts. Just ask us for the facts and we’ll give you the facts, OK? And I’m not criticizing you…

    Here’s the issue: The Giants have Lot A as the only real parking they have, that’s 2,000 spaces. If they build out all of that, they’ll have a parking structure to replace that, it works for them…

    We’re going to have on a relative basis the same thing here, we’ll have more than that.

    -Q: Any chance this is a poker play by you–let’s announce, then see how the Giants react?

    -LACOB: I know you wrote that. It’s interesting for speculation, but it’s completely untrue.

    I do play poker. But not about things like this. We are out here and in front of everybody today–as Peter turned to me on the stage and said, ‘Man, we’ve got to do this.’

    And that’s the truth. We’re here to do it. I mean, could something happen to screw us up like you proposed? Uh, things can always happen. I always want to be looking over my shoulder.

    But the truth is, we are committed to the mayor and to his staff and to the citizens of San Francisco and to the entire Bay Area, this is where we’re going to be. We’re going to do this.

    -Q: So you don’t have a Plan B? All your eggs are in this basket?

    -LACOB: Peter said we are all-in.

    -Q: No Plan B and Plan C?

    -LACOB: We always have a Plan B and a Plan C. Always have a back-up plan. I believe in always having a back-up plan.

    Pier 50 is a back-up plan, certainly, the city has made it clear to us. Larry Baer and I spoke about it this morning.

    But that’s a pier, also. It has less parking around it than this does. It has building on it that have to be removed. There’s nothing that has to be removed here… It’s more complicated, actually.

    -Q: Will you change the name to the San Francisco Warriors?

    -LACOB: No, it’s going to be the Golden State Warriors. That’s our name until further notice. And I say until further notice because I’m leaving myself an out because at the end of the day, this comes down to what the fans want.

    It’s not me, it’s not what I want to name it. It’s not what Peter wants to name it. If the fans of the Golden State Warriors overall vote someday that they want to be the San Francisco, then we’d have to consider that.

    But bottom line, it’s the Golden State Warriors and it’s going to remain the Golden State Warriors for the foreseeable future and maybe forever.

    -Q: Are you planning to finance this with PSLs?

    -LACOB: We’ve made no decisions along those lines. We’re cognizant of the fact that the 49ers are doing it–in a big way, by the way. We’re cognizant of the fact that the Giants did it, to a limited degree, relatively, 15 years ago.

    Could it be done in the Bay Area? Maybe. But we’re really not planning on that. I mean, we’ll evaluate that as time goes by as see whether that’s the appropriate thing to do.

    But right now, we’re prepared to build this arena and this entire entertainment venue with our pockets.

    -Q: Do you think the 49ers leaving helped motivate the city with your dealings?

    -LACOB: I think it helped. I think the 49ers leaving created a great incentive on the part of the mayor and the city. I just think that’s the case…

    You have to understand that the city wanted the Warriors. They made a big hard pitch to get us. This is not a typical situation. Other cities, you have to fight to get an arena done.

    We feel like we got a fair deal–at least as it’s been preliminarily negotiated with the city, it’s fair. It’s expensive as hell. It’s not simple, but we’re going to do it.

    We think it’s a great, great site and that overwhelms the expense.

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  28. “My sour feelings are cuz I’m Oakland (native) & don’t wanna see city I hella love take another hit”

    http://blog.sfgate.com/thebigevent/2012/05/22/killing-a-unicorn-one-fans-thoughts-about-san-francisco-and-the-warriors/

    • (From TK’s blog)

      jsl says:
      May 22nd, 2012 at 7:42 pm
      8..
      Man, the people that buy this crap from Lacob and Stern are all atuned to “glitter and bright” and totally unaware of the inherent difficulties of this plan.

      Sounds like a lot of one percenters. Well, good, because common folk won’t be buying tix — let alone the high-priced PSLs — at an overpriced SF arena on water.

      Steve says:
      May 22nd, 2012 at 9:29 pm
      10..
      jsl, there will be LOTS of folks buying tickets, regardless of ticket prices, as is always the case with any new glamorous sports/entertainment venue. And if the product is a must see (i e winning) then good luck getting tickets for the duration.

