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Warriors-Spurs: not the same, but still compelling

Sun, 11 Feb 2018 00:50:00 UT

The pregame mood wasn’t quite the same, not when you remember the classic Warriors-San Antonio battles of the past. The Warriors haven’t been overwhelmingly dominant, but they still held a half-game lead over Houston for the NBA’s best record entering Saturday night’s game. And they were 71/2 games ahead of the Spurs, who haven’t received much mention among the league’s most prepared teams for the postseason. Still, it’s the Spurs. It’s Gregg Popovich against Steve Kerr. It’s the confluence of two time-tested, cohesive offensive systems, all about precise ball movement and the spirit of unselfishness.



Warriors relax as the Cavaliers go nuts

Fri, 9 Feb 2018 01:33:35 UT

It always seems to come down to the Warriors and Cleveland when people look ahead to the NBA playoffs, and there was a striking contrast between the general managers on Thursday as the trading deadline came and went. Bob Myers, having done nothing at all, confidently changed into some basketball attire and played a little 3-on-3 at the Warriors’ practice facility. Koby Altman, who runs the Cavaliers, unloaded players like a club bouncer tossing intruders into the street. Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Dwayne Wade, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, Derrick Rose — they’re all gone, with the arrival of Rodney Hood, George Hill, Larry Nance Jr.



Klay, Draymond: All-Star justice is served

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 01:27:02 UT

Making the NBA All-Star team can be the purest form of validation for the league’s top players. That certainly applied to the Warriors on Tuesday when the reserves were announced for each conference. The addition of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to the Western Conference roster, joining starters Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, gave Golden State four representatives — exactly how it should be. Green has often said he’s not having his best season. His shoulder ailment has been an issue, his shot hasn’t always been there, and he doesn’t feel he’s playing the same brand of defense he unleashed last year.



Weather changes push back Mavericks surf contest

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 01:12:24 UT

Surfing contests rely on the combination of waves and weather, and the Mavericks event is getting only partial cooperation. With contrary conditions in the forecast, the Mavericks Challenge has been called off for Tuesday, with no specific plans for the immediate future. Throughout the past week, there was excitement over a west-northwest swell that would bring the largest Mavericks surf of the season. That is now a matter of conjecture, and the once-promising weather forecasts have changed. “We are specifically concerned about the south-southwest winds that are projected to come in on Tuesday morning,” said World Surf League Commissioner Mike Parsons.



Mavericks surf event targeted for Monday

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 04:31:12 UT

Organizers of the Mavericks big-wave surf contest have alerted all competitors to the possibility of running the event as soon as Monday. A significant swell is expected to hit the Northern California coast, and the World Surf League is due to make an announcement Friday morning after checking the latest surf and weather forecasts. “It’s looking really solid,” said Brian Overfelt, who owns the Old Princeton Landing, long a hangout for Mavericks surfers, and serves as the contest’s event manager for community interests. “They’re leaving it open, in case Tuesday looks better or the swell diminishes. But they’re telling everybody to be ready to go on Monday..



New leader in Idiot Parent of the Decade

Tue, 9 Jan 2018 02:34:14 UT

You really have to marvel at the man’s stupidity. I had joined the expansive cast of sportswriters determined never to quote LaVar Ball again, but he created such an NBA firestorm with his latest remarks, they can’t go unnoticed. In case you missed it, Ball is in Lithuania, where he brought two of his sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, to play professionally. He’s been tracked by ESPN, and in a recent interview, Ball declared that coach Luke Walton has lost control for the Lakers, for whom Lonzo Ball is the rookie point guard, and that “they don’t want to play for him.” Here’s what can come of this, from a positive standpoint: nothing.




Mavericks surf contest gets the go-ahead

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 03:28:48 UT

After months of dealing with a complicated permit process, the World Surf League has cleared its final hurdle and will stage the Mavericks big-wave surfing contest within a waiting period running from Jan. 3 through Feb. 28. Once known as the Titans of Mavericks, the event off the coast of Half Moon Bay now will be called the Mavericks Challenge. In purchasing rights to the event from Cartel Co., a Southern California-based company that filed for bankruptcy, the WSL needed approval from the California Coastal Commission after securing all of the other requisite permits.



Bob Wilhelm dies, was last surviving member of Cal’s 1938 Rose Bowl team

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 04:26:36 UT

Bob Wilhelm, who was the last surviving member of Cal’s 1938 Rose Bowl-winning team, has died, family members said Tuesday. He was 100. “Unfortunately, my dad contracted pneumonia shortly after the weekend of his birthday” Nov. 11, said Mr. Wilhelm’s son, Jim. “He has fought through several bouts of it over the past five years. We will miss him a great deal, but we know Mom and he are with us.” Mr. Wilhelm’s wife, Doris, died in 2012. They had been married 72 years. Mr. Wilhelm continued to live in the senior-living apartment they had shared in San Rafael. A native of St. Paul, Minn., Mr.



