BASKETBALL

CHARLESTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM

CHARLESTON, AND AMERICA, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

Gary Norris Gray – BASN – Staff Reporter

On Tuesday, June 16, the nation joined together to watch the conclusion of the (NBA) National Basketball Association Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. All races joined together in competition and celebration in compiling the highest television ratings for the Finals in history. The next night, this appearance of racial harmony was destroyed by the shooting of nine African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, allegedly by a young white male fueled by racial hate. The undercurrent of racial tension in this country can no longer be concealed, and must be confronted. America needs a National Discussion on Race and Violence.

The Charleston Church murders have prompted the usual arguments assigning blame to failure to control guns; liberals vs. conservatives; drugs; parenting; declining values; lack of respect for life; the Confederate stars and bars still represented in the flags of several states, and flown over the South Carolina State House; and whatever other themes politicians and partisans may seize upon. These are all parts of the picture, but to seize only upon just one or a few of them is to miss the over-arching problem. The problem is Race and Violence in the United States.

President Barack Obama stated the killings occurred in part because the shooter had no trouble acquiring a gun. Critics have characterized this as a political play for gun control. But the President went on to state that “we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.”

We must see that we are a violent country, internally, and that this violence now, in 2015, not 1860, is too easily and too frequently imposed on people of color. A church shooting in 2015 is too reminiscent of the Birmingham church bombing of 1963, 52 years ago, in which four Black girls were killed as they changed into their choir robes. The bombing had occurred a week after the Birmingham School District were ordered to integrated, and just more than two weeks after Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C. How far have we not come?

The bombers were members of the Ku Klux Klan. One was prosecuted and convicted in 1977; two others were convicted in 2001 and 2002, and one had grown senile over time and was incompetent for trial. The prosecutions had been delayed for years because of local resistance to bringing the cases to trial and later difficulty in obtaining evidence from (FBI) Federal Bureau of Investigation files in the federal investigation of the bombing.

In an interview with New Yorker writer David Remnick, President Obama has said he was hesitant to answer questions about race more fully or with less caution because a harsh or intemperate word about race could affect the political temper of the country. Thus, the President acknowledges that race is a powder keg, which could be set off by the slightest of sparks, but about which he, the leader of the Free World and the Commander in Chief of the most powerful nation on the planet, cannot speak freely. He, who can order deaths in foreign countries, is not at liberty to speak about deaths at home, for fear of setting off an explosion here.

If the President will not speak, we must. The powder keg is in fact being set off, bullet by bullet, death by death. The silence is killing. The President’s fear of an explosion speaks to the urgency of having a national discussion on race. If we are that close to a blow up, and shots are already being fired, we must talk about it.

It has been reported that the Charleston shooter asserted to his victims “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country.” Is this the belief of one deranged killer, or a group to which he belongs, or a more widespread hostility? Why is there such hate and fear? What is the basis for it? What is the response? What to do about white guilt and black anger over the remnants of slavery? What is the antidote? To get the answers, we need to ask the questions. We must discuss this.

Why do we have police who are members of white supremacy groups? Why do we have an inordinate and more frequent occurrence of shootings of Black citizens by that same police force? Remember that it is only the one percent of rogue policeman who are creating this problem. 99 percent are heroes and work hard every day. Yet it was in North Charleston, S.C., where an officer was charged with murder in April for the shooting of an unarmed black man fleeing from what began as a traffic stop.

Why are citizens afraid? Why are police afraid? Of what and of who? Are citizens defiant and disrespectful? Are police hostile and reactive? We must talk about it.

The discussion is greater than Us vs. Them. It is greater than the prison-industrial complex and its need to fill prison cells. It is greater than the gun lobby and its desire to hold and sell guns. It is greater than the military-industrial complex and its desire to fund a never-ending passion for international violence on people of color. These are all aspects of the problem, but they are not THE problem. THE problem is race. We must talk about it. We need a National Discussion on Race in the United States and we need it TODAY.

