From the moment Golden State owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber stood on a pier overlooking San Francisco Bay and spoke dreamingly of an arena on a pier, there were skeptics. And opponents. Coastal development in California is brutal — the city and state both get a say, and in this case the location brought in both the Army Corps of Engineers and the port with rustication. And that’s not to mention lawsuits blocking the plan from environmental groups and nearby homeowners. It wasn’t impossible to get it done, but it’s a decade of approvals alone and that’s a heck of a fight. Plus a lot of lawyer fees.
The Warriors have abandoned that plan and announced they have purchased 12 acres in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, where the team intends to build a new state-of-the-art arena. They purchased the land from salesforce.com at an undisclosed price.
Any major development has hurdles and this new plan is no different, but there are far fewer now in the way. The plan is to have this new arena open for the 2018-19 season, Lacob told CSNBayArea.com.
“We believe Mission Bay is a perfect fit,” Lacob said in a released statement. “It is a wonderful inland site in a dynamic part of the City that is convenient for fans from all over the Bay Area. We are buying private property, but the city will also get a new 5 ½ – acre waterfront park. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
The Mission Bay district is one of the fast growing areas of the city, one with good mass transit and freeway access. Plus it’s not in the most congested, already-clogged parts of the city.
There will still be opposition. There will still be outcries and a fight from Oakland which will want to keep the team.
However Lacob and Guber have said since Day 1 they want to move the team into San Francisco (and win a lot of games, they are some of the most hands-on owners in the NBA, for better and worse). Now the pair have a much cleaner path to that dream.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.