Writ in Water

Major Nelson: How’d you get in that crazy bottle, anyway?
Jeannie: Oh, a wicked and powerful djinn put me in there…

Well, this is it. Farewell to feltbot. I spoke about my reasons for ending the blog in a post before last year’s championship run, if you’re interested. In a nutshell, everything I’ve yearned for and advocated in Warriors’ basketball has come to pass, and I feel like I have nothing left to say. Well, almost nothing. I have enough left in the tank for one final rant, or appreciation, or whatever it is you want to call what I’ve done here.

But first I’d like to take this opportunity to once again thank the loyal readers and posters I’ve had here, many of whom posted kind words when I first announced my departure. You made this blog a special place for me, something I truly never envisioned when I first began this quixotic endeavor, and you inspired me to keep posting my rants and appreciations, laments and war cries, for far longer than I ever would have believed possible. Thanks for coming along on the ride with me. And what a miraculous ride it was in the end, no?

I will be leaving the blog afloat for awhile, a digital monument to folly. As before, the comments section is scheduled to lock after 30 days, but this time it’s for good. Disappointing to my fellow blog participants, I know, and I regret that, but essential to me as I turn my full attention to my next project.

Ok, let’s do it. As you might have deduced from the first two posts of this three part series, I’m going to end this blog exactly as I began it, writing about an underdog. About someone who has never received the recognition he’s deserved, even though he is now in the NBA Hall of Fame. A true and remarkable genius whose astonishing legacy to the Warriors, to the fans of the Bay Area, and to the game of basketball itself, has gone completely unacknowledged since the Warriors won the championship.

A man whose name was writ in water.           

DON NELSON

Or should I say He Who Must Not Be Named? Has anyone heard his name spoken since the Warriors won their championship? Anyone? One time?

This is such a ridiculous and grotesque oversight, particularly among Warriors writers, that it literally beggars belief. Other than the players and coaches who actually duked it out on the hardwood, is there a single person alive who was more responsible for the Warriors’ stunning  triumph than Don Nelson? I certainly don’t think so.

Crazy talk? The mad rantings of a lifelong fan and partisan? Perhaps. But if you sense there might be a glimmer of truth in what I say, well then read on. I’m about to list for you all the ways in which Nellie contributed to this Warriors championship, and while I’m at it, clear up a few of the egregious misconceptions and fabrications that have been perpetrated by the Warriors media in their own accounts.

Like this one:

The Vindication of Mike D’Antoni: As the Warriors ran off the floor after their Finals victory, Alvin Gentry exulted to anyone who would listen:

Tell Mike D’Antoni he’s vindicated! We just kicked everyone’s ass playing the way everybody complained about!

He later elaborated in an interview:

I would say that this is vindication for Mike D’Antoni, if nothing else. We played like he’s been trying to get this league to play forever. And you can win a championship like that. So for all the people that said you can’t win a championship being a three-point shooting team, and not really a low-post presence or anthing like that, we just did it. So I think it’s great for Mike D’Antoni.

Steve Kerr also weighed in on D’Antoni’s behalf:

I think Steve [Nash] kind of laid out a vision for a whole generation of young point guards. And with the game changing, Mike D’Antoni kind of initiating that style in Phoenix, the floor starting to spread, the whole league kind of playing shooting 4s and 5s and playing a little faster, I think Mike and Steve in many ways set the table for Steph Curry. And I think Steph would tell you that, too.

I read all this with a smile when it was published, and understood exactly where it was coming from. Both Gentry and Kerr are former colleagues and close friends of Mike D’Antoni, both learned at his right hand, both experienced first-hand the doubts and insults thrown his way, and both owe him a big debt of gratitude. They also were employed by an organization in which Don Nelson is persona non grata, and even uttering his name is apparently strictly verboten. So I don’t fault Gentry and Kerr for their rewriting of NBA history.

(I also have a lot of admiration for Mike D’Antoni, and believe he deserves a lot of the credit coming his way. He was a great coach for the Suns, and I don’t wish to denigrate his legacy. By which I mean his real legacy, not the false one invented by his protegés and their willful accomplices in the Warriors press.)

But we as Warriors fans all know that what Gentry and Kerr said is complete and utter bullshit, don’t we? And so does the Warriors media, trust me on that. Anyone who was around for RunTMC must know that. And yet the Warriors media not only let Gentry and Kerr’s comments stand, but echoed them as gospel. No less disappointing for being utterly predictable. Here’s the real truth, with apologies for stating the obvious:

There never would have been a Mike D’Antoni without Don Nelson.

Don Nelson invented Mike D’Antoni’s system. Every last bit of it. The small ball, with a power forward at center, and a small forward at power forward. The spread floor, with three point shooting at the four or five. Throwing the least efficient form of offensive basketball there is and ever has been, the big man post-up, right into the trashcan where it belongs. The uptempo game, with relentless fast breaks, and running after made baskets. Taking the first open shot, and particularly the early offense three. The three-point-bombing, scoring point guard who stretches the defense to the absolute breaking point, because he is just as likely to bury a three-pointer in your mug if you sag off, as he is to beat you off the dribble if you push up. And the point forward who stretches the defense another way, exploiting another mismatch while allowing your point guard to rest and spot up.

Did not Don Nelson pioneer all of those things? Suffer the vicious slings and arrows of an ignorant Warriors press for all of those things? What came first, Seven Seconds or Less or Nellieball? All Warriors writers who were around for RunTMC and yet refuse to acknowledge the truth of this matter should be ashamed of themselves. It would appear that they’ve put the carrot of exclusive access and career advancement ahead of what should be the ideals of their profession.

The Creation of Steve Nash: Steve Kerr mentioned Steve Nash as the model and inspiration, the prototype of Stephen Curry, and I completely agree with that. It was obvious to me from watching his first NBA games that Curry had studied Nash extensively. It was all there from the moment he entered the league. The handle, the refusal to give up the dribble, the ambidexterity, and particularly the one-handed left-hand wrap-around pass that Bob Fitzgerald tortured our eardrums about for so long. The step-back, the quick-release, the in-between game, the clever finishes, the intimate relationship with the backboard. The vision, the unselfishness, the leadership, the fearlessness, the genius. And of course, the walk-up three. It was all there, right from the start. Steve Nash, the MVP and linchpin of Mike D’Antoni’s team, was indisputably the player whom Stephen Curry modeled himself after.

But who was it who transformed Nash into the kind of player who could become D’Antoni’s linchpin, the league MVP, and Stephen Curry’s inspiration?

When Don Nelson traded the 7th pick in the 1998 draft for Nash, nobody even knew who Steve Nash was. He had just spent two anonymous years as the third-string point guard in Phoenix. And Nash’s third season, his first under Nellie, was anything but a success. He butted heads fiercely and continually with Nellie, who took Nash out of his comfort zone by insisting that he start looking for his own shot, and assert himself as a scorer. Nash started poorly, shot horribly, got booed by Mavs fans, lost all confidence, and wound up with a horrific statistical season: 8 pts, 5.5 assists, 36% from the field. That was Nash in his third NBA season. But Nellie had shown him the way and lit a fire under him, and the next season it all clicked. The Steve Nash we all know was born, and the Mavs virtually overnight became a legitimate threat in the post-season. And might very well have won the title in 2003 if Nowitzki hadn’t gotten injured just as the Mavs went up 2-1 against the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.

That is the Steve Nash who was gift-wrapped to Mike D’Antoni by Mark Cuban’s extraordinary hubris and incompetence.

Now let me ask you a question: Would anyone even know Mike D’Antoni’s name if a fully formed Steve Nash hadn’t fallen into his lap?

Or this: Was it Mike D’Antoni’s system that created Steve Nash, or was it Steve Nash who created Mike D’Antoni’s system?

Still thinking? Don’t hurt yourself, it’s a trick question.

Don Nelson created them both.

The Ur-Prototype: All this talk of Nash and Curry as the vanguard of the new “modern” breed of NBA point guard is well and good, but doesn’t it do a disservice to someone who came before? Someone well-known and beloved by Warriors fans?

