Now maybe Joe Lacob gets the picture. Now maybe he understands that the history of franchise doesnt get sliced up into portions depending on the identity of the owner.Lacob was gobsmacked by a wall of booing while introducing Chris Mullin on his number retirement Monday night. He had brought Mullin back from Chris Cohans administrative exile and wanted his contributions to the franchise memorialized, and he thought that correcting one on Cohans more petty errors made him bulletproof.Now he knows better. Now he gets the picture. Nobody escapes while the team is not winning. Nobody gets a pass for good intentions. Six playoff appearances in 36 years, and one in 18, shout far louder than a public relations gesture triggered by a generous spirit.This wasnt just Monta Ellis-trade booing either. This was all of it, unleashed by a fan base that knows how badly it has been taken advantage of over the years. This was the promise of a playoff position meeting the reality of being 13th in the West and looking at a future that remains tantalizingly distant.This is about the same old meal, delivered by a new waiter. Lacob has to know that doesnt work. And he knows now for sure.But he should have known it before this. He should have known it if anyone had told him about the 2000 All-Star Game, when Cohan, his own child by his side, was even more crushingly booed in the third quarter intermission while he was trying to present an award to Michael Jordan.Let me repeat that: With his son next to him. While giving an award to Michael Jordan.In other words, there was precedent for Monday, and the ensuing 12 years have been mostly just as rough as the previous 23.And Lacob can't to have hurt feelings about this, because the rules are different for those who represent three and a half decades of irrelevance with a touch of nonsense on the side. He did not build it, but they keep coming, and theyre pissed about it.Hes only been around for two years, true, but one of them is the current one, shortened by a lockout he helped support, and neither has been good. Fans who were thankful he wasnt Cohan have been given little evidence to convince them that the Cohan years arent still among them, save small gestures like the Mullin ceremony.And despite the best efforts of Mullin and Rick Barry to stem the tide (Mullin more successful at it than Barry, to be frank), those fans remain angry at all the money they have thrown, because for fans, every season is not different. When you have failed, all the seasons are the same, and they build up pressure until the valves break.Now Lacob has a choice to make, one that requires a level of humility. He can save face, or at least some of it, by taking this moment and touring the stands for the next few games, explaining to any and all that undoing the rancid past is more like turning an ocean liner than backing out of a driveway. He has to let the fans vent in smaller groups, or even individually.And his only response can be this:I know. I know. We havent gotten it right yet. We got handed a bad situation, but either we misjudged how bad it is or we havent gotten it all figured out yet. I shouldnt have promised you a playoff, and thats on me. Youre entitled to more proof than this, and I get how pissed you are about this.In fact, dont be patient with us. We dont deserve your patience. We dont have the right to it, and we wont until we have given you what you really want a team that can make you proud of its history. Im glad you booed me instead of Chris Mullin, because he is blameless. And you should keep booing me, and Peter Guber, and all of us, until you stop having to wait for what everybody else gets more often than weve given it to you.In other words, he has to take it, and keep taking it, until the Warriors stop giving its customers the same old night out.In the meantime, he has to learn that around here, the sins of the owners do not end when the old owner leaves. They go on and on until something better comes along.Thats the lesson. This was a message to Lacob that things are worse than he thought with the greatest fans in the NBA. And he can never be surprised by it again.
OAKLAND -- As President Donald Trump lurches closer to certified insanity, he is unwittingly doing the country a great service that, should we survive his dangerously whimsical term, will bring us closer to realizing our potential.
He’s unifying the previously disconnected and energizing the formerly apathetic. He’s even shaming some of those previously beyond shame.
It is because of Trump’s rage, unleashed in a span of less than 24 hours, that the NBA champion Warriors were more united Saturday morning than they were Friday afternoon.
After a speech in Alabama urging NFL owners on Friday to fire any “son of a bitch” who dared to protest peacefully to shine a light on injustices, Trump woke up Saturday and turned his Twitter ire upon Stephen Curry and the Warriors, conceivably the most wholesome representatives of American sports.
“That’s not what leaders do,” Curry said after practice Saturday.
“We know we’re in a fight,” Warriors center David West said. “And we’re going to continue to fight for our right to be human beings.”
But by advocating the job loss of peaceful protesters and then informing the Warriors they are not welcome at the White House -- because Curry said he’s not in favor of going -- we can only hope Trump has flung open a door of activism that never closes.
Trump’s radical combo ignited mighty blasts of blowback from players and coaches and commissioners of the NBA and NFL.
Among the many NBA figures issuing statements in one form or another, with varying degrees of condemnation: LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, the players association and commissioner Adam Silver.
“The amount of support I saw around the league this morning was amazing,” Curry said.
Among the many NFL figures who were moved to comment: Seahawks players Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett, Broncos lineman Max Garcia, 49ers owner Jed York, New York Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch, Packers boss Mark Murphy, the players association and commissioner Roger Goodell.
Trump has, in short, started a war with American sports.
His strike began with the comments made Friday night that were directed at Colin Kaepernick and others who have declined to stand for the anthem. Trump’s aggression intensified Saturday when he went after Curry in the morning and Goodell in the afternoon.
How did we get here?
The Warriors on Friday announced their plan to meet as a team Saturday morning to decide whether they would accept from the White House the traditional invitation extended to championship teams. Though it was fairly certain they would not, they left open the slightest possibility. General manager Bob Myers had been in contact with White House.
Curry at the time said he, personally, did not wish to go, and then he carefully and patiently expounded on his reasons.
Trump responded, at 5:45 a.m. Saturday, to tell the world that the Warriors would not be invited and, moreover, that Curry’s resistance is the reason.
And all hell broke loose.
The Warriors came back Saturday afternoon with a statement that made clear there no longer would be a team meeting on the subject, that they were disappointed there was no open dialogue and that they will instead utilize their February visit to “celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion -- the values we embrace as an organization.”
“Not surprised,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Trump’s decision not to invite the Warriors to the White House. “He was going to break up with us before we could break up with him.”
Trump has fired upon every athlete in America. He is waking up this country in ways we’ve never seen or felt and, my goodness, he’s doing so at a level we’ve needed for centuries.
“Trump has become the greatest mirror for America,” West said. “My cousin . . . she brought that to me. Because there are a lot of things have been in the dark, hidden, and he’s just bold enough to put it out on ‘Front Street.’"
NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2017 – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement regarding the Golden State Warriors not being invited to visit the White House:
“I was in favor of the team visiting the White House and thought it was a rare opportunity for these players to share their views directly with the President. I am disappointed that that will not happen. More importantly, I am proud of our players for taking an active role in their communities and continuing to speak out on critically important issues.”
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