SaberCats add WRDB Courtney Smith

SaberCats add WRDB Courtney Smith

SANJOSE The San Jose SaberCats today announced the addition of widereceiverdefensive back Courtney Smith, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens. Perteam policy, terms were not disclosed.Courtneyis an athletic football player who brings NFL experience to our team, HeadCoach Darren Arbet said. He enjoyed a great collegiate career at CentralWashington and we look forward to him making plays for us this season.Smith(5-11, 190) spent time with the Baltimore Ravens during the 2010 offseasonafter being signed as a rookie free agent. Prior to joining Baltimore, heearned first-team All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference honors at defensiveback (2008 and 2009) and as a kick returner (2008) in his only two seasons atCentral Washington. Smithtallied 71 tackles, 12 pass breakups and two interceptions in 23 games for theWildcats, returning 21 kickoffs for 625 yards while setting school records forreturn touchdowns (2) and return average (29.8). Smith holds the conferencerecord for the longest kickoff return for a touchdown in a game (98) that heset in 2008. Hetransferred to Central Washington after spending two seasons at LangstonUniversity (OK) as a running back.Smith,a native of Stockton, CA, attended East Union High School (CA) where he earned All-ValleyOak League recognition.Courtesy San Jose SaberCats media services

Warriors face divergent paths after Kevin Durant-Draymond Green beef

Warriors face divergent paths after Kevin Durant-Draymond Green beef

OAKLAND -- The heated exchange that occurred Monday night with Draymond Green still was on Kevin Durant’s mind Tuesday night. He’s not yet in a forgiving mood for an incident he’ll never forget.

Maybe we should say incidents. Plural.

While the general consensus among the Warriors is that Green was out of line with what he said to Durant late Monday night -- it got personal, according to two sources -- there also didn’t seem to be any great surprise.

There were indications that tension had been building, which makes sense. Green is hard on those around him, and everybody has a tipping point. This is Year 3 of Green and Durant as teammates, and there have been testy moments throughout, even though no Warrior was more persistent than Green in recruiting Durant in 2016.

[RELATED: Warriors had to suspend Draymond, and there are many reasons why]

The overriding question now becomes whether this Green-Durant quarrel, resulting in Green serving a one-game suspension Tuesday, is an impenetrable barrier or a mere hurdle -- not only for them but also for the Warriors in general.

Is this the beginning of the end, or simply a new beginning?

Asked if he and Green have had a chance to deal with their high-profile disagreement, Durant played it straight.

“Nah,” he said.

Asked if he believed that day would come, Durant said it would, pointing out that a long season would determine.

[RELATED: KD not in mood for Draymond questions after Warriors' win]

Though several Warriors conceded that they didn’t where this would take the team, Klay Thompson was downright optimistic.

“They’re grown,” Klay Thompson said. “They’ll be fine.

“I love both of those guys,” he added. “At the end of the day, we’re on the same team, with the same goal. And that’s a three-peat. I don’t think either one of them will lose sight of that, whether it’s personal agenda or whatever.”

Durant, for what it’s worth, was off his offensive game Tuesday night. The Warriors scrapped their way to a victory, 110-103, over the very-beatable Atlanta Hawks, but Durant missed 14 of his 23 shots.

“I just didn’t make shots tonight,” he said. “I know I got some good ones that went back rim and rimmed in and out. And I took a couple tough ones. I felt like I should have been 13 for 23. I wish I had some of those shots back. But we’ve got another game coming up.”

That game comes Thursday night, against the Rockets in Houston, in a meeting of the teams that went seven games in the 2018 Western Conference finals. There were hints of turmoil among the Warriors during that series, and Durant surely felt it.

But the Warriors found a way to get past it and roll through the NBA Finals for a second consecutive championship.

They were made stronger by the test they took and passed. Durant understood the value of Green, and that his contributions offset those moments when he’s hard to take.

Durant acknowledged that the Warriors were weaker for not having Green on Tuesday, and he likely feels the same way in the long term.

“His presence has been part of this team for a while, even before I got here,” Durant said. “He has been a huge staple in this organization. It’s definitely weird not having him around and with everything that went down. But that’s what happens. S--t happens in the NBA. I just try to move on be a basketball player.

“I don’t have anything else to do but be the best player I can be every single day. I try not to worry about anything else.”

Asked if this latest test will make them stronger, Durant had a quick response.

“Who knows?” he said. “We’ll see.”

This season just got tougher. Can the Warriors remain at the top? Given their general professionalism, what’s at stake and the competitors involved, it would be foolish to bet against them.

Joe Thornton scores 400th career goal, joins Hall of Fame company

Joe Thornton scores 400th career goal, joins Hall of Fame company

SAN JOSE -- There was a plethora of storylines coming out of the Sharks’ crazy 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators Tuesday night. Almost all of them were eclipsed by Joe Thornton scoring his 400th career goal.

With the score tied up 4-4 in the waning minutes of regulation, the towering forward receiving a magnificent cross-ice pass from linemate Marcus Sorensen before sending the puck past Nashville goalie Juuse Saros into the back of the net

The energy at the Tank after the goal was electric. As his teammates swarmed him in celebration, Thornton was full of emotion as his 400th marker put the Sharks on top 5-4.

“I was on the ice, it was awesome,” Joe Pavelski said with a smile after the game. “It’s hard to put in perspective at times just what he’s been able to accomplish.”

The only thing making the goal even more impressive was that it put him on an exclusive list of seven players in NHL history who have scored 400 goals, tallied 1,000 assists, and played in over 1,500 games. Not surprisingly, though, Thornton told the media he was more focused on helping the team win than notching the milestone goal.

“Just trying to improve my game right now,” he said, a reminder to everyone he’s still battling back from those knee issues that sidelined him at the start of the season.

Wait, so he doesn’t know what highly-touted company he’s joined after scoring his 400th goal?

“No idea,” he admitted. “I haven’t checked to be honest with you.”

His teammates have been paying closer attention.

“It’s like every other night, there’s some kind of stat getting thrown out there,” Pavelski said of following his teammates' accomplishments. “They’re fun to look at, they really are.”

Defenseman Erik Karlsson has only been Thornton’s teammate for a little over a month. But since he has experience playing against No.19, he offered some perspective on what it was like for the Predators’ defense when Thornton came barreling down the ice.

“He’s one of those guys that you always have to be aware of,” Karlsson explained. “You always have to be aware of where he is because he’s such a good hockey player and if he gets the opportunities, you know he’s going to make you pay.”

Of course, the goal couldn’t have been made possible without the beautiful set-up from Sorensen, who Thornton has had a lot of success playing with as of late. 

“Marcus made a great play,” Thornton complimented. “I love playing with him. It seems like we’ve got some chemistry together now.”

When asked what it was like contributing to the milestone goal, Sorensen kept his answer straight-forward.

“It was pretty cool,” he said. “I’m happy for him.”