Tag Archives: Golden State Warriors

Emil Guillermo: #Warriors win it all. Called it in 6. Just a feeling from a long-suffering fan.

On Sunday, I wrote about the Warriors and LeBron going 1 v. 5 in my post at Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.  As a long suffering Warriors fan (yes, I don’t get to play; I just get to experience the team emotionally),  I can remember all the years of frustration before and after 1975, that magical year when the Warriors changed basketball.

The Dubs swept the Washington Bullets four games to none behind  a crackerjack scorer and underhand free-throw champ, Rick Barry. And they had a starting center, Clifford Ray,  just 6-foot-9.

The team was led by Coach Al Attles, who was seen as a revolutionary for USING HIS BENCH.

Imagine that.  In those days, a sixth man was often the only replacement of any starters. The  rest? They were just ball boys. The rotation rarely went above the top 6.

Attles changed things with a deep bench that others couldn’t match.

The Bullets had the starting stars. Guard Phil Chenier. Center Wes Unself. Forward Elvin Hayes.  Bonafide stars.

But the Warriors out-teamed them and won  by a single point 96-95 on May 25, 1975 for the unimaginable four game sweep.

I was fortunate to cover the Warriors when they visited the Boston Garden earlier that year, when I interviewed Barry and announcer Bill King at courtside.

When the team  won later that season, I was just a fan. And reconnected to my junior high school days when I  would go see Wilt Chamberlin and Nate Thurmond at my favorite venue, the very intimate SF Civic Auditorium (now the Bill Graham Auditorium).

Yes, they played basketball there.

In 1975, I had my own victory parade in Cambridge, Mass. for the Warriors. Most people thought I was crazy. But I knew I had to make it last.

Forty years later,  back on June 4, I predicted this again. And again the  Warriors were playing ball in a new way. It was a game-changing style  like Attles’ approach 40 years ago. Only quicker, faster, smaller.  Beyond the deep bench, the Warriors chopped the big men down to size.  Harrison Barnes was often  the tallest small at 6-8. Iguodala, the Finals MVP, is 6-6.  Stephen Curry, the regular season MVP, is just 6-3.  Draymond Green,  6-foot-7.

Not  a seven-footer in sight.

Nor a seventh game.

Just a championship parade.


Emil Guillermo: The Golden State Warrior blews; Dubs need to TCB or they will lose NBA Finals

Analyst Michael Wilbon said it after the game. The Warriors just “goof” around too much, and play in a “loosey-goosey” way. I’ve noticed that for some time. They have this cool, nonchalance, a devil-may-care way about them that transforms high-percentage plays into risky ones and inevitably leads to turnover, after turnover. Dunks? Alley-oops? Fails. Some successes. But on Sunday, fails. And when you shoot terribly to boot, forget about winning game 2 against  LeBron James.

Everyone can see LeBron James is the best player on the court,  period.  He cheats with his physicality and bullies his way to the hoop. But he made Game 2 a bit more about team, and the Cavs found their way to beat the Warriors. Put tall defenders at the three point line.  Get Dellavadova to mark Curry like a soccer player.  Get Mozgov involved inside to beat Bogut at the basket and on the line. And then let LeBron invoke his will and distribute.

The downfall to that strategy will be fatigue. The Cavs aren’t that deep. The every other day schedule could limit them.

Warriors should be able to counter easily to steal back home court advantage.

But as we’ve seen the first two games, they are prone to slow starts and a lack of intensity. If they play to their season best, they’d be 2-0 now. The pressure really is on Barnes, Speights, and Livingston to pick up when Curry isn’t showing up. The bench strength is the X factor.

But overall, the Dubs need to start caring about the ball like men on a mission.

They’re just too loose for their own good. They get sloppy. And loose leads to loss.

If they don’t tighten things up, LeBron will make them pay.

Emil Guillermo: Golden State Warriors should end long Bay Area basketball drought

Oh, those Warriors. In 1975, I was leaving Cambridge, MA on my way to Houston, TX for my first professional radio gig–$3 bucks/hr., six hours a week. I’d play records, do the newscasts (it was a music station, so it dumped most of their news commitment on the overnight).

Et voila– Emil For Real was born.

But before I left Cambridge, I was enjoying the Warriors demolish the Washington Bullets to win the NBA Championship.

I was so excited. As a small boy, I remember dragging my dad to the old Civic Auditorium (yes, the same place where SF school kids used to graduate) to see the old San Francisco Warriors play. There was Wilt. Then Nate Thurmond.

