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Golden State Warriors Celebrate Black History Month

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Warriors host Black History Month is Golden postgame panel discussion on the court with event moderator KNBR radio personality Rod Brooks and panelists; two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA legend Ruthie Bolton, Warriors Assistant Coach, Mike Brown, San Jose City College Men’s Basketball Head Coach, Percy Carr,  UC Berkeley Professor, Dr. Harry Edwards, Former Mayor of Oakland, Elihu Harris and San Francisco 49ers Guard, Joshua Garnett. 

Photo by: Carla Thomas

Throughout the month of February, the 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors have celebrated Black History Month with a variety of activities, themed “Black History Month is Golden.” Coined by Warrior Forward Andre Iguodala in 2015, Saturday night was no exception as the organization hosted a courtside panel discussion featuring Black history makers, immediately after the Warriors defeated the San Antonio Spurs. Guests assembled in courtside seats just yards from event moderator KNBR radio personality Rod Brooks with legends and leaders on and off the court. P

Bolton played in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) with the Sacramento Monarchs. Currently, she is the head coach for women’s basketball at Vacaville Christian High School in Vacaville, sings gospel and participates in the SportsUnited Sports Envoy program for the u.s. Department of State conducting basketball clinics for youth and women worldwide.

“I grew up in a household where are my parents tolerated no excuses,” she said.

Harry Edwards noticed his friends were dropping out of junior high school and asked his dad if he could do the same. “My father firmly responded: “‘You’re going to school if I have to send you in an ambulance.’”

Edwards worked with Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and joined the Black Panther Party with Huey P. Newton.

As Professor Emeritus of Sociology at UC Berkeley with a PhD from Cornell University, Edwards has served as a consultant to the San Francisco 49ers  and the Golden State Warriors.

The Author of The Revolt of the Black Athlete, was the architect of the Olympic Project for Human Rights, which led to the Black Power Salute protest by African-American San Jose State  University athletes Tommy Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

“Black history is American history it’s all of us together,” said Edwards.

Coach Percy Carr credited a mentor that helped him develop as a coach at San Jose State University. Carr earned his 900th career victory during a recent 72-63 triumph at Hartnell College in Salinas, California.

At 73, Carr has the most wins of all time among black men’s coaches in college basketball history.

Elihu Harris, the 46th mayor of Oakland served the California State Assembly and was also Chancellor of Peralta Community  College.

Harris received a Master of Public Policy from UC Berkeley and a law degree  from UC Davis School of Law.

“We were from a family of educators in Arkansas and my grandpa graduated from college in 1908,” said Harris.

“Black History Month is a time to acknowledge our ancestors, their struggles and the sacrifices they made for us.”

San Francisco 49ers Football Guard Joshua Garnett said his father explained the vulnerabilities of being an athlete and encouraged him to strengthen his mind. The Stanford University graduate is also the son of Scott Garnett, who also played for the 49ers.

“This is a time to both celebrate our heritage and educate people on our culture,” said Garnett.

Featured

City Seeks to Work With A’s, Major League Baseball To Keep Team in Oakland

City Council leaders said it’s incorrect “that the City Council is delaying or refusing to consider the A’s project proposal,” at Howard Terminal.

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Leaders of the Oakland City Council told the head of Major League Baseball in a May 14 letter that they are willing to work with the As baseball team to keep it from moving out of the city.

    Oakland recently lost both its National Football League franchise the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas and the Golden State Warriors to San Francisco.

    The letter comes just days after MLB told the Oakland As to look for another city to play while pursuing a waterfront park in Oakland.  

    “The Oakland City Council is committed to negotiating in good  faith for a strong future for the A’s in Oakland, and we invite the As and MLB to do the same by agreeing not to seek relocation while the As complete the (stadium at the Charles P. Howard Terminal) project  process, the letter begins.

    But officials in Las Vegas revealed on May 12 on Twitter through Mayor Carolyn Goodman that they have been talking with the As since 2019 and they are excited.

    City Council leaders said it’s incorrect that the City Council is delaying or refusing to consider the A’s project proposal, at Howard Terminal.

    Rather, many, such as city staff have been working to bring the proposal to the council for potential approval.

   But the As have been working on the project for nearly five years, As president Dave Kaval said in February. Opposition, too, has mounted against the Howard Terminal site and in favor of a new stadium at the current Oakland Coliseum site.

    The City Council’s letter says that MLB has concluded without sufficient support that the Coliseum site is not viable.City Council leaders asked in the letter for the materials MLB reviewed to draw that conclusion.

    The councils letter is signed by council President Nikki Fortunato Bas, Vice Mayor and Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan and Councilmember Carroll Fife, who represents downtown and West Oakland.

