Archive for May 22nd, 2012

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that the Golden State Warriors plan to build a new sports and entertainment arena on the waterfront in San Francisco in time for the 2017-18 NBA season. The privately financed arena will be located at Piers 30-32 on San Francisco Bay, south of the Bay Bridge, between the Ferry Building and AT&T Park.

“We are working with the Warriors to get a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose arena built on the waterfront in San Francisco and completed in 2017,” said Lee. “The Warriors have been the Bay Area’s basketball team for 50 years, and today sets the stage for the Warriors to be the Bay Area’s team for another 50. This project will provide millions of dollars in new tax revenue for San Francisco over the long term for services local residents need, including public safety, parks, public transit, pothole repair, youth programs and senior services.”

“Building a world-class, state-of-the-art sports and entertainment facility will create thousands of new jobs for local residents,” said Warriors Co-Executive Chairman and CEO Joe Lacob. “We are pleased to be privately financing the arena – with no money from the City’s general fund and no new taxes – and look forward to providing an incredible entertainment experience for Bay Area fans.”

The new facility will host the Bay Area’s NBA basketball team, as well as provide a spectacular new venue for top-tier concerts, cultural events and conventions, prominent events the City currently cannot accommodate. The new arena will be located in an incredibly transit- and pedestrian-rich location, with a Muni Metro stop at its doorstep, and only a few blocks from Embarcadero Station and the new Transbay Transit Center.

“With convenient options for BART, Muni, CalTrain and ferry service, this will be one of the most transit-friendly facilities in the nation,” said Warriors Co-Executive Chairman Peter Guber. “We know that’s important for our fans and a real positive to this location.”

Under the agreement, the City will provide the land and the Warriors will pay to repair the crumbling piers, and privately finance the arena project. The cost of repairs is estimated at $75 to $100 million.

In addition to the creation of thousands of new jobs for Bay Area residents, the new arena will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new economic growth and activity for the City.

“Games, concerts, conventions and other events will bring people from all over the region, and the money they spend will directly benefit local businesses,” said San Francisco Travel President & CEO Joe D’Alessandro.

Warriors seek move back to San Francisco

The Golden State Warriors are jumping across the bay, with plans for a privately financed, $500 million waterfront arena that would allow the team to play its home games in San Francisco for the first time in more than four decades.

The NBA franchise would leave Oakland for a 17,000- to 19,000-seat arena that would be built on Piers 30-32 near the foot of the Bay Bridge, a short walk from downtown, and open in time for the 2017-18 season.

“It is going to happen - let there be no doubt,” Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob said Monday.

The arena would also host conventions and entertainment events such as concerts, Lacob said. Plans for the site also include 100,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space.

Although the actual design has yet to be worked up, team President and CEO Rick Welts said that “this will be an architecturally significant building, resting on an iconic site.”

– Reported by Phillip Matier of the San Francisco Chronicle

Knicks likely keeping coach Mike Woodson

coach mike woodson

The Knicks are expected to announce Mike Woodson’s new contract as coach sometime “this week,” according to a source familiar with the situation. Lawyers began hammering out details on the pact last week and are committed to getting it done before Memorial Day weekend.

Woodson could get a three-year contract — which is the length of time left on the pacts of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.

It has been 13 days since the Knicks’ season ended, but the contract delay was understandable because Woodson had to fire his agent, Joe Glass, upon request from Knicks owner James Dolan.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

Ramon Sessions did the best he could to keep Russell Westbrook from making a high-flying dunk that would energize the Oklahoma City Thunder.

No matter.

Even with his feet flat on the ground, Westbrook found a way to get the Thunder rolling past the Los Angeles Lakers and into the Western Conference finals for the second straight year.

After Sessions committed a foul to stop him on the fast break, Westbrook flipped the ball up toward the rim and got it to go in for what would become a three-point play. Westbrook took off toward the scorer’s table, pumping his fist as the home crowd celebrated.

There was no turning back after that, and Oklahoma City pulled away for a 106-90 victory in Game 5 on Monday night to knock the Lakers out of the playoffs…

Westbrook finished with 28 points, Kevin Durant added 25 points and 10 rebounds and the two All-Stars skipped their usual rest periods to power the Thunder ahead in the second half…

Kobe Bryant scored 42 points for the Lakers and took the briefest of rest - less than 2 minutes - in the second half. It didn’t even take that long for the game, and their season, to slip away…

”I’m not fading into the shadows,” said Bryant, a five-time NBA champion with the Lakers. ”I’m not going anywhere. We’re not going anywhere.” …

Gasol then came through with a monster game - 23 points, 17 rebounds and six assists - and Steve Blake scored a playoff career-best 19 points to save the Lakers that time. Bryant didn’t get nearly as much help against the Thunder.

Gasol took 14 shots, his most of the series, but made only five to finish with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Metta World Peace scored 11 and Bynum 10.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

Andrew Bynum, Gasol’s fellow 7-footer, had only 10 points and four rebounds after getting into early foul trouble.

