Outlaw's Outtakes

12-10-18 - Outlaw - Rich Yee
...Kevin Durant, shockingly, had four more turnovers (seven) than field goals (three)... (Durant is pictured above against the Orlando Magic.) Photo by Rich Yee.
12-10-18 - Warriors - Rich Yee
Shawn Livingston has slowed down and has difficulty keeping up with younger guards...(Livingston is pictured above against the Orlando Magic.) Photo by Rich Yee.

Not exhibition season
by Outlaw

In October most of us said "it's a done deal," expecting the Warriors to cakewalk to their fourth title in five years. One must be very wary; over-confidence can be a dangerous thing. The Warriors may be looking past the ho-hum regular season as basically exhibition until the playoffs; but there's one guy on that bench who knows it's not--Steve Kerr. A man with a knack for self-deprecation, perspective, taking responsibility and brutal honesty, the coach is aware that history is littered with the corpses of great teams that took success for granted.

Friday night, in what was hyped as the biggest game of the year to date, somebody forgot to notify Andre Iguodala that he was done, over the hill. The 34-year old veteran--and finals MVP-- has lost another step, and his reluctance to shoot is often maddening, but he can still get up--as in elevate-- for big games, like he did against the Bucks: 15 points, 8 boards, smothering defense, and, most of all, leadership, the kind you cannot quantify. Let's hope he's healthy come June.

Beating Milwaukee convincingly on the road will get a lot of fans off the ledge. On a night without Draymond, where Kevin Durant, shockingly, had four more turnovers (seven) than field goals (three) it ultimately came down to defense, less turnovers, and the bench that got the job done in the second half. The team finally gave coach Kerr the complete game--against a quality 
opponent--he was hoping for. And with seven of the next nine games at home, albeit against teams that are all at or above .500, the Warriors are poised for a holiday run. We have yet to see the team that looks like they can challenge a full-strength Golden State in a seven-game series. But that could change...

First-Third Report Card: As the season passes the 1/3 mark--28 down, 54 to go--the standings find the Dubs at 18-10, on the mend and on the rise. Steph is back delivering daggers and dimes and Draymond is returning, perhaps tonight against Minnesota. KD has been at times superb, and Klay, despite some shooting woes, has been steady. Shawn Livingston has slowed down and has difficulty keeping up with younger guards, but can still give the team quality minutes. Jonas Jerebko and, to a lesser extent, Alfonzo McKinnie, have been a double revelation, nailing threes, playing hungry, and hustling like crazy. With Damian Jones out for the year and Jordan Bell inconsistent, Kevon Looney has had to grow up fast in the post; but his defense is solid and he makes few mistakes.

Since the end of last season I count twelve teams that have improved. What do most of them have in common? Quick young players who can shoot threes. The gap between the champs and the rest of the NBA has narrowed; the regular season is no longer exhibition time. If DeMarcus Cousins returns in 2019 at just 50% and doesn't re-injure his Achilles, they will have a daunting lineup. But players get hurt, and every opponent has their games against Golden State circled on the calendar.

So what are the Warriors' marching orders? "Winning games in this league is not easy. Nobody gives you W's," as Kerr is so fond of saying. It might be a good idea to stop taking things for granted. For us, the fans, take a deep breath and be patient. For them, the champs, the recipe is the same as it's been for five years; Stay healthy--and for God's sake--get the ball to Steph.

Any questions?
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From 2000-2005 I wrote a column for the late great Oakland Athletics Fan Coalition (OAFC) entitled  Elman Swings
, a play on the fact that I'm a musician. Some of you may remember the OAFC, an East Bay organization that at its peak had several thousand members devoted to keeping the A's in Oakland and guess what? They've succeeded. Perhaps one or two of you might remember my articles (more like rants) about baseball and society. So when the Ultimate Sports Guide asked me to compose regular screeds for this weekly blast called Outlaw's Outtakes, how could I say "No?" ('Outlaw' is their nickname for me.) -- Pete Elman

3-6-17 - Pops

Michael King (left), with an associate from USF (center), and Karla Granadino-King, are pictured at the Olympic Club in San Francisco,  proudly sharing with the world their  Pops Premium Rumpopo. A King family secret, Pops Premium Rumpopo is a  delicious rum cream liqueur recipe brewed in the family tradition.  The award winning recipe is a Belizean family favorite and now available at all Total Wine & More stores in California and Bay Area retailers.
For more information, visit

Pops - Original
Pops Back Label