      When the Giants moved from Candlestick I never in a million years pictured them playing in front of 40,000+ fans on any given Tuesday night vs teams like the Pirates and Astros once the “honeymoon period” of a new ballyard expired but guess what? And after they won a championship? Try 100+ consecutive sellouts and counting. And that’s all with the “chill” of SF weather, to boot, something an indoor arena renders meaningless.

      And how about all those “wine and cheese eating SF fans” that fill AT&T Park and are so loud that all you ever hear players talk about is the adrenaline they get from playing in such an electric atmosphere? Those same fans, who come from all over NoCal and the Bay Area, will fill the Warriors new arena and make it every bit as loud as Oracle is and ever was.

      This isn’t about SF vs Oakland from a fan base standpoint, and never has been. This is about the Bay Area sports fans, THE best anywhere. And those same “common folk” will be loud and plentiful come 2017 in the Dubs new digs.

  29. Lots of Boo Hooing from La La Land.

    “Instead, though, both teams petered out in the second round, with just one win between the teams to show for their efforts. The Clippers looked both thin and brittle, overly reliant on Paul to save them from the offensive dregs, with CP3 once again ending his season with a pronounced limp. The Lakers looked disturbingly uneven from night to night, a top-heavy team whose top parts didn’t play well with each other. Both went out far earlier than intended by them, or predicted by some, and both have major issues to face as they head into their offseasons a month earlier than they had hoped for way back in December.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/los-angeles-clippers-los-angeles-lakers-gone-till-203109171.html

  30. What? Larry Bird throwing his team under the bus after losing to the Heat? I thought only Mark Jackson did that kinda stuff. LOL

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/larry-bird-calls-indiana-pacers-soft-following-team-061502289.html

  31. “Let’s say there are more than few NBA officials that are amazed that Scott Skiles is still the coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.

    Skiles might even be one of them.

    An NBA official told me the other day that Skiles was so convinced he was toast in Beer Town that he cleaned out his office after the season, a season that was an unmitigated disaster, a season that marked the third time in Skiles’ four seasons with the Bucks that they didn’t make the playoffs.”

    http://www.journaltimes.com/sports/basketball/bucks-beat-skiles-should-move-on/article_a1f3588c-a494-11e1-a775-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz1viRb1YU4

  32. An arena built over the water—

    I am disappointed. If Lacob were a true Buck Rogers, he would have designed one that floated in air.

    The design looks simple, modern, and sterile (like the owners and their vision of the game) and I wonder if it will wear well. But this is San Francisco — how about an arena that looks like a giant basketball?

  33. @76

    Steve,

    When a coach disses his players post-game, he’s denying any personal blame for a loss. Sometimes it’s the truth. But when a coach trashes his players repeatedly, as M Jackson did all season long, you have to at least wonder:

    a) why does this seem to happen so often?

    b) if players really are often under-performing for a coach, doesn’t that say something about the coaching? Isn’t player motivation one measure of coaching quality?

    c) what if it’s not 100% the players’ fault? What portion of a loss is due to a bad game plan (e.g. the hack-a-Howard game)? Odd substitutions, poor play-calling, untimely time-outs? We saw all of that this season. If Mark Jackson were honest he’d admit his own screwups, at least the obvious ones. He didn’t, ever, not one.

    d) what impact is regularly demeaning your players most likely to have on player motivation going forward? How will that likely affect the close working relationships a coach needs?

    e) and then there’s the credibility issue. You really want to compare a one-time comment from long-time GM Larry Bird to regular post-game finger-pointing by rookie coach Mark Jackson? The man who wasn’t tanking when he made NBA history by starting 5 rookies?

    FWIW, I think Bird was wrong to say what he did. The Pacers last game saw 3 flagrant fouls, too much violence and just plain not enough good basketball. His team was beaten by a better team, not a tougher one. If “get tougher” is all he’s got, Larry should just shut up before someone gets seriously hurt.

  34. Poole and Steinmetz are good for a change, talking about Lacob and the new stadium:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/portal/warriors/ci_20680438/monte-poole-ritzy-address-wont-make-warriors-winners?source=most_emailed&_loopback=1

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/basketball-golden-state-warriors/warriors-talk/Can-Joe-Lacob-deliver-on-his-latest-prom?blockID=712284&feedID=2799

    From Poole:

    “‘We have to win; it’s on us to do that,’ Lacob conceded late Tuesday afternoon.”