The United States government has failed people of color time and time again which has created this problem. 1.) Native Americans were pushed west on reservations and forgotten. 2.) Japanese-Americans were put in internment camps during World War II and never given their property back 3.) Thousands of African men, women, and children were forced to come to the United States and into servitude for life. For African Americans the playing field is still not level. This is the racial legacy of the United States of America and we have to discuss this.
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com
Garynorrisgray@Wordpress.com
©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

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CLIPPERS-NO HEART

Los Angeles Clippers Not Standing for Justice
NO HEART

Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Staff Reporter

OAKLAND, CA. – The recent conclusion of the NBA Finals, followed by the church shooting the next day in Charleston, S.C., recalls the previous basketball season and what the Los Angeles Clippers could have done then for racial justice and equality, but did not. The issue then was the Clippers past owner Donald Sterling making recorded racial statements to his gal-pal V. Stiviano. The team that wears red, white, and blue could have been in the historical record books fighting against racism and bigotry. Instead, personal finances became more important than civil rights. Money became more important than racial justice. The modern athlete carefully picks his/her words and his/her actions because it could affect his/her sports career.
NO HEART

On April 27, 2014 the team made a political and social decision. The Los Angeles Clippers could have made a powerful political statement to America that night, The battle for racial justice sometimes requires making critical sacrifices. This organization was not willing to make those sacrifices.
NO HEART

The Clippers gathered at center court before a 118-97 Game 4 loss in their first-round series against the Golden State Warriors and took off their Clippers warm-up shirts and left them there. They then warmed up wearing inside-out red shooting shirts that did not display the Clippers name or logo. During the game, players wore black arm or wrist bands and black socks. But they continued to play the game. They could have, and should have, walked off the court, refusing to play for Sterling, perhaps forfeiting the game, forfeiting a pay check, sending shock waves through the economics of the NBA and its commercial sponsors, but sending a message.
NO HEART

In 1968 John Carlos and Tommy Smith lead the way with their fist in the air and no shoes on the podium. The Black Power Salute sent shock waves at the 68′ Mexico Summer Games. Carlos and Smith made that sacrifice to tell the world about the poor conditions of Black people in the United States.

African Americans would have honored this team in Hollywood 40, 50, or 60 years from now if they too made that sacrifice. Instead this team will be just a footnote in National Basketball history.

The firebrand athlete of the 1960’s and 1970’s are gone but not forgotten. Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar pulled no punches. As the late sportscaster Howard Cosell stated many times “Tell it like it is”.

The Los Angeles Clippers could have boycotted game four in Oakland, California. They had the support of the Golden State Warriors players and staff along with the Portland Trailblazers organization who were playing another game in Oregon. The Los Angeles Clippers could have walked off the court to send a message to (ABC) The American Broadcasting Company and (ESPN) The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. It did not happen and ABC, ESPN, and their advertisers went on their merry way, cashing in on their profits.
NO HEART

During a 45-minute team meeting on Saturday, Clippers player voiced their anger about the tape and discussed various options of protest, including boycotting the game.

The Clippers went on to beat the young Golden State Warriors four games to three but the die was cast that night for the Los Angeles Clippers. The hearts and minds of the Clippers Black players lay on the floor of Oracle Arena and their championship aspirations as well. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrooks of the Oklahoma City Thunder ended the Clips season in six games.

In the 2014-2015 season the Los Angeles Clippers were the favored team to win the Western Conference. This year, the Clippers beat the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoff in a seven game thriller but lost the next round to the undermanned Houston Rockets and James Harden. This Clipper team had no heart last season, and continued to be infected this year.
NO HEART

I hardly ever agree with Charles Barkley, “The Round Mound of Rebound”, but this time he was right on point: “If somebody wants to be racist, that’s all right. That’s their thing, but when you’re in a position of power and you can take jobs and economic opportunity from people that’s what crosses the line.”

Los Angeles Clipper owner Donald Sterling had the ears of young America, and the NBA along with ESPN did not mute that voice until it was too late. ESPN’s reporter Bomani Jones stated: Donald Sterling has long been a practitioner of racism and the NBA could not have cared less. Jones is rightfully apoplectic at the present response. That is because he understands that the NBA, its players and its fans, don’t so much object to Donald Sterling’s racism—they object to his want of elegance.

Sports, politics, and race will continue to cross paths as Jessie Owens proved in the Berlin Summer Games in 1936 under the banners of the Hitler Régime. Sports can be a conduit to improve race relations in the United States as men women and children work together to win championships. What happened in Los Angeles a year ago and what happened in Charleston, South Carolina last week proves that we have work to do.

