Warriors

Report: Suns trade Bledsoe to Milwaukee Bucks

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AP

Report: Suns trade Bledsoe to Milwaukee Bucks

It appears that Eric Bledsoe has gotten his wish. 

After posting a now-infamous tweet in which he implied he no longer wanted to be in Phoenix, Bledsoe is on the move according to reports out of ESPN. The Suns are sending the guard to the Milwaukee Bucks for Greg Monroe and picks in the first and second rounds of the NBA draft. 

Bledsoe leaves Pheonix after four seasons -- the last being his most productive when he averaged 21.1 points and 6.3 assists per game. 

Monroe is a power forward/center who was drafted No. 7 overall in 2010. He spent the first five years of his career with the Detroit Pistons before heading to the Bucks. He averaged 13.5 points per game in a Milwaukee uniform. 

Late in October, Bledsoe was fined $10,000 for the aforementioned tweet. 

Why Warriors players not in forgiving mood towards media member who stole jacket

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AP

Why Warriors players not in forgiving mood towards media member who stole jacket

OAKLAND -- As much as they enjoy basketball and winning games and entertaining fans, most of the players on the Warriors are willing to remind us they also happen to be acutely aware of life beyond the court.

Real life.

That’s why their unhappiness with KGO-TV sports anchor Mike Shumann doesn’t begin to match their annoyance with attempts to downplay or rationalize his surreptitious behavior that, incidentally, was caught on video.

Shumann, the former 49ers receiver who has been with KGO since 1994, was in San Antonio last week to provide coverage of the Warriors-Spurs playoff series. He was captured on video after practice last Thursday bending over, picking up a jacket, folding it and walking out of AT&T Center. The jacket, it was later, confirmed, belonged to Warriors security manager Ralph Walker, who had not given Shumann permission to take it.

Approached about the incident, Shumann returned the jacket, apologized and also tried to explain his actions, essentially saying he wasn’t thinking clearly.

Insofar as Shumann is a Disney Company employee -- Disney owns ABC and ESPN -- the matter put the Warriors organization in a compromised position. Disney’s contract with the NBA gives ABC affiliates exclusive access on specific telecasts, something the Warriors take seriously. In their attempt to control the damage and preserve status quo with Shumann, they wanted to consider the matter a benign misunderstanding.

As in, he’s a good guy that made a mistake.

The players were not in such a forgiving mood. They urged that action be taken, partly out of loyalty to Walker but largely because of their belief the incident would not have been taken so lightly likely if the jacket had been removed by a person of color.

They smelled a double standard. And while some surely would argue against that, the players have centuries of American history to support their theory. Recent events have unfolded to have that theory reaffirmed.

The Warriors are aware of various social/ethnic inequalities that go unpunished. It’s why some speak out.

They are aware that two black men were handcuffed and taken out of a Philadelphia Starbucks because they’d asked to use the bathroom before buying anything. This was the extent of their “wrongdoing” while awaiting a business meeting.

They are aware that white gunman Dylann Roof unloaded his clip on black churchgoers in South Carolina in 2015, killing nine, and was taken by police to a fast-food restaurant for a snack on the way to jail.

They are aware that a black woman in Alabama, after demanding the phone number of a Waffle House district manager, was tossed to the ground by two white police officers who claimed she dropped an f-bomb.

This occurred hours apart from a shooting at a Tennessee Waffle House, where a white man used an assault rifle to kill four people of color before he was disarmed and forced to flee. It was later reported that the man had gone on a racist rant and threatened black customers in a grocery store without police intervention.

And of course they know the Parkland, Fla. school shooter, a white man who killed 17 with an assault rifle, was captured alive while unarmed Stephon Clark, in Sacramento, killed no one yet was felled by a fusillade of bullets while in his grandmother’s backyard.

It’s hard to know all of this and then fall in line with the contention that Shumann’s actions should be dismissed because, hey, he apologized.

While Shumann’s transgression can’t be considered a serious crime, it most assuredly is a serious breach of protocol.

I’ve been professionally acquainted Mike for years and had never formed an opinion of his character. I heard what had happened, followed up with a few people and became aware of how the team felt. I saw the video and considered it bizarre behavior on his part.

Maybe that’s all it is. Or maybe there is some medical or psychological explanation.

Some Warriors were merely bothered by the entire episode, others were outraged -- mostly about the attempt to bury it. With social consciousness on the rise in this country, and white privilege being acknowledged as real, the timing of Shumann’s behavior left him exposed to significant backlash.

Double standards beget unrest. Look around and it’s hard to miss. Though the Warriors may not be militant or demonstrative, they are awake enough to see the world as it is and pursue a greater fairness. That’s what they’re seeking.

Warriors brief: Shaun 'the stabilizing force' Livingston

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AP

Warriors brief: Shaun 'the stabilizing force' Livingston

As the regular season concluded and the Warriors were heading into the playoffs, the hottest name and topic of discussion was Quinn Cook. He had played exceptionally well in the absence of the Warriors stars, serving primarily as Steph Curry’s replacement.

To many it was an obvious assumption that Cook would insert himself into the starting lineup as the point guard for the first round of the playoffs as well. However, when Andre Iguodala surprisingly got the nod over Cook, the conversation changed to the Warriors’ desire to start a defensive unit and how the coaches would incorporate Cook into the bench rotations. Lost in all of this conversation was a forgotten man: Shaun Livingston.

This is the fourth season that Livingston served as Curry’s primary backup, until Cook’s late season flurry. While the quiet and stoic Livingston hasn’t received much fanfare over the years, his consistent play has been a “stabilizing force” in the Warriors second unit, as Steve Kerr referred to following their Game 4 loss. But where Livingston has excelled most in his brief but accomplished Warriors career is in the playoffs when Curry has been out.

Including the six games Curry missed in the 2015-16 playoffs and the four games missed so far this postseason, Livingston has averaged 11.8 points per game on 53 percent shooting, while adding 3.9 assists and 2.8 rebounds over 25 minutes. 

Livingston has scored in double digits in eight of the ten games, which in contrast, is the same number of games he scored in double figures over his last 71 regular season contests. As a member of the Warriors, Livingston has averaged 5.7 points over 18 minutes per game, on 52 percent shooting with 2.6 assists and 2.1 rebounds. 

Look for Livingston to be a stabilizing force in the Warriors lineup on Tuesday night as the team tries to advance to the second round to face a Pelicans team that is deep with very capable guards. Even with Curry’s eventual return, the Warriors will need Livingston’s length and ball handling skills to disrupt the Pelicans’ small ball attack.

But before the Warriors are able to turn their focus to New Orleans, you can expect Livingston to be as assertive and aggressive as ever trying to close out the series.