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Warriors’ bad loss to Clippers shows need for Splash Brothers

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 06:56:18 UT

We don’t get enough gossip, rumor and intrigue from the NBA, so maybe Stephen Curry’s mystery ankle sprain Wednesday will give us something to chew on. Curry reportedly rolled his right ankle during his normal individual shooting Wednesday morning at team shootaround. Seems odd. Maybe that ankle, sprained early in December, causing Curry to miss 11 games, is still not 100 percent. Still, Curry’s shot routine seems like a zero-risk exercise. So either that ankle is super janky, in which case the Warriors should be more worried than they seem to be, or we’re not getting the whole story. Unnecessarily deep thinking? Probably.




Kneel-downs could hurt 49ers’ Eric Reid as a free agent

Mon, 1 Jan 2018 05:41:41 UT

LOS ANGELES — Eric Reid would figure to be heading for a big contract as a free-agent safety who has youth (age 26), experience (five NFL seasons) and a sterling rep. But the 49ers’ safety has a knee problem that could limit his NFL future, possibly even render him unemployable. Reid takes a knee for the national anthem. He joined then-teammate Colin Kaepernick in the kneel-down protest against social injustice right after Kaepernick started doing it early last season.



49ers kicker Robbie Gould hits personal bests in ‘favorite season’

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 07:22:10 UT

How can a kicker on a team going nowhere be so dialed in and excited? It’s almost as if Robbie Gould has 49er Fever, as if he sees himself as part of something new and exciting. Sunday, Gould kicked field goals of 38, 48, 28, 50, 48 and 45 yards, the final boot drilling through the south uprights at Levi’s Stadium as the game clock hit 0:00 in the 49ers’ 25-23 win over the Titans. That’s some impressive distance. Gould is the Giancarlo Stanton of field-goal kickers. Gould said that as he trotted onto the field for that last kick, and lined it up, he didn’t know how long it was. He’s so locked in, it doesn’t seem to matter.



The Chiefs’ Alex Smith outmatches Raiders despite a less-than-spectacular day

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 03:44:02 UT

KANSAS CITY, Mo — Final score: Boring Game Manager 26, Gnarly Swashbucklers 15. Yes, Alex Smith beat the Raiders at Arrowhead again. The Raiders might never forgive the 49ers for kicking Smith out the door in favor of that new kid, Colin Kaepernick, back in 2013. On Sunday, Smith game-managed the Raiders into oblivion with a ho-hum, 20-for-34 day, 268 yards and a 71.7 passer rating, far below his season mark of 107.2, which is higher than he has ever finished for a season.



A’s, Laney College stadium site faced long odds from the start

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 02:50:29 UT

Trust me, A’s fans, you caught a big break Wednesday with the news that the team’s plans to build a ballpark at Laney College fell through. That plan had more snags and flaws than a $5 sweater. The Laney dream site was more like a nightmare, and now the A’s can pursue realistic options, which are pretty much limited to: •The Coliseum. •A parcel at Third and Oak streets, a site long ago discarded by Lew Wolff when he was John Fisher’s junior owner and ballpark point man.



49ers’ Marquise Goodwin plays after family tragedy

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 05:30:35 UT

Sunday was a wrenchingly sad day for 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. After Goodwin, whose teammates swear is the fastest man in the NFL, torched the Giants on an 83-yard pass from C.J. Beathard, giving the 49ers a 10-6 lead in the second quarter, Goodwin had a very emotional reaction on the sideline. He left the stadium quickly after the game. That 83-yard TD was the turning point in the game that busted the 49ers out of their 0-9 start, but it probably won’t be what Goodwin remembers about this day. Around 4 a.m. Sunday, Goodwin posted on Instagram that he and wife Morgan had lost their son at childbirth.



Magic Johnson still paving the way

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 22:00:00 UT

In 1983, an early-morning fire hit the Philadelphia hotel where the Los Angeles Lakers were staying. A few Lakers rushed into a hallway filled with thick smoke. The players and other frightened hotel guests followed Earvin “Magic” Johnson through the smoke to an exterior fire escape. They all climbed down several flights, but the steps ended three floors above the sidewalk. Someone had to step onto the movable ladder and ride it down. “Go ahead, Earvin, you can do it,” said Lakers teammate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Johnson stepped on and rode the ladder down to the sidewalk, and everyone followed. We could use leadership like that now. We’ve got it: Johnson.




Raiders’ quarterback controversy quickly laid to rest

Mon, 9 Oct 2017 05:12:06 UT

Hold the Raiders’ quarterback controversy. It died Sunday before it started. Derek Carr was ordinary-to-lousy in the Raiders’ previous two games before being injured. Cue backup EJ Manuel, who came to the Raiders after fading badly in Buffalo, where he’d been a first-round pick. Had Manuel sparkled and led the Raiders to a win Sunday, busting their mini-slump, it would have made for interesting discussions. Instead, the Raiders lost to the Ravens, and Manuel was overall not scintillating. He completed 13 of 26 passes for 159 yards and a passer rating of 82.1.



Raiders’ Amari Cooper likely an early target to help ‘get his confidence rolling’

Wed, 4 Oct 2017 23:40:53 UT

Don’t tell the Baltimore Ravens and their head coach John Harbaugh, but there’s a good chance the Raiders will be looking to throw the ball to Amari Cooper early in the game Sunday in Oakland. The Raiders’ dynamic wide receiver has suffered a string of dropped passes this season, and for the Raiders to get back on track, they’ll need to get Cooper into a grippy groove. Harbaugh, in a Wednesday morning conference call with Bay Area media, said of Cooper, “He’s a game wrecker.” The Raiders could use one of those.