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com
Garynorrisgray@Wordpress.com
©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

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Skip Bayless and ESPN -At It Again

Skip Bayless & ESPN-At It Again
Gary Norris Gray-BASN- Staff Reporter
Three years ago Skip Bayless tried to tear down a young man who made the biggest decision of his life. LeBron James took his basketball talent to South Beach and the Miami Heat, winning two championships. Number 23 returned to Ohio but it is not enough for the American Sports pundits. LeBron James has to win the Championship for Cleveland.
NOT RESPECTING AFRICAN AMERICAN MALES continues to shift into the sports world.
ESPN, that’s the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network reporter Skip Bayless and his side kick screaming Stephan A Smith are at it again. The more they speak the more juvenile they sound. Skip Clueless, oh I mean Bayless gave LeBron James a C + for his triple double against the Golden State Warriors in game two of the finals. REALLY, how many triple doubles have been recorded in the playoff finals? In sixty eight years only twelve players have done it. The last time was 2002 with Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets and three players have done it twice, Wilt Chamberlin, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
Let me remind Skip Clueless that Mr. James has scored more points in three games than anybody. Mr. James has played in five straight finals, for two different teams, nobody has done that not even “His Airness”, Michael Jordan. For those who don’t remember, Mr. Jordan played for the Chicago White Sox farm team before returning to the NBA championship and the Chicago Bulls.
Mr. James has played more minutes than anybody else in playoff history for three games, missing only four minutes and has played EVERY POSITION this year his Airness could not do that.
The Los Angeles Laker Magic Johnson came close to Cleveland’s 23 playing shooting guard, shooting forward, and center but Ervin was not as strong or had enough muscle as Mr. James. LeBron can play power forward and power guard, meaning all five positions.
Are the reporters at Bristol, Connecticut, the reputed sports leader tired of doing this kind of reporting year after year?
After racking up 40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to lead his Cleveland Cavaliers to a 96-91 victory and a 2-1 series lead in the NBA Finals, LeBron James went home, turned on the television and flipped over to the Food Network.
James is averaging 41, 12 and 8.3, is playing 47 minutes a game in this series. According to Synergy Sports Tech, he either scored, assisted or created (kind of like a hockey assist) 200 of the Cavs’ 291 points thus far.
LeBron James just cannot get respect even thou he is currently the best players on the floor of the (NBA) National Basketball Association. Whether the Cavaliers win or lose in 2015 this cannot be disputed. Sports reporters still try to bring down the best Black player of each sport. Russell Wilson-football quarterback, Serena Williams-tennis, and P.K. Subban-hockey.
These same reporters revel in the demise of Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods because they (reporters) truly believe they had a hand in the downfall of one of the greatest golfers of our time. Question: since Tiger has fallen off the face of the earth where is golf now? Be very careful what you wish for.
It will be likewise for Mr. James if he cannot deliver a title to the town of Cleveland, Ohio.
Two years ago this was written and became one of the most popular articles on the Black Athlete Sports Network Web site
http://blackathlete.net/2013/06/lebron-james-espn-2/
In one paragraph of this article Skip Bayless once again opens his mouth and inserts foot.
“One prominent ESPN reporter refused to call him by his name. Skip Bayless of the ESPN show “First Take” called LeBron James, Prince, instead of King. This is another example of an older white male disrespecting a Black man and attempting to make it a joke. IT’S NOT FUNNY!!!”
James has not caused trouble on or off the court; no flare-ups, no arrest, no baby mama’s drama, no big controversies yet the administration at ESPN continue to pound number 23. The only minor issue may have been the way he handled ‘THE DECISION’ but that was his choice.
James make other players better on the floor as stars Johnson-Lakers, Jordan-Bulls, Bryant-Lakers and Iverson-Sixers did in the past yet nobody will discuss this on television. Casting a Black male in a good light is bad business on television.
This Akron resident has taken not one, but two mediocre Cleveland Cavalier teams to the NBA Finals, a bunch of no names and malcontents. Without him they could not punch their way out of a paper bag. Both teams had no business being there in the first place.
This year’s Cleveland team also lost two propionate starters, forward Kevin Love, and guard Kyrie Irving and they still managed to win. Ladies and gentlemen that is 25% of Cavs offensive production.
LeBron James is willing this team to win.
So Skip Clueless I mean Bayless returned to his usual self, criticizing the best player in basketball.
The more things change the more they remain the same.
Also The Curse of Chief Wahoo is still looming in the winds of Cleveland, can LeBron James and the Cavaliers not only beat the Golden State Warriors but end this dreaded 60 year curse.
Let me make this clear, I am not a LeBron James fan but here at BASN we are the only network defending this brother.
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com
Garynorrisgray@Wordpress.com
©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