    Once again Lacob is setting himself up — and the team and us. He’s made a bold promise where we have every reason to question if he can deliver. But the pressure on the players will be stepped up, yet without clear direction or competence, it will only result in more frustrating seasons.

  35. “For Warriors coach Don Nelson, the mind-boggling question everyone wants answered is really a no-brainer.

    Why didn’t he play Baron Davis in the second half of Monday’s playoff-elimination game in Phoenix?

    “It was real simple,” Nelson said by phone Tuesday. “He was having a bad game. He was terrible. He was the worst player on the floor, and I told him to take the second half off. He was 2-for-13, we were down 14 points.

    “I said, ‘Hey, let’s relax and play some young guys.’ “”

    white hat, coaches are always playing mind games with their teams, either through direct communication or via the media. It’s called Psychology 101. Some are better than others in regards the message they’re trying/hoping to get across but this has been going on forever and is all part of coaching.

    Remember Nelli ripping Biedrins, or saying the Warriors had no chance to make the playoffs right before they went on their magical We Believe run to the postseason back in March of 2007? All just mind games hoping to ignite a spark in either the player or team.

    I love what Larry Bird said. As a player he was involved in countless physical battles with rival teams and players ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/thesmokingsection/809547792/ ) and his message to his Pacers was basically be ready for essentially an alley fight in Game 6 or go home right now.

    Mark Jackson will be judged by how hard his teams play and compete as well as wins and losses. Everything else, including his verbal subterfuge and jousting, while potentially grist for the mill, all takes a backseat to performance in the end. Welcome to the wonderful world of coaching. Personally, I enjoy the theater.

    • True dat Steve – Coaches are paid to motivate. I don’t care if they’re positive, negative, or both. Coaches need to learn personalities – learn what they can and can’t get away with – and say it… Insulting one’s manhood? S-O-F-T. Whatever it takes…

      Did you see Eric Spoelstra/Dwayne Wade fight on the sidelines of a playoff game? Whatever happened, Wade responded with a big follow-up game.

    • I guess I have a different take than you guys on what gets results and what doesn’t. Or maybe how you define results. How well do you think Jackson’s approach worked?

      Re Bird, my only concern is the potential for his comment to result in more violence and less focus on what got the Pacers in the playoffs in the first place, good team ball.

    • Hardly.

      Steve Says:
      May 23rd, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      “To the bus driver who spends a day’s salary taking his two kids to the game. it’s insulting when your rebuttal is that 50 percent of your season-ticket holders are from San Francisco.”

      Marcus, I enjoy your writing but please refrain from misquoting. Joe Lacob didn’t say “San Francisco”, he said “West Bay”.

      And speaking of geography, I was born and raised in the East Bay and some 60 years later still reside east of the Bay. Maybe I’m just a weird kinda guy but I’ve never been able to understand the captivation with “city limits”. I mean, Oakland vs Emeryville? Albany vs Berkeley? Richmond vs Hayward? SF vs Petaluma? Other than getting the postal dude to deliver your mail properly, what is the big deal here?

      I get the state “rivalry” thing. NY or Texas vs California, I understand all that. When people talk different than you it’s definite grounds for cynicism and contempt. LOL Seriously, we’re talking Bay Area sports here. And we’re not “losing” any of our beloved teams to one of the other 49 evil and sinister states.

      To even mention the Sonics in any sort of comparison is absurd. There’s a Milky Way-difference between taking a plane to OKC and riding BART to SF instead of Oakland.

      In the end this isn’t about an extremely small percentage of fans who actually live in Oakland and attend Warriors games. This is a continuation of the nitpicking and glass-half-empty analysis that’s been ongoing since Lacob et al outbid Larry Ellison for the Warriors.

      From overstating their exuberance in the form of playoff expectations, to trading the beloved Monta Ellis, to picking up a mic in an attempt to conclude Mullin halftime ceremonies, and now their plans for a new arena a few miles to the west of their current address, the new owners can’t win for losing, yet.

      The Warriors moved from Philadelphia to San Francisco in 1962 and played there for almost 10 years. For those years East Bay fans attended games and were simply convenienced by their move to Oakland in 1971. Well, guess what? They’re now “inconvenienced” by their move “back home”. Sonics fans (and maybe Kings fans shortly) should be so lucky.

      But by far the ultimate irony to this whole “Die-Hard Oakland Fans” premise is the fact that when the SAN FRANCISCO Warriors moved to Oakland they became the Golden State Warriors instead of the Oakland Warriors. Really? All this indignation for a team that never adopted it’s home address?