Kicker Robbie Gould scores all of the 49ers’ points at Arizona

Mon, 2 Oct 2017 05:52:55 UT

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Having Robbie Gould be the most dangerous and productive member of the offense was never Plan A, but the 49ers gladly will take what he’s giving them as they wait for the offense to click. Gould scored all 15 of the 49ers’ points Sunday on field goals of 49, 39, 47, 48 and 23 yards. The 35-year-old is kicking better than ever in this, his 13th NFL season. His overtime field goal, which gave the 49ers a 15-12 lead, was Gould’s 28th consecutive make. He made his final seven kicks with the Bears in 2015, made all 10 with the Giants last season, and is 11-for-11 with the 49ers. Gould’s previous longest no-miss streak was 26, back in ’05 and ’06. Not that he’s counting.



Other Raiders can’t carry Marshawn Lynch’s dancin’ shoes

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 05:00:40 UT

The Raiders? A bunch of wallflowers. Invite ’em to the dance and the Raiders all stand there sipping punch, too shy to join the fun. When Marshawn Lynch broke into a wild dance on the sideline in the fourth quarter Sunday, shaking his dreads and his bootie, he danced alone. “I was actually inspired,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “I was going to join him.” At least three of Lynch’s teammates also said they thought about joining his dance. Talk is cheap. It’s a good bet, though, that all those wannabe dancers will get another chance to trip the light fantastic with Lynch.




Tom Flores, 80, back in Raiders’ radio booth

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 19:28:16 UT

Tom Flores, the Raiders’ 80-year-old radio color analyst, was back on the job Sunday after missing the season opener with injuries. Flores took a tumble Aug. 26 in Dallas, suffering a fractured vertebra, broken lose and a cut over one eye requiring six stitches. “I’m glad to be back in the booth and with the silver and black,” Flores said before Sunday’s home game against the Jets. “Things were getting pretty boring around the house (in Palm Desert),” Flores said with a smile, “and my wife decided it was time for me to go, so she drove me to the airport.” Scott Ostler is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: sostler@sfchronicle.



Giants’ Bruce Bochy draws out suspense on No. 5 starter

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 06:39:15 UT

Giants’ Bruce Bochy draws out suspense on No. 5 starter The Giants’ fifth starter? Not that this will be the decider, but Cain will be paid $20.8 million this season. Brandon Belt batted second Thursday against the A’s at AT&T Park. In seven games plugged into the two-hole last season, Belt’s on-base percentage was .500 (.394 for the whole season). General manager Bobby Evans took pains to explain why Jarrett Parker should not feel pressured as he opens the season as the left fielder. “The weight of our lineup will never be on whoever’s in left field, it’s really on the veteran guys,” Evans said. [...] baseman Jae-gyun Hwang will open the season at Triple-A Sacramento, playing left field and first base, to increase his versatility. Infielder Jimmy Rollins was informed that he did not make the roster. The Giants are waiting to hear from Rollins and his agent, though it appears unlikely the Alameda native will accept an assignment to the minors. Bochy said Nuñez’ injured right shoulder is fine, and he will play a few innings at short in this three-game Oakland series. Bochy’s oldest son Greg is in the San Francisco Fire Department academy, hoping to move up after beginning his firefighting career with the Woodside department.



San Jose sports panel: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jim Brown anchor star-studded social agenda

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 22:06:01 UT

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jim Brown anchor star-studded social agenda Former 49ers Anquan Boldin and Takeo Spikes, along with former Warrior Chris Webber, also were among the panelists, with discussion led by renowned sports psychologist Harry Edwards. 49ers’ CEO Jed York was a spectator, but donated to the creation of the Institute, and supported Kaepernick’s kneel-down national anthem protest this season. When Colin started a conversation, to me it’s not whether you agree with Colin’s words, his actions or anything else, it’s the underlying cause--why is he doing something and what can I do about it? Brown explained that he voted for Hillary Clinton, but if Trump is willing to entertain ideas for positive change in race relations, the football Hall of Famer is willing to serve as an aide and accessory to those efforts.




After loss, Raiders look toward future

Mon, 9 Jan 2017 04:39:04 UT

Quarterback Derek Carr said Sunday that he would have been ready to play in the Super Bowl had his team made it there. The reality is that the Raiders lost their wild-card playoff game Saturday in Houston, 27-14. The only healing the Raiders are concerned with now is to their collective soul. Carr, who suffered a broken leg on Christmas Eve and watched Saturday’s game at home with his family and with former Raiders teammate Rod Streater, dropped by the Raiders’ HQ and said his broken leg is healing ahead of schedule. Del Rio smiled at the notion of Carr returning to play five weeks after breaking a leg, seeming to chalk it up to Carr’s positive spirit. The Raiders’ second-year head coach said the team played some good defense but gave up too many big plays. “Explosive plays, whether you like it or not, they always come back to the secondary,” Del Rio said. Even if you have a front line that is full of holes, the (backfield) has a chance to cap the play before it goes explosive. In the back end, obviously balls go over the top of your head, missed tackles, missed assignments lead to long passes as well. Another goal is to identify and develop the backup quarterback. Cook, third string until Carr’s injury and Matt McGloin’s poor sub job in Denver, looks like next season’s backup to Carr, even after Saturday, when he was 18-for-45 and had a 30.0 passer rating. Whatever you do, just don’t lose confidence, because you can’t be in a harder situation than playing those guys for your very first’ NFL start. Guys obviously were down in the locker room after the game, but once we got on the bus, once we got on the plane, guys started to lighten up.