    The Howard Terminal site is near both downtown and West Oakland.

    City Council leaders are willing to meet with MLB officials and the As ownership, the letter says, to thoughtfully move forward.

    Council leaders said the As leadership recently changed their requests.

    “Rather than send forward full completed deal terms for consideration, the As demanded that the council vote on summary deal terms.  

    “Council leadership expressed willingness to explore this request, and met with the As staff and other stakeholders to seek how best to move forward, according to the letter.  

    Council leaders were in the process of scheduling a vote on the summary deal terms before their summer recess when MLB told the As to seek a new home while it pursues a waterfront ballpark in Oakland.

    “This relocation announcement came without giving the council an opportunity to receive and vote on a proposal and did not even wait for the time requested for the vote, the letter says.

    “Since the request was for a vote by August, why would you announce permission to explore relocation, prior to the date of the requested vote, if the request had been a sincere one? the letter said.

    Council leaders asked MLB to confirm its intentions.

    “Can you confirm definitively, that if the council were to take such a vote for a term sheet regarding the As, that you would prohibit any action to seek or pursue relocation during those next steps?

    Kaplans staff confirmed late on the afternoon of May 14 that a vote on the summary deal terms will be scheduled for before the August recess.

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Bay Area

City Reacts as A’s Threaten to Leave

The A’s said on Tuesday said they will start looking into relocating with the backing of Major League Baseball.

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Mount Davis Oakland with Fans/Wikimedia

The Oakland Athletics made a public threat this week to leave Oakland if  the City Council does not accept their latest proposal by the end of June to build a baseball stadium and huge real estate complex at the Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland.

The A’s said on Tuesday said they will start looking into relocating with the backing of Major League Baseball.

 A’s owner John Fisher said in a statement,  “The future success of the A’s depends on a new ballpark. Oakland is a great baseball town, and we will continue to pursue our waterfront ballpark project. We will also follow MLB’s direction to explore other markets.”

 A’s President Dave Kaval told the Associated Press on Tuesday, “I think it’s something that is kind of a once-a-generational opportunity to reimagine the waterfront. We’re going to continue to pursue that, and we’re still hopeful that that could get approved, but we have to be realistic about where we are with the timelines.”

Many residents are angry at the A’s aggressive stance, especially since the team’s new proposal is vague on details and puts the city and its residents on the hook for nearly one billion dollars in infrastructure improvements plus over $400 million in community benefits the A’s have pledged but instead would be handed off to taxpayers. 

Reflecting the reaction of some residents, Tim Kawakami, editor-in-chief of the SF Bay Area edition of The Athletic,  tweeted, “I just don’t see the municipal validation in kowtowing to a billionaire who won’t spend much of his own money to build a new stadium that will make him many more billions.”

Mayor Libby Schaaf says she is open to the A’s proposal, and Council members  want more details on its financial impact  on the city and its taxpayers, 

Councilmember Loren Taylor told the Oakland Post in an interview: “We know they are looking for alternative locations. It is something that has to be factored in. Our commitment is to  work to keep the A’s in Oakland but to do it in way that protects the interests of the city  and is  the best deal for the people of Oakland.”

Said Councilmember Treva Reid:

“My commitment will always be to the residents of East Oakland and ensuring strong community benefits and economic development.  I appreciate the contribution of the Athletics … However, the Council must have an adequate amount of time to thoroughly evaluate their proposed offer to ensure Oakland residents receive a fair, transparent  and equitable deal.” 

In her statement, Mayor Schaaf, who has long been a backer of the A’s real estate development near Jack London Square,  said, “We share MLB’s sense of urgency and their continued preference for Oakland. Today’s statement makes clear that the only viable path to keeping the A’s rooted in Oakland is a ballpark on the waterfront.

“Now, with the recent start of financial discussions with the A’s, we call on our entire community — regional and local partners included — to rally together and support a new, financially viable, fiscally responsible, world class waterfront neighborhood that enhances our city and region and keeps the A’s in Oakland where they belong.”

Major media outlets,  often  boosters  of super- expensive urban developments, are unenthusiastic about the A’s proposal and the team’s pressure on the city to go along with its demands.  

In an article, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Scott Ostler wrote, “Get the message, Oakland? Vote to approve the A’s plan and commit to kicking in $855 million for infrastructure for the A’s new ballpark and surrounding village around Howard Terminal or kiss your lovable little baseball team goodbye.

“It’s called power politics, folks.”

In an editorial, the Mercury News and the East Bay Times wrote,” The team has thrown down a greedy and opaque demand that the city of Oakland approve a $12 billion residential and commercial waterfront development project that happens to include a new ballpark — and requires a massive taxpayer subsidy.

“If that’s the best the A’s can offer, the city should let them go.”