The Lakers’ second unit, maligned from start to finish this season, totaled five points. Jordan Hill and Devin Ebanks scored two points apiece and Steve Blake had one, Their Thunder counterparts produced 35 points.

“I know we’re asking our ‘bigs’ to do a lot, but I know for sure we could have gotten more scoring from those two guys,” Brown said of Gasol and Bynum.

“We also could have gotten more from our bench.”

Oklahoma City was too good for the Lakers when it mattered most.

The Thunder were too fast, too athletic and too much for the Lakers to handle, starting with a burst that turned an 83-77 lead going into the fourth quarter into a 93-79 edge moments later.

– Reported by Elliot Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News

The beleaguered and beaten Lakers still lined up to give their props to the victors.

At the front of the OKC line stood three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, who was met first by Lakers coach Mike Brown.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks and Brown then exchanged pleasantries.

James Harden and Metta World Peace, an NBA sideshow since World Peace delivered a vicious elbow on April 22, slowly worked their way through the line before they finally came face-to-face.

World Peace gave a faint smile. Whatever reaction Harden had was swallowed by his lengthy beard.

They cupped hands, shared a hug, gave each other one pat on the back and then moved down the line.

World Peace said he told Harden, “Great job” and added, “James is a really good player.”

– Reported by John Rohde of the Oklahoman

At least eight people were shot downtown shortly after the Thunder game let out Monday night, police said.

About 11:35 p.m., shots were reportedly fired on Reno Avenue between Mickey Mantle Drive and Joe Carter Avenue, about three blocks east of Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“Preliminary reports indicate that eight people were shot and one person suffered blunt trauma, and that person was a pregnant woman,” Oklahoma City police Capt. Dexter Nelson said.

“Everything is very, very preliminary. We still don’t know the actual number of victims. We believe that one person is critical, and the other injuries are not believed to be life-threatening,” Nelson said.

– Reported by the Oklahoman

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brandon bass

The fifth, newest and least-heralded member of the Celtics’ starting lineup, Brandon Bass erupted for a career playoff-high 27 points on Monday night, scoring 18 in the third quarter as Boston pulled away from the Philadelphia 76ers to win 101-85 and take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

”We’ve got a few good players on the team that they had to focus on,” said Bass, who left the game to a standing ovation with 2 minutes left and Boston leading by 18. ”That left me open, and I was able to take advantage of my opportunity.”

The 27 points matched Bass’ regular-season career high, and the 18 points in the third was one off his career playoff high for an entire game. It was also more than the Sixers scored in the quarter as a team…

Kevin Garnett added 20 points and Rajon Rondo had 13 points and 14 assists for the Celtics, who can advance to the East finals with a victory in Philadelphia in Game 6 on Wednesday. The Sixers would need a win at home to force the series back to Boston for a decisive seventh game…

Brand scored 19 and Evan Turner had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Philadelphia, which led by six points early in the third quarter before Boston scored 14 of the next 16 points. Bass had eight of them, including back-to-back dunks followed by a steal that set up Ray Allen’s fast-break layup to give the Celtics a 63-57 lead with five minutes left in the quarter…

Paul Pierce had 16 points - a perfect 9 for 9 from the free throw line - and Allen, back in the starting lineup because of an injury to Avery Bradley, had five points.

– Reported by Jimmy Golen of the Associated Press

“All in all, I just think we had a bad third,” said Lou Williams, limited to nine points. “We had a bunch of turnovers and they scored on all of them, especially when we’re in their building with an experienced team like that. We didn’t help ourselves in the third. A lot of that was transition basketball. They were running off of turnovers and guys were scrambling, trying to get matched up, and Bass was a recipient of a lot of those plays, statement plays that gets the crowd involved with two dunks in a row. We just never could recover.”

After the Sixers took a 50-47 lead at the break, Bass outscored them by two points in the third when the Celtics took command and the Sixers folded more times than a map. They’ll get a chance to redeem themselves and even the series on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center in Game 6, which will begin at 8 p.m. Game 7, if necessary, will be Saturday in Boston.

During that 28-16 burst, the Sixers’ defense left much to be desired. In the second part of the third quarter, the Celtics got four dunks just from the Sixers not rotating properly. And Bass looked Larry Bird-like, making all but one of his seven shots, making all of his six free throws and perhaps pretty much wrapping up the series.

– Reported by Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News

The Celtics trailed by four at halftime, but Bass’s unlikely outburst was the catalyst for a third quarter that saw the Celtics shoot 61 percent and hold Philadelphia to 33 percent shooting. Bass was 6 for 7 in the third; Rajon Rondo assisted on 7 of Boston’s 11 field goals in the period. The Celtics played the game without Avery Bradley, who sat out with a left shoulder injury.

Bradley’s defense was missed in the first half as the Celtics allowed Philadelphia to shoot 55 percent from the floor. The Sixers had eight offensive rebounds and scored 10 second-chance points in the first half.

But the Celtics turned it on in the third quarter, putting their foot down after halftime like they so often do. In the blink of an eye, the Celtics went on a 10-0 run to take a 63-57 lead with 4:56 remaining. They led by nine points after three and never looked back.

– Reported by Gary Dzen of the Blog

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