I rather think Tim Hardaway came along before Steve Nash, didn’t he? Wasn’t he the original prototype? The prototype of the prototype? A very different player to Nash and Curry both physically and stylistically, of course. But the first point-guard to feature the walk-up three under Don Nelson. The first to lead a small-ball system that ran the floor relentlessly and stretched defenses to the breaking point with early offense and a spread floor. The first to seek to dominate the game with his scoring as much as his floor-generalship. And the first to wrongly suffer the insults of an ignorant and slow-to-learn press for “jacking” selfishly.

Tim Hardaway was the ur-prototype of Stephen Curry. Just as RunTMC was the ur-prototype of the 2015 World Champion Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors Defense: The Warriors defense this season featured long defensive wings switching at every position. In the playoffs they used these wings in a myriad of different gameplans: fronting the post in a zone (Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol), box and one (James Harden),  and swarming double-teams out of man-to-man (LeBron James).

According to the Warriors press, this switching defense was an invention of Ron Adams and Steve Kerr. Yet another egregious fabrication. We know they’d rather be roasted over an open fire than credit Nellie for anything, but one wonders whether they watched the World Champion Miami Heat play? Wasn’t Eric Spoelstra spouting off about “positionless basketball” years before Kerr’s Warriors started playing it?

In fact, all of these defensive ideas were pioneered by Don Nelson long before, as a necessary accompaniment to small-ball. I have been writing about “Nellieball wings” — big defensive wings — ever since I began this blog. If you’re going to play small up front, you have to be big and long and great defensively on the wings. Every single team that Don Nelson ever assembled featured this attribute. RunTMC: Richmond, Elie, Askew, Higgins, Marciulonis, and then Sprewell. The 2003 Mavs: Michael Finley, Adrien Griffin, Tariq Abdul-Wahad, Raja Bell, Eduardo Najera. We Believe: Stephen Jackson, Matt Barnes, Azubuike (all brought to the team by Nellie), JRich, Pietrus.

And as for those ingenious and widely lauded defensive adjustments the Warriors made on their march to the championship? Fronting the post was Don Nelson’s preferred method of defending dominant big men, as anyone who watched Chris Mullin play power forward, or Al Harrington guard Yao Ming, or Stephen Jackson guard David West, should know. And the day after Ron Adams sprang this adjustment on the Grizzlies, Greg Papa drew a direct line to Don Nelson for the idea. Ron Adams admitted that he got the idea from Gregg Popovich (who was Steve Kerr’s playoff consultant after the Spurs were eliminated). Pop used it to defeat the Grizz in the playoffs a few years ago. But as Papa noted, “Don Nelson did it first.” Don Nelson, Gregg Popovich’s own mentor and close friend, and as Scott Ostler has informed us, regular playoff consultant going back for years.

Swarming, switching wings? Ask Dirk Nowitzki about them. The league MVP whom Nellie dismembered during We Believe, leading an apoplectic Mark Cuban to sue him in court for having a defensive game plan that was just too damn smart.

Ask any Warriors writer, and he will tell you that Don Nelson didn’t care about defense. That is their mantra, unto death. It’s simply not the truth. That 2003 Mavericks team that nearly won a title was 9th in the league in defensive efficiency at 102.3, with Nash at the point and Nowitzki at the four. (Also first in offensive efficiency of course, which combined to make them first in point differential with an extraordinary +8.4, which is what really matters.) The We Believe Warriors held the #1`seeded Mavs 10 points below their season average in their wins, while playing at the fastest pace imaginable. And left tattered shreds of the MVP littering the Oracle floor.

Didn’t care about defense? Nonsense. Don Nelson pioneered the concepts of successful smallball defense.

And gifted Gregg Popovich, Erik Spoelstra and Steve Kerr their blueprints to victory.

Nellie’s Defense v. D’Antoni’s Defense: By the way, I can’t help wondering, where are the Warriors writers, sudden celebrators of Mike D’Antoni’s legacy, on the subject of Mike D’Antoni’s defensive prowess?

Dead silent.

Here’s a little tidbit for you statphreaks out there: In Nash’s 2005 and 2006 MVP years, the Suns D-Rating was ranked 17th and 16th in the league, at 107.1 and 105.8, respectively.

That’s a long, long way from Nellie’s best Nash team, ranked 9th at 102.3.

Who was it who didn’t care about defense? Do you seriously want me to believe that the 2015 Warriors – who just got done ravaging the league on the defensive end with swarming Nellieball wings — are the avatars of Seven Seconds or Less? That it was Mike D’Antoni whom the Warriors’ title vindicated?

No, don’t think so, sorry. I know better.

The Drafting of Stephen Curry: It is a favorite meme of the Nellie haters in the Warriors press to thank David Kahn and the other GMs who drafted above the Warriors in 2009 for not drafting Stephen Curry. The haters have perpetrated the myth that Curry fell into Nellie’s hands by some sort of miracle. And have thus avoided the need to give Nellie any credit whatsoever for actually making the pick.

This is laughable. These happen to be the same writers who destroyed Nellie for not drafting a big man with the Curry pick. Destroyed him for the inevitable disruption to the Warriors chemistry that resulted. (And destroyed their archives so that you can’t go back to re-read what they wrote at the time.)

But more to the point: When the draft took place, it was not obvious to anyone in the league other than Don Nelson that Stephen Curry was a point guard. Nellie was literally the only GM in that draft who knew who Stephen Curry was. The only one. This is what he said about Curry shortly after the draft, when explaining why he had refused to trade Curry to the Phoenix Suns for Amare Stoudemire:

He’s a heck of a player. We drafted him because we think he’s going to be a great point guard….  I always saw Steve Nash in him, and he is the greatest player I’ve ever coached. I’ve been looking for another one for a long time and this is as close as I’ve ever seen in a young player. He has that same ability that Steve had. 

Every other GM in the league believed Curry was an undersized two-guard. Including Curry’s current coach, Steve Kerr, who was then the GM of the Phoenix Suns. Kerr has frequently told the story of how much he coveted Curry in that draft, and how devastated he was when Nellie turned down the Amare Stoudemire trade. But what Kerr neglects to mention is that he already had Steve Nash, and had no plans to trade him. The truth of the matter is that Kerr wanted Curry for the TWO-GUARD.

That’s how obvious it was to others around the league that Curry would become one of the greatest point guards in the history of the NBA. David Kahn missed on Stephen Curry for the same two reasons that every other NBA GM drafting above the Warriors missed on him:

  1. He drafted for need, as have over 90% of the GMs in the history of the league, and what he needed was a point guard; and
  2. He drafted by consensus, as have over 90% of the GMs in the history of the league, and the overwhelming consensus was that Stephen Curry was not a point guard.

David Kahn, in fact, made the exact same two mistakes that Joe Lacob made when he drafted Harrison Barnes. The same two mistakes that have been made repeatedly  throughout the history of the league, and the same two mistakes that will continue to be made throughout eternity.

The same two mistakes that Don Nelson, the greatest GM in the history of the game as well as one of its greatest coaches, literally never made. Was it Stephen Curry whom the Warriors needed in that draft? Or was every writer in the Bay Area and beyond clamoring for a big man, and specifically Jordan Hill? Was it Stephen Curry whom the Warriors players thought they needed, or did they explode in rage and open revolt the instant the pick was made?

Lest you’ve forgotten, this is what I wrote after my first look at Curry in the pre-season of his rookie year:

If Don Nelson, as has been rumored, sacrificed the Biedrins for Stoudemire trade — and if he sacrificed the continued commitment to the Warriors of Stephen Jackson — and if he risked the disgruntlement of Monta Ellis — all in order to draft Stephen Curry…

IT WAS STILL WORTH IT.

There, in a nutshell, is a description of the climate in Warriors-land at the time. And my own opinion was like a whisper on the wind, drowned out by the bellowing of the stampeding herd out for Nellie’s blood.

Understanding this situation, let me toss a couple more questions at you: Would any other GM in the league, concerned for his job and standing in Don Nelson’s beleaguered shoes, have risked drafting Curry for the Warriors? Or when offered the great Amare Stoudemire for him, have refused?

I think you know the answer.

Yes, it was indeed a miracle that Stephen Curry wound up in the Warriors’ hands.

A miracle by the name of Don Nelson.

