Bay Area pro sports teams unite to donate $450K for North Bay fire relief efforts


Bay Area pro sports teams unite to donate $450K for North Bay fire relief efforts

SANTA CLARA – Bay Area professional sports teams including the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland A’s, San Jose Earthquakes, San Francisco Giants, San Jose Sharks and the Golden State Warriors today announced a collective donation of $450,000 to support North Bay fire relief efforts. The teams urge all of their fans to contribute to the effort. 

The teams have established a YouCaring site www.youcaring.com/firerelief for fans to donate whatever they can to support the victims of these devastating fires.  Alternatively, Bay Area fans who would like to contribute via text to relief efforts can text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Firefighters from across California and neighboring states are working feverishly to contain the fires that have resulted in multiple casualties and destroyed more than 2,000 structures. The North Bay fires, which started on Sunday, October 8th, are some of the most destructive wildfires in California history, where seventeen fires have raged across parts of four counties. 

“The Raiders family expresses our deepest concern for everyone affected by the North Bay fires,” said Raiders President Marc Badain. “The Raiders have held training camp in Napa for the past 22 seasons and have formed a strong bond with communities in Napa and Sonoma counties. The Silver and Black ask the entire Raider Nation to help spread the word on how everyone can assist the region in its recovery.”

“The North Bay fires have devastated families, homes, businesses, and schools across the region, and as first responders work tirelessly to put out the fires and aid those in need, Bay Area sports teams are unified in supporting relief efforts,” said 49ers CEO Jed York. “Although we can never replace what was lost, together we can help those impacted by the fires rebuild.”

“When a tragedy hits this close to home, we feel it’s our duty to get involved and to help our community and those who have been impacted,” said A’s President Dave Kaval. “We are proud to team up with all of the Bay Area professional sports teams to support North Bay disaster relief efforts.” 

“The world has faced an unimaginable amount of tragedy and devastation in the past few months and the fires in the North Bay hit particularly close to home,” said Earthquakes President Tom Fox. “We’re happy to do our part, along with the other pro teams in the region, to help rebuild our community stronger than ever.”

“We want all the communities affected by these horrific fires to know the Giants and all of the Bay Area teams are here to support you as you recover and rebuild in the days, weeks and months ahead,” said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer.  “You are part of our family and we are holding all of you close to our hearts.”

“It is devastating to witness a region dedicated to hospitality, friendliness, and community experience such loss,” said Sharks COO John Tortora. “These are friends, family members, individuals and businesses who have a unique sense of solidarity and we generously will support relief and recovery efforts as they navigate this tragic time.”

“The North Bay is a large part of our Warriors family and we’re devastated by what they are enduring at this time,” said Warriors President and COO Rick Welts. “We are joining forces with the rest of our sports community to help relief efforts and encourage any fans who are able to help by donating as well.” 

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Mike Brown still savoring Finals victory over the Cavs


Mike Brown still savoring Finals victory over the Cavs

OAKLAND -- Mike Brown will be seeing the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day. Please forgive him if he chooses to blind them with his new jewelry.

When the Cavaliers enter Oracle Arena next week to resume their continental rivalry with the NBA champion Warriors, Brown will be an assistant coach on the home team’s bench. And he’ll be very happy about that.

But not as happy as he is when asked about being a part of a Warriors team that went through the Cavaliers -- who fired him twice -- to win the NBA Finals last June.

Six months later and two months after receiving his flashy Warriors championship ring, Brown’s memory of that triumph is just as sweet.

“Yes,” he said on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider Podcast.

Brown spent 13 years on various NBA staffs before being hired by the Cavaliers in 2005 to be their head coach. He lasted five years, with Cleveland winning at least one playoff series each postseason and reaching the NBA Finals in 2007.

He was fired after the Cavs lost the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals and re-hired in 2013, signing a five-year contract worth a reported $20 million. He lasted all of one season before being shown the door a second time by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

So pardon Brown if takes particular delight in helping the Warriors bounce the Cavs when in mattered most.

“I don’t care who it would have been -- I wanted to win, just like everybody else in the organization and the city,” Brown said. “I still have a lot of friends back there. My son goes to school back there. He wears his Golden State Warriors gear proudly and he got hated on, too. You add all of that to the fact that I was there twice, and got fired twice. To be able to beat those guys was a terrific feeling.”

Brown served as interim head coach last postseason, leading the Warriors to a 11-0 record while head coach Steve Kerr took a six-week leave of absence to deal with acute health challenges. Brown led the Warriors to a 113-91 win in Game 1 of The Finals before Kerr returned for Game 2.

The memory of winning that series still puts a smile on Brown’s face.

“When I go back there, my head is held up a little higher,” he said. “I’ve got a nice little pimp in my walk. My chest is puffed a little bit. I don’t talk too much, but I’m feeling good when I’m back that way now.”

As much as Brown savors the victory in The Finals, there is another element that also warms his heart. The Cavs are still paying him and will for “a few more years,” he said.

Warriors first trimester report card: Only three solid A's


Warriors first trimester report card: Only three solid A's

OAKLAND -- For the first time in four seasons, the Warriors after 29 games -- precisely halfway to the 2018 All-Star Break -- are not bosses, sitting atop the NBA standings, and it has created a thin undercurrent of anxiety within Dub Nation.