      Besides, the Warriors never should have been named “Golden State”. They’ve never represented the entire state but they have instead truly represented the entire Bay Area. The Bay Area Warriors is what they have been, are today, and will always be, regardless of their zip code. Get over it.

    • The issue for MT, again, was how Lacob did it, not what he did. And I doubt Lacob knows what MT is talking about.

      • “To the die-hards who fill out Club 200, who are most responsible for the Warriors’ impressive attendance, it’s patronizing to hear you suggest it’s not that much further.”

        And how would MT have any info, outside of pure speculation, on the geographical location of some 18,000 Warriors fans who regularly walk through the turnstiles at Oracle?

        “To the bus driver who spends a day’s salary taking his two kids to the game. it’s insulting when your rebuttal is that 50 percent of your season-ticket holders are from San Francisco.”

        Lacob never said that 50 percent of STH are from SF. Total misquote.

        “Understanding that, knowing the Warriors’ days on this side of the water were numbered, why not have your ritzy press conferences in the East Bay as a way of thanking those communities?”

        So, Joe Lacob and Peter Guber standing at a podium in Jack London Square telling everyone they’re moving to SF would have forever endeared them to East Bay’ers? LOL Talk about “bologna”.

        “Why not just lay it all out on the table from the beginning, when they bought this team, instead of the “we’re looking into all options” bologna. Say you just spent $450 million and you need this franchise to be worth $800 million some day, and doing that means moving across the water and pricing out many hard-core fans.”

        And when exactly did Lacob or anyone else from the Warriors saying anything about the cost of tickets at their proposed new arena? Talk about “bologna” 2.0.

        “But the boos, the feeling disrespected, is a product of the Warriors’ acting. Acting as if Oakland had a shot of keeping the team. Acting as if the history and memories meant as much to the new owners as they do to the fans who’ve proudly endured ridicule for wearing your colors. Acting as if calling them the best fans in the world means you understand them, you’re with them.”

        I’m every bit the fan who ever walked through those turnstiles, not to mention the money I’ve spent over the years in support, and I live in the East Bay and a good 30 minute drive from Oakland. Because I’m 30 minutes from Oakland means I can’t be one of the “best fans in the world”? They definitely understand me.

        “It’s an emotional, heart-rending experience to have your favorite team bounce. Just ask Seattle natives like Jamal Crawford who are still smarting about their Sonics’ discontinuance. But some of the blow could have been mitigated with more compassion.”

        Seattle to OKC vs Oakland to SF. Cry me a river.

        “Of course, that takes a certain kind of ownership, one passionate about the area and comfortable with sufficiency and sustainability. But people know Lacob and Guber are not East Bay guys.”

        Yes, we know Lacob isn’t a “East Bay guy”, but since he’s a “South Bay guy” why not move to San Jose? LOL And the “bologna” just keeps on coming.

        “An example came at the announcement. Mayor Ed Lee, Joe Lacob, Peter Guber – they all failed to pay respects to Al Attles and Nate Thurmond. You don’t get more Oakland than those guys. It took David Stern and Jerry West to give proper due. (Wouldn’t have hurt to have a few longtime season-ticket holders fromOaklandthere, pay homage to the jilted segment of the fan base through them.)”

        The season ticket holder from Oakland comment is so ridiculous I’ll just skip to the “disrespect” of AAttles and NThurmond. Maybe Marcus should have listened to Thurmond’s interview on 95.7 The Game
        http://957thegame.com/episode_download.php?contentType=36&contentId=5857782 before writing that nonsense. The “bologna” continues.

        The only thing missing from this MT piece was the violin section. What a bunch of melancholy drivel.

        I look forward to the day when this ownership group finally gets recognized for being one of the best in sports.

        When Don Nelson coached here on his last go-around the media never wrote anything positive about the guy. Everything had a negative slant. Now, new owners, same negativity, only aimed in different directions. The more things change the more they stay the same. I guess that’s what happens when you have the mental burden of 30+ losing seasons to overcome.

        And speaking of “bologna”, I think I have some left in the fridge for a late night snack.

        • MT’s ode to Oakland wasn’t tripe, it’s the stuff fandom is made of. Even he says Lacob & Co. had every right – and every reason – to maximize his investment.