And Rick Barry, of underhand fame.



And now here they were in the 70s.

Earlier that year, I met  Barry and Bill King, the Warrior announcer,  in the Boston Garden. And I just couldn’t believe they could be good enough until June.

When they were, I did what I almost never do.

I wanted to shout from the rooftops about the Warriors!

So I called a sports talk show in Boston to gleam and gloat about “my” Warriors.

It’s been 40 long years since the team has been back in the finals.

And now longsuffering Warrior fans have their shot again.

This is the team to do it.

Same kind of team as the one 40 years ago. One big star. No real big center. Good bench. A real team.

Back then, teams would rotate at best seven core players. Five starters and maybe two off the bench.

At the time, Warrior coach Al Attles was heralded with being the best to get production from the entire team off the bench.

No one ever played that style before.

Now here’s Steve Kerr refining the matchup style, where small can be big by playing with speed and a swarming sense of defense. He also has the league MVP, Steph Curry, who has not quite erased the memory of the great Rick Barry from the minds of older Warrior fans (though to younger Warrior fans, Rick is barely a memory, with newer Barry’s John and Brent maintaining the brand).

After the Grizz and the Rockets, I think the Warriors are battle-tested and ready to show what champions they truly are.

LeBron James is a great player. But we know how basketball is about team and not individual greatness.

The Warriors as a team will defeat Cleveland in 6 to cap off a brilliant year.


Emil Guillermo: Letting in a little light for Memorial Day weekend

In between my grilled tofu and thinking about the Golden State Warriors , and all the  departed warriors, I find myself listening to this song a lot this weekend.

There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.



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Linceblog: Some thoughts on sports life and Mother’s Day; The San Francisco Giants are up, the Golden State Warriors are down?; and more on Tim Lincecum’s mom and why he’s what I call a “hesitant” Filipino

There comes a time when life and sports collide. I was at a personal/family event on Friday night, when sports must be relegated to life’s backdrop. Like the weather, it’s there. You go about your business and know there are games going in some alternate universe. Every now and then you sneak a peak. The Giants knock out Hudson? How did they get those 4 runs?  Now 8?  And what about those Warriors? Down by 3 possessions? More?  In the first-half?

And then you get back to “playing in your own life” and hope your teams win without you.

One did. The other didn’t. The Giants behind Cain came back to avenge the opening Braves loss. And the Warriors? In game 3, the team seemed flat, stuck in some valley and never reached a mountain top. In fact, the ankle injury to Curry completes the metaphor. You try climbing a mountain on a banged up ankle. The Spurs played well, and fought off the Warriors every time they came close in the second-half.

Mother’s Day will be the next stop for the Warriors. The Giants after Saturday’s game, will play on Sunday too.  If your Mom is a sports fans, that’s great. Make sure there’s enough beer.

If not, one will be in “alternate universe”mode again.

Tim Lincecum will be pitching for the Giants in a 1pm game. The reason I write the Linceblog portion of my blog is because I have editors at Filipino outlets that allow me to follow the premier Filipino American player in Major League Baseball.

Lincecum is half-Filipino on his mom’s side. But he’s somewhat of what I call a “hesitant” Filipino and it’s mostly due to his relationship to his mom.

When I asked him about being Filipino earlier this season, he was pretty honest.


Lincecum’s relationship with his mom is his personal business and I chose not to press him on it in one of those post-game locker room scenarios usually reserved for answers like “He hit a  change-up high in the zone.”

But Timmy should know he has all sorts of Ninangs and Lolas in the Filipino community rooting for him and wishing he ate just a little more lumpia. And Ligo sardines.

“I like rice,” he told me with a smile one day in the dugout.  “I eat lots of rice.”

Ligo is the company that sponsored that Filipino scarf the Giants gave away recently on Filipino Night. The one with Lincecum’s #55 on it. 

Now if he wants to be a real half-Filipino, he should eat sardines the Filipino way. Open up a small can of Ligo sardines (they come in tomato sauce). Dump it in a fry pan of onions and garlic. When it heats up, use it to  top off your mound of rice. Now that’s what I’d call a pre-game meal. The garlic keeps hitters away.

It’s also something a Filipino mom would do for her son. My mom did something similar for me, while I watched games on TV, though I preferred “tapa.”

Lincecum’s comment on his mom makes you realize how much we are defined by that relationship with Mom and how lucky we are when it’s a special one.

If you are lucky to have your mom close, give her a hug, maybe some flowers, make her a meal (but no Ligo).

Just make sure she’s part of your game.