BEHIND THE LINES: Go Warriors! PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 March 2015 14:35



San Jose, CA. — I’m not exactly a fan of the surging Golden State Warriors led by their two deadliest perimeter shooters Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. The last time this National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise won a title was in 1975 (its third) that starred Hall of Fame Rick Barry. That amazing team buried the Washington Bullets (now Wizards) powered by “The Monster” Wes Unseld in four games. That was 40 years ago, bro.

The other night (March 23), Barry and five other living members of that fabled team were presented to the Warriors fans at Oracle Arena. Lifting their ’75 trophy up high, Barry, whose sons also played in the NBA and retired to become basketball commentators and analysts, acknowledged the support and enthusiasm steamed by the Warriors organization and rabid followers even after a long title drought.

“It’s probably going to happen this year,” my grandson, Nathan, exclaimed, referring to the Warriors winning the NBA crown this season. It can happen, considering that the Warriors own the best record in the NBA under rookie coach Steve Kerr, who probably will be named Coach of the Year. Just last week, I watched the Warriors clobber the best in the east, Atlanta Hawks. Curry looks to be the runaway winner for the Most Valuable Player award. Three others are trailing him — Russel Westbrook, James Harden and four-time MVP Lebron James. Methinks Curry will get it.

Clifford Ray was also a member of that ’75 team. He was a monster in the land of the giants who clowned around after blocking a shot. He was one of those NBA ex-stars who visited Manila in the late 70s and played against Crispa Redmanizers bannered by Bogs Adornado and Danny Florencio and mentored by Baby Dalupan, and crowd-favorite Toyota led by Sonny Jaworski and Francis Arnaiz and coached by car racer Dante Silverio, the master of the fast-break.

If we had football in the Philippines, Jaworski would be Tom Brady’s equal playing quarterback. He’d whiz that ball from one baseline to the other for an Arnaiz touchdown. Ompong Segura would have been a wide receiver and Alberto “Big Boy” Reynoso the defensive stopper. He often demolished Rudy Soriano in the paint.

Barry was the sweetest off-guard shooter I’ve ever seen. The old Rizal Theater would run NBA games in-between movies that delighted basketball crazies like me. There were, of course, Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Pete Maravich, John Havlicek and Earl Monroe who’d rip the nets from long distance when they needed to. But Barry was the best, to me, who had an awkward, funny-looking free shot form in the world. We’d call it “buta coco” or “urinola”. But he made almost 90 percent of those shots.

That Warriors team made history. Will the present ones be as great as Barry,

There are talks that Kobe Paras, a 6’6" giant son of Benjie Paras, and Karl Malone, Jr., son of the great Karl Malone, will play for the Philippine team sometime soon as Fil-Ams. Bueno era.

Moving on to boxing, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is the heavy favorite to beat our Manny Pacquiao on May 2. Stephen A. Smith, an ESPN analysts, has Mayweather a 47-1 favorite. His counterpart on the same “First Take” ESPN program, Skip Bayless, swears that Pacquiao will put Mayweather to sleep in the middle rounds. “He’ll take Floyd to school,” brags Bayles. “He will teach Pacquiao a lesson in boxing,” Smith retorts back. Mira quita.

Incidentally, if you don’t know it yet, Pacquiao has just bought a Beverly Hills mansion for almost $13 million previously owned by actress-singer Jennifer Lopez and her then boyfriend, record-producer and Rapper P. Diddy. Salamabit. And he’s not even a U.S. green-card holder. Why the extravagance, Manny boy? I heard, too, that he’s selling his Forbes Park house for P700 million, a property he bought in 2011 for P388 million. Good exchange. For the May 2 fight, Pacquiao is going to earn something like $80 million.

Make hay now, Manny baby, for when your boxing days are over and you shall have nothing to bank on but your endorsements (still in the millions of dollars), light businesses that have no clear financial rewards nor pay-per-views, you shall have fewer friends to party with and lesser people in your entourage.

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 March 2015 14:37