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Warriors Error Isn’t In Leaving, But Lacking Compassion for Die-Hard Oakland Fans

My wife is always on me about this. When I know I’m right, I’m so concerned about expressing my rightness that I forget a critical element — how I say it.

After a day of digesting the Warriors’ pending move to San Francisco, after listening to Oaklanders and East Bay die-hards lament their team’s departure, after witnessing the Warriors and supporters of the new arena justify the decision to leave while dismissing the ensuing outrage, I couldn’t help but think of my wife’s reminder.

It’s how you said it.

That’s where the Warriors went wrong. But before I offer my explanation of the negative reaction to the Warriors’ announcement Tuesday, I need to get a few qualifiers out of the way:

1. Joe Lacob and Peter Guber committed $450 million to buy the Warriors’ franchise. They’re committing to at least $500 million for a new arena. They can build wherever they want. It’s a right for which they’ve paid.

2. It’s just basketball. I know, jobs are being lost and a blow to the economy is expected. But I can’t be mad that working class people in San Francisco will get jobs. And I believe, even after the Warriors leave, Oakland will still exist and maybe thrive, albeit in a new way. Basketball teams are made by cities, not the other way around. The NBA may have had a special place in Oakland, but it doesn’t define Oakland, and there is plenty of more important work to be done than keeping a sports team.

3. It’s a smart move. It was an inevitable move. And seeing the vision for the arena, perched on waterfront with a backdrop that would make Ansel Adams switch to color, even Oaklanders understand the move.

With that said, this thing could have been executed much better. The proper respect wasn’t paid to a segment of the fan base that kept the franchise relevant and viable despite itself.

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For Mitty High Star Drew Gordon Looking to Remind People Who He Is

Drew Gordon is actually in a pretty good position, if you ask him.

Sure, he never lived up to the hype from his days as an McDonald’s All-American out of Archbishop Mitty High. Sure, he’s pegged as an early-second round pick who’s a few bad workouts from not hearing his name called June 28.

But now, the way he sees it, he’s in a unique position to surprise some people.

“I’m looking forward to putting my name back out there,” Gordon, 21, said after Wednesday’s six-man workout at the Warriors’ downtown Oakland facility.

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NBA Commissioner David Stern Believes Warriors New San Francisco Arena Will Get Done

They promised a championship to a franchise that hasn’t won a title since 1975. They promised playoffs just before the conclusion of a 36-win season.

Tuesday, standing on a dilapidated slab of pier — decorated by blue carpet, fancy tables and a picturesque backdrop — the Warriors promised to build the NBA’s version of the Sydney Opera House in five years.

For one, NBA Commissioner David Stern believes him.

Stern said he is confident co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber will successfully pull off the ever-so-daunting task of a new arena on Piers 30/32. With San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on board, and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom offering his aid, Stern called it “a coming together of the stars” that will lead to the erection of the Warriors’ new arena on the San Francisco waterfront in 2017.

Maybe Stern was caught up in the pomp and circumstance of the day. Maybe he was feeling especially Pollyannaish, overwhelmed by the gorgeous views and relaxing weather Tuesday on the Pier.

Or, maybe, if you believe Stern, this vision for a world-class, space-age arena Warriors ownership has planned is  their best chance at actually fulfilling a promise. Here is the Stern transcript. (NOTE: Paintings of waterfront arena at end of transcript)

 

Have you seen specifics on this and do you know they can get this done?

I wouldn’t profess to be all knowing. But I have gauged situations like this in other cities— where the nets are now building in Brooklyn, where Orlando just completed a new facility in Orlando, where the Garden is undergoing a billion-dollar renovation. I’ve seen every city in the NBA from 1987 until now deliver a new building and I think that San Francisco is going to want to join that group.

 

Why San Francisco and not Oakland?

That’s their call. This is the Golden State Warriors. There are huge numbers of fans in the Bay Area. They consider themselves a Bay Area team and they did the venue selection. So I don’t want to get exactly into that. But clearly half of their fans are from the East and half from the West Bay. This seems to be a very good site with an enormous amount of public transportation that is accessible.

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SOURCES: Warriors to Unveil Plans for S.F. Arena on Tuesday

The press conference to announce the Warriors’ intentions to move to San Francisco is set for Tuesday at the site of the planned location, according to multiple sources.

One of the sources, who is scheduled to attend, said at least four of the 11 city officials who signed a letter supporting the Warriors’ plans for a waterfront arena will be present at the announcement ceremony.

The Warriors are still tight-lipped on the matter, but there were several reports a tent and chairs were being set up at the site. Mercury News blogger Adam Lauridsen first broke the news that the Warriors reached a deal on a new state-of-the-art San Francisco arena. He also reported it would be announced on Tuesday.

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Oakland’s Jared Cunningham Gets Best of Cal’s Jorge Gutierrez at Warriors Draft Workout

It wasn’t the first dance between Cal’s Jorge Gutierrez and Oakland’s own Jared Cunningham out of Oregon State. But it was the first time the two matched up on such a stage – under the watchful eyes of an NBA front office.

Both served as the guards at the Warriors’ six-man workout of draft prospects Monday, which was held at the team’s downtown Oakland facility. The two went at it the entire time, much like they did matching in the Pac-12.

“The whole workout,” Gutierrez said. “He’s a great player. I played against him for three years. I always have fun playing against him. I’m always nervous to play against him.”

“I know what he can do and he knows what I can do,” said Cunningham, celebrating his 21st birthday Tuesday. “We both competed hard. … It’s up to the Warriors to say who won.”

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Report: Warriors Reach Deal for New Arena in SF

The Warriors didn’t confirm or deny reports they have agreed to a deal for a new arena inSan Franciscoin 2017. Instead, Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob—and team spokesman Raymond Ridder—settled for an ambiguous statement:

“We are not prepared to make any announcements at this time.”

But Sunday, Mercury News fan blogger Adam Lauridsen broke the news Golden State agreed to build a fancy, new, privately funded arena on Piers 30 and 32 on the Embarcadero. Of course, in the past, the standard company line was they’re doing their due diligence as they search for a new home. But in light of the latest news, the company line has changed, suggesting an announcement is pending but they are not “prepared” to make it.

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