Curry’s First Season and MVP Rebirth: Something the press has never considered: What might Stephen Curry have become if Nellie hadn’t gotten ahold of him first? If he’d been drafted by one of the GMs like Steve Kerr who thought he was an undersized two-guard or sixth man, the next Mahmoud Abdul Rauf? If you think this is a silly question, consider the fact that there were prominent members of the Warriors media who didn’t think Stephen Curry was a “true” point guard all the way up until this MVP season. And Joe Lacob’s first rookie coach, Keith Smart, nearly strangled the life out of Curry trying to change him. Would Stephen Curry even be a point guard today if he hadn’t been drafted by Nellie, and then shocked the world in his rookie season?

Did it make a difference to Stephen Curry’s development that his first coach was not only the inventor of the system that Curry was born to play in, but also the greatest point-guard whisperer in league history?

The coach who insisted on having a great three point shooter at the point to bend the defense? Insisted on the walk-up three as one of the best shots in basketball? Insisted on the fast-break? Insisted that the first open shot be taken? The coach who taught him the NBA pick and roll?

The coach who invented the “modern” point guard in Tim Hardaway before Mike D’Antoni even entered the league, and developed D’Antoni’s own gift-wrapped “modern” point guard before Steve Kerr even realized that there was such a thing?

Towards the end of his second season, chafing horribly under Keith Smart’s restrictions and mismanagement, I saw Curry begin again to jack up the walk-up threes that Smart had forbidden him, and then celebrate with his teammates on the bench right in Smart’s face. Would Curry have had the confidence in himself to stand up to Smart like this, if Don Nelson hadn’t already shown him the way? Would the Warriors have been forced, after four long years in the wilderness, to finally hire another Nellieball coach (Alvin Gentry) and return Curry into the system he was born for, if Curry hadn’t already learned what he and his team were capable of in that system?

We have been treated to endless articles in the Warriors’ press about Stephen Curry’s “emergence” in his sixth year. Article after article about how much Stephen Curry grew under Mark Jackson and Steve Kerr. But not one single article about what he might have learned from his first year under Don Nelson.

Is this the truth of the matter? The real truth?

Here are Stephen Curry’s MVP-year stats:

23.8 pts    7.7 ast    4.3 rb    2 stl    FG 48.7%    3PT 44.3%    FT 91.4%

And here are his post-All-Star-game rookie stats under Don Nelson:

22.1 pts    7.7 ast     5.5 rb   2 stl     FG 46.8%    3PT 44.0%    FT 90.6%

Is “emergence” really the word? I think I prefer “rebirth”, thank you.

Welcome back, Stephen Curry. We missed you.

I Dream of Genie: This past season the great Nellieball genie that is Stephen Curry was finally let out of the conventional, old-school bottle in which he had been imprisoned for the previous four years. And now that he’s once again got a good long sniff of that rarified Nellieball air, and collected his MVP trophy and his ring as a direct result, there is simply no way ever that Joe Lacob can stuff him back in that bottle. No way. Ever.

Is there?

No. Thanks to Alvin Gentry and Steve Kerr’s subversive infiltration of Nellieball back into the Warriors organization, Stephen Curry is finally free to fulfill his true destiny, which is to surpass in every way the last great Nellieball genie, Steve Nash. Also discovered by Don Nelson, washed up on a beach. Also released from the bottle by Don Nelson. And also cruelly snatched away from Don Nelson by a wicked and powerful djinn.

Actually, Curry is not yet completely free. A final step remains for him to reach his full potential as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history: the installation of high-paced high pick and roll as the Warriors’ staple offense. Losing Alvin Gentry was a blow to those like myself who have wanted to see that happen for years. But it looks like Steve Kerr might nevertheless still intend to head in that direction. Kerr has just hired the guru of high pick and roll himself, Steve Nash, as a Warriors consultant.

Oooh, baby.

But… it’s not enough. While hiring Nash is a very exciting sign, it’s still not enough. High pick and roll cannot truly become a Warriors staple until Andrew Bogut is either moved or forced to take a seat. Pick and roll requires a scoring center who is not afraid to roll, who is willing to attack the rim and finish strong and swagger to the line. A scoring center who can blow to pieces the Curry blitz, and facilitate the full blossoming of one of the greatest talents in league history.

I’m not suggesting that the Warriors risk disrupting their championship chemistry before this run is done. I’m simply dreaming of the future.

I dream of Genie.

The Analytics Movement: With apologies for what is already the longest post I’ve ever written, it just wouldn’t feel right to wrap up this blog without one final jab at the Statphreaks. Deconstructing their fallacies and myths has been one of my greatest pleasures.

The biggest myth of all concerning NBA analytics right now is that it has revolutionized and transformed the league. That it was the new efficiency stats and studies that led the league towards emphasizing the open floor and the three-ball, playing smaller with stretch-fours and “modern” scoring point guards, and de-emphasing the use of bigs and low-efficiency low-post basketball.

Nope. Not accurate. Revisionist history, redux.

While I recognize the worth of analytics in educating the old-school and ignorant NBA hierarchy about Nellieball, and making it easier for Nellieball coaches and GMs to retain their jobs while re-shaping their teams, the truth of the matter is that analytics did not lead this revolution. It followed. It did not invent this revolution. It validated it. What is being called the Analytics Movement is in actuality a baggage train.

Statphreaks, I hate to break it to you, but while you were still pimply-faced nerdlets banging away at your laptops in math camp, Don Nelson was inventing the modern NBA on the backs of cocktail napkins.

And paving the way for the 2015 World Champion Golden State Warriors.

A Toast: I know neither this post, nor indeed this blog, will have any lasting impact on Don Nelson’s legacy. I’ve simply been howling in the wind, writing in water. For whatever reason, because he was too far ahead of his time, or for more personal reasons, Nellie will never get the full credit he deserves for his role in Warriors and NBA history. He is the Edward de Vere of NBA basketball.

Doesn’t really matter to me. That was never really the point. The point of this blog was Nellie’s legacy to me, the lasting joy of awakening to the full possibilities of my favorite sport, of watching his discoveries and protegés blossom into unexpected greatness, of seeing his revolutionary and beautiful vision of winning basketball transform his teams, and ultimately the league itself.

And of watching a championship being won, his way, with his guy.

I simply wanted to share that joy, and pay homage to genius. And I have.

As I write these final words, I have a freshly cracked bottle of scotch and a frosted tumbler of ice by my keyboard. Not my usual drink, but this is a special occasion.

Cheers, Nellie.

Here’s looking at you.

107 Responses to Writ in Water

  1. Too much thanks to you Feltbot and clearly to Donnie (who may have learned a thing or two from Red lol)

  2. Another fantastic post, Feltbot. Geniuses will always be misinterpreted and their contributions will always be slighted, but the fruits of the action are still as sweet, and even words written in water carry on in unforeseeable, invisible-yet-tangible ways. Best of luck on your next project, and thank you for your insight, idealism, passion, humor, and delightful writing. Cheers!

  3. You saved the best for last, Feltbot. Thanks for all your insights over the years. There simply hasn’t been anything else comparable. You will be sorely missed.

    And a shoutout to moto and rzz. I’ve enjoyed your company and will miss you guys as well.

  4. Brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat Felt. And several good humored smiles as well.

    And what strikes me is just how close it was for Curry never happening. If you believe in a Higher Power, His hand is evident here, and He acted thru Nellie.

    As you detailed above, if not for Nellie, a disaster would surely have prevailed — Curry a 2nd fiddle combo guard and 6th man.

    It’s all about Curry now. The Genie is out of the bottle for good. This is his team, and if he decides to listen to Nash and run high P&R, that will happen (it already did in The Finals, a lot).

    The Harrison Barnes dilemma doesn’t concern me in the slightest. I expect he will be traded, unsigned, prior to 31 October.

    Barnes and Bogut for Paul George? Would Bird go for it? Is Bird feed up with George and visa-versa?

  5. Touching, Felt.
    I, too, admire Kerr’s revamping of Jackson’s “offensive system” into what the Spurs would run if Splitter had Biedrinitis. But I think an underrated facet of Kerr’s version of motion offense is using Curry away from the ball, something you vehemently criticized. Would we ever know how great Curry’s gravity was if he only ever played the role of a top-down decision maker? How many wide open baskets were gifted to Curry’s down-screen setter as Curry was coming off a curl or flare screen? Is there a better example of synergy when Curry and Klay play ring around the rosie with each other along the baseline and then flash to the 3 point line to await an entry pass? The playbook becomes endless if you give Curry a slight breather and just let him simply use his court presence to create for his teammates.