          MT’s feelings are widely shared, and it has the potential to turn into a problem for Lacob. The Bay Area is easily big enough to support two NBA teams, and the East Bay/little brother mindset MT writes of extends from Vallejo to Gilroy. That’s a built-in fan identity difference, just waiting for a 2nd NBA team to capitalize on. Like the difference between the Raiders and 49ers.

          Lacob has a tacit understanding that the Warriors have exclusive rights to the whole Bay Area, and he’s promised to defend that position in court if necessary. But in no way is that exclusivity guaranteed. The more successful the Warriors become, the more Lacob’s position on that will be challenged. In other words, if Lacob proves the revenue potential for the area, look for more pressure on the NBA to add a 2nd team.

          How about them Oakland Kings?

  36. Drew Gordon – a good NBA prospect likely in the second round – a great college rebounder.

    http://www.insidebayarea.com/warriors/ci_20696342/golden-state-warriors-notebook-drew-gordon-works-out?source=rss

    • Kobe earns the Lackers far more than the $30M they pay him. That amount is easily covered by worldwide jersey sales alone.

  37. More from the blogosphere on Bay Area sports (Warriors) and the fans who buy the tickets:

    “Its too bad TK that you have decided to reiterate MT’s position. His and now your take is offensive and completely inappropriate.

    MT’s article is pure unadulterated hogwash and MT has no objectivity in regard to this situation and frankly is compromising his position as a reporter that a sports fan can trust. His bias in favor of Oakland is palpable.

    There was nothing the Warriors could have done differently that would have mollified East Bay fans who are now going to have cross the Bay Bridge (just as San Francisco based fans have done for decades) to cheer for the Warriors.

    MT do all bus drivers live in Oakland or just bus drivers who are Warriors fans? Why must bus drivers and their ilk who live in the West Bay have to be condemned to a life of crossing the Bay Bridge to an arena marooned in a sea of concrete in order to see the Warriors in person? And this says nothing of the poor bus driver living in San Jose who cheers for the Warriors, has kids, and wants to take them to see the Warriors too just like his Oakland based brethren.

    To compare the Warriors move of less than 20 miles to the Supersonics’ “move” (assassination is more apt) is simply laughable.

    Asserting that the Warriors were wrong to claim they were looking at all of their options when – according to MT – they weren’t shows that MT is better off as a sportswriter since he obviously has no idea how businesses must run especially when they are dealing with situations that cannot move forward absent dealing with local governments.

    As someone who has lived in Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose (but still doesn’t have any soul like people in Oklahoma City and who doesn’t cheer as loud either according to MT) and who has commuted to see the Warriors from all of these cities (up to and including season tickets for multiple years when I lived in San Jose and had to fight my way up 880 at rush hour to see the Warriors) your take on this situation MT is offensive.

    Your wife is correct: sometimes it is how you say it that matters. And, in this instance, your rampant sentimentality and romantic glorification of the Oakland based middle class fan means you are slamming all of the rest of the fans (this is called a negative pregnant).”

    —————————————————-

    “Dom and DD said it best, who gives a crap where they play as long as they win? You think that fan base, which all you reporters seem to think is all Oakland natives, wouldn’t have been going to games the last 20 years if they played in the City? The fact that the team happened to play in Oakland had nothing to do with the excellent fan support. The W’s belong to the entire Bay Area, so if you’re a true fan, you would go see them no matter where you lived or where they played.

    Stop it with this ‘Woe is Oakland’ BS. If you won’t go 10 miles over a bridge, or take public transportation, to go to the new Arena, then you can’t really call yourself a W’s fan. And spare me with the “Let’s make sure every one acknowledges everyone, and if they don’t they’re classless and not showing they care.” Did everyone have to get up a suck up to Al Attles and Nate? Of course not, and neither of them would want it that way either. And if you agree that the Ws fans come from everywhere, why would specifically single out East Bay fans? It’s whiny, it’s petty, and it’s a waste of time. If they pull this off, and I’m definitely still in a wait and see mode, then nobody will remember or care about who didn’t acknowledge Al Attles or that nobody mentioned the fans from the East Bay.”

    ————————————————

    “I thought it would have been a nice gesture to Oakland if Lacob & Guber said that the team would continue its outreach programs there, even after the move, and that the Warriors always plan to be part of the Oakland community. It would have set the right tone and would make it look like they weren’t wiping their hands clean of the East Bay.