Now it’s Cal, UCLA chasing the same goal

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 07:03:39 UT

The Bears were hoping it wouldn’t come to this. A Big Game victory would have secured a bowl-game berth, marking coach Justin Wilcox’s first season as an unqualified success and sending all the bragging rights toward the Berkeley campus. That goal remains within reach, but after a 17-14 loss at Stanford in the Big Game on Saturday, the 5-6 Bears have to get that sixth win at UCLA next Friday night. It doesn’t hurt Cal’s cause that the Bruins’ program is in tatters just now, with no guarantee that coach Jim Mora can hold his job.



Stand-up paddlers endure “crazy” SF conditions

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 00:16:52 UT

In conditions that had spectators shaking their heads in amazement, if not outright fear for the competitors, Denmark’s Casper Steinfath won the Red Bull Heavy Water event for stand-up paddle surfers Friday at Ocean Beach. As Steinfath said afterward, “It didn’t really feel like a race. It was more like survival.” The competitors were greeted by icy waters, a chilly west wind and relentless waves approaching 15-20 feet on the face. The notion of paddling out beyond the breakers on 12-foot, six-inch boards seemed inconceivable, and the riders were asked to do that twice before heading out to sea, negotiating the heavy currents of Land’s End, coming underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and finishing at the St.



Warriors’ defeat more weird than crushing

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:50:58 UT

When you’ve won two championships in three seasons, facing the reality of another long season, perhaps it’s appropriate to take the long view. That appeared to be head coach Steve Kerr’s plan Tuesday night as an apparently certain victory turned to dust in a season-opening 122-121 loss to the Houston Rockets. It was one thing to watch Nick Young get 26 minutes of playing time. The Warriors needed to see him in a real game, and he did not disappoint with a sensational, 23-point effort. But Kerr’s thirst for experimentation ran well down the roster, and in that sense, it wasn’t a true heart-breaker. It was just a bit strange to witness.



NBA Eastern Conference Preview

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 03:51:09 UT

ATLANTA Coach: Mike Budenholzer 2016-17: 43-39, fifth in the East, lost to Washington in first round. Outlook: Travis Schlenk left the Warriors to become the Hawks’ GM, right at the start of a rebuilding process. Check the Hawks’ roster three years ago and marvel at the downturn. ... Point guard Dennis Schroder is now the team’s best player, and that’s not good, but Kent Bazemore, a former Warriors swingman, will get plenty of looks at shooting guard. ... John Collins, the intriguing No. 1 draft pick from Wake Forest, backs up power forward Ersan Ilyasova.



Cal’s shocking upset of WSU ranks with its finest

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 01:40:38 UT

When a .500 team knocks off a national powerhouse in college football, it’s usually a down-to-the-wire thriller that could have gone either way. Such was the case Friday when Syracuse upset second-ranked Clemson 27-24. For those lucky enough to attend the Washington State-Cal game that same night in Berkeley, the residue still seems unfathomable. Bears 37, Cougars 3? How is that even possible against an eighth-ranked, unbeaten team? When a Pac-12 school hasn’t been to the Rose Bowl since the 1958 season, it rightly can call this one of its greatest wins. And it was no accident.



To the rescue in fire country: a big-wave surfer

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 02:30:48 UT

Hall of Fame hockey goalie Grant Fuhr and his wife were among those fleeing the Wine Country fires in the wee hours Monday morning, and as an increasingly chaotic scene unfolded, they realized they were stuck — without a ride to San Francisco, where they were scheduled to catch a flight later in the day. They made it, thanks to one of the many great Bay Area athletes in Santa Rosa for Ronnie Lott’s charity event and golf tournament. That man, it came to light Tuesday, was legendary Mavericks big-wave surfer Jeff Clark of Half Moon Bay. Clark, a regular at the annual event, had been seated with the Fuhrs at the evening dinner. He was asleep at the Vintners Inn around 2 a.m.



A’s Bob Melvin makes the smart call with his extension

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 02:07:44 UT

A’s manager Bob Melvin signed an extension Thursday, expanding his contract through the 2019 season, and that sounds about right. He loves the organization and its players, but he has seen too much over the years to commit himself long-term. These are pretty good times for the A’s. They’ve settled on a ballpark site, although there’s a long list of complications that could skewer the deal. They have a sterling assemblage of young players with a future, including Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Ryon Healy, Franklin Barreto and Chad Pinder. And Melvin, typically doing the best with what he has, is regarded near the top on any list of the best managers in the game. Behind the scenes, Melvin has known frustration.