    But regardless, I have been a long time lurker on your blog and only came out of the woods this season when I felt knowledgeable enough to contribute to these intelligent discussions you hold. Like Nellie, your insight is ahead of its time and I feel fortunate to have learned from your vision of the game. I appreciate what you have done and wish you best of luck in your future endeavors.

  6. Reggie to go up against the Jimmer for the final spot on the Spurs roster?

    http://www.hngn.com/articles/132724/20150923/san-antonio-spurs-rumors-jimmer-fredette-reggie-williams-to-fight-for-final-roster-spot.htm

    I still don’t understand why SA picked up Fredette.

    • the preseason roster limit is twenty. the woeyrs have apparently signed ben gordon as a similar long shot, practice/scrimmage/roster filler. if coaches like having bodies to run the drills and scrimmages, while retaining the option of resting the vets who face long regular season minutes, there seem to be two principal types of the practice players not likely to make the fifteen real roster spots — developmental players, and n.b.a. vets with marginal chances to extend their careers. even if the vets have nearly zero chance to stay on the team, the opportunity might give them a chance to find a job somewhere else — euro scouts come over to watch the n.b.a. exhibitions, for example. from a coaching standpoint, it is probably easier to run drills and practice plays if vets are mixed in with the novices.

  7. I got pretty excited when I saw you re-activated the blog Feltbot, thinking it would be around for the coming season, but it’s all for naught as youresticking to your vow of chastity. Or is it abstinence. I think your e making a mistake – this season is gonna be a doozy. What are these new projects you have in store? Saving starving pygmies in Papua-New Guinea? Reinventing the wheel? I hope it’s not a new blog..

    I just read your final posts and they were sort of one last Ode to yourself, Nellie, and DLee. Nellie was a maverick and racking up more victories than any other coach in league history attest to his ability. But there were many, many times over the years as a Warriors fan where it was extremely frustrating to watch the team get toyed with on the boards and in the paint, as Nelly stuck with his smalls to the point of pig-headedness. Granted the likes of Patrick OBrien, Vic Alexandrr and Tyrone Hill weren’t world beaters, but Dons philosophy could go beyond solid strategy into pointless gimmickry. Of course, it could be fun to watch

    I think he’s in the top 3 all time for losses, also, I would venture.

    Another miracle was the Knicks drafting Johnny Flynn at #6. Johnny Flynn. That put a bow on the package.

    Speaking of Johnny Flynn, I’ll never forget that game when then-Knick put up 40+ on Beans and the Dubs in the Garden. You reminded me that Chris Duhon was the at the point, which makes Lees performance a the more memorable. I started to realize that it wasn’t just the Warriors shortcomings, but a real knack of David’s to get to the hoop and and convert. He wasn’t utilized to peak efficiency by coach Kerr

    But can you argue with a championship? After reading your tribute to David, you’d think he’d be a candidate for canonization ( not sure if he’s catholic)

    One thing I do agree with you on feltbot, is Harrison. He’s a good bballer but a mediocre Nba player. He’s not worth 16 mill. But with the team worth over a billion maybe it doesn’t matter anymore who makes what. Harrison can hit assisted wide open shots at an Ok rate. But he doesn’t do anything else well, and the teams success has helped mask this. He’ll get toasted on D no matter what position he plays. I know others disagree, despite his blocks, steals and fouls #s, and I’m no longer passionate about this. As long as we have Steph, Dray and Klay, we’ll be competitive
    I can’t stand it when people say Harrison can play D “bigger than he is”. He’s 6’8″ 225!!

    Stephs arguably the best shooter EVER and Nelly has nothing to do with this. He’s also a great shot creator and ball-handler. And he has a chance to become a great passer and consummate point guard, if he’s not already
    Thanks FB

    • rzz, maybe the euphoria of seeing this blog on a temporary stay of execution granted you immunity from editing.

      the indigenous peoples of New Guinea or Australia for that matter might be slighter and smaller than most euros (though you should note size diversity among euros, especially going back to historical times when industrially produced foods were not widely available there), but pygmies are more usually associated with the rain forests of the Congo. recommended listening, music of the Ituri forest pygmies. adapted by Herbie Hancock in his most famous crossover hit recording.

      Patrick O’Brien was a brit writer, immensely popular for his tales about the royal navy in the late 18th/early 19th century. Jack Aubrey and Steven Maturin were the lead characters. o’bryant was the name of one of the immortal mullin’s draft attempts to find a big guy. noted among other n.b.a. feats for completely failing garnett’s tutorial when Bos gave him a roster spot hoping for a miracle.

      Flynn was drafted by Min and the exec who made the pick was forever after mocked by the shatner/capt kirk wail of ‘kaaahhhn'(none other than the late ricardo montalban).

      • Interesting Moto.
        While maybe not quite euphoric, I was excited to see Feltbot posting again. My sloppiness is largely due to posting on my iPhone4. Anything beyond texting can be pretty painful. But other than that I love it’s small size, and won’t change until it conks out. Or is rendered completely obsolete.

        One strange little coincidence in regards to Montalban (and possibly pygmies), yesterday morning in the office we were reviewing older Los Angeles county probate filings, and Herve Villachez’s proceeding popped up. Judging from the looks of the docket, he passed away with very little. But it got me thinking back to him and Mr. Roark, and ABCs powerhouse Saturday night one-two punch of the The Love Boat, and Fantasy Island. My brothers and I would hunker down for two solid hours of mindless entertainment, 1970s style.

        The plane! The plane!

        • malapropisms, even if inadvertent due to tiny keyboards, are part of the sacred teachings of the recently departed yogi berra. technically dwarves are in a different genetic classification than pygmies, but neither are likely to find an easy path through our world of travail and woe. the great director werner herzog created one of his major works as an homage to dwarves and other folk considered ‘little’ due to stature or social status.

    • I’m contemplating a new title for my post: “Ode to Myself”.

  8. I wonder, if Nellie knew then what he knows now, would he have kept Curry?

    I mean, holding onto Curry caused his two best players to mentally check out – SJax demanded a trade, Monta didn’t buy in – and that, in turn, led to a dismal season, which got Nellie fired.

    Meanwhile, he could have flipped Curry for Amare (who was very good that next season), won a lot of games, advanced a couple of rounds into the playoffs, and made it very hard for new ownership to depose him.

    What if he knew that?

  9. FB,

    Yours is as unque a voice as I’ve read on the subject of basketball. You were right much more than you were wrong (imho) but it didn’t really matter. The strength of your convictions raised everyone’s game who dared play in the same sandbox and your contra-mainstream opinions provided a safe harbor of sorts to those who cared for a discussion outside of the press release utopia otherwise foisted on the public. Good luck in your new endeavors. You will be missed.

  10. FB, and all you regulars: I will sorely miss our little chats and even contretemps. Even you, rgg, however incomprehensible that may be to you.

    It’s been like having a bunch of buds sitting around some imaginary living room. Some brilliant stuff, some truly boneheaded nonsense, very few real creeps, always fun to drop in on in any case. Like a friendly neighborhood pub, sorta.

    Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did, and I hope you all carry on the good luck and good living that brought you to this little slice of sports heaven.

    The Hat signs off. You’ll probably see him around sometimes, pretending erudition while ripping up other Warriors blogs.

    But it won’t be the same.

  11. Felt,

    Loved your game recaps and analysis, not exactly fan of your obsession with Nellie and hatred of Barnes nor your dislike for GM and owner. But, even while not agreeing with your articles, you still make it very interesting to read, like this one, only a talented writer like you can express everything in NBA through Nellie world. You almost succeed in convincing that Nellie a basketball god, David Lee as a best pick and roll player ever and good defender, Riley as best GM ever, Mo Speights as Mokur etc, Barnes a D league player etc..

    What we have common is that we enjoy warriors success. Good luck with your other endeavors and hope we as warriors fan get to enjoy more warrior championships while playing entertaining brand.