    Let me add this: these guys are not from around here. Both are from Southern California. Their opulent, over-the-top press conference could not have struck a more discordant tone with most Warriors fans. I actually cringed when I saw what a spectacle it was, with Ahmad Rashad.and Newsom, among other B-level celebs who had no business being there.

    It would have been smart to let Al Attles speak because he would have said something genuine and graceful, like he always does, and it would have made all the Oakland fans feel better. But both of these blowhards (Lacob & Guber) decided to hog the limelight for themselves. I can’t get out of my head that when Lacob went on his media tour after the Mullin ceremony disaster, he kept insisting that he needed to speak that night because he’s the “face of the team.” That’s his problem: he BELIEVES that he is the face of the team but it’s only in his own warped mind. The players are what the Warriors are all about: Nate, Wilt, the Destroyer, Mully, Barry, Timmy and the Killer Crossover, and today’s stars like Steph and Klay. I think it’s clear that Lacob bought this team to become a celebrity. He wasn’t very well known in the VC industry (which is why everybody needed to Google him when he bought the team) and I think he believes that this is his moment in the sun and he’s going to play it to the hilt. Fans around here smell a fraud, and they don’t like this guy. I don’t think moving to SF will change that. He just doesn’t fit. He’s a SoCal cheeseball, and so is his partner, who best known for producing such cinematic masterpieces as “Tango & Cash.”
    It will be funny when this Pier 30-32 deal blows up in their face and they’re forced to grovel back to the Giants who will not be benevolent in the deal they cut with the new BlunderTwins.”

    ——————————————————-

    “Amen. I know the ownership, and I can’t begrudge them the choice they made. But I am disappointed that they never attempted to understand what Oakland has to offer. I tried to tell one of the owners that the first pro team to really CLAIM Oakland would be guaranteed a loyal fanbase forever.

    The bottom line is Oakland has an urban identity and vitality that no longer exists in places like New York or San Francisco, where vibrant, diverse communities that create true culture and art have simply been priced out. If the Warriors (or A’s) had been a little more Oaklandish, they could have seen what they really had, worked with it, and been ahead of the curve in terms of marketing and merchandizing – which always comes from the urban core. But of course that’s not how this story was meant to unfold.

    That said, Oakland is on the verge of coming into its own — with or without any pro teams. Even though it doesn’t yet have the worldwide recognition, it can compete head to head with the “gourmet ghetto” in Berkeley, and yes San Francsico too in terms of best cutting edge restaurants. Its political activism and work in social justice is leading the country. Even though I went to Berkeley and get nostalgic for what I think the free speech movement must have been like, the bottom line is Berkeley is all about theory, whereas Oakland it putting theory into practice…bringing it to the streets.

    Oakland is real, and great things are on the horizon. It’s time all of its sports fans to stop feeling abandoned, or like second class citizens. If the Warriors and A’s want to leave, let them go. It’s time for everyone who lives and loves Oakland to claim the city, celebrate what it is, and realize the potential that a couple of outsiders were never going to see.

    It is their loss.”

    ——————————————————–

    “about the only thing I will miss about the Oakland Arena is in and out burger after the game. I live in the east bay, have been a season ticket holder for 12 years and cannot wait til they play in SF. Riding BART is easy and it gives me another reason to get into SF. let’s face it, you can throw a rock in any direction when you are in the city and hit a very good restaurant. i won’t miss the landmine of potholes on 880, nor the horrible concessions in Oracle. I was a fan as a kid when they were in SF, followed them when they moved to Oakland and will continue when they hit the Pier.”

    Go Warriors!

    • One more for the road, from “Chris”:

      May 24th, 2012 at 10:44 am

      “Well said Marcus, even if I don’t necessarily agree. The thought that Oakland has lost something that belonged to the entire Bay Area anyways is pretty ludicrous. The soul of the Warriors fan base was not born in Oakland. Most of the 75% of fans who attend games make the journey to Oakland begrudgingly. I have lived on the Peninsula my entire life, and have the same dedication towards the Warriors as anyone who’s sat through year after year of failure. The iron will of the Warriors fan base was forged by enduring losses together, fans from every corner of the Bay.

      I think in your post, you touched upon the real issue when you said: “This city is hypersensitive about being deemed inferior, especially to San Francisco . . .”