We get it. By getting hurt and blowing leads and losing to inferior teams, even on their beloved home court, they have yet to terrify the rest of the NBA.

Their sixth loss came before Dec. 1, for crying out loud. The last time they lost six games before January was in 2013-14. Loss No. 6 last season came on Jan. 6. The season before, it didn’t come until March, and it put them at an astonishing 55-6.

Still, their 23-6 record puts them one game behind their pace of last season. The Warriors have been special. Here is where we take a closer look, with the issuance of report cards for the first trimester of the season.

Though the criteria are largely subjective, we consider statistics, impact, and current performance relative to past standards. In short: How much more could reasonably be expected?

Jordan Bell: The rookie forward/center has been a revelation. The Warriors believed in him enough that on draft night they paid $3.5 million for his rights. He looks like a steal. He produces at both ends, in a variety of ways. His numbers are impressive for a vet, much less a rookie chosen in the second round. He makes mistakes, but rarely the same one twice.

Grade: A

Omri Casspi: The veteran forward acquired in the offseason has been solid, as advertised, displaying a well-rounded offensive game but some clear deficiencies on defense. He is a rather seamless fit with the team and has improved as his minutes have gone up. He’s shooting 60 percent behind the arc, but has taken only 15 treys per game. He’s playing well, but producing below his potential.

Grade: B-plus

Stephen Curry: Curry is haunted by those two MVP awards, which set his personal bar north of Mt. Everest. By that standard, the veteran point guard has been average. Most stats are fine, but not the one for which he’s known: 3-point shooting. He’s at 38.1 percent, easily a career low. And just as it seemed he was finding his range, he rolls his ankle.

Grade: A-minus

Kevin Durant: The numbers and the eye test say he was not as focused early this season as he was early last season, when he was a force of nature. His efficiency declined as his turnovers went up. The combo forward has raised his game in recent weeks. In Curry’s absence, he has reengaged the devastating KD we know he can be.

Grade: A-minus

Draymond Green: He was, much like Durant, off his game early this season. His shot was off, but that’s not only the way to measure his game. No, it’s more that he seemed a bit harried and unfocused. The sixth-year forward pulled it together in recent weeks, approaching his usual standard, only to have his shoulder get cranky. He has more to give. We know it, and so does he.

Grade: B-plus

Andre Iguodala: The veteran wing has played well in spurts, not so well at other times -- and that applies to both ends. Maybe the knees are barking. Iguodala still generally finds a way to make a positive impact. No one is more trusted with the ball. Though he’s not best measured by shooting stats, they still matter and his numbers are down across the board from last season.

Grade: B

Damian Jones: The young center has spent the season with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors, having some tremendous games and some ordinary games. He’ll return later this season.

Grade: Inc.

Shaun Livingston: It has been an odd season for the veteran point guard, as even his automatic turnaround J, normally a lethal weapon against mismatches, has been inconsistent. While the rest of his game has been fairly steady and reliable, it’s that half-court scoring ability that sets Livingston apart.

Grade: B

Kevon Looney: His career felt uncertain as recently as last season, the third-year forward is fighting to stay in the league and get playing time with the defending champs. His weight is down, his agility is up and he is finding ways to be effective. He can hold his own against beasts in the paint and doesn’t embarrass himself on the perimeter.

Grade: A-minus

Pat McCaw: Unlike his rookie season, when the combo guard stepped in as if he belonged, McCaw started unevenly and it cost him playing time. His confidence dipped and he conceded that maybe he was thinking too much. He has had good moments, but seems so far to be a victim on the second-year wakeup call. His challenge is to find consistency.

Grade: B

JaVale McGee: No question McGee is playing at a level below from last season. The lob passes that worked so well are more often thwarted and the veteran center has not found another way to provide positive impact on offense. His asset-to-liability ratio, particularly on defense, has been less favorable. It’s costing him minutes.

Grade: C

Zaza Pachulia: It’s easier to live with the fumbled passes in the paint and the slow-mo layups when one considers his role as a low-minutes starter. He’s a hammer, a necessary tool for the Warriors to demolish opposing defenses. His 15 minutes per game are valuable against most opponents.

Grade: B-plus.

Klay Thompson: His scoring, which has gone up in each of his six seasons, is slightly down but every other aspect of his game has trended upward. His efficiency is at an all-time high; he’s within range of joining the ultra-exclusive 50-40-90 Club. These two months have been a sharp reply to the notion he might lose his All-Star status.

Grade: A

David West: For a 37-year-old who considered retirement, he has been incredibly productive at both ends. His PER is among the league’s top 10. His RPM is 25th in the league and third on the team. Averaging about 13 minutes per game, he’s shooting an absurd 67 percent from the field. He was good last year. He’s better now.

Grade: A

Nick Young: His start was slow and ponderous, as if he thoroughly enjoyed his offseason. He has improved his body and increased his stamina. Shooting is a given, and his 3-ball has been solid. As he adapts to new surroundings, other aspects (passing, defense) have been less catastrophic than they were in the opening weeks.

Grade: B

The next Trimester ends Feb. 14, when the All-Star Break begins.