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BASKETBALL

THE 2015 NBA FINALS

FROM FAILURE
TO FINALS

Gary Norris Gray- BASN- Staff Reporter
OAKLAND, CA.- The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers arrived at the 2015 Championship in very similar ways through the draft, going through numerous coaching changes and blowing up their rosters. The Warriors hired Mark Jackson in 2011 after a parade of coaches. Jackson instilled the art of defending and it is now paying off for the Dubs. The Dubs are a term of endearment that Bay Area fans call them. They lead the league in team defense. Not a surprise coming from the House of the New York Knicks, Mark Jackson’s caterpillar has turned into a fierce butterfly with the help of Steve Kerr’s offense.
The Cleveland Cavaliers hired three different coaches in four years, sending mixed messages to the team. The Cavs fired Mike Brown in 2010. Then Cleveland hired Byron Scott on July 1, for the 2010-13 seasons after a complete overhaul of the front office. Scott was a strict disciplinarian and wanted to restore order on the floor. It did not happen and the team went into a complete tailspin, a nose-dive. The Cavalier organization rehired Mike Brown in 2013-14 to rebuild confidence in the players. It worked and the team seemed to be playing better but the upper management wanted to go in a different direction AGAIN!
In 2014 Cleveland hired David Blatt from the Middle East and European basketball leagues. LeBron James also came back home. James left for South Beach and two NBA Championships while the Cavs stayed mired in last place of the Central Division collecting first round draft choices.
Between 2010-2012 The Cleveland Cavaliers traded starting guards Delonte West, and Sebastian Telfair, and then released second stringers guard Mo Williams and small forward Jamario Moon.
To complete the rebuilding process the Cavs drafted Kyrie Irving in the first round in 2011, then in 2011 drafted Dion Waiters in the first round. In August 2014 they signed free agent All Star Power forward-center- Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves to lure LeBron James back to the Mid-West. It worked. Love had been the double-double man, the main offense for the Wolves. He would have to change his game playing with the King in Cleveland.
Cleveland created the new Big Three in the Eastern Conference, Love, James, and Irving.
The New York Knicks also helped Cleveland by dumping guards J.R Smith and Iman Shumpert who underachieved at Madison Square Garden for salary cap issues in the middle of the season. Knick forward-center Carmelo Anthony received a new contract and Shumpert and Smith felt neglected in New York City. Cleveland had the insight to pick up both players. Shumpert and Smith were in the middle of their basketball careers and Cleveland needed shooters to relive the pressure on James. The Cavs responded with a mini winning streak. James’s passing abilities on the floor made Smith and Shumpert better shooters on the fly. This makes Cleveland a very dangerous team in the playoffs..
For Cleveland to defeat Golden State they have to put a body on Klay Thompson and Stephan Curry at the three point line. The Cavs also have to fight through the many screens and double screens set by Warrior center Andrew Bogut, forward Draymond Green, and forward Harrison Barnes to free guards Curry and Thompson.
The Cavs have to stay with their assigned man, keeping their man in front of them fighting through screen. The assignment is not letting their man go backdoor for a layup.
Cleveland’s secret weapon is starting center-forward Tristan Thompson the first round draft choice from the University of Texas in 2011. Thompson can score in bunches. He assists James in rebounds, hitting the backboards he is being called the Cavs double-double man with 36 this year. That is hard to do with teammate LeBron James rebounding too.

