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Did Baron Slight the Warriors?

After playing four games in five nights, BD – instead of going home to rest up against Minnesota – flew to Utah for the Sundance Film Festival. The first movie by his production company, “Made in America”, debuted in Park City and Boom Dizzle, ever the entreprenuer, couldn’t miss it.
Does anyone have a problem with that?
I’ve been going back and forth on it. On one hand, he’s young and rich and basketball isn’t his entire life. That’s fine, right? I don’t have a problem with him doing his business thing.
But, should he leave that stuff for the offseason? Should he have maybe passed this one time, considering how desperately the Warriors need him to be at his peak? Would Steve Nash or Kevin Garnett, players hungry for a championship, ever have done such a thing?
Plus, BD is the catalyst on the court. Not just because he’s the best player, but also because he’s the point guard. The Warriors lack of energy and urgency is some of his responsibility, too, because he sets the tone.
Then again, it’s his own time. He didn’t skip practice. He wasn’t late to a game. He used his off day how he wanted to. The CC Times doesn’t tell me how to spend my off days. Who is anyone to say what he should be doing on his day off, especially you can’t be certain it hurts his performance.
You’ll never be able to calculate if the excursion he took to Utah negatively impacted his play. There’s no well to know if he would’ve made that lay-up had he not taken the trip. You can’t reasonably say that if he stayed in the Bay Area and rested, he would have blown right by Marko Jaric on the previous possession instead of taking that fall-away 22 footer on the previous possession.
But here’s an interesting question: would the Utah trip be an issue if he made the layup?
Is it even an issue now? I’m undecided. What do you think?

Marcus Thompson

  • jrhester

    If anyone thinks Baron shouldn’t spend an evening at Sundance, they ought to apply that same philosophy to their own job as well.

  • Marcus

    Jrhester,

    Wow. That’s odd that you would just say that. After I posted, I had the same thought. So I went back and addressed that.

  • JAranas

    It’s a non-issue. Plus I don’t think you can blame his Utah trip for what it seems to be like a month long plague of slow starts and inconsistent shooting.

  • Jason

    I was faced with the same situation one time.

    I had an important presentation in Cincinnati on Monday morning, but had a big family gathering for my aunt and uncle’s anniversay on Sunday. I could’ve flown out on the red eye early Monday morning but instead I chose to miss the family event and flew out on Sunday to get a good night’s rest and prepare for the meeting.

    My employer did not ask me to fly out early, but I understood my responsibilities and chose to do so.

  • Lenny

    I don’t think so. It sounds like that movie is about much more than him being a business man. I think he is entitled to his life and his offseason workouts say more about his commitment to the W’s than this one offday.

  • Marcus

    JAranas,

    That is a pretty good point. This team was playing stretches of uninspired ball well before Sundance. Some might say that’s simply the perfect cover for Baron, but it’s fact.

    Jason,

    So, are you saying Baron should have skipped Sundance? C’mon. Take a stance.

  • frenemy

    Anyone who knows anything about film knows you wouldn’t miss your own showing at Sundance. And it’s not like he was filming a sneaker or McDonald’s commercial (yes I do think context is important). He played like crap but it should never have come down to that layup.

  • JustPuked

    Much ado about nothing, if Baron makes the lay-up or Harrington makes the tip-in it’s a non-story if they’d won.

    The “What you do on your own time” argument doesn’t quite apply. The Average Joe doesn’t have a job that impacts the lives of as many people as entertainers and professional athletes in major sports. If you file story with a typo the editor misses, it might earn you some grief but it’s not going to adversely affect the mood of thousands of fans or cost the CC Times needed circulation. Losing this game could be THE game that costs the Dubs a playoff spot. If I publish the TPS report at 10:15am instead of 9:00am it’s not going to cost anyone any money except possibly me in a job performance review. Maybe if you’re the crane operator at a sky scrapper job site, or an airline pilot or a surgeon. It doesn’t apply for the Average Joes because their job performance doesn’t affect anywhere near the same number of people as the performance of someone like Baron Davis.

    So while I disagree with that “free time” argument, I don’t agree the topic should be off limits. Baron Davis lives his life in the public eye. From dating Terri Hatcher to producing movies to hanging with Cash and Alba to playing basketball, his life is VERY public. Anytime you live your life in the pubic eye you have to expect your choices to be second guessed for better or worse. So if you’re Vince Carter going to your college graduation or Tony Romo going to Cabo San Simpson, second guessing your “preparation” is fair game for the media and fans. Full disclosure, those were playoff games, this wasn’t so it’s not the same thing but the general comparison stands.

    The only way to eliminate it is to either stay out of the public eye or win. Where as earlier in the season when Harrington and Jackson took a side trip to Vegas to watch Mayweather vs Hatton in a boxing match before the Lakers game, they got flack because the Warriors lost. Meanwhile Randy Moss gets into a boxing match with his girlfriend before the Patriots playoff game with the Chargers and nobody mentions it after the game. Why? They won.

    Moral of the story, winning cures everything.

  • Mei

    I don’t believe Baron did anything wrong. Period.

  • James

    Warriors should beat the Wolves even without Baron Davis, thats how bad the Wolves are. And thats how bad the rest of the Warriors not named Baron Davis were for losing against the Wolves.

  • Andrew

    James is absolutely right. We have 4 other guys on the team that should be able to shoulder the burden of an off night from one of theirs. No Al, No Jackson.. We lose game over. I think if Baron had to run to SLC then that would be a concern. He chose to fly, drive sit down and watch a movie. Its not like he was exerting himself in anyway. The problem lies elsewhere. Hoefully we remedy that problem or we will have a few more “Missed Opportunities”

  • Valr

    Baron’s stats from Minnesota game:
    39:35 mins.
    15pts
    6assists
    3 rebs
    0 steals

    Season Averages:
    39min
    22pts
    8.1assists
    4.7rebs
    2.44steals

    Clearly Baron played below par but the whole team did not play hard enough. Each game IS important and this loss could come back to haunt them but only if they don’t learn from this mistake and take each game very seriously from now on. There are a lot more games to go. This loss is overblown just because it is against Minny.

  • EJ

    i think people are incorrect when comparing the work schedule of a professional athlete to that of a normal guy’s 5 day a week 9-5. us regular people have to work the ENTIRE year. we have no off-season. we’re faced with decisions of whether or not to stay up til’ 11 or 12 because we have work the next day. i know i’ve come back from weekend trips wishing i had taken that extra monday off before coming back to work. your productivity isn’t the same when you get back.

    in baron’s case, i really wish he would’ve put that off. ON TOP of going to sundance on sunday, their game was to start at 1pm the next day. that’s almost 7 hours earlier than they would normally play. it’s his personal time, but pro athletes have 5 months in the off-season to do whatever they please.

    i’m sure my employer would take exception if something i was doing on the side was affecting my performance at work.

  • OnceWereWarriors

    Marcus…

    You’re a fool to even be concerned with this. I doubt anyone cares if you don’t post an article on your blog after every GSW event.

    And the six readers you do have would probably be forgiving if were doing something as socially conscientious as Baron Davis was on your night off.

    Put your whip down Junkie and let BD do something good without your judgement.

    Next time you saddle up to ride your high horse compare what you’ve contributed to the well-being of our society.

  • JAranas

    Whether it’s an issue or not, if it takes a few trips during his off days to keep Baron healthy during the season, I can live with a game or two like Mondays. On that same note that’s a reason why I’m in the minority of not wanting him to make the All-Star team. He’d have a nice long break to either rest or get all his Hollywood-type duties out of the way before the second half run.

  • Geoff Lepper

    Marcus: C’mon, now. You know as well as I do there’s zero chance that every Warrior other than Baron was tucked up in bed at 10 p.m. on Sunday night.

    As for the trip, was it any worse than Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington catching the Mayweather-Hatton fight in Vegas and then flying onto L.A. in the wee hours before playing the Lakers back in December?

    The Warriors lost that game against Kobe & Co., but it wasn’t like Jack and Al were the only reasons why (I seem to recall Patrick O’Bryant having one of the worst 74-second stretches in NBA history to start the second half).

    The same thing’s true here: BD wasn’t alone in playing poorly against the Timberwolves. Outside of Monta Ellis and Matt Barnes and maybe C.J. Watson (+18? Who knew?), you could pick apart the whole team. Jack and Al were 8-for-25 combined, and Mickael Pietrus was -9 in 3:25.

    This was a bad loss all around; for me, it’s too convenient to lay it all off on the Sundance Kid.

    – Geoff

  • EJ

    I think what made the loss 100x worse was the fact that it was against the T-Wolves. THE T-WOLVES!! On our own court! With Ryan Gomes going off for 35!

  • Anonynous

    I see Geoff’s point that a lot of folks did not play well. Jack had an off game, but he was home Sunday, and let’s not forget, he was playing with a bad toe and sore knee. Al, I think we all know, is very hot and cold. Baron, however, flew in Monday morning, with a very early game, after partying all night with his Hollywood friends. I understand having outside interests and something you love outside your job, but if you’re being paid $17M a year, want to be an All-Star, and want to win a championship, then you need to take responsibility for your actions.

  • Marcus

    Geoff,

    There is a difference between Baron’s excursion and Jax and Al going to the fight: Baron is the team’s best player.
    The fact is, Baron’s lackluster play is far more detrimental to the Warriors than anyone else on the team. Al Harrington is not responsible for setting the tone, for rallying the troops, for taking over down the stretch.
    The Warriors need Baron’s bad games to be at a minimum. Jackson and Harrington can get away with poor performances, and they have, because their production isn’t nearly as vital to the team.
    Is it a double-standard? Sure. But Baron is making nearly $18 million this season – more than Jax and Al combined. There’s a Bible adage that applies (wow, I’m dropping Scripture in a hoop blog) – to whom much is given, much is required.

  • JustPuked

    Marcus – Or you could take it a step farther and drop some Marvel on our Superhero:

    “With great power comes great responsibility”

    While it’s a perfectly valid topic that comes being a celebrity, I still think it’s way overblown. If Baron hits his lay-up, no one would care.

    Still can’t believe they lost to the freakin’ T-Wolves!!! Ay Caramba!

  • Marcus

    OnceWereWarriors,

    Man, I’m glad you know me so well and what I do during my off days. Just so you know, this is my job. This is not how I spend my spare time. Geoff Lepper and I are providing a service to our readers. So to compare my blog (which is part of my job) to Baron’s Park City, Utah trip, is simply inaccurate.
    But, FYI, on my days off, I take care of the 14 orphans I adopted and I serve as president of the local Big Brother Big Sisters chapter.
    Kidding. No one cares about what I do on my off days. And if someone wants to pay me $18 million, you can scrutinize my off days all you want. Make that $5 million. Better yet, make it a gift card to Macy’s.
    Seriously, you’re the only one taking this serious. No one is questioning the validity of Baron Davis’ benevolence, which I know and have written about. Showing up at Sundance, which in and of itself isn’t exactly benevolent, doesn’t compare to the work he’s done. In case you didn’t notice, you’re reading a sports blog. This is entertainment. The people involved are all fully aware that these topics are wholly trivial in the grander scheme of life.

  • Jeremy

    I don’t think day-off excursions to Utah have anything to do with missing, or making lay-ups. Instead, let’s examine your point earlier in the article, which is why they were dependant on that fate-filled lay-up anyway. It’s called the “Fast-Break-to-the-Three-Point-Line” offense. The T-wolves aren’t really any bigger than we are yet, like Indiana, Chicago and Milwaukee before them; they ran plays (for example the pick and roll), like most high school teams, that create open inside shots. We run plays to get open shots, but more often than not they are simple quick screens on the perimeter for open 22-25 foot three pointers. Let’s now make a reference to Baseball Batting Averages where the best hitters in the game hit at 30-40% rate, meaning they fail at 60-70% rate. This is analogous to three point shot. So, if ran more high-school plays, they wouldn’t live and die by the perimeter.

  • nickj

    It’s really like this imo Baron should have gone to his premier at sundance no question, esp on his day off. However if he did a little too much toasting and celebrating knowing he had an early game on MLK day then he maybe should have cut the evening short or did a little less celebrating.

    He’s a grown man and he should know where his bread is buttered from and the urgency that there is in the west vying for a playoff spot, so i say go, but no heavy drinking and get to bed early enough to have energy for the afternoon game because it really was a setup game for them. the kind of game that can be lost if you take this t-wolve team lightly.

  • EJ

    marcus totally nailed it. there’s a reason tony romo was crucified in the media for heading to mexico with jessica simpson during the playoffs. remember a few years back when vince carter decided to attend his graduation and then fly back the same day to play in a crucial playoff game? that was even more meaningful than hatton-mayweather or sundance, but he was still vilified by the public. imagine that!

    what i think it comes down to is that when you’re part of a team, you have a commitment to fulfill to each one of your teammates. you have to be ready to play at your highest level night in and night out. being a leader, as is baron, your responsibility becomes even greater. romo is the leader in dallas, which is what made his situation worse. same with vince when he was in toronto.

    where going to sundance and losing to the t’wolves at home with ryan gomes dropping 35 in the oracle after a 4-game road trip happens….

    the NBA. where amazing happens.

  • K-Money

    Don’t get me wrong… I still love Baron, but are you kidding me people?! OF COURSE BD missed the lay-up because he decided to attend the Sundance the day before the game. Do not compare this to your average joe’s 9 – 5 office job. give me a break!! if you have an office job to get to the day after the Sundance you can stare at your computer all day and pretend to work (Office Space anyone?). Come on peeps!! Being a basketball player involes way too much physical endurance to bounce right back from a night out on the town. I agree that there were other guys on the team that could have stepped up, but BD is the player that sets the tone. My advice… Save the “debut” for the off season.

    OH… and PS… to those of you that are talking smack to Marcus. I have a feeling you are flipping burgers for a living and would easily be able to jet off to Sundance on Sunday, take a bong rip Monday morning and be off on your merrier way back to the local burger joint like any other day.

    Go WARRIORS!! :)

  • OneDub

    Get ready for more Baron and Co. off day excursions.
    With UCLA playing so well, expect to see Baron and Barnes try to attend every game held anywhere close to home.
    Great…..

  • goingforthemoney.com

    Marcus,
    What anyone does is his business. Even on the best teams in professional sports, like the Patriots, Red Sox, Spurs, have player who do things that can be construed as subjective but still come to play. I don’t pay my money to monitor peoples lives. All I care about is a team giving maximum efforts and playing like they want to be world champions which the Warriors didn’t do on Monday. They’ve been doing this “We can turn it on when we want routine for far to long.’ I mean its pathetic when your coach says he couldn’t get them to play hard. They sometimes come out with no since of urgency, especially against teams they should beat like the pacers, timberwolves. If there not careful they will be out of the playoff race all together.

  • Miss. Gun

    Listen here OnceWereWarriors, Imma need for you to not get at my boy Marcus like that, just ’cause you’re the one taking this a little too serious, like he said blogs are intended for entertainment purposes…
    Anyways… on to the discussion at hand, I think people are putting too much on it. I know every game counts and they shoulda won this game, but every player has a life outside of basketball and it’s not as if its routine for him to fly out of state for film festivals the night before a game. Let the man get a break, and like it was mentioned earlier I don’t think this woulda been an issue had they won the game. Outside of this situation he is pretty committed to the team and his dedication to the game, so lets cut him some slack! If anything, I have a bigger problem with his beard…can he clean it up a little bit. lol
    Go Warriors!!

  • Andrew Rosenblum

    Hi Marcus,

    Just ignore the trolls — they’re a waste of space.

    As for your point, I would be harder on Davis if the film wasn’t a substantive documentary. If Davis was producing Scooby Doo IV, I might be more skeptical. But he put his money behind a hard-to-get-made, hard-to-market-doc about gang life in L.A., where he’s from — so it seems like it was a personal project, as much as self-aggrandizing. And as one of your earlier posters said, Sundance is really important for marketing these kinds of films.

    That said, I’d feel better if Davis hadn’t played so bad. But as other people have said, everybody played badly. They need a blue-collar, lunchbox guy to set the tone. Bring back Larry Smith! (They could use the rebounding).

  • Vince

    The important thing was that it showed what type of basketball player/person he was, regardless whether it was correct or not that Baron attended that festival.

    He talks bigger than his actual commitment to winning and bringing the team back to the playoffs. Nash, Garnet, nor Duncan would have done it unless it was a family emergency. Baron defintely talks bigger than his actual actions.

    And this is from a player who thinks he deserves a max raise from his current $16.4 million/yr salary, and that he deserves to be an All-Star (I assumes he thinks so even though he says he doesn’t care).

    I don’t think there’s any right or wrong for his actions. It just shows that he’s more of a $10-13M player instead of a max salary (nor $16.4M) player. His potential employers (the Warriors and the other 29 NBA teams) will notice this action.

    Again, I totally agreed that Baron is entitled to do whatever he wants, but it just shows whether you can depend your franchise on him.

    And for those who actually works a job with prospect, one would understand that if you are striking for a bonus/promotion/pay raise, you would have worked extra hard (overtime/weekend/at home) to work on an important project. Instead of arriving and leaving on time and barely making the deadline fulfulling the minimum acceptable requirements.

  • peter martin

    just have to check the next night’s effort to judge what a player should have done the night before.

  • Bo

    Baron can choose to do whatever he wants with his off day. The keyword there is “choose”.

    If you’ve ever played serious basketball, even at the amateur level, you would know how a bad night’s sleep affects your next day’s performance. This is especially true for your shooting touch (witness BD’s poor shooting performance, especially from the foul-line).

    I can understand how important this Sundance event is for BD. No question that it IS a big deal. If it were me, I’d still go to Utah, but call it a night earlier, and fly back to the Bay the same night to get a better night’s sleep on my own bed.

    But again, it’s his “choice”, but his choices are a good indicator on what he values most.

  • JustPuked

    Peter Martin-

    The Tuesday Night Quarterback has already taken Second Guess Management to the next level. But your strategy would create one hell of a Point Guard. With true 360 Surround HD Hindsight in 20/20 we’d have the hardwood version of Nicholas Cage in Next.

    Whoa. Soooo THAT explains the phenomenon when my me and my buddies get worked playing ball in the park and the other team cries out “NEXT!”