  12. on the ‘writ in water’ theme, for fans of vintage documentary films and the ‘greatest generation’ — tonight the turner classic movie station is screening the 1945 compilation from german film archives originally shown at the nuremberg trials, written and produced early in the careers of hollywood notables budd schulberg and george stevens, “the Nazi Plan”. many excerpts from the work of the brilliant director riefenstahl, originally produced in service of her nazi bosses.

    • Here’s some more complementary reading on another subject (we do that here), moto:

      http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/07/silicon-valley-housing-tough-on-teachers/399071/

    • moto, your image says you’re black, but who knows? Or cares?

      Let’s talk political theatre.

      I’m reminded of my age, somewhat, by hearing echoes of George Wallace in all of the Republican candidates. Wallace was a southern governor who ran for pres. one time. He was a “devout” racist, and separatist.

      In his first run for governor Wallace was defeated. At the time he reportedly said, “I was out-niggered. I’ll never be out-niggered again.” Of course he wasn’t, and he went on to a largely successful career in state politics.

      Isn’t that the attitude driving our current Republican candidates?

      Today’s “niggers” (god, it’s difficult for me to even write that word) aren’t merely blacks, they’re Hispanics and Muslims and gays too. EVERY GOP CANDIDATE is delivering the bigotry of George Wallace, either overtly (Trump) or through “dog-whistle” phrases like “anchor babies” and “this country was founded on Christianity.”

      It is truly sickening. It doesn’t work, either. Racism didn’t work for Wallace or any of his political offspring, not on the national stage. Religious bigotry didn’t work for Bachmann or Santorum, despite small state-level wins in the last presidential contest. Throw in anti-freedom sexual politics and you have a loser no matter how you cut and slice electoral zones. Then double down with an attack against Planned Parenthood, the single most respected organization in the USA. Yeah, that’ll work.

      Oh, wait, news flash(!), attempt (and fail) to fluster and embarrass a Superior Human Being like Cecile Richards, head of Planned Parenthood.

      WTF are those guys thinking?

      So, in the end, every single one of the GOP candidates is not only crude, cruel and stupid (i.e., a bigot), they’re bad at the job of politics too. “I won’t be out-niggered.” How ghastly. How dumb, too.

      Always nice to hear your thoughts, moto. Hope all things are great for you and yours, and hope that they may ever be.

      • when my hair is trimmed down, the avatar somewhat resembles me, but it is actually Peter Lorre in one of his many obscure film roles. a long term, painful health condition and the morphine addiction to suppress the symptoms, plus the mccarthy hollywood witch hunts and losing studio contract work, did not grant him a pleasant ending for his career or life. in front of the inquisition hearings he was asked if he encountered suspicious characters in the studios and working environment, and he replied, yes, everyone.

        trump is obviously a throwback candidate, and as you know his constituency remains wealthy and influential. his sensibilities were formed in those days when geo.wallace flourished and previously marginalized/openly suppressed peoples, which included women and can’t be labelled ‘minorities’, encouraged by the judicial and executive branches of government, actively claimed their rights as citizens. as the times pointed out, the foreign-born portion of the u.s. population was also at its lowest level since the war in the 60s and 70s. nationalism is always a pillar for the reactionaries, and there is never a shortage of foreign demons/terrorists for them to identify. they’re sure to connect a return to prosperity with what they define as ‘security’ — the white minority did very well under apartheid, and the police/security forces were on their best behaviour within the white enclaves. trump know there’s money to be made encouraging and creating similar communities here.

        thank you for the kind thoughts. an individual with your smarts, accomplishments, and confidence will do well whatever happens with the regime change. does your current employer have much bidness connected to the people’s republic ? the hedge fund heavy, mark l. hart of Tx, who did very well betting on the mortgage bubble bursting and the greeks going bankrupt, has wagered heavily that the renminbi will collapse and bring down other asian economies.

        • I always thought that image looked like Peter Lorre, and always harbored doubts that it was really you. Thanks, finally, for the clarification.

          The renminbi will not “collapse” in the way the US housing bubble did. That happened because it was Bush admin policy to continuously, artificially goose the economy with cheap money. US banks were literally being paid by the Government to write loans of all types – interest rates were lower than inflation. That isn’t happening in China, and never has.

          Re China, we’re seeing a “value adjustment,” not an OMG reality check like the US housing market. Chinese businesses today, for the most part, have far more intrinsic value (measured either as the cost to re-create, or an asset’s ability to generate income) than US homes did in 2008. In addition, the Chinese government is absolutely ruthless in controlling market valuations, something which is not even possible in the US. There have been reports of short-sellers being executed in Beijing. Try that on Wall St.

          So yeah, the Chinese market is suffering, and its effects are spread worldwide. But no one is ever likely to mismanage a national economy as badly as Alan Greenspan/GW Bush, so the effects will be less devastating than we experienced in 2008.

  13. It was a wonderful ride in your car that
    ended in a championship!! Perfect ending.
    Wouldn’t have been the same without
    you leading the way. And you’re followers
    are simply the best. We thank you for treating
    Everyone with respect a character trait few
    possess.

    Will miss everyone who has posted here.
    Your followers are simply the best.

    As for me, I will continue to try to bring
    Nellieball to a local high school. Won
    State championship last year. This year
    helping another high school team
    on it’s journey to hopefully win the
    national championship.

    Will probably write a final political
    comnentary in a subsequent post.

    Best to all of you. And to the Golden State
    Warriors, the NBA’s World Champions!!!

  14. The school is St. Benedict Prep Academy
    an all-boys Catholic school located in
    downtown Newark, NJ. It has a storied
    basketball program.

    Cleveland’s JR Smith, and Tristan
    Thompson, the Buck’s Tyler
    Ennis, and Kentucky freshman PG
    Isiah Brisco attend there a few
    years ago.

    The team has been virtually reconstituted
    this year so the challenge is daunting.

    • kudos to you Frank. this forum is the only place someone like me can learn from perspectives like yours, in hoops, educating the young’uns, and geopolitics. if the thirteen colonies were the birthing ground of our unruly commonwealth, NJ was their liver, largely obscured in the mainstream histories by the more glittery realms of virginny or Phi or Bos/NY (NJ is clearly essential to both NY and Phi but obscured by the propaganda and pollution), and still very much contributing to the essence of ‘american stereotypes’. the west coast history of the woeyrs is largely the legacy of two NJ-ans, attles and barry.

      st.benedict is even more essential to the catholic archetype than NJ is to the american. the great refuge he founded at the very onset of the dark ages survived until the nazis and amerikaners/allies collaborated in it utter obliteration.

      hope to hear your closing thoughts on the geopolitical jumble. buona fortuna to you and yours.

  15. Good words Feltbot. Thanks for the hoops wisdom and Nellie insights all these past years.

    You made the Warriors blogosphere more golden.

    • Thanks Atma, and thanks for the early encouragement, it meant a lot to me. You carried the torch before me, and will no doubt continue encouraging bloggers well into the future. Good luck at GSOM, and in everything else.

  16. As a longtime follower of this blog I just want to say, Feltbot, that I will really miss settling in to one of your well-written, slightly combative (did I say slightly?) and always exceedingly informative essays. I remember how you were frequently ridiculed by the mean-minded orthodox for your heresies on the other blog. When you set up this site I immediately switched over and have really enjoyed the ride. I have learned a great deal and I consider you totally vindicated yet recognize your point – still can’t mention Nellie’s name over there.

    Very hard to see you go but thank you so much for what you have provided. Best of luck in whatever is next.

  17. I wish that RunTMC team had Draymond.

    Good luck on your next project whatever it may be Felty!

  18. Check out the recent pingbacks, Feltbot. Adam Nackers makes it look like he wrote your posts.

    • We’ve been rzzzed.

      • His TED talks are worth watching. It’s all off-the-cuff.

        JMMcAdoo had a very favorable piece in the Chron the other day. I’m looking forward to see how he fits in this season. He’s got some anti-Barnes qualities

        Feltbot tweeted about Lawson and the Rockets and I agree with him. I thought that Ty was the Nuggers best player in the playoffs when they took out MJax’ s team. As a Warriors fan I kind of hope he gets back on the sauce. Sorry, it’s just ingrained

        I couldn’t afford to live in SF without the generous deal my friend is providing me on rent, Rgg. By generous, I just mean f’n reasonable.