      Oakland has an inferiority complex, plain and simple. A city that thrives between the lines is searching for acceptance from a world that lives in the open. The thing is that Oaklanders have not only accepted the notion that they’re deemed inferior, but they revel in it. It’s like a battle cry to rally around, or something to hang your hat on at the end of the day. The City of Oakland and it’s people have done nothing to dispel the outside world’s perception of their city, and if anything have tried to live up to it. Corrupt politics, seedy criminal elements, dilapidated areas of redevelopment? All major cities have those problems, even the “shining jewel” across the Bay. But at the end of the day, those cities have qualities that balance out the bad, that do inspire hope. Public works, festivals, events, architecture, parks, you name it. Oakland may have similar qualities, but the rest of us will never know.

      More specifically to the point, look at the sports scene. All teams go through ups and downs. The sports landscape has changed, but Oakland hasn’t changed with it. Like it or not (I’d say not) sports is as much about money as it is about winning. Whether it be bureaucracy, bad ownership, politics, or all of the above, Oakland never got it done for their teams. They’ve been stuck at the Colisseum complex while the rest of the sporting world has moved on. The fan attendance to Oakland based teams has dwindled down to almost nothing. When a team as pivotal to the history of the NFL as the Raiders are can’t draw enough to show a game on TV, or a team with a championship tradition like the A’s draws less than 2000 to the yard, that’s on Oakland, and no one else. The reason the Warriors thrive and continually sell out? it’s not the fan base in Oakland, who have quite adamantly spoken with their wallets that it’s not worth filling the joint, but the collective fan base of the entire Bay Area that fills the Oracle.

      In the end, I don’t feel badly for Oakland’s loss, because simply put the Warriors were never theirs to lose. The move to SF and everything that comes with it represents a good thing for the Warriors franchise. A fan base that as remained loyal through extremely down times will finally be put on a stage for all the world to see. And the only people who have a problem with it? The one’s who want to be looked over, who want to be the underdog, who don’t want to jump in the spotlight, and who thrive on the being deemed inferior . . . the citizens of Oakland.”

    • +1 Nice representative compendium. I think what the critics of MT’s piece are missing is that he’s not disparaging the move itself. He’s describing his own emotions as an East Bay native, and disparaging what came out of Lacob’s mouth. Something the piece I linked @94 did as well.

  38. “After you get past Dwight Howard, Bynum and Tim Duncan, that guy, Pau Gasol, is the best big man in basketball,” Johnson said. “Nobody has more skills than Gasol. The problem is you have him sitting on the high post. Yes, Mike Brown’s offense drives me crazy. How can you say this guys’ skills are eroding and he doesn’t have them? No, I’ve seen this man dominate in the playoffs and the regular season. If a team wants a big man, you have to call the Lakers. You have two sitting there that are great.”

    Magic Johnson talks Lakers.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/lakersnow/la-sp-ln-la-magic-johnson-argues-the-lakers-need-to-add-more-youth-and-speed-20120524,0,5613084.story

  39. Rusty Simmons:

    Warriors GM Bob Myers on assistant coach Michael Malone, who has been linked to the head coach vacancies at Cha., Orl. and Por.: “We feel that we were lucky to have him as the lead assistant last year. Our fingers are crossed that we can keep him, but we realize that he’s revered in coaching circles and may have some opportunities. Until something comes to fruition, we won’t act on speculation. He continues to show up to our facility and continues to work hard. It’s in his blood. He’s a worker.”

  40. Why does it seem like everyone is a “lifelong Warriors fan”? LOL

    http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/post/_/id/725/brandon-jennings-talks-call-of-duty-bucks

  41. “Mike Malone on Chris Paul’s Short List.”

    http://bit.ly/KqZD9k

  42. Message to Sir Charles from SA.

      • From Matier & Ross:

        The big sell: The Golden State Warriors did some pretty extensive polling to lay the groundwork for their big rollout pitch for a waterfront arena – and the best talking points were found to be no public money, no new taxes and the promise of construction jobs.

        Ironically, the lowest-scoring argument for building the arena was that it would mean a return of the Warriors to San Francisco.

        As for East Bay blowback over leaving Oakland, 66 percent of the 606 voters surveyed in Alameda and Contra Costa counties said they supported the idea of an arena in San Francisco.

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