The Golden State Warriors had to tank, (lost games on purpose), to acquire first round draft picks in 2012. Sometimes this works and sometimes it does not, just ask the New York Knicks, Philadelphia Seventy Sixers, and Minnesota Timberwolves, they still stink. The Dubs got lucky this time and with the great 2012 and 2013 draft they have improved to championship status.
The Warriors got gold, drafting Stephen Curry in 2009 and Klay Thompson in 2011. In the 2012 draft, the Warriors solidified their young base with three more picks forward Harrison Barnes, center Festus Ezeli, and forward Draymond Green.
The secret or not so secret weapon is young gun forward Harrison Barnes from the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. The Cavs have to shut him down. Not letting Barnes receive the outlet passes on fast breaks. Barnes improved his shooting skills and helped Golden State to victory in the Houston Rocket series.
Veteran center Andre Igoudola, the elder statesmen of Blue and Gold was brought over from Philadelphia; Igoudola was the star in Philadelphia he had to share the spotlight in Oakland with David Lee. Andre has the calming effect on the floor when things get crazy and the kids are running around without direction.
Shaun Livingston was a first round pick for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2004 and played for the Brooklyn Nets last year, the Warriors picked him up because the scouts could see his defensive talent. They also picked him to spell Stephan Curry in the second and third quarters or when number 30 got in foul trouble.
Three point shoots have increased 55% in the NBA this year. This is the key to a Golden State victory because most of their offense revolves around shooting the trey. Cleveland uses the inside game more so Warrior small forwards Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes have to stay on the floor to guard James. Barnes, Iguodala and center-forward Marreese Speights have to push James beyond the three point line. David Lee will play more minutes and must play defense to help Draymond Green and Marreese Speights. David Lee was a star player in the New York Knick organization. Lee had to modify his game to the Golden State defensive team style unlike the New York shoot from the hip style. It’s still a work in progress. Forward-center Marreese Speights from the University of Florida was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2008. He came west from the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013 after a year.
The Dubs have a daunting task to double the LeBron James pass recipients and stop the Cavs offense. This will be very difficult because James has improved his passing skills in Miami.
The Golden State Warrior guards must be aware of where Cleveland guard Matthew Dellavedova is on the floor because of his rough play and reputation. In other words he is a dirty player.
The Golden State Warriors made the steal of the century hiring Jerry West to the executive board and could be the silent brain behind this climbing organization.
West, 76, had recently told associates … that he was thinking about retiring for good, especially after the chaos of the Warriors’ 51-win season and subsequent firing of Coach Mark Jackson.
Mr. West did not agree with management but it all worked out with new Head Coach Steve Kerr. The NBA “Logo”, will be staying with the Golden State organization at least until the end of 2016.
This series present the different styles of basketball and the “Curse of Chief Wahoo”, is still looming in the wings.
WARRIORS WIN IN SEVEN GAMES
Notes:-
wikipedia.com
http://www.businessinsider.com
http://www.blackathlete.net
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com
Garynorrisgray@Wordpress.com
©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

