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Warriors’ owners want better in-arena experience


I can hear the Warriors fans now: “What would really improve the Golden State in-arena experience is a better team on the court.”

The Warriors new owners get that. It reamins to be seen if they’ll be able to change the fortunes of the franchise — they did hire Jerry West, it’s a start —  but they get that the team needs to improve.

Still, go to a Mavericks game and you get more than just good basketball — it’s a show. Music, dancers, pyrotechnics, anything and everything to make basketball just the center stage of a night of entertainment.

The Warriors want to bring that to the Bay Area, co-owner Peter Guber told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“You’re putting on a performance every day,” Guber said. “Doing it exactly the same in another market, wouldn’t work, but the secret sauce anywhere is being interested in the audience, not just be interesting to the audience…”

He wants to add more health-food options, find better ways to entertain the 1,500 or so fans who show up 1 1/2 hours before tip-off, and polish every crevice of Oracle Arena.

“We need constant and never-ending improvement,” Guber said. “I mean, we’ve got no (spot)light at center court. That’s simple drama. … Our music sometimes sounds like it was chosen by a passing truck. No detail is small, but we can’t fix every detail all at once. I ain’t the master of the universe, but I’ll take my shot.”

We can try to poke holes in this — like the fact the Warriors owners have little control over the parking lots and arena staff — but that misses the point.

These owners care. They care about winning and about the fan experience. That alone is a big upgrade in the Bay Area. It should buy them a honeymoon period with the fans while they try to build a winning team on the court.

Report: Some Hawks executives doubt Danny Ferry’s contrition

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Since his racist comments about Luol Deng, Danny Ferry has mostly avoided the public eye.

He apologized through a couple statements released around the beginning of his leave of absence. He met with black community leaders. He claimed “full responsibility.”

A cadre of NBA people vouched for him. A law firm the Hawks hired to investigate themselves essentially cleared of him of being motivated by racial bias.

But there’s another side.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Ferry’s efforts at contrition sometimes fell short to some inside the organization. Several Hawks executives were at times put off by Ferry’s behavior during a compulsory two-day sensitive training session, especially since they considered his actions triggered the assembly in the first place. He came across as inattentive and dismissive of the exercise, some said, and fiddled with his phone quite a bit. Ferry contends he was taking notes on the meeting.

“It was awkward for everyone because I had not seen or been around Hawks employees for three months,” Ferry told ESPN this summer about the sensitivity training. “I took the seminar seriously, participated in the role-play exercises and certainly learned from the two-day session.”

the Hawks satisfied Ferry on June 22 by releasing both the written Taylor report and a flowery press release in which Hawks CEO Koonin was quoted saying, among other things, that “Danny Ferry is not a racist.” Some Hawks executives grumbled that the team overreached in exonerating Ferry, but doing so — not to mention paying Ferry significantly more than the $9 million he was owed on his “golden ticket” deal — was the cost of moving on.

I don’t know whether Ferry has shown the proper level of contrition, whether he was playing on his phone or taking notes.

But I know what he said:

“He’s a good guy overall, but he’s got some African in him, and I don’t say that in a bad way other than he’s a guy that may be making side deals behind you, if that makes sense. He has a storefront out front that’s beautiful and great, but he may be selling some counterfeit stuff behind you.”

He was not reading directly from a scouting report. He did not stop when his paraphrasing repeated a racist trope.

That’s a problem.

I don’t think Ferry intended to say something racist – but he did.

It’s a fixable issue, though. Through introspection and a desire to change, he can learn from this mistake. Maybe he already has.

That some around him don’t think he took that process seriously is worth noting. They might be off base, and Ferry obviously disagrees with their perception. But this is a two-sided story despite the common narrative focusing on Ferry’s redemption.

It’ll be up to any potential future employers to sort through the discrepancies.

Gilbert Arenas: Caron Butler’s version of gun incident ‘false’

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Caron Butler recently detailed the Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittenton gun incident.

In a since-deleted – but screenshot-captured – Instagram post, Arenas gives his description:

The biggest differences between Butler’s and Arenas’ versions:

1. Arenas claims he wasn’t the one who owed Crittenton money, that the feud escalated over Arenas prematurely showing his hand during a card game.

2. Arenas says he told Crittenton to pick a gun to shoot Arenas with – not to pick a gun he’d get shot by Arenas with.