        • Read The Atlantic article I linked @12. The situation really is that bad. My landlord will end my lease in a few months and likely my rent, already steep, will double if I stay here. It doesn’t make financial sense to stay here, so I’m contemplating leaving the Golden State for good.

          Two questions:
          1. Know anything about Portland? I’m contemplating moving there.
          2. Got a spare bedroom?

          I followed both Steph and Lawson in college, about the last year I followed college, and I thought at the time Lawson was the NBA point guard. I’ve revised that view, of course. I like Lawson and am pulling for him. The Denver mess didn’t help him.

          And I’ll throw in one last critical comment: amazing how unexceptional the GSW roster is after Curry/Green/Thompson.

          • my family has roots in portland. much friendlier cost of living. the cascadia region in general has preserved more of the pacific coast essence because over development and sprawl didn’t metastasize quite as far. it’s also very literate, the bad weather encouraging more reading. the wet weather is also one of the principal minuses.

            anyone who considers resettling in cascadia should first read the long article in the new yorker (7/22 this year) about how poorly prepared they are for a catastrophic quake, and why their tectonic subduction zone is more likely to present a megaquake than our fractures and faults down here in the San Andreas vicinity.

            how this nation and especially the state of calif can’t and won’t support and compensate teachers and education for the non privileged is a travesty, and we are becoming a decadent has been, not much different than our role models imperial rome and britannia.

          • Silicon Valley will pay the price more than teachers, simply because new teachers can’t afford to come here and won’t want to, within a 30+ mile radius. And they’re already turning jobs down or leaving. Not just teachers, of course, but every other profession from that pay range on down. Don’t ask me if I care.

            Portland because I wanted moderate weather and wanted to be around something stimulating, also have no interest in returning to the southeast, which is cheaper, or going anywhere in between. That only leaves Portland, unless I go further north to Seattle, more expensive. Plus it has a bookstore—Powell’s—which matters to me. Not crazy about the rain, but I have to compromise somewhere. Unfortunately, many Californians have the same idea now, and prices are rising.

            Also I’m ready to leave pro sports. Lacob shouldn’t be singled out but shouldn’t be spared either. What he’s doing for GSW in terms of the moneyed elite sickens me. And the scene will get worse in the GuberPalace. I can afford it, but I’m tired of giving Comcast so much money, who I put in the same category as my landlord. I canceled the tv and phone part of my subscription, so I’ll have to catch games in bars, on occasion.

            It’s too much to ask, moto, but if you have hot leads on apartments, I like to hear, via email through our blogmaster. I’m asking everyone. I’ll rent first, then look to buy. Time was, I’d pack up and leave without a second thought. I arrived in Paris in ’73 not knowing where I’d sleep that night and stayed a year. Same deal in Berkeley in ’78, and I stayed five. Now I’m daunted. Plus I have all my stuff. I’ll teach up to the end of my stay and won’t have time to apartment hunt. I wonder if it’s safe and sensible to try to get an apartment down here, online, without being there.

            Well, I did see that New Yorker piece. A friend in Seattle, actually Bainbridge Island, sent me this youtube:

          • rgg, are you looking for a place to rent in Por ? or do you plan on commuting to deAnza college. if the latter, what is the maximum distance you are willing to travel. a note on commuting in general, can’t imagine depending on a private auto in our region of fair weather if one is traveling solo and the distance is under 10 or 12 mi. public/pooled transport aside, the electric assist bicycles have become more accessible with a lower initial investment. Por was considerably ahead of the bay area in bicycle access in the 80s, even with their unfriendly precipitation, not sure if that is still the case.

            when we travel to Por, we assume we’ll be stashing a large carton’s volume of stuff from Powell’s for the return trip. unlikely there’s any city of Por’s size that has a resource in english language books that compares.

          • moto—

            If I move to Portland next winter, which is not at all certain, I’ll retire a year or two earlier than I planned and leave teaching. My idea is to rent a while to get the lay of the land and look for something to buy, probably a condo. Finding an apartment and getting my stuff there will be a challenge, as I won’t have much time and the logistics are complicated.

            It makes slight financial sense to stay here. When my lease expires I’m looking at $30-36k a year just on rent in an apartment I won’t like. Better to put that money into housing I could sell if need be. It would be an investment, maybe even a good one. Buying here is both undesirable and impossible. I saw a very unexceptional condo in Campbell similar to what I’m renting going for $675k—and it directly faces 280, a major freeway. I also saw a very boring ranch house in Sunnyvale going for $2.2 million.

            If you have other thoughts on a place to move to, please pass on. I thought about southern Oregon, but I know I’d be bored.

            I understand they have a basketball team in Portland.

          • There’s an article on the front page of the Chronicle this morning about the housing market in SF. 5 years ago 7% of the homes in the Bernal Heights neighborhood were valued at 1 million dollars. Now it’s 86%.

            Somehow I’ve managed to make the city my home base despite my income hovering around the Mendoza line most of my adult life. Being single since the late 90s (when things really started to spiral out of control) and living a spartan lifestyle have helped me to mitigate the ridiculousness of it all.

            I don’t personally have a spare room, rgg. I live in a nice house by the beach, and do a lot of work on the place and have known the owner forever, but it comes with a couple of rommates. Roommates are always a dicey proposition but without them I wouldn’t be staying here. Luckily, it’s worked out.

            What I know about Portland is that I’ve been there and I liked it. A friend of my mine left SF for Hilo, Hawaii, and loves it. He drives a tour bus there for a living and has sworn off the Bay Area. Other people I know have left for Astoria, Oregon (lots of Bay transplants, it sounds like), Las Vegas, and Pittsburgh, Penn. I’ve really enjoyed my visits to Pittsburgh. But it’s a long way to go ( I haven’t been there in the wintertime).

            If I hear about something that seems apt for you rgg, I’ll let you know. Can you be contacted through your personal blog, the one on which you posted your essay on living in Cupertino?

          • Your phrase “a decadent has-been” made me wince Moto, I think because I recognize the truth behind it. But others just label it “Progress”.

            “Nero fiddling while Rome burns” is another phrase that comes to mind. It’s one of my favorites. Especially in regards to the environment and planet.

          • Just kidding about the spare room rzzz, that is until I found out you’re by the beach.

            Nah, still kidding.

            Staying single and drinking the High Life—that’s the key to staying sane and solvent.

            Never ceases to amaze me how much the well heeled complain about property taxes but don’t say anything against real estate prices, the real killer.

          • decide how far you’re willing to commute to school to establish your housing search parameter. you’re probably going to find there are still some places regular working stiffs can rent. is redwood city too far, for example. committing to a mortgage as an investment has its obvious pitfalls if you’re retiring relatively soon and the market goes sour — as unlikely as it might seem now.

            another way, if you’re retirement planning, would be to radically cut expenses and widen the search to shared housing. there are affluent folks in nice homes who consider another responsible adult in the home a positive asset. also, people in academia on fixed incomes like fellowships or teaching contracts, grad students, post docs and the like, often have very livable shared housing arrangements.

          • Thanx, moto. I’m thinking it’s time to put down the chalk and retire. And I’m contemplating Portland. Still trying to decide if I like it and can afford it.

  19. the genius venture capitalist lacob and tech savant entrepreneur ranadive would not give malone his due. (making malone subordinate to the hollow preacher, because the lesser jackson wouldn’t coach unless he was the chief — they marketed the package cleverly, at least). the callow kroenke heir gets to benefit.

    their home court advantage plus malone, a strong rookie season from the point guard, solid euro stuff from the balkan contingent (malone has admitted to a decent vocab in serbo croatian/bosnian cursing), perhaps Den can be a dark horse to scrap with Dal Phx Por for the bottom playoff seeds.

    • Agree on denver. Denver can win 50 games if Gallinaro stays healthy and he looks as healthy as he ever been.

    • I’m afraid I disagree with the scrapping for the playoffs forecast. I love Mudiay’s talent, but he’s a 19 year old rookie. They’ve got a 21 year old center – Nurkic. With both Gallinari and Chandler coming off years of leg injuries, I don’t expect their defense to reach prior levels. And as a whole, I think the team projects quite poorly on defense. Faried is a notably poor defender. Who is starting at two guard, Randy Foye? Will Barton?

