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Pre-season Hijinks, Episode 2: The View from Oakland

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[Editor's note:  Sorry for not having any actual post game coverage of this one.  Honestly, I watched it so late, and it was so boring and sloppy, that I continued my time honored tradition of falling asleep while watching games in the Forum.  I figure since most of the players took the night off anyways, I could too.  Luckily, we have Timbo to put everything in perspective.]

The rumors began to percolate around 10 pm last night. There had been a pre-season NBA game featuring the Los Angeles Lakers, it was whispered. And more, unbelievable things: the Oakland Warriors had played Kobe's Krew, the same team that had just beaten the living hell out of them, and had......won this time!!! There were vague, second-hand reports of lights seen in the Los Angeles Forum, of Laker players having worn polyester short-shorts, of the entire team playing 48 sweaty minutes bedecked in gay-friendly 1978-vintage paste-on mustaches...

No one could attest to having seen any of these things first hand, mind you — but the theories and musings spread like a drunken fratboy bonfire pumped up by the Santa Anas. Something both strange and ugly had taken place, unseen by anyone... The Lakers had been involved and it had not ended well for them...

I attempted to find someone to set me straight. C.A. Clark couldn't help, I knew, Friday night being his regularly scheduled date night with his wife (my date night with her is Tuesday). Others claimed to have been preoccupied with an archaic Central American sport known as beísbol, watching the televised exploits of a team known rather redundantly as los Ángeles de Los Ángeles. Still others had no coherent recollection of anything whatsoever that took place after the 11th beer...

It was frustrating.

A quick visit to SS&R for possible corroboration of a LAL loss to the Warriors at the Forum in a game played by the Lakers while wearing polyester short-shorts and paste-on mustaches proved ambiguous. There was indeed a Game Day Open Thread, true, but it had received only 30 posts. Had an NBA pre-season game really happened if no one actually saw it? If a tree falls in the forest with no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Sick of having wasted so much time without any substantial result, around 1 am I decided to go straight to The Boss for the final word on the rumored bizarre NBA contest with the utterly unexpected outcome... I whipped out my cell and speed-dialed David Stern. I almost immediately regretted this course of action on three levels: 1. The Commish lives three time zones east and I had awakened him; 2. I was still under a restraining order from the (infamous) "Moon You 2002" incident; 3. New Yorkers can be quite rude at 4 in the morning.

As a last resort, I hit the internets. Finally, results! Yep, there had been a Laker game at the Forum and the Warriors seem to have beaten them, all right. No firm info yet on the polyester short-shorts and the trendy fake mustaches, I'll get back to you on that if I learn more.

(Click through for some Very Happy Journalism written by the long suffering Warriors Faithful...)

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(1)

Exhibition #3: Ws vs. Lakers

by Marcus Thompson, Inside the Warriors blog

It is kind of weird being at the Forum. This iconic place, that I used to watch so much on TV, with all its glitz and glamor and history, is a straight-up dump! It's like running into that girl you used to have a crush on in high school, then you see her later and she's ... not the girl you remember from high school.

They had the limos dropping off big-timers in front of the Forum Club. They brought back Jeffrey Osborne to do the National Anthem. The crowd was electric, from start to finish. Derek Fisher made a pre-game speech about coming "home again" that started a small frenzy.

Other than that, it was kind of sad. Sorry, my nostalgia gene isn't as strong as most sports fans. It did seem to be a good reunion for those who frequented the place. The Forum Club was off the hook after the game. * * *

Still, I wasn't as mad as Stephen Jackson, who was so peeved that he was relieved from action. Jackson was in a heated match-up with Kobe in the first quarter. They were yapping, playing hard, etc. Jackson picked up four fouls in fewer than eight minutes, which led to him popping off at the mouth and getting a T. Moments later, he picked up foul number five.

He checked out of the game. Next thing you know, he was gone from the bench. He never returned. I was told Nellie gave him the rest of the game off because he was frustrated and emotional.

So when I got Nellie after the game, I expected him to downplay it. I expected him to say he wanted to give his guy a break. It was no big deal. He wanted to play the youngsters anyway.

NELLIE: "I'm not going to comment on that."

