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Warriors Return to Bay Area as NBA Champions

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Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, center, walks past cheering team employees as he carries the Larry O'Brien championship trophy in front of forward Andre Iguodala, lifting the NBA Finals MVP trophy, after the team landed in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to win their first NBA championship since 1975. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, center, walks past cheering team employees as he carries the Larry O’Brien championship trophy in front of forward Andre Iguodala, lifting the NBA Finals MVP trophy, after the team landed in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to win their first NBA championship since 1975. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

ANTONIO GONZALEZ, AP Basketball Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry came off the plane, lifted the Larry O’Brien Trophy as he walked down the mobile staircase and let the gold award shine in the California sun.

For the first time in 40 years, the NBA champions are back in the Bay Area.

With more than 100 team employees in yellow and blue shirts cheering them outside a private terminal, the Golden State Warriors were welcomed home to Oakland on Wednesday. The team spent Tuesday night in Cleveland — though the players didn’t really sleep — after beating LeBron James and the Cavaliers 105-97 in the Game 6 clincher.

“We just stuck to who we are, fought through some tough times in the playoffs. At the end of the day, when you’re holding the trophy, all the ups and downs are worth it,” said Curry, the NBA MVP. “We’ll remember this for the rest of our lives.”

Players, coaches and team employees soaked in the scene as much as they could.

As two helicopters hovered above the airport, the chartered flight received an escort from a police car and two fire trucks on the runway. Curry was the first player off the plane and was quickly joined by teammates on the staircase.

Warriors employees, shuttled from team headquarters on three buses, cheered and chanted “War-ri-ors!” and the song “We Are the Champions” by Queen. They also pounded inflatable sticks and gave hugs and handshakes to players and coaches, with just about everybody taking photos and videos on their smartphones.

Most of the Warriors’ contingent, who were accompanied by their families, wore gray “NBA Champs” shirts. And just about everybody — including the pilots — walked off with championship hats.

“Phenomenal. Still on cloud nine. It really hasn’t set in yet,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said.

Green is the team’s only core player not signed for next season. As a restricted free agent, the Warriors would be able to match any offer he receives from another team — and they full intend to do so, even if that means facing the league’s luxury tax.

Asked if he expects to be back next season, Green shouted: “Hell yeah I expect to be back here.”

The welcome home capped a busy two-day stretch for the Warriors.

After finishing off the Cavaliers, the team had a dinner at a high-end steakhouse in Cleveland. They stayed up late celebrating with friends and family, and congratulations poured in from all over — including President Barack Obama, who phoned coach Steve Kerr to congratulate the Warriors on winning the title and invite them for a customary White House visit.

The dizzying daze of a championship celebration left no time for sleep — even on the plane ride home, which Curry called a party for some and a chance to relax for others.

“You’re still kind of on an adrenaline rush and excited to win a championship, so guys are taking naps, guys are listening to music, just talking about how fun the journey’s been,” Curry said. “And now we get to celebrate for real.”

About 30 fans waited outside the private terminal’s parking lot at Oakland International Airport, with some players and coaches stopping on their way out for autographs and photos. A championship parade is planned Friday in downtown Oakland, where fans from throughout the Bay Area are expected to cheer on the market’s only NBA team.

“This is nice to be back home with the trophy and be able to celebrate with our fans,” Curry said. “I can’t wait for the parade. It’s going to be so much fun. The Bay Area deserves this championship and we’re going to have a good time celebrating.”

___

Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Activism

EDITORIAL: If the City Council Won’t Vote for You, Don’t Vote for Them

District 5 Councilmember Noel Gallo has heard the demands of Oakland voters and he is scheduling a hearing before the Council to place public spending on the ballot. We urge the Council to act. If they do not, we urge the voters to ask themselves “If Councilmembers do not support our right to vote, why should we vote for them?”

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Paul Cobb is the Publisher of the Post Newgroup family of publications and websites.
Paul Cobb is the Publisher of the Post Newgroup family of publications and websites.

By Paul Cobb, Publisher, Post Newsgroup

The voters of Oakland demand the right to vote on whether the City of Oakland should spend a billion dollars of public money on a privately owned baseball stadium and luxury condominiums at Howard Terminal.

We agree.

If City Councilmembers want the voters to support them in upcoming elections, they must support the voters’ demand for a public vote on Howard Terminal now.

In an April 6, 2022 poll of 800 registered voters, 76% said they want to vote on whether the City Council should spend public funds on Oakland A’s privately owned baseball stadium and luxury condominium complex.

District 3 Councilmember Carroll Fife followed that poll with a Town Hall meeting where the vast majority of attendees voiced their support for a ballot measure and demanded that the City Council place the issue of public spending before the voters.

As of this writing, thousands of voters have delivered petitions demanding the right to vote and we are told thousands more petitions are on the way.

District 5 Councilmember Noel Gallo has heard the demands of Oakland voters and he is scheduling a hearing before the Council to place public spending on the ballot. We urge the Council to act. If they do not, we urge the voters to ask themselves “If Councilmembers do not support our right to vote, why should we vote for them?”

Oakland faces many crises including homelessness, public safety, school closures, and the loss of existing union jobs at Howard Terminal.

Homelessness is such an urgent crisis that the City Council declared a local emergency just this week. How can we even consider spending public funds on a baseball stadium and luxury condos in these times of crisis? The voters demand a right to be heard and the City Council has a moral and ethical obligation to place the matter on the ballot.

We are told that there are two major obstacles to a vote. The A’s say that if they don’t get their way they will take to the highway and leave, and Oakland will lose its last sports team. With people dying on the streets and crime at an all-time high, and since the A’s, who are co-owners of the Coliseum, have not signed a cooperation agreement with the new community-based ownership group that wants to launch a fast-track housing and jobs redevelopment plan for the very low-income residents and homeless population — who now live in the shadow of the Coliseum – it’s no wonder that some city and county taxpayers give a care if the A’s threaten to leave.

And the number of homeless dwellers now exceed the number of fans who attend the games. When you poll those barely surviving with their monthly general assistance checks from Alameda County, which is selling its half-ownership interest in the Coliseum to the A’s, then it’s no wonder that some city and county taxpayers give a care if the A’s threaten to leave: They want the county’s equity stake to help build truly affordable housing now.

When the City Council voted unanimously to support the Black-led group’s proposed redevelopment, they didn’t intend for the A’s or any other group to be in a position to hold the neighborhood hostage as a bargaining chip.

Therefore, the entire Council should vote to place the financing of A’s future stadium plans on the November ballot and require the A’s to sign a cooperation agreement with the East Oakland group.

Trade unions say their members will get a lot of jobs building a new stadium and luxury condos. They could have the same jobs, without the huge costs and public spending, if a stadium and housing were built at the Coliseum by a baseball team that truly cared about Oakland.

Many residents and organizations have asked the Post to host Town Hall meetings to help hold our officials accountable for the costs of the new stadium.

We will publish articles on how to link the future housing relief for homeless as a requirement for the A’s to get the approval of Howard Terminal and why the original injunction was filed by the city attorney.

The voters of Oakland hold the key. They should send a clear and unequivocal message to the Council: “Support our right to vote on public spending or don’t expect us to vote for you.”

We urge voters to contact your Councilmembers and demand they vote to place public spending on the November 2022 ballot.

Please send an email to council@oaklandca.gov. With one click, every councilmember and their staffs will get your message.

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Activism

Black Golfers to Honor Oakland Native for Work in Diversity

Oakland native Kendall Murphy has more than a dozen years of experience in the golf industry, most recently serving as a career consultant for the PGA of America supporting the Northern California PGA Section. Concurrently, he works as an adjunct professor at the Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas (UNLV). From 2012 through May 2021, Murphy was the assistant director and program coordinator of UNLV’s PGA Golf Management Program.

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Kendall Murphy
Kendall Murphy

By Post Staff

Oakland native Kendall Murphy will be inducted into the African American Golfers Hall of Fame in Palm Beach, Florida, on May 29, 2022.

It will be the latest accomplishment for Murphy, 36, who has a string of accomplishments with the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA).

He is a former PGA career consultant, PGA golf pro, college golf coach and assistant director of the Professional Golf Management program at University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Further, Murphy is the first director of diversity, equity and inclusion for Troon, a golf course management company operating in more than 30 countries.

Murphy has more than a dozen years of experience in the golf industry, most recently serving as a career consultant for the PGA of America supporting the Northern California PGA Section. Concurrently, he works as an adjunct professor at the Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas (UNLV). From 2012 through May 2021, Murphy was the assistant director and program coordinator of UNLV’s PGA Golf Management Program.

He is a member of the PGA of America and a two-time winner of the Southern Nevada Chapter of the PGA’s Golf Professional of the Year award (2018 and 2019).

Murphy’s diverse background in golf started in Oakland, where he worked as a head golf professional at Metropolitan Golf Links and then in Moraga as the assistant men’s golf coach at St. Mary’s College of California.

Although he was not a professional golfer, Murphy developed an interest in the sport when, at age 10, he played in the junior program at Lake Chabot Golf Course. He attended Oakland’s St. Paschal’s Elementary School and then Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and Berkeley High School, where he was a member of the league-winning Varsity Golf Team.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in recreation with a concentration in professional golf management from UNLV and a master’s degree in Kinesiology/sport management from St. Mary’s College of California.

He is also the co-founder/co-chair of the Black PGA Professionals Caucus and currently serves on the PGA National Education Committee.

When interviewed, Murphy said, “Our world is in an unprecedented time for transformation through intentional action. The future of excellence is one that paves the way for diversity equity and inclusion with ease. I am honored to be a part of growing the Troon experience of excellence with my new position and being part of this visionary team. I am dedicated to creating the industry blueprint for others to follow.”

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Black History

Moses Fleetwood Walker; Baseball’s True First

Moses Fleetwood Walker (1856–1924) took the field against the Louisville Eclipse on May 1, 1884, making him the first African American to play in a professional baseball game. According to baseball historians, it was the worst game of Walker’s career, as he went hitless in four at-bats and committed four errors. Still, the native of Mount Pleasant, Ohio, and star athlete at Oberlin College went on to have a brief (September 1884) yet successful career with the Blue Stockings.

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Moses Fleetwood Walker, circa 1884. From the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Moses Fleetwood Walker, circa 1884. From the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

By Tamara Shiloh

Some 63 years before Jackie Robinson is credited as the first African American in Major League Baseball (April 15, 1947), Moses Fleetwood Walker (1856–1924) became the true first to break the sport’s color barrier.

The American Association (today, the American League) was formed at the opening of the 1884 baseball season. Their goal was to be in competition with the National League. The Toledo Blue Stockings were added as one of the league’s participating franchises. The starting catcher would be Walker.

Walker took the field against the Louisville Eclipse on May 1, 1884, making him the first African American to play in a professional baseball game. According to baseball historians, it was the worst game of Walker’s career, as he went hitless in four at-bats and committed four errors.

Still, the native of Mount Pleasant, Ohio, and star athlete at Oberlin College went on to have a brief (September 1884) yet successful career with the Blue Stockings.

Walker was the last African American to participate on the major league level before Robinson.

Prior to the Blue Stockings, Walker played for semi-professional and minor league baseball clubs. But how Walker first came to the game is unknown. According to David W. Zang, Walker’s biographer, baseball was popular among children in Steubenville where he was raised. While in Oberlin’s preparatory program, Walker became the prep team’s catcher and leadoff hitter.

Oberlin men played baseball as early as 1865, including a “jet-black” first baseman whose presence suggested Walker was not the college’s first Black baseball player.

After baseball, Walker’s personal life seemed overrun with friction.

In 1891, he was involved in an altercation outside a saloon with a group of four white men exchanging racial insults. One of them hit Walker in the head with a stone. Walker then fatally stabbed his attacker with a pocketknife.

He surrendered to the police and was charged with second-degree murder but was later found not guilty. After, Walker returned to Steubenville where he had worked for the postal service.

Walker’s wife, Arbella, died in 1895. Three years later he was found guilty of mail robbery and sentenced to one year in prison, which he served in the Miami County and Jefferson County jails in Troy, Ohio.

After his release, he jointly owned the Union Hotel in Steubenville with his brother Weldy and managed the Opera House, a movie theater in nearby Cadiz, Ohio. Walker soon gained respect as a businessman in the community. Walker later patented inventions that improved film reels when nickelodeons became popularized. He was a staunch advocate of Black nationalism and jointly edited a newspaper, The Equator, with Weldy. He authored “Our Home Colony” to explore ideas about emigrating back to Africa.

Walker died of lobar pneumonia in 1924. He was 67.

Learn more about the two Black athletes who helped integrate Major League Baseball and the challenges they faced in “Jackie Robinson and Moses Fleetwood Walker: The Lives and Careers of the Players Who Integrated Major League Baseball” by the Charles Rivers Editors.

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