Warriors

Allocating credit for the rise of the Golden State Warriors

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Allocating credit for the rise of the Golden State Warriors

The New York Times devoted another massive chunk of print and Internet space to the Golden State Warriors the other day, this one 6,300 words and change from Bruce Schoenfeld on the team’s owners and the words of the deck head beneath the title, “What Happened When Venture Capitalists Took Over the Golden State Warriors,” lies the road map to how the Warriors will be undone. It reads: “After racking up a historic N.B.A. season, the team’s owners — most of them from Silicon Valley — think their management style deserves some of the credit. Are they right?”

The answer is obvious. No.

The secondary answer is equally clear. They should shut their insecure tediously flapping pieholes, the cloth-eared nitwits. The entire story is well worth your eyes, but we have made our point. Still, reasons follow:

1.        None of the owners are Stephen Curry, or Klay Thompson, or Draymond Green, or Andre Iguodala, or Andrew Bogut, or Steve Kerr, or Bob Myers, or Jerry West, or any of the players, coaches or staff that made the basketball product people come to see. They are rich folks who owe their notoriety to the work of their underlings, even though in some cases said underlings were hired by Joe Lacob. Point is, they all turned out much better than anyone could have hoped, and in any event hiring someone does not mean you get credit for their work just because you're the one who found them..

2.        None of the owners are Curry’s family, which took a gamble on a moribund team to avoid playing for a more moribund team, and was saddened to learn it could not actually get Curry to New York to likely die a horrible career death.

3.        None of the owners are Minnesota ex-GM David Kahn, who passed on Curry twice in successive picks because the Currys told him they didn’t want Minnesota and because he thought he was too clever to need him.

4.        None of the owners are soothsayers because no person living, dead or thinking about changing their status knew Curry would be this, or that the roster around him would work this cohesively.

5.        None of the owners understand the central truth about getting credit -– those who desire it do not deserve it, and those who deserve it do not desire it. Credit seeks its own platforms.

6.        None of the owners mean anything to anyone except their own families and accountants. Nobody has ever gone to a Warrior game and said, “I just came to see Peter Guber sit on a chair.” Nobody. If none of them ever came to a game, nobody would know the difference or give a nanobot’s worth of a half-damn.

But we do promise this. When this mad dash toward the sun ends, and it will because all of them do, we will make a specific point of blaming each and every one of them repeatedly, by name, address, Social Security and ATM PIN numbers for letting it happen, because that’s how credit works too -– in good times, everyone shares, and in bad ones, the big hogs get butchered first. And we’ll hate them while we eat.

Besides, what’s wrong with just being part of the crowd, enjoying the show while watching money roll in by the traincar? They need credit too? Do none of them remember Chris Cohan? Do none of them see what is happening to Jed York? Do they not recall the rise and fall of Peter Magowan? Can they not remember the admonition of Al Swearengen – "Announcin' your plans is a good way to hear god laugh."

Listen, kids, when Lacob says, “The great, great venture capitalists who built company after company, that’s not an accident, and none of this is an accident, either,” he is basically daring God/the fates/karma to laugh, and right in his face. Because he, and his partners, are better off enjoying what they have helped build rather than wanting to be remembered for it. They will be. All they have to do is not tell people that they want to be. 

# # #

Landon Donovan weighed in the five U.S. women’s national soccer team stars who have sued for equal pay from the nation’s sanctioning body, and he opened with a quick treatise on the market economy and why the U.S. Men’s teams deserve the lion’s share of the income.

Cue the Twitter abuse machine.

Then:

“The lovely @Jackie_Pepper reminded me that the men & women are doing the same amount of ‘work’ and should be paid equally. Can't argue that.”

If only all arguments could be solved so easily. 

# # #

Speaking of women and the market, Elena Delle Donne’s suggestion that WNBA might become more marketable by lowering the hoop to nine feet, and Diana Taurasi’s acidic response, “Might as well put us in skirts and back in the kitchen.”

This led men to opine all the old arguments, that the WNBA isn’t as entertaining as the NBA, that nothing will change that, blah blah blah.

Well, here’s the fact. The WNBA doesn’t need to crack the all-important men’s market because (and this will come as a surprise) a woman’s money is just as green and spends just as well. The WNBA is better off trying to emulate the Golden State style of play than it is trying to dunk on Fisher-Price hoops.

And finally, the WNBA has its place, it can grow its footprint, and it can become an elite league if it is willing to pay the best players in the world to play for them, whether they be American or not. America has a better chance of embracing you if you have the best players in your employ.

There’s your solution. I’m here for other consulting work, and thank you. 

# # #

And finally, Ayesha Curry, wife of you know who and a cook of considerable skill in her own right, will have anew show on The Food Network (working title, At Home with Ayesha).

I wonder who in the Warriors’ investor group will want some credit for that, and how willingly Curry will invite them into the kitchen to whip up a quick Bechamel reduction.

Kevon Looney: Warriors training camp profile

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USATSI

Kevon Looney: Warriors training camp profile

The Bulls did it twice, with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen leading the way. The Lakers accomplished it once, behind Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. In the 42 seasons since the NBA-ABA merger, those are the only franchises to win three consecutive NBA Finals.

When the Warriors come together for training camp on Sept. 25, their goal is to become the third.

Here is a look at those players with guaranteed roster spots.

