Ray Ratto

Ratto: Singletary was perfect hire, now he's perfect fire


Ratto: Singletary was perfect hire, now he's perfect fire

Ray RattoCSNBayArea.com
If Comrade Maiocco is correct (and you know his trackrecord, so you know this is very likely), Jed York is consideringwhacking Mike Singletary now instead of later.And if he is considering it, he has to do it now. No deliberations. Nostaff meetings. Definitely none of that idiotic I wanted him to showme he deserved to stay in the game stuff.Now.The reasons are clear, and the reasons not to do it now are all stupid,except one: If York thinks this team has a future with Singletary asthe head coach.If he does, well, God loves a man who stands in the face of all apparent logic.If not, Singletary deserves to know now, and deserves to be given thechoice to coach Sundays finale. Not because his record says so, butbecause York needs one last reminder that making the move that feelsgood is not the same as the move that is good.Singletarys hiring two years ago was a feel-good move, one thatscreamed Our team is good enough to win now but our coach has lost theroom. Yorks remarks to Comrade Maiocco suggest that he still believesthis, which was and still is painfully yet laughably false.Two years ago, it was the attitude that kept the 49ers down, which iswhy Singletary was the perfect hire for a few months. Now it istactical competence, which is why Singletary is the perfect fire.Lost in this, of course, is the notion that the real problem with thisteam is organizational competence that only a general manager withcomplete operational control can solve. But Singletary is the problemtoday, and therefore is at the top of the in-box.It has been our contention that Singletary would keep his job until the49ers learned that there would be no lockout; the teams performanceleading into Sundays 25-17 loss to St. Louis made that Impossible. Listless, confused, leaderless (as always) and contemptible, they got everything they deserved.But since it is clear that Singletary cannot keep the job, it isequally clear that the deed must be done now, with one final game forhim to coach or not, as he prefers.After all, the 49ers thought half-a-year of not being Mike Nolan earnedhim a four-year contract. Falling in love with his glare andmotivational dictums and his iron-fisted sense of surety got him a dealthat he has already outlived.And he did what he was capable of motivation. He stopped beingvaluable when he gave them the gift of belief without a thing tobelieve in, but that wasnt his fault. This was the totality of hisgame, and even his most strident critics never said he didnt give allhe had, the way he knew best.But what he knew wasnt nearly enough, and motivation without proof istoo much like science and not enough like NFL Films-inspired mysticism.Because he was true to himself, and because the mistake of hiring himwasnt his, he should get that choice of a 41st game. But not a 42nd,absolutely not. He has lost the owners confidence, and waiting to dowhat you know must be done is what makes a losing streak an eight-yearlosing streak.And not working hard to get a general manager to hire the hire the nextcoach is the best way to make it a nine-year losing streak, and a10-year losing streak, and on, and on, and on . . .

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


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?”