Red flag. * * *

 

(2)

Stephen Jackson and the Cleveland Rumors: Not so fast (but check back later)

by Tim Kawakami, San Jose Mercury News Talking Points blog

* * *
Big nod to colleague Marcus Thompson II for getting the conversation started this morning: Are the Warriors talking with Cleveland about a Stephen Jackson-Zydrunas Ilgauskas deal?

That's where SJax wants to go. That'd be a deal Rowell-Cohan-Nelson-Riley would want — Ilgauskas' $11.5M contract expires next summer, which means the W's could trade him again or just let the money go away at the end of the season.

Since the MT-2 item, reports out of Cleveland and elsewhere have indicated the sensible: There's little chance the Cavaliers would do a deal like this.

The reasons:

  • Jackson's remaining four years and $36M is just too much to take for a team that needs to be flexible for the LeBron James summer sweepstakes;
  • Jackson's 31 and not exactly a long-term star — the worst thing Cleveland could do is add on terrible veteran deals now, then watch LeBron leave this summer and then they're dead stuck with bad money for no apparent reason;
  • The Cavs need big bodies to match against Orlando in the playoffs, which means Ilgauskas is vaulable insurance for a potential Shaquille O'Neal injury or flameout;
  • lgauskas is a valued veteran and a nice expiring contract, and if they're going to trade him, the Cavs would want a difference-maker, and that's not SJax at this point. * * *

 

(3)

Hoops 1, 2, 3: Stephen Jackson leaves early, San Jose tries for the NBA, some Durant stat stuff

by Tim Kawakami, San Jose Mercury News Talking Points blog

* * *
SJax is unhappy. He has a way of making his unhappiness known. Eventually, the Warriors will have to trade him, and that will take a lot of finesse and trade wisdom. Or somebody will have to calm him down.

This situation would be a tough one to handle even for a top-notch GM-ownership group. I would not say that's what the Warriors have right now. * * *

 

(4)

Ellis' 24 points ruins Lakers return to the Forum

Associated Press (the SF Chronicle is running wire service reports!?!? Yikes!)

Monta Ellis scored 24 points and the Golden State Warriors ruined the Los Angeles Lakers return to the "Fabulous" Forum with a 110-91 preseason victory Friday night.

Kelenna Azubuike and Anthony Randolph both added 18 points and Andris Biedrins had 12 rebounds as the Warriors grabbed an early lead and never relinquished it.

Andrew Bynum lead Los Angeles with 19 points and six rebounds while Kobe Bryant had 15 points on 5-for-11 shooting as the Lakers lost at the site of some of the franchise's greatest victories. * * *

 

(5)

Stephen "Captain Technical" Jackson — 2 technical fouls in 3 PRESEASON games?

by Atma Brother ONE, Golden State of Mind (SBN)

Lost in the Warriors' big win last night against the much maligned LA Lakers was Stephen Jackson's 5 fouls in 9 minutes and his 2 technical fouls in 3 preseason games. I know there's replacement refs, but seriously — who gets 3 technical fouls in the PRESEASON?

Let's just say last night wasn't exactly one of Jack's finer moments as a Golden State Warrior. * * *

It's abundantly clear that around the league most people in the know realize that:

  • Stephen Jackson is not as good as he thinks he is.
  • Jackson is not worth the contract extension Robert Rowell gave him.
  • Nellieball and the overall lack of talent on the Warriors roster has seriously inflated Jackson's stat line last season — Antoine Walker towards the end of his first stint with the Boston Celtics comes to mind.

This could be a very toxic situation. The Warriors are going to lose a lot and lose via lot of dumb ways this season. That's just the nature of a young team without any proven superstars or even All-Stars. I wouldn't be too surprised if at some point during the season the Rowell, Jackson (hey he shouldn't have signed up for the suck if it was going to drive him this crazy) and company admit their mistake and negotiate a contract buy out. * * *

 

(6)

Corruption

posted by Oliver McCall to Golden State Warriors.com message board

Good to blow out the corn flakers. Good to see the refs had Kobe with 5 fouls in the 3rd. The others refs only call 1 foul on kobe every 2 games. 1 thing I think the other refs are corrupt and these refs are not able to be corrupted in such a short period of time.

 

(7)

Win One, Lose One

posted by ZShook to Golden State Warriors.com message board

I know its pre season, but I have a feeling or season is going to look alot like this. win one loose one.

 

The Bottom Line:

1. Lakers game? Stephen Jackson.

2. Beat the Lakers?!? Meh. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson.

3. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson....