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Please Tell Me He Didn’t Do It

I must say I was blown away by my collegue’s post about Raymond Ridder’s foray into the blogosphere.

Reason No. 1: If you let members of the organization tell it, they don’t read the media or the blogs out there. They spend more time ripping all of us for having misinformation and we aren’t worth their time. I know Raymond Ridder is an exception. Dude is dilligent at his job. He leaves no stone unturned. I share Kawakami’s sentiments about him. (And he’s an even better guy away from the office.) But I KNOW he’s not the only one. They read.

Reason No. 2: He admitted it. Wow.

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Reason No. 3: While I am not shocked that it happens, I am shocked that someone of Raymond’s status, who actually shapes the message of the Warriors, also tries to shape the reaction. I’m a big West Wing fan. This is equivalent to the Press Secretary or the WH Communications Director posing as a citizen and trying to shape the reaction. You can’t play both sides of the fence. At least, you can’t get caught playing both sides of the fence. Fans don’t get to shape the message, or the product, so the Warriors shouldn’t get to shape their opinion of it. That’s practically a violation of the First Amendment!

I am seriously baffled as to why. I know why he did it. I talked to him late last night, too, and I understand his logic. I don’t understand why that is his logic.

I will share with you this, and this is, you know, seeing how the sausage is made kind of stuff. (Which I don’t think really matters, since it is my job to get you the info. The working relationship between the team and the media is for my editors and I to deal with.) This is totally my opinion on the matter, but this situation does give a little insight into the relationship between the Warriors and the local media. Because there is one fact at the center of both issues: Golden State can’t stomach negative press.
The famed writer Brendan Behan popularized the concept There is no such thing as bad publicity. But the Warriors don’t buy that at all from my view. They say they don’t mind. They say they look the other way. But really, I think it burns them up. I was told by a Warriors front-office member that any negative publicity hurts the business.

Me personally, I look at the situation and wonder why Ridder would chime in to make the conversation “positive.” When you guys come on here and rip me to shreds, question my integrity as a reporter, I think it’s great. Because you’re here. You may notice I usually engage in those conversations because it makes for good blogging, the back and forth, the disagreement. Of all the blog sites and websites out there, I find it flattering that people come here.

Why is it not enough that the conversation is about the Warriors? They won 29 games. The season is over. The Nuggets-Lakers game was on. And people were talking about the Warriors. To me, that’s a good thing for a franchise pining to stay relevant.

But for the Warriors, and I am generalizing based on five years of dealing with the organization, when they see stories they view as negative, or people’s comments not being what they want on a blog, they take it as an attack. Therefore, the people who make these “negative” comments and write these “negative” stories are the enemies.

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As a result, their coach chides the beat writers in interviews, nevermind they are the only two writers who cover them on the road. They demonize columnists who are critical of them, nevermind the fact that if this organization was in New York, they wold be begging for coverage from Bay Area media. They wink at the STH and say “we’re going to talk to you instead of them,” not even completely understanding the fans’ appetite for information about their team, which they can’t and wouldn’t dare want to fill.

Marcus Thompson

  • stan

    Marcus,

    Honest opinion: do the Dubs’ brass know of their reputation across the league/country, or are they just completely oblivious?

  • colonel

    imho, this comment from W’s staff seems naive, almost ignorant:”I was told by a Warriors front office member that any negative publicity hurts the business.”

    Did Giants make lots of money when Bonds was the center of attention? Yes, yes, yes. Dirty money and lots of it. Do Yankees have more revenue than any other team? By far. They also have the most press coverage, including many “negative” articles. When the press writes about your team/product, it is free advertising. Like movie reviews, even if they are negative, people want to check it out for themselves. It gets their attention onto your product.

    fyi, I see Ty Lawson as Warriors pick in mock drafts – his agent is Jeffrey Fried.

  • CA

    The Warriors regime’s communication style reminds me of the Bush administration’s mindset about the media — any difference of opinion is a traitorous betrayal rather than a separate perspective or an idea. They only manage to make themselves look worse in the process. Maybe I’m wrong, but the moves this week — the conference call and the post — smell of panic. Have their sales gone down dramatically?

  • darkknight01

    This troubling story shouldn’t be surprising at all to us who REALLY know what team execs and media journalists are all about. They are in bed together and their relationships are interwinded on a give and take basis. Rowell is an idiot for pushing Mullin out the door….PERIOD….I don’t care what lame excuses come out of Rowells, Rileys, (the mysteriously silent Nelson) and puppet Fitz mouth regarding Mullins dismissal.

    The W’s need to sign a proven veteran leader at the point like Andre Miller and draft one of these players if they don’t trade down…..

    Tyreke Evans- tall, athletic big guard who can play the point, is excellant slasher, driving to basket and can play defense, needs to work on jumper. Potential to develop into a Derrick Rose type of player. Able to fit right in to W’s style of play. W’s need to see how he would fit handling the ball.

    Brandon Jennings- smallish PG will need a couple of years to develop and make an impact IMO. Plenty of talent there but needs to get stronger and play better defense…will he compliment the rest of the players or not help at all.

    Stephon Curry- the best pure shooter in this draft, who needs to get stronger, but some serious potential if he can play the PG in the NBA. Needs work on defense footwork. The W’s need to seriously consider him if they can get a grasp of his ability at the point position at the next level and if he would fit their style.

    Earl Clark- athletic 6-9 small forward along the lines of Wright and Randolph already though. Can cause matchup problems and can grab rebounds but needs to develop jumper and learn some more slashing moves.

    Deron Derozan- another athletic big small forward type who is a good offensive rebounder, and is more of big swingman who needs to develop a jumper.

    http://www.insidebayarea.com/top-stories/ci_12429822

  • Rick Brusuelas

    If the Warriors were smart they would not try to move away from criticism but instead step towards it. Years ago the Giants played in Candlestick and rather than spinning the ‘stick as a great place to watch baseball the team’s marketing guru’s came up with the Croix de Candlestick pins and extremely funny ads about fans sentenced to watch the team play in cold dreary night games. The Warriors can emulate that approach (instead, they copied the Giants Krazy Krab with the equally silly Thunder character… oh, that wans’t satire?). They could hold contests where the winner gets one season ticket, and the loser gets two… see, *embrace* their ineptitude. If they have to be clowns, they can at least be lovable clowns.

  • Air France

    Was it Raymond Ritter that was screening the live chat with Ronny Turiaf? It would totally make sense that some of the questions I asked never made it through and other childish stuff like questions about smoking weed did.

    This franchise that I love is making it hard to be a fan.

  • JustPuked

    This incident is a stunning act of stupidity. This is going to get national play. The telling part of this whole thing is: No Warrior fans are surprised by this. This kind of boneheadedness is exactly what we expect from Warriors management. The conference call just goes to show how paranoid and defensive Rowell has become. Warriors management is officially a joke nationwide. How long before we start referring to the Clips as: Warriors South?

  • doc

    Not to be a jerk, but some proof reading/spell check before posting might be helpful. Thanks.

  • darkknight01

    Did you guys see Rowells red face during the hiring of Riley??

    haha…an overpaid caucasian man who gets that red is either really nervous, emabarrased, pissed, or an alcoholic or ALL of the above! LOL

  • MRFJG_SON

    Justpuked, we are already are Clips North. MT love your writing on the situation and the fact that Ridder didn’t apparently see anything wrong with what he was doing is preposterous. I understand the need for him to want to be positive but instead he should have just stepped away from the key board. On a couple of other blogs I have read some peeps say that maybe Ridder is falling on the sword but if he is, WHY? I would never fall on the sword for someone who doesn’t respect me and that is the sense I get from Rowell in his dealings with the organization, employees, and the media.
    MT can you please go on Fitz and Brooks and confront Fitz on the issue and just bring it up. He would never take a call from someone like me or some of the other warrior fans, or at least give us a chance to make a point while he talks over us.
    What sucks is that because this issue came out on the Friday of a 3 day weekend it will definitely not get as much run on monday. DONT LET IT HAPPEN, please MT keep this story on the front burner for as long as possible until the Cohan either has to sell or fire rowell, or something other than what we are getting.
    PLEASE Keep up the good work and shedding light on the Warriors ineptitude at providing the bay with a well run organization. Hey even if you and TK gotta tag team the Fitz and Brooks or the RAZOR and MR.T show with a special in-studio appearance to talk about what is going on in Warriorland, PLEASE DO IT. You have the access that the normal fan doesn’t so please use that to your advantage and take deez fools to task.
    Keep up the good work MT!

  • D W

    The negative publicity is hurting the business. But Cohan and Rowell’s inability to own up to their mistakes is hurting the W’s a thousand times more than anything the fans or the Bay media. The Warrior franchise should be glad to have the Bay media care for them. Imagine if they stayed in their birthtown. The Bay’s angst will always be dwarfed by Philly’s (and they are very steamed about their Sixers).

    What we need is for our blog base to deluge the NBA offices begging to understand how their Bay franchise has reached a Cheney-Rove level of disregard toward its customers, regardless of ticket sales.

    If David Stern wants all of his franchises to be upfront with the people they serve, he might want to come back to Northern California and see if that’s the case with the two franchises. At least with the Kings, they’re owning up to their erroneous ways and are still willing to let the league and Cal Expo work on a possible new arena in Sacramento even with the bad economy.

    Here in Oakland, there is no accountability under the monotonous moniker that is Golden State. (Monte P is right; we should be the Oakland Warriors, especially since the Eastbay has most of the region’s greatest basketball history, thanks to Messir Russell.)

  • “The Ricker”

    Will Ridder be fired??

  • Jim in Clayton

    Marcus great reporting and insights on your part. It’s just plain sad on the
    Warriors part though.
    Do they not realize their team is completely irrelevant now in the NBA and made
    fun of by national outlets it’s a total cluster ____.

  • Raven

    Marcus it’s too easy. I smell a RAT.
    from what you write and blog..Ridder is too smart for this. He’s protecting someone(a rat); he’s taking one for the team. I bet its Bobby “the rat” Rowell who posted on the blogs.

    PS – please make sure to bust Fitz on KNBR. It’s so insulting the way he protects the W’s front office like we’re a bunch morons.

  • Wilson

    The reason the Warriors get upset over bad press is ego, not business. Nobody likes to read the general opinion that he’s an idiot or slimeball. Rowell in particular is about as unlikeable a worm as anyone in the public eye. Al Davis, John York, Mike Nolan – they can’t hold a candle to Rowell in terms of general yuckiness.

  • http://goldenstateofmind mary

    This is wire fraud: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire_fraud

    Defrauding season holders from their money, by persuading them to renew based on fraudulent comments made by ranked team official ( whoever that is ).

    Whoever did this should go to jail, this is against the law.

  • jsl

    So, why is there nothing in the papers today on this fiasco? Not newsworthy?

  • A’s in 2009

    It just seems obvious that Ridder is taking the heat for someone else’s(Rowell) mistake. Rowell is a weasel.

  • commish

    Marcus, I really appreciate you being transparent and sharing some of the inside info on how you, as a media person, is treated by the Dubs organization. This comes as no surprise, but I have often wondered why the general non-internet media has been so reticient to criticize until more recently.

    I ran across another disgrunted media guy from Realgm.com who finally threw in the towel. I posted this on GSoM but I think it is worth reading, in a very sad kind of way:

    http://warriors.realgm.com/articles/157/20090522/finally_abandon_ship/

  • colonel

    from We Believe to Almost None

    should be the name of the book that defines the Cohan era.

    the mystery to me is the sellouts. Cohan has had it way too good for way too long for way too mediocre a product. Unless his product is front office soap operas and lawsuits, things they are good at. Although even at those things, they can’t compare to MSG/Knicks.

  • jasonbourne

    The guy got caught by warriorsworld.net, so he had to fess up or else he he would have been revealed.

    Now, if some Warriors or any other local team’s insider wants to post trade tidbits and info, then I don’t think the bloggers would mind that one bit. LOL.

    And I love your reason # 3 and one of the reasons why Warriors fans immediately took it so negatively. It was close to 100% if not 100%:
    Reason No. 3: While I am not shocked that it happens, I am shocked that someone of Raymond’s status, who actually shapes the message of the Warriors, also tries to shape the reaction. I’m a big West Wing fan. This is equivalent to the Press Secretary or the WH Communications Director posing as a citizen and trying to shape the reaction. You can’t play both sides of the fence. At least, you can’t get caught playing both sides of the fence. Fans don’t get to shape the message, or the product, so the Warriors shouldn’t get to shape their opinion of it. That’s practically a violation of the First Amendment!

    Please, Cohan, sell the team!

  • Hollywood Charles

    Marcus,

    You’re terrible, so bad, just unreal… you know less about basketball than the Albanian exchange student who lives in my basement and yells out “goal!” every time we watch a basketball game together and hangs his laundry on my 20 gauge fishing line and cooks stews that smell like cheesy feet for weeks at time… seriously you know less than him… he actually played pro ball in Greece.

    Hollywood Charles

    P.S. any Warrior’s front office people reading this: consider this a writing sample… I’m available for blog infiltration

  • justafan

    Time to Clean the house and as fans all we can do is “Boycott the Warriors until Chris Cohan sells the team!!!”

  • jsl

    Day 2 — and still nothing in the CCT from Marcus, or anyone else for that matter. (Tho the Chron’s beat writer also ducked the story, Ratto had a nice, tough column on it today.)

    So, what’s the reason? Not newsworthy (ho-ho)? No wish to rock the boat (we saw what happened with Geoff Lepper)? Sports editors want to avoid such stories and won’t let Marcus be Marcus in the paper (like the way they had him “cover” Riley’s coming out party as “news”)?

    As hard as it is for some — not me — to believe Warrior FO people would pull a stunt like this, it’s harder for me to understand why the CCT ducks the story, fails to follow up with interviews, leaves such boorish conduct to the bloggers and the national press, who aren’t such captives. I’m not sure the CCT is handling this story any better than the Warriors — who seem to be ducking it pretty well with the help of their press friends.

    Maybe more than one house needs some cleaning here. Well, at least they let you do the blog, Marcus.

  • lobo

    if the beat writers had any ‘SPAULDINGS’ they wouldn’t take the crap that the fat ass couch doles out….I know I wouldn’t stand there with a pad laughing at his sarcastic comments and take his poop…the internet is not the only reason the bay area is gonna’ lose its newspapers pretty soon, it’s suck ups who call themselves newspaper people who can’t write a lick. that goes for all the writers in the papers…as charles barkley once said…”bad team….bad —-ing team.” (76ers when he was there).

  • A’s in 2009
  • nate diggety

    Why is this a big deal? Bob Fitzgerald tries to make upper management look good everyday! Nobody says anything about that. It’s ridiculous.

  • PhilB

    Hey Marcus, about a year ago the Warriors were running a promotion where they were giving out Stephen Jackson bobblehead dolls. When I inquired into getting one (I live in Seattle) you referred me to Ridder. I called Raymond at the end of the promotion and he actually Fed-Xed a spare bobblehead to me that was still lying around. I spoke to Raymond and thanked him (as I thank you now). Raymond actually seemed to be an OK dude. Too bad he wasn’t Internet-savvy enough to post AWAY from the office. I wonder if Raymond secretly detests his job; always trying to cover the sow with a silk dress.

  • fillmoe mike

    you guys are hella negative tho>>>i mean most of the post have been negative..yeah chris cohan is a horrible owner but we have a pretty decent team if you ask me and we need to support the players not the management….this should not be that big of a deal if you ask me….you think this doesn’t go on with other teams with employes in other markets??
    my thing is this we were injured all last year and mustard damn near 30 wins. with a healthy squad, and some additions and subtractions i think we can be more then competitive in the West

  • Hollywood Charles

    I am man enough to admit it… Jackson was right… all apologies Cpt. Jack…