12TH IN A SERIES:

Player: Kevon Looney
Position: Center/forward
Height/weight: 6-9, 220
College: UCLA
Age: 22
Salary: $1.57M (one-year minimum deal, guaranteed, per Spotrac)
NBA 2K Player Rating: 71

2017-18 in review: The Warriors had no idea what to expect from Looney, who spent his first two seasons fighting through multiple hip surgeries. But he used his first fully healthy summer to grind himself into terrific shape. The result was the youngest player on the roster coming in and, over the course of the season, proving he is capable of playing of big minutes at significant times. The uncertainty has faded. Looney is an NBA player.

Key stats: 66 gams (four starts), averaging 4.0 points (58.0 percent FG, 54.5 percent FT), 3.3 rebounds, 13.8 minutes.

Season highs: Points (13), rebounds (11), blocks (six), assists (three), minutes (30).

2018-19 outlook: With new acquisition DeMarcus Cousins expected to rehab well into the regular season, there is open competition at center that includes Looney. Though he’s likely to earn some starts at center, he’s more likely to be used as a reserve big man in a small lineup. His offense has been spotty, but there is reason to anticipate improvement. He’s smart and operates well within the team’s switching defensive schemes, gaining the trust of his teammates. As long as he is healthy, though, Looney will get minutes.

Top 10 takeaways from the Warriors Outsiders' tour of the Chase Center

Top 10 takeaways from the Warriors Outsiders' tour of the Chase Center

Earlier this week, we were lucky enough to join in on an exclusive tour of the Chase Center with the entire Warriors basketball operations staff.

Joe Lacob, Bob Myers, Steve Kerr, Kirk Lacob and many others put on a hard hat and boots to check out the future home of the franchise.

Here were some of our takeaways from the experience:

1) They have thought of everything, and one key focus is transportation. Brandon Schneider -- the Warriors' Chief Revenue Officer -- showed us via detailed models and simulations exactly how long it will take fans from all over the Bay Area to arrive at the arena (whether you drive or use public transit). The reality is that getting to Chase Center won't take nearly as long as some people may think. In fact -- even for certain fans coming from the East Bay -- the commute will only be a few minutes longer than it currently takes to get to Oracle Arena. Specifically for those who will take BART from the East Bay, your route will be to get off at Powell and then hop on a Muni bus (which you will board below ground) that will drop you off right in front of the arena on 3rd Street. The Muni project is expected to be completed in December 2019 -- two months after the start of the season. The Warriors will have some underground parking beneath the arena, but the area is also littered with lots that take no longer than 10 minutes to walk to and from (How do we know that? They walked it and timed it just for you).

2) People who own season tickets at Oracle are buying up season tickets at Chase Center at an historic rate. Nearly 80 percent of fans who have attended an appointment at the Chase Center Experience (you have to do this, it's awesome) have purchased season tickets. Historically, teams have seen a renewal of 60-65 percent when migrating fans to a new building.

3) The suites are... really sweet. Dumb pun, we know (that was all Grant), but don't let that take away from the extravagance of the luxury suites. They are bigger, newer, fancier and there are more of them than before. 

4) Andre Iguodala was the lone Warriors player who joined in on the tour. Yes, he played a lot of golf this summer and his best round may or may not have been 75...

5) We look stupid in hard hats and construction gear. But the guys working on the arena don't, and they are doing a helluva job staying efficient yet safe. In fact, we were told they have had the least amount of injuries ever for a project that big.

6) There will be lots of bars and lounges for fans to enjoy, scattered throughout the arena. The concourses will be bigger, the food will be better, and there is a really cool open lobby in the entry way with a ticket office that resembles a hotel concierge, rather than bank tellers. You won't have your ticket scanned immediately upon entering the building, so you can hang out in the lobby if you are waiting for friends to arrive or if it's raining.

7) The last completely privately funded NBA arena was built for the Utah Jazz in 1991 for about $90 million. The Chase Center will be a little more than that. And by a little, we mean a ton.

8) The Chase Center sits between 3rd Street and what is now South Street. But that won't be the case for much longer. South Street will become "Warriors Way." When it was mentioned that the full address may be "1 Warriors Way," Iguodala quietly suggested "30 Warriors Way." Hmmmmm, not a bad suggestion.

9)  Holy s***, the Chase Center is going to be amazing.

10) We talked with Bob Myers and Steve Kerr and here is some of what they had to say:

-Myers: "Joe and the whole crew from the get go were very inclusive as far as what's most important to us. We're not picking out the color of the walls or the seats. But for us, it started out that we wanted two practice courts -- two NBA full courts with the hopes of having at least six baskets. The more baskets, the more space, is better ... easy ingress and egress out of the building for players. You don't want to have a practice facility where guys are so burdened in getting there that they just say, 'I'm not going to the facility. I don't want to workout.' It has to be easy for them to get from the practice facility into the arena, into the weight room, into their locker room -- so just the ease of use really."

-Kerr: "I was here like a year ago and it was kind of a big hole in the ground, and most guys haven't been here since. It's great to see the progress but it's also a reminder that our lives are gonna change and pretty much everybody on the coaching staff is gonna have to move. Sometimes that is exciting and sometimes that's unnerving -- probably a little of both. We're all just sort of watching this thing go up in awe and wondering where we are gonna live and how's this all gonna work, but we''ll figure it out."

Kerr also said that although he recently bought a house in San Francisco, he isn't moving in until next summer. So no, he hasn't mapped out his route to the arena just yet...