      And I guess I disagree about Malone as well. Or am skeptical, at best. He is a defensive coach, with a bias in past gigs towards playing big and slowing the tempo: Making LeBron walk the ball up the court in his first Cavs stint, the underwhelming pace of the Warriors while Malone was here, and then the Sacramento fiasco after Boogie went down.

      The Nuggets looked great against the Warriors playing smallball with Faried at center, Gallo at four and Chandler at three. There was literally no one on the floor that Bogut could guard. And he was on an island because Gallo pulled Draymond all the way out.

      Is that the way they’re going to look in the regular season? Or did they play this lineup only because Nurkic was out? I suspect Malone will go with his conventionally big lineup of Nurkic and Faried. Which means their spacing will suck, their temp will slow, and one of either Gallo or Chandler will have to come off the bench.

      I foresee roster and chemistry issues. Particularly since defensive coaches with poor defensive rosters don’t often get along well.

      • Felt, you would see Faried at C and Gallinari at PF a lot. Their defense is weakened for the reasons you mentioned with Malone making them play team defense. I see them making run at #8 if Gallo can stay healthy.

    • Denver will be better this year, however, for all the reasons given, though not a lot. A lot of teams will be better because of upgrades. GSW may not be able to cruise this season as they did last, and a slight shift in the differential may have a significant influence over the course of a season.

      The other question, of course, is whether the Warriors upgraded enough to meet these challenges.

    • I can’t see Denver winning 50. There are 6 top teams in the West and everyone else is a relative question mark.

      I don’t know if you’d consider a retirement south of the border rgg, but a real haven is Panajachel Guatemala. It’s on beautiful and temperate Lago Atitlan, there are numerous ex-pat communities dotting the shores, with lots of interseting and friendly (I’d even say overly-friendly) retirees, in addition to varied travelers of all ages and ethnicities, and for $1000 a month and you can live like a proverbial king in a nice apartment, with a maid to clean (thats renting). Start with a month-to-month trial/staycation to see how it suits you, you’ll still be able to save retirement income, it’s that cheap, and you don’t need to speak a lick of Spanish..

      It’s really not that daunting if you look at as a vacation. But if you have your heart set on buying a place, I’d say stick with the US, sticker shock be damned

    • I’m seeing Denver’s line at 26.5 wins. A lot of room to wager there for those who are optimistic.

      • Den will probably end up closer t0 26 wins than 46. have forlorn hopes than a dark horse/spoiler will come up in the west’s second division (ignoring the n.b.a. quasi geographic nomenclature for divisions ; the lowers are teams than might contend for 7-9 but have no chance of advancing far in the post season if they squeak in). the upper division (top 5-6 in conference) once had Por for the dark horse role, but no longer of course. UT and Den have extreme home court advantages even with average teams, so the bar is lower for them, but at the same time the bar has raised for the upper level teams, making the lower division tougher.

  20. Re: Panajachel & RGG’s landing spot-
    Was there in ’79, before Rios Montt ripped it up/rounded up & killed lots of folks around the lake. It was and is a beautiful place. However if RGG is looking for someplace w/culture, going where tourists and retirees looking to stretch those SS dollars go doesn’t seem likely to satisfy. It seems he’s more interested in books than golf.
    He also mentioned southern OR but anyone who didn’t already know of it’s red necky/unemployed tree cutter/”christian” mentality need only look at the pix of those assembled to welcome Obama last week.

    Felt, given the Nugs play on Tuesday that 26.5 win total looks as if it could be a money maker, though as you say, defensive coaches w/o defensive players isn’t usually a good mix.

  21. I think the bookies are going to have a very good year on the win totals. Can’t find a single line I like.

    http://espn.go.com/chalk/story/_/id/13772067/nba-westgate-las-vegas-superbook-releases-2015-16-season-win-totals

  22. Thanks, JimH @23, but I’ve solved the problem. I’m going to move in with rzz and his crew and spend the rest of my days sitting on the beach in SF drinking High Life.

    I could live in Paris for less than what rent is here 50 miles out (Redwood City is bad, too), a temptation. Speaking of which, I just put this up:

    https://rggblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/paris-in-black-and-white1973-74/

    Which will appear elsewhere in a month or so. More pictures of Paris, way back. They are bad pictures—the text explains—and I love them. They are my favorite pictures of Paris. Some of them and some of the text came from an essay I posted here some time ago, which has since been published, explained in my notes.

    Feltbot: How are we going to find wives from around the world when you shut down the blog? Or our criminal records?

    • Google has an odd opinion of my readers, doesn’t it? Is there something I’ve been missing?

    • (Hate to see this blog space go to waste and we have a week or so left.)

      @20 and elsewhere. I updated my Cupertino piece which has just appeared at Archinect:

      http://archinect.com/features/article/137361206/site-context-cupertino-s-rate-of-change

      Or: Why I can’t and don’t want to live here any longer. I haven’t spent much time in SF the last years. I hate to think what it has become and where it’s headed.

      • when we look at the stupid prices for just holiday rentals or hotel rooms, simply recalling what we paid for a one bedroom apt in a great Paris district (the Marais) a couple of years ago (about 180 per night, which won’t get much in our three or four star accommodations) eliminates most of them.

        if you want a vacation rental of a week or two in Por to look things over, you can probably get decent deals on airbnb or homeaway. did you like the east bay at all as a UC student ? if you feel terminally attached to this area, oakland or alameda are livable, san leandro or albany have decent access via bart to SF and the other urban centers (oakland has come far in the last decade).

    • Cool pics. I’ve never been to France. Or Europe.

      Your Paris in B&W 73/74 is my Mexico in the 80s and 90s. I have perhaps 10 tattered Polaroids from that period. They’re meaningless mementos to anyone other than myself…

      I digitalized them by laying them flat and photo’ng them with my iPhone. They came out pretty well

      I’m aware of the ugly incidents in Guatemalas recent history, but I’ve been to Lake Atitlan yearly for the last three years, taking the bus up from El Salvador, and feel that it is a very safe locale. Like a lot of Central America, it polices itself, and like elsewhere, if you make yourself a target and asked for trouble, it will probably find you.

      • Writing about pictures from the past is a fun and rewarding project, rzz. Do it on a blog—they’re free. Doesn’t matter if anyone sees it or not.

  23. Andrew was labeled a coward last year in some quarters, and if getting multiple broken beaks means youre injury prone, he’s guilty. But getting whacked in the nose often tends to result in injury, even outside of the NBA.

    To me 5 broken noses indicates a certain fortitude and willingness to stick it in there

  24. Felt,

    Lawson would help Rockets but if he is your 3rd best player with 2nd best player, Howard who may never be healthy for playoffs again, Rockets didn’t improve much. Kanter won’t help OKC,(he left Utah and Utah played much better among other stats that show Kanter’s -ve impact for the teams). Aldridge, to be seen how Pop can influence Aldridge’s game.

    But, for OKC, healthy return of Ibaka and Durant might be enough to get back into finals, Ibaka is the wild card for OKC.

    • Aldridge replacing Splitter in starting lineup, allowing Duncan to slide to center. No brainer huge improvement on both sides of the ball.

      Lawson will be transformative. Harden will no longer have to initiate the offense every single play. No longer have to kill himself on offensive end, leaving nothing for defense. Teams will no longer be able to set their defenses against him when Lawson is initiating. No longer be able to box and one, no longer be able to triple team.

      I think it’s obvious that if the Warriors faced a Rockets team with Lawson and Beverley in Jason Terry’s place that series would have been ten times tougher.

      Comparing Kanter in OKC to Kanter in Utah is apples to oranges. Utah was desperate for a defensive presence in the middle, OKC simply doesn’t need it in their starting lineup. They have one of the best defensive teams in the league surrounding Kanter. And their finishing lineup will have Ibaka at center, when healthy one of the best defensive centers in the league.

      What Kanter will do on the offensive end for OKC will be transformative, simply by virtue of the spacing he provides. Westbrook and Durant have never played with an open lane before. What happens if Bogut leaves the lane to guard Kanter in the high post? What happens if he doesn’t?

      There won’t be a defense in the league that can contain the Thunder this season.

