Clearly, this leverage thing still escapes Mark Davis

Clearly, this leverage thing still escapes Mark Davis
August 13, 2014, 7:45 pm
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Drake as Public Enemy Number One would be a rich notion to many music fans, but when you screw with Adam Silver, you’ve screwed with the best.
Ray Ratto

First, Raiders’ boss Mark Davis was going to San Antonio to be at event honoring former Raider Cliff Branch. Then he went to San Antonio to see a few folks and talk a bit about his team in their town. Now, it’s a huge deal, via Vic Tafur of The Chronicle, and he was talking in big pictures with the folks who run the city.

“It was a serious conversation,” Davis told Tafur. “I don’t waste my time just having meetings. But we continue to try to get something done in Oakland.”

So a casual conversation became a serious meeting, did it? And he’s still committed to Oakland, is he? Clearly, this leverage thing still escapes him. Fortunately, he rallied later by saying to some reporters, including Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News, “I think we'd be well received if we ever moved back (to Los Angeles). Raiders Nation is strong in SoCal.”

Good one, M.D. You’re really convincing everyone.

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The new trend toward garden gnomes rather than bobbleheads is interesting only to the people who make the neck springs, but it is also the hot new way of mobbing the same old tat about the same old players to the same old audiences.

Next up: Plasticene busts, full-on fountain statuary, and for the person who doesn’t mind his or heroes falling from grace, courtroom artist sketches.

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Bad news for you fans of Irrational Threats Theatre: Jon Jones suffered a torn meniscus and sprained ankle in training, forcing the light heavyweight champion to pull out his UFC 178 title fight against Daniel Cormier. That means the press conference fight and footage of the fighters exchanging threats before an interview and Jones offering to kill Cormier were for naught, and now they have to figure out new ways to hype a fight that is now scheduled for January 3.

Maybe just mutual gunfire from behind overturned banquet tables at the pre-fight presser will work. I mean, that’s the problem with hype. It can never be scaled down.

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Drake as Public Enemy Number One would be a rich notion to many music fans, but when you screw with Adam Silver, you’ve screwed with the best.

According to Toronto Globe and Mail columnist Cathal Kelly, the NBA would have opted not to fine the Raptors because Drake allegedly tried to sweet-talk Kevin Durant to do his next deal with Toronto at a recent concert. All the team had to do is disassociate itself from the singer, which the Raptors apparently declined to do.

“A year ago, the idea that Durant would leave Oklahoma City seemed unlikely. That’s a money play. That he might leave to come to Toronto seemed preposterous. That’s a sanity play. Somebody’s worried about it now. Someone has picked up a phone –- likely Thunder owner Clayton Bennett –- and chewed the face off someone else at the league office. The league reacted by cooking up a financial penalty for a musical entertainer guilty of musing in public about a professional athlete coming to play for his local team. If that’s the new normal, everyone in the hip-hop business had better start putting money in an NBA Swear Jar.

“In making a big deal out of a very small misstep, the league is acknowledging what everyone’s been muttering about for months –- that the Toronto Raptors are off the leash. They are no longer willing to play by the rules.”

Or maybe Oklahoma City is finally hip to the notion that basketball players aren’t wooed easily by Dierks Bentley.

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According to Sean MacDonald, who wrote “Ultimate Football Road Trip,” the drunkest fans can be found in Buffalo. Cold weather, industrial town, bad team –- it all adds up.

Second place was Oxnard. Or maybe that was just the Raiders and Cowboys.

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Stephen Curry spoke honestly when he told Dan Patrick he believes he is a better offensive player than LeBron James. Which matters exactly zero, because even the most devoted Warrior fan would do a Curry-James deal yesterday. Yesterday, I tell you.

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And finally, Edward Serafin, the Arizona State football player who just came out, had actually come out months ago to his teammates, who have kept it quiet since spring. So in this case, the news isn’t that someone was brave enough to come out, but that the 90 people around him didn’t feel compelled to break a confidence and put a teammate in an awkward and unwanted position. In other words, this was a small step for Serafin, and a huge step for the death of the gay-player-as-distraction meme.

We’ll take that as a win.