Ray Bobbitt of the African American Sports and Entertainment Group told the Oakland Post, “These are bully tactics. You either give me the money or I’m leaving. I don’t think that’s the way to work with the community.

“Do it in a way that’s respectful of the people. If you want to play hardball, I don’t think it’s a tactic that works these days.”

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Bay Area

Al Attles Tribute Hall of Fame Celebration

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Come out and support one of Oakland’s finest, Alvin Attles Jr as he is honored for his Hall of Fame induction in Oakland, December 22, 2019.

An avid Warriors Legend & Community Ambassador, Attles is currently in his 59th year with the Golden State Warriors organization (Al Attles’ current stint with the same team represents the longest active streak in NBA history). Attles, who celebrated his 83rd birthday on November 7, 2019, joined the Warriors in 1960 (Philadelphia Warriors’ fifth-round draft choice) and has since been affiliated with the club in one capacity or another, building a unique relationship based on commitment, loyalty, and dedication.

Attles has many professional accomplishments to his name. In September 2019 it culminated with Attles being enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2018, Attles was named in ESPN’s Top 100 Most Influential Players of All-Time. In 2017, he was awarded the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2014, Attles was honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the John R. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award – its second highest honor.

Attles is one of only six players in Warriors history to have his jersey retired (#16) – joining Rick Barry (#24), Wilt Chamberlain (#13), Tom Meschery (#14), Chris Mullin (#17), and Nate Thurmond (#42) – and remains one of the most publicly recognizable sports figures in the Bay Area. Each of these players are honored in the plaza of the new Chase Center in San Francisco. Attles is also the only player to have his number retired (#22) at his alma mater, North Carolina A&T University.

His endless contributions locally as a player, coach, executive, and civic leader resulted in his much deserved induction into the Bay Area Hall of Fame in 1993. In the summer of 2006, the newly refurbished outdoor basketball court at Lincoln Square Park in downtown Oakland was permanently renamed “Alvin Attles Court” in honor of the local legend and longtime Oakland resident. The Warriors recently named the courts at the Warriors practice facility at the Chase Center after Attles. Each year, the Warriors present the Alvin Attles Volunteer Award to the team employee who goes above and beyond in their efforts to serve the Bay Area community as part of the organization’s Helping Hands program.

In the latter stages of the 1969-70 NBA season, Attles was named head coach of the Warriors, replacing George Lee after 52 games. Attles spent the final two years of his playing career, 1969-70 and 1970-71, as a player/coach, becoming the second African-American to hold such a distinction. His 30-game stint as head coach to end the 1969-70 season proved to be the start of the longest head coaching run in Warriors franchise history. His 13-plus year tenure produced, among other highlights, the lone NBA Championship in the club’s West Coast history (1974-75) until the championship drought ended in 2015.

During his 13-year coaching fun, Attles guided the Warriors to six playoff berths, two division titles and amassed an overall 557-518 record, which ranks 25th on the NBA’s all-time coaches winning list. One season after leading Golden State to the NBA title, he led the Warriors to a sparkling 59-23 record in 1975-76, the best mark in franchise history (that held for 40 years) and the top record in the NBA that season. He was also named head coach of the Western Conference All-Star team in 1975 and 1976. Attles completed his coaching career in 1982-83 to become the Warriors General Manager, heading the team’s basketball operations for three years.

One of the most aggressive and hard-nosed players in the league, Attles earned the unique nickname of “The Destroyer”, which appropriately described his mentality on the court. During his 11-year NBA career, he averaged 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 711 regular season games, which currently ranks fifth on the Warriors all-time games played list. Furthermore, Attles was involved in one of the most memorable games in NBA history on March 2, 1962 when he and teammate Wilt Chamberlain combined for 117 points against the New York Knicks, the most ever by a pair of players in league history. In that game, Attles has a perfect game as the second leading scorer tallying 17 points (8-8 FG, 1-1 FT), while Chamberlain netted an all-time NBA record 100 points. Attles retired from playing following the 1970-71 campaign to focus strictly on coaching – eliminating his dual role as player/coach.

A 1960 graduate of North Carolina A&T University, Attles earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and History. He later added a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of San Francisco in 1983. 

Al and his wife, Wilhelmina, reside in Oakland and have two adult children, Alvin III and Ericka. The Attles also have eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

In October 2018, Attles III formed Attles Center for Excellence (ACE) to honor his father’s legacy. The Oakland-based non-profit will officially launch at the end of 2019. The mission is to create the next generation of high performing citizens through engagement in innovative STEAM-focused programs and health and wellness initiatives. In 2020 ACE plans to launch a comprehensive after-school program for at-risk youth and a series of basketball camps, incorporating coding, the arts, and nutrition.

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