      • My 2 cents

        Spurs, no doubt improved but they are even more dependent on Tony Parker than last year with Cory Joseph leaving. Even with Kawahi emerging and Aldridge there, the key to success for Spurs would be Tony Parker who has been regressing rapidly.

        Agree on OKC’s defense with Ibaka is all NBA defender. Kanter though wouldn’t help the team on offense and frankly OKC might not need his offense if their big 3 all stay healthy. If warriors will play OKC with Kanter, warriors will guard Kanter the same way they handled Mozgov. I am not high on Kanter as you are. So, I will say that OKC can be very good if Ibaka stays healthy and Kanter will have very little impact to their success.

        Harden can have much better year if he lets Lawson handle the ball more but still Howard’s health will be a bigger issue. They need Terence Jones or Donatas to have break out year. Last year, they won in playoffs aided by Josh Smith’s unexpected 3PT shooting. Once he cooled off, they didn’t have much offense.

      • Agree Lawson and Kantner, no doubt about it.

        LMA? We’ll see. He complained about fitting in and learning Pops stuff. Translation: I don’t like playing center.

  25. Dear feltbot;

    The moment I mistakenly set eyes on your blog I knew my life would never be the same. Though I hate basketball, still don’t understand it, and rarely watch it, your dogged championing of this Nelly fellow and his cohort David Lee have moved me inextricably. Your work and your followers have caused me to experience the gamut of human emotion; happiness, sadness, murderous rage, confusion, shock, hilarity, abjection, hunger, ecstasy, and other emotions I’m still attempting to come to grips with.
    More than anything, your teachings have left me feeling somewhat akin to, for lack of a better analogy, a NERF dildo. Questioning the usefulness of my existence, and often wondering if there is any point to it

    From the bottom of my heart, myself and my pet hamster, Sir Harry Palmster, extend to you our deepest gratitude

  26. Not exactly a stellar preseason. I know the games don’t matter, but these guys, or the key starters, aren’t in the habit of losing. And Kerr’s absence is not the major factor.

    Any thoughts on the coming season, Feltbot, before the gates of Feltbotdom close?

    • methinks kerr’s absence is significant. probably not fatally so, but ignoring the scores, the team’s preparation and execution seem casual. when walton was the third ranked assistant he enjoyed a quasi-peer relationship with the players, and there wasn’t anything particularly outstanding about his qualifications for the number one post he was awarded with gentry’s departure. we’re reminded over and again that the exhibition results are irrelevant, yet the vegas league gets marketed as an earnest competition. would the vegas champions d.erman or SA’s hammond have more credibility as a number one assistant ? probably.

      • I suspect the major problem is the supporting roster, after Curry, Klay and Green, with those three getting reduced minutes and Iguodala resting. They just haven’t stepped up, hardly a surprise.

        • And Klay stepped up last night when given a chance to show he could be the #1 motivator? It was horrible to watch.

  27. I admit I wrote the above parody. I was bored on BART..

    No offense intended. Even to hamsters.

  28. WheresMyChippy

    Want to comment before it’s too late..

    Feltbot. Thank you.

    From the very beginning this blog has continuously increased my enjoyment and understanding of basketball. The only person who has probably contributed more to my hoops knowledge is Jim Barnett.

    I’m going to miss this really badly, but I can’t complain. We’re lucky to have had you.

    Thank you.

    Thank you to everyone else too. And I mean EVERYONE, even longtimer. You guys made this place what it is.

    Farewell, y’all.

    Felt, I trust we can still look forward to Warriors analysis/snide commentary in 140 characters or less?

    • Thanks WMC, and sorry I didn’t notice you hung up in my spam filter until this moment.

      Yes, can’t shut me up entirely, I shall be continuing on twitter @feltbot. Come join me.

  29. One of my financial “investments” is actually working out. I bought 4.75 Bitcoins in August for $1000 ($210 a coin). Its at 274$ per bitcoin now.

    Bitcoin is hard to figure out, no one uses it, and I have no idea if it will succeed. But its got the huge hype/spike potential and a certain level of name recognition that, in my opinion, are worth gambling on.

    I’ll buy some more if it falls sub-200. Even at it’s current level its not a bad entry point.

  30. felt maestro, noticed your salute to bourdain’s cnn ‘self critical tourist’ hour. he’s re-examining post colonialism in its cultural and human legacies, including his own state of consciousness as the visitor and semi-reformed sensation seeker. another writer we’ve both read who attempted a similar journey was H.Mankell ; you probably saw his recent obituary. he accepted his decline and death not unlike the chart he wrote for his detective, no long good byes.

    just wish to give you another thanks and fare well with the blog’s closure imminent. you have my permission to give my e-mail (off site) to any of the regular gang who is interested, for personal communication purposes only of course, trusting all will keep commercialism out just as you kind sir kept this place nearly pristine.

    nested within this blog was the potential for another discourse stream about mass culture, something like what they attempt over on grantland. we did get around to various, entertaining, imaginary, acquired, or remembered, notions, places and events, hope you enjoyed the ride as much as we did.

    • Perhaps you can start a blog for us, moto. I’m sure you’d have followers. It’s free! It’s easy! And, as Feltbot can tell you, it can be quite profitable!

    • thanks, moto. I deeply appreciated your participation, and was enriched by the social and cultural discussions that popped up on the blog. I’ll definitely miss our coffee klatsch.

      Love that you appreciate Bourdain with me. The self-aware flawed narrator, stripped of pretense, open to experience, who takes us on a journey to undiscovered regions. There’s some Marlow in him, isn’t there?

      I read a couple of Mankell books, perhaps I should continue that journey.

  31. I know we should end our last days here with some decorum, but to hell with that. Parting song to all:

  32. It does look like it’s going to be a great coming season Feltbot. The Chronicle pointed out this morning that the Cavs went 32-3 in the last 35 games that LeBron, KLove, and Kyrie managed to suit up for simultaneously…
    I havent been able to get into hoops yet, but once the season starts that’ll change. Like rgg I’m turned off by lots of the surrounding noise, but just like as a ten yr old, I love the game and the competition on the hardwood. I’ve been keeping up with the latest in the paper, there’s been some negativity, (ultrasensitive champs?! To me it’s just replying to loaded media questions) but I’m very high on this Warriors squad. People need to be reminded how good Steph, Klay and Dray are, and can be. Think this will start Tues nite.

    I think Klay and Steph will both put up over 24 ppg this coming season. Unless they just don’t get the minutes. Which would actually be ideal

    I’m gonna miss the forum once the real hoops begin, and the chance to comment on the Warriors as the season unfolds. Like I said, you can only annoy non-bball fanatics for so long before they tune you out. At least face to face in real life. But the blog was 24/7!

  33. i would lie to say that i’m sad or that it would be a big loss for me if this blog stops existing – once you have lost many things (not stuff, but things, like political convictions, ethical courage) and people in life, you tend to form certain detachment mechanisms – mostly because you are a sensitive thinking being, and you can have only that much traumas before becoming unravelled.

    but yes, it was a joy to read, even if in disagreement at times, or especially because of disagreements, for, if well stated and formed, they (statements you find yourself at odds with) make you think, instead of going – meh, if they are pale and only function as sort of an ingredient in generic soup of what is called democracy of opinions.

    in the end (as well as in beggining and middle) what matters is not opinions (which i do not conflate with having a voice and a right to/excersizing of a voice), but thought’s directedness (in a sense of having a goal) – which french philospher alain badiou calls The Good (giving plato’s term a more modern meaning, or trying to rescue the good from various pseudo ambivalences of sentimentalism), and, if we sometimes make ourselves and those around us lucky, Truth.

    In this case, truth of basketball, which according to what i understood from reading feltbot, is not pure/brutal winning, but winning with beauty of the ways(means) of achieving that. And the grace of losing, if you do it in a beautiful way, rather than winning ugly, being closer to the truth of basketball.

    So, instead of repeating the famous trope of how west (western conference) is and will be brutal, i rise on up for – this season gonna be beautiful.

  34. Thanks again everyone for joining me here. It was a hell of a ride.

    I’ll be continuing to share my Warriors related thoughts (and some not so Warriors related) on twitter @feltbot. Come join me.

    Adios.