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A TYPHOON BREWING WEST

A TYPHOON BREWING WEST
Gary Norris Gray- BASN Staff Reporter
The last time the Bay Area had a National Basketball Association (NBA) Championship this writer was a freshman studying hard to become a sophomore at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, it was the spring of 1975. They had a very colorful team with abundance of talent. Players like Center Nate Thurman, Jeff Mullins, Jamaal Wilkes, Phil Smith, and Rick Barry.
In the summer of 2015 it could be happening all over again with another group of talented basketball players like Center Andrew Bogut, Guard-Stephen Curry, Guard Klay Thompson, guard-forward Andre Iguodala and forward Harrison Barnes . It’s fun to watch this wide open basketball style similar to the Golden State Warriors of 1975.
HISTORY
The Warriors were created in 1946 in the City of Brotherly Love Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Warriors became a charter member of the Basketball Association of America with their first owner Peter Tyrrell. The BAA became the National Basketball Association in 1950. Philadelphia Warriors 1961-1962 15
The Philadelphia Warriors drew instant fame by winning the league’s first championship with Joe Falks their leading scorer. They won the Western Title the following year and lost to the Baltimore Bullets 4 games to 2.
Nine years later the Philadelphia Warriors beat the Fort Wayne Pistons four games to one to win their first NBA Title and 2nd professional basketball title. It would be the last one for another nineteen years and a west coast home.
The Warriors abandoned the basketball dribbling and smiling Native American mascot and logo for a more majestic and serious Native American Indian head in 1962. The San Francisco team placed the new Indian head logo on their warm-ups over their hearts. It was as if the team was honoring the Native American population.
This team moved from the east coast to the west coast and had their ups and downs. They had fights with players like Rick Barry over contracts, had fights with coaches over their playing styles, Don Nelson (twice), Mark Jackson, and just had fights in practice with Latrell Sprewell choking the head coach P.J. Carlesimo.
The Warriors played in Oakland and San Jose until the new Oakland Alameda County Coliseum opened outside of center city, Oakland, California. This team would be the only team to play in three cities in one year, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose. Thus the name Golden State.
It seems like this team always came in second place and struggled in Northern California. They loss two more championships but continue to make NBA history. Wilt Chamberlin still holds the scoring record with 100 points. It was ironic that the second leading Warrior scorer was Alvin Attles with 17 points. Both will be linked to NBA history.
This team had 7 different logos 3 mascots, 14 uniforms, 9 owners and 22 head coaches. The San Francisco-Golden State Warriors were the only team in the league with white tennis shoes. That convinced me to be one of their fans.
OWNERSHIP
This team had only one owner until Mr. Franklin Mieuli stepped down. In 1962 The San Francisco-Golden State Warriors moved to the Cow Palace in Daly City, South San Francisco playing there 10 years. They acquired a new flamboyant owner, Mieuli from 1962 until 1986. Mieuli wore his famous brown private investigator hat tried to get the best players on the floor enabled the team to entered the playoffs multiple times.
The Golden State Warriors went into free fall after the Mieuli ownership. Jim Fitzgerald was chairman of the Milwaukee Bucks until 1985, when the team was sold to Herb Kohl, a former U.S. Senator. In 1986, Fitzgerald and Dan Finnane, also been involved with the Bucks, took over the Golden State Warriors, which they owned through 1995. At the time he owned each of these teams, Fitzgerald had only a “handshake agreement” with Don Nelson, head coach of both teams in turn, not a contract, an arrangement which reflected the friendship and trust between them. In an era of lawsuits and countersuits, this “contract” was unique in professional sports.
Co-owner Christopher Cohan tried to destroy this historic franchise with confusing trades and strange hiring’s. He finally sold the team in July 2010. The Bay Area almost lost this team twice under the leadership of Cohan.
In May 2009, an unnamed editorial writer in Sports Illustrated listed the top ten best and worst owners of basketball teams in his opinion, ranking Cohan as 4th worst. He criticized Cohan for sticking with Coach Nelson as part of the Warriors’ generally poor performance apart from their 2007 playoff first-round upset of the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks. He pointed out that Golden State was repeatedly rebuilding without much success.
Head coach and General Manager Don Nelson thought he was the star of the show. Nelson thought he was the attraction that fans came to see not the players. It all came to a head in 1995 when Rookie of the Year, Center Chris Webber and forward Letrell Sprewell could not see eye to eye with head Coach Nelson. All three individuals would all leave Oakland that following season.
Don Nelson would return to Oakland in 2007-2010 with the goal of getting the record for most coaching wins (1,335) in the NBA passing the great Lenny Wilkins of the Seattle SuperSonics. Nelson also has the dubious record for the NBA most coaching losses 1,063, which nobody talks about that.

The Warriors are basketball’s Cleveland Indians with Larry Doby. Golden State had the 2nd African American coach from a (HBCU) Historically Black College and University, North Carolina A & T University, Alvin Attles. Attles became the 2nd African American coach to win NBA Title in 1975. Al Attles moved up after two years of coaching to become the General Manager and the longest tendered employee in the NBA. It will be 55 years this summer. Attles had his Aggie number 22 retired in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The first African American coach and NBA Champion was Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics in 1962. Lenny Wilkins became the third Black coach to win with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979.
The Warriors won Western Conference titles multiple years but could not win the NBA title. They lost to the Boston Celtics for the championship in 1964 with the rookie Nate Thurman. Golden State used the first version of the twin towers offense with Wilt Chamberlin and Nate Thurman.
The Philadelphia Seventy Sixers and The Warriors played a six game series in 1967. That big tall center and ex-teammate would haunt them after the trade to Philadelphia. Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlin and the Sixers won the NBA Title in 1967. The future still looked bright for the Warriors with a young skinny shooting forward-guard named Rick Barry from Elizabeth, New Jersey and a University of Miami graduate. It would not last long as the growing feud between management and Barry continued. Mr. Barry bolted to the new American Basketball Association, Oakland Oaks.
This was the first NBA team to be named after a state. The Organization wanted to move away from the Indian head logo and did so in 1971. The team also dropped the famous trolley cars on the back of their uniforms that same year and added the state of California on the front like Major League Baseball’s California Angels.

