Ray Ratto

Kaepernick's former coach, former teammate join forces

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Kaepernick's former coach, former teammate join forces

Chris Ault is going to reconstruct Alex Smith’s career in Kansas City. Or he is hedging his bets in San Francisco 49ers history. Or he has a secret plan for making Chase Daniel into Russell Wilson. Either way, Colin Kaepernick is . . . well, too busy at the Warriors game to be unhappy about it.

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If it is true that Titus Young has become unhinged because of a 2011 concussion that has caused mental and behavioral problems, the NFL is in it up to its eyelids yet again. If not, he is. Either way, a happy ending seems very unlikely, and you may rest comfortably knowing that the NFL will divorce itself from Young no matter what the results of brain scans might produce.

But minicamps continue apace, so be happy.

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Andrew Wiggins’ deal with Kansas means the clock on him coming out for the NBA Draft is at T-minus-318 days and counting. I mean, why waste time wondering, right?

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The Canadian bloggist (blogster? blogman?) Tyler Dellow sat down with a calculator and, we presume, a bottle of scotch, and figured out that what happened Monday night to the Toronto Maple Leafs -– blowing a three-goal lead with four minutes left in regulation and then losing in overtime -- will happen once every 159 years. He points out that Halley’s Comet shows up approximately twice in that span.

So yeah, way to go Leafs. If you gotta go, go out with both middle fingers pointed right at the laws of probability.

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We should have known that Bryce Harper running an outfield wall would have induced someone –- in this case, at CBSSports.com –- to suggest that Harper plays too hard. That’s a good one –- encouraging 20-year-olds to find the magic 97 percent playing level. Somewhere, Derrick Rose is laughing through the pain, such as it is.

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One 34 shopping days until the Kobe Bryant memorabilia case is scheduled to go to court -– I mean, in case you have some Lower Merion commemoratives you want to give to your kid for graduation.

Or, if his mom has access to them, some of those cool shots of his foot surgery. Just the thing for breakfast placemats for the kids.

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Bob Ley’s work at Outside The Lines is, of course, exceptional, but he’s just been given the story of the century and he looks like he’s going to punt it. He received this letter and promptly put it on Twitter, with the requisite implied nod/wink combo:

BOB,

HOPE THIS DOESN’T SOUND TOO MUCH LIKE THE GRASSY KNOLL THEORY BUT, ANY CHANCE THAT JOE PATERNO IS ACTUALLY STILL ALIVE? LIVE IN THE HEART OF NITTANY LION COUNTRY AND AS THE TRIALS APPROACH FOR THE OTHER 3. MANY HERE ARE REALLY PONDERING THIS.

THANKS,

DOUG

Boy, is Ley going to feel the right Charlie when JoePa shows up at the Spanier trial as a surprise witness. And in honor of that, Raymond Burr will also come back to life to handle the questioning.

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And finally, the guy you’re thinking of when you look at Stephen Curry’s feet is Andrew Toney. He had a nine-year career that looked like it might be twice that except for balky ankles that never got right. That said, for his work in repeatedly torturing the Celtics in the postseason, he became known as The Boston Strangler. Curry’s menacing nickname is still being discussed by the marketing department in Oakland, where “Splash Brothers” has already hit its sell-by date for excessive lameness.

Celtics are the rivals Warriors fans need

Celtics are the rivals Warriors fans need

You don’t think you needed this game to go this way, but you did, and you do.

The Golden State Warriors spat out a 17-point lead and lost, 92-88, in Boston Thursday night, in a game that was taut if not particularly elegant, and in a game that elevated the Celtics to a place that makes them the new heir apparent to the heir apparent.

The Celtics have been a difficult out for the Warriors during the Brad Stevens Era, losing six of nine but only being blown out twice, and Thursday was not one of those nights. The box score will tell you the shooting and rebounding problems, but the Warriors had that lead and didn’t hold it. Or, to be accurate, the Celtics had that deficit and refused to let it destroy them.

Which is exactly the kind of team you, the fully licensed Warrior fan, want to watch play your team in the NBA Finals. You want to see them genuinely challenged, forced to win outside their comfort zone, induced to show their greatness in the highest of high leverage situations.

At least we think that’s what you want. Maybe you prefer blowouts so you can drink and go to the bathroom without care or fear. After all, the Warriors have taught the area the true meaning of front-running by being in front so often.

But the Celtics play a level of defense typically reserved for the San Antonio Spurs, and yes, the Warriors. They have a spiky exoskeleton that the acquisition of Kyrie Irving has actually enhanced, and Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum give them a gifted precocity that fits well with veterans like Al Horford and Marcus Morris, and Boston’s overall youth (they are fifth youngest, while Golden State is third-oldest) ought to make them a more difficult conundrum than Cleveland or any other team in either conference.

They are not yet the superior team; that remains to be proven, and betting against the Warriors requires a level of irrational bravery left only for the truly self-destructive.

But they are, as we sit this evening, the team the Warriors will have to work hardest to finish, because on a night when they had the chance to do so, they didn’t. In other words, the fight for a third ring still goes through Oakland, but it looks more and more like a one-stop through Boston.

And as much as you may hate thinking about it, you’ll almost certainly remember, and savor, a Celtics-Warriors final more than another round of Cavs-on-the-half-shell.

Three reasons Draymond Green is the perfect college professor

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AP

Three reasons Draymond Green is the perfect college professor

Programming note: Warriors-Celtics coverage starts today at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming live right here 

Draymond Green spoke to a group of students at Harvard Thursday on the subject of leadership, and if you find that incongruous, shame on you.
 
I mean, who else would you want as a college professor?
 
Green has led, and been led. He has learned, and he has taught. He has certainly lectured, as any teammate, official and media member will testify. He’d be a hell of a teacher, and the subject almost doesn’t matter.
 
For one, homework would be different, as in I’d bet there would be no written work. I don’t see Prof. Day-Day poring over essays about the Industrial Revolution, M-theory or pre-Raphaelite art. Not even the history of Basketball-Reference.com.

For two, having tenured faculty audit his classes may find his choice of rhetoric a little strident, as in “What the ---- were you thinking, dude?” is not typically approved instructional methodology.
 
And three, nobody would get a grade. Green would mark every exam with a “35,” as in his draft position, and besides, the exams would be students arguing with each other over whether that was a foul or a no-call, and who pulled the better face when the call was made. He’d give either an approving nod or give the loser a second technical foul and kick him or her out of class.
 
But it would be a hell of a class. Not at Harvard, of course, because Green probably would want to teach a school that could better use his brand of wisdom, and Harvard kids already have a healthy lead off third base. He’d want his students to make Harvard students cry, you can just tell.
 
But wouldn’t he look perfectly Draymond in a cap and gown on graduation day, pulling a bottle out of his sleeve to make the valedictory speeches less painful. “Damn, dude,” you could hear him yell. “Peaking?”