The Warriors are not a basketball team, but a rolling test to find the next weirdknuckle talking point among the cognoscentii, non-cognoscentii and just plain posers that goes nowhere but kills time very well.
Today, it is Kevin Love, what it would take for the Warriors to get him, and what damage it would wreak upon the comforting yet flawed status quo. So with that in mind, and with a tip o’the’tam to all the analysts, bloggers and miscellaneous blowhards, here are the rules under which everyone is playing, even if nobody has stated them until now.
[RELATED: New Warriors coach Steve Kerr asks for Kevin Love, sort of]
1. Kevin Love is not worth having under all circumstances, and the tipping point seems to be Klay Thompson. David Lee is the universally agreed-upon intro, but the next piece is how the argument is defined. Harrison Barnes? They’d do it yesterday, but the Timberwolves will laugh, snort, spit and walk away. Draymond Green? They’d do it with clenched teeth. Draft choices? No, because the future is always more important than the past. Andre Iguodala? Sure, but then the money matches get weirder. But Thompson? No. That’s the dividing line.
2. It is also history repeating itself, as Warrior fans have always loved their players more than appreciated them as assets. They love Stephen Curry-Thompson as they loved Run TMC, unreservedly and without any thought to the notion that one or both might some day have to leave. Maybe this is normal, but here it is taken to an extreme.
3. Kevin Love is an indirect repudiation of what made the Warriors good after years of not goodery and therefore of Mark Jackson, because Love is an offensive player who will cost an accomplished defender in return. Whether that be Green, Iguodala or Thompson. Since Jackson built this team on defense and jump-shooting, this would necessarily change that dynamic. So the coaching thing never goes away, even when you think it does.
4. Kevin Love isn’t happening any more than Dwight Howard did, but you keep believing otherwise.
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The Pacific 12 Conference’s university presidents have issued a letter outlining a plan to give athletes something that would currently be called an impersmissible benefit.
According to the AP (http://bit.ly/1ofzOwQ), the suits are bandying about communist notions like:
• Scholarship awards up to the full cost of attendance.
• Reasonable ongoing medical or insurance assistance for student-athletes who suffer an incapacitating injury in competition or practice.
• Guaranteed scholarships for enough time to complete a bachelor's degree.
• Decreased year-round demands placed on the athlete, correspondingly increase the time available for studies and campus life.
• A meaningful role in conference and NCAA governance.
• Adjusting restrictions on advice and counsel of agents and other competent professionals.
• Liberalizing transfer rules.
Initial notion: The presidents are going to hell for sure.
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From Peter Zantingh of NRC.nl on journalists dealing with new Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal, these rules and others:
• Be prepared for any possible mood: Contrary to many other managers, whether the match is won, drawn or lost is no indication whatsoever of Van Gaal’s mood.
• Start neutral: Begin with a question about the match just played. “How did your team do?” or “What did you think?” will suffice. “You must be very disappointed” will not. That is because the match you saw and the match he saw can be very different ones.
• Don’t introduce yourself: Or else he’ll know your name, remember it and use it against you.
• It’s his language now, not yours: Van Gaal will come up with new additions to the Oxford Dictionary. In Germany, he introduced the phrase “death or the gladioli”: all or nothing. This is because if Mr. Van Gaal speaks your language, it is no longer your language, it’s his.
• Don’t repeat the question: Never mind - you will fail at this. You won’t fool him, even if you think your follow-up question is a cleverly rephrased, well-disguised one.
• Distinguish fact from opinion: This is hard, as only Mr. Van Gaal can determine which are facts and which are opinions. Which team was disadvantaged by the ref, or which team should have won based on the number of chances? He, and only he, will have the answer. These are the facts. Your facts are opinions.
With all due respect, this separates him in no discernible way from every other coach ever.
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Scott Boras, the agent for Dodger prospect and de-eared infielder Alex Guerrero took note of his client’s condition after having part of his ear bitten off by catcher and teammate Miguel Olivo by saying, according to Yahoo’s Tim Brown, “Boys will be boys, but as Scott Boras says, Shooting, stabbing or cannibalizing player is not part of baseball, or of being a proper teammate.”
Two questions: One, what if his client had been Olivo rather than Guerrero? And two, is he not even vaguely aware of the Oakland A’s or New York Yankees of the 1970s?
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And finally, to everyone waiting for Roger Goodell to act on the clear hypocrisy of Jim Irsay’s drug problem v. the league’s policy on player drug use, this: Goodell works for Irsay, not the other way around, and the best you can hope for is the standard owner punishment plan. In this structure, the owner helpfully tells the commissioner what punishment is appropriate and then applies it while waiting for a quid pro quo in which the owner gets two future benefits in exchange for the present transgression.
Can’t get any fairer than that.
Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com