Today they wear the new Bay Bridge span on the front of their jersey with multi colored uniforms that remind fans of the old Philadelphia Warriors. In 2008 Golden State dropped the Thunder logo adopted in 1997. The Warriors had to leave the Thunder mascot behind because the Seattle SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City to become The Thunder. Golden State gave up their copyrights to that name and logo without a fight.
Today the Golden State Warriors have a new team, a new Arena a new logo in 2015, a new vision. This started five years ago when the Warrior management hired Mark Jackson as head coach. Jackson never was a head coach so it was a work in progress. Jackson put on the hat and improved this franchise. Jackson taught this team how to play New York Knick style defense and it worked.
YOU WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS THROUGH DEFENSE.
The building blocks were being put in place in 2011. Jackson learned this tough defense from his Eastern Conference Championship days in New York and Indiana. The Warriors went to the playoffs in back to back years that had not happened since 1994-95.
When Jackson took the helm in 2011, the franchise had made the playoffs only one time over the prior 17 seasons, averaging only 30.2 wins per year during that period. Jackson, 49, became just the third head coach in franchise history to lead a team to at least 50 wins in a season, joining Don Nelson and Alvin Attles, who both hit the mark twice with the Warriors. With 121 wins overall, Jackson ranks fourth on the franchise’s all-time wins list, trailing Attles (557), Nelson (422) and Eddie Gottlieb (263)
Jackson still does not get the credit for turning this losing battleship around, for getting the players to believe in themselves and that they could win with hard work. Jackson created a winning culture in Oracle Arena.
The new Splash Brothers were born. With guard/forward, Klay Thompson and guard Stephen Curry finally rewarding the loyal Warrior fan following with victories, and playoff wins.
Jackson could not get this young team pass the second round and those pesky robotic San Antonio Spurs. The Golden State management wanted a title now. Many thought Jackson was not the man because of his inexperience as head coach and his stubbornness to stay with old offensive plays. Those same individuals stated he won because of the talent on the floor. It cost him his job. Jackson did what most young African American coaches had done in the past, resurrect and fix a flawed franchise.
Jackson’s undoing was his rift with two assist coaches which continued to grow until Brian Scalabrine resigned and Darren Erman firing for the differences of philosophies.
On May 6 The Warrior management relieved Jackson of his coaching duties. Many players were not happy with this decision because Jackson was a player’s coach and a man they could talk to about problems on and off the floor. Others believed that he was let go because of his spiritual life and unwillingness to give up his religious doctrine. Others stated the rift happened because of the open gay/lesbian policies of the new Warrior organization.
The Warriors moved swiftly to replace Jackson with the stroke of genius hiring Steve Kerr. Kerr who played point guard for the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs. Mr. Kerr turned down the New York Knick offer a few weeks earlier and walked into a gold mine of talent in Oakland. He could work with Oakland’s superstar shooting guards Stephen Curry and Kay Thompson.
This team went 42-7 in 2015 before the All Star Game, the best record in the NBA. Bay Area fans are now having open discussions about a Golden State Warrior NBA Championship.

Stephen Curry hit four triple doubles this year a record for the Warriors franchise and the season is not over yet with just under twenty games left. With Marc Jackson’s New York Knick defense and Steve Kerr’s San Antonio Spur offensive they are good to go. The Golden State Warriors currently play a spread offense which put pressure on the other team’s defense. The Warriors are always cutting toward the basket, with players throwing the ball back out over the three point line for easy jump shots, this is the way the Warrior offense works. It is fun to watch.
This team has shutdown the high scoring Portland Trailblazers, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Los Angeles Clippers with their clamp-down defense. This is also fun to watch.
NOW TO GET THAT FOURTH CHAMPIONSHIP.
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com
Garynorrisgray@Wordpress.com
©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

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