Former Warriors owner Fitzgerald remembered as generous, giving


Former Warriors owner Fitzgerald remembered as generous, giving

Jim Fitzgerald, who co-owned the Warriors from 1986 until 1994, passed away in Janesville, WI, on Monday. He was 86. Fitzgerald and Dan Finnane owned the Golden State Warriors beforeChris Cohan and after Franklin Meuli during the "Run TMC" era.Having begun covering the Warriors in the mid-1990s, I've heard a lot about Fitzgerald and Finnane -- whether it be from (Hall of Famer) Chris Mullin,(legend) Alvin Attles, (former player) Mitch Richmond, (former director ofscouting) Ed Gregory, (strength and conditioning coach) Mark Grabow, (athletic trainer) Tom Abdenour, (former coach) Don Nelson or countless other people who overlapped withFitzgerald and Finnane, they all spoke glowingly of them.Im deeply saddened to learn about the death of JimFitzgerald, who I considered a very dear friend and someone who epitomizedclass. Said Attles. Mr. Fitzgerald was simply a terrific man of incrediblecharacter and high standards who was a model owner for the Warriors and theNBA."He was true; they both were," Mullin said of Fitzgerald and Finnane. "They tell you something and they stick to it. They let the basketball people do their jobs. 'Run TMC' doesn't happen without Jim Fitzgerald and Dan Finnane. It was struggling there for a while, and they were the ones who really turned it around."If theres one story thats made the rounds in the Warriorscommunity about Fitzgerald and Finnane, its the one about their generosityupon exiting the game. After selling the team to Cohan in 1994 for 140 million, Fitzgerald andFinnane gave quite a parting gift to employees . According to several employeesat the time, every employee received a handsome parting gift, some in excessof six figures.One former Warriors employee told me he had been with theWarriors for a few months when Fitzgerald and Finnane sold to Cohan and that hereceived a check in the thousands.Disproportionate, was the way he remembered it.That same employee remembers a palpable buzz and then commotion in the offices as employees opened the envelopes with the checks in them.He always put the needs and concerns of others ahead ofhimself and was one of the most giving and caring individuals I have ever met,Attles said. He enriched the lives of his friends, employees and acquaintancesand for that we are forever grateful. My thoughts and prayers go out to hisentire family during this difficult time.Mullin said he specifically remembered how Fitzgerald and Finnane included Meuli in the Warriors' family -- even after Meuli had sold the team after owning it for 20-plus years. Meuli, who passed in 2010, was often in the front row of Warriors games well into the mid-2000s."I always thought that was cool," Mullin said. "They took care of Franklin. There was great trust there and respect there. It wasn't 'This is now mine.' To me, both Jim (Fitzgerald) and Dan (Finnane) are two great, first-class guys."

Report: After trade rumors swirled, Spurs give LaMarcus Aldridge an extension


Report: After trade rumors swirled, Spurs give LaMarcus Aldridge an extension

The San Antonio Spurs have reached an agreement with LaMarcus Aldridge on an extension that will keep him under contract for an additional three years.

A person with knowledge of the agreement tells The Associated Press that Aldridge will exercise the $22 million player option on his contract for the 2018-19 season. He will also get another two years and $50 million tacked on, according to the person who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

The Spurs open the regular season against Minnesota on Wednesday night. The agreement came as a surprise given Aldridge’s difficulty acclimating to the Spurs since he left Portland in 2015.

Aldridge averaged 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds a game last season.

Is there a scenario where Bob Myers could leave Warriors? 'It would be...'


Is there a scenario where Bob Myers could leave Warriors? 'It would be...'

OAKLAND -- When the Boston Red Sox waved a $12.5 million offer in front of Billy Beane back in 2002, there were moments when the A’s architect and “Moneyball” protagonist considered moving to Massachusetts.

Citing family and quality of life, Beane ultimately stayed in Oakland and was rewarded with a small percentage of the team.

Should the day come when an NBA owner reaches out to Warriors general manager Bob Myers, it might be even tougher to pry him out of the Bay Area.

A guest on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider Podcast this week, Myers was asked if he’s wondered what it would take for him to work for another team.

“It’s not really a money thing. It’s too hard to think of . . . to get to be the general manager of the team you grew up around is kind of surreal,” he said. “It’s hard to make sense of. In some ways it’s amazing and all the positive adjectives you can find. But in other ways it’s kind of consuming. You feel like it’s too much.

“So leaving wouldn’t be because I didn’t like the job. It would be that it meant too much. Sometimes in life . . . you’ve got to still keep your balance.”

There isn’t a lot of balance these days. Myers sweats the details, the games and the negotiations. He’s a 6-foot-7 tower of worry even as the Warriors have gone to three consecutive NBA Finals, winning two, in becoming an American sensation and global phenomenon.

If the East Bay native should feel the itch, there would be no shortage of teams seeking his services. The Lakers reportedly were interested until 13 months ago, when Myers received a promotion to president of basketball operations that came with a pay raise and a contract extension believed to go through 2019-20.

“Happiness means a lot,” Myers said. “And that’s what I think about every day. Am I fulfilled? Am I happy? I think about my family. I think about my kids. And maybe some things that have happened to me and my wife and her family that have made me think a little differently.”

To be sure, Myers was profoundly affected by the September 2016 sudden death of his friend and brother-in-law Scott Dinsmore during a mountain-climbing accident. His sense of family was immediately fortified.

It appears burnout might be the biggest threat to Myers running the Warriors for as long as CEO Joe Lacob allows.

“The challenge would be like, ‘Can I give this team what it deserves in the role that I’m in, and give this community and fan base what they deserve and sustain that?’ ” Myers said. “Now I can. I love it. And I think I can keep doing it for a long time, hopefully.”