Thanks, Mikey …

Thanks for your service in Vietnam. Thanks to all the men and women who’ve served the country in war and in peace. All of this is apropos of nothing but the notion that this doesn’t get said enough in the course of our perpetual piss-take on the perps who get us into those wars, who don’t believe in the peace.

And, Mikey, I gotta tell ya … Warriors. Baron. J-Rich. Nellie. Best goddam playoff basketball I’ve seen in a long, long time. Probably have to go back to Bulls-Suns or even the old Celtics-Lakers tilts for this kind of fun. This is better than Run TMC, better than Sleepy and Terry Teagle and Larry Smith, better than Phil Smith and World B. Free. It’s early and there’s a lot of playoffs to get through, but I might put this Warriors team up there with ’75 when it’s all said and done.

It’s like I’m a kid again … getting all excited watching these games … pretending to shoot jumpers and execute reverse dunks in my living room (Sunday) or the bar (the other games) … it’s been a helluva ride … can’t wait ’til tomorrow’s game.


Comments: 32


I’ve got a cousin (actually cousin by marriage) who’s in the army; he’s studying at the language school, thankfully–we were terrified that with “the Surge” he’d be shipped off to Iraq.

My stepfather was a marine in WWII. One uncle was in Berlin at the end of the war and afterwards; another uncle, his brother, was in the air force. My father was blind in one eye, and joined the National Guard*.

It’s important to step back and remember that there are a lot of reasons why someone’s in the military. Some are drafted; some volunteer. Whether they want to defend the nation or just really need money for college. Now, you can argue about the tuition issue, but at any rate, yeah–I may be against this war, but not every soldier–not even the majority of soldiers–have been Abu Ghraib or Haditha material.

*(being dead, he’s not likely to be called up–though a zombie army would probably be really useful in the short term–let’s just not think about the long term)


It’s all about Nellie. If you’re local here, DA, and if you are you probably already know this, but Barbieri and Tolbert do like a half hour with Nellie on KNBR on thursdays. Must be around 4:30, I usually hear it coming home. He is SO cool. He’ll say anything. He’ll get bleeped a dozen times, and that doesn’t count when he calls Barbieri a “dumb bastard”. He just gets it. His players love him and will go past the limit for him. Tactically, he can make any team better. I read the other day somewhere that the NBA game is being revolutionized by Nellie and similar, with no big man down low, five guys that can hit from outside, run, move the ball and play defense. It’s a fast, free-wheeling style, and you’re right, it’s damn fun to watch.

Thanks for the kind words. But don’t slow down, don’t let up, don’t stop. Let’s keep working towards a world where we don’t waste our best youth on killing other countries best youth. Let’s keep making our voices heard. Our young people need to be doctors and teachers and engineers and scientists, not killers. And nobody should have to carry the scars, the physical scars, the emotional scars and the psychic scars that come from doing and seeing things too awful to ever even say. War wrecks everything it touches, from the towns and cities and countryside where it’s fought to the lives of the participants and the people it just runs right over.

Hell, we’re all refugees. Some of us just end up in better camps.

Charley Mike…



Thanks, Mikey, and thanks for your fine writing as well.


Give Peace a Chance.

NBC will never go for it, not good for GE’s bottom line. But what the heck, let’s try it some day.


I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, mikey’s comments rank among the best here in Sadlynaut-land.


mikey’s comments rank among the best here in Sadlynaut-land.

Agreed. Thank you, mikey.


Born and raised in the City, d00d. (We need to get some of those throwback Warriors jerseys, only they would say Teh City instead of The City.)

Used to go to the summer league games at Kezar Pavilion, where Warriors rooks and second-year guys would often show up. Nellie sat behind me one of those times, watching Chris Gatling and Victor Alexander … he ate three buckets of popcorn during that game. Said: “Gat takes everything to the rim,” as I recall.

In another game I saw Tim Hardaway make Jason Kidd (then about to be a Mavs rookie) look absolutely foolish. Pre-surgery (pre-homophobe? probably not) Timmy was rocking the killer crossover, about broke J-Kidd’s ankles a couple of times.


Oh yeah? Check this out. One late winter day somewhere in the 80’s, I’d have to look it up and I don’t wanna, I sat down in mid-afternoon in The Eagle Cafe in Pier 39 an ordered a beer. It was late enough in the winter so Baseball was on everybody’s radar. I started having a conversation with the old dude in the suit next to me at the bar about what the giants (who stunk to high heaven at this time) needed to do. We shot the shit about baseball for about an hour, then the old dude paid the tab (his AND mine) and left.

And the bartender said “You know who that was?” And I had no idea and he said “That was Bob Lurie”…



Nellie did lose Chris Webber…and stuck with Sean fucking Bradley…


Ah, but is it better than Purvis Short and Joe Barry Carroll?

Nellie did lose Chris Webber…and stuck with Sean fucking Bradley…

Nelson also drafted Chris Washburn in 1986, ran Mitch Richmond out of town, had Mr. Jennings run the offense, and regularly employed Donnie Nelson, Jr. as an assistant.


That’s funny. One, I worked at Dante’s Sea Catch on Pier 39 in the mid-80’s and I went to high school with Bob Lurie’s son, who was big into charley … just a different kind than your sign-off a couple of posts above.

Bob Lurie – nice guy, terrible baseball owner.


Playing Nellie’s advocate: he’d let practice end if Tim Hardaway could make reverse half-court shots. Which Tim could.


Thanks to Mikey and my Dad, Capt. Gilbs (Ret., Khe Sanh).


Also, is it better than Manute Bol launching 3’s? It’s definitely better than backboard passes to a gimpy Ralph Sampson. Or ernomogiganticus Kermit Washington version 2.1tomjanovichjaw making the most musclebound comeback in the annals of pro sports.

Incontinentia Buttocks

Grew up in Berkeley, but now live far away. Boy was I spoiled as a kid: A’s winning three straight World Series, the Raiders always competitive. And then that surprise Warriors championship team. I loved that ’74-’75 team. I used to listen to the games on the radio. That’s when I came to love the late Bill King, one of the truly great sports announcers.

I’m a huge A’s fan, as well as a big college football and basketball fan. But I’m an admittedly fair weather Warriors fan. As I was telling someone in my office today, it’s been about a decade-and-half since there’s been much fair weather. But boy is it nice out now! This series has been so much fun to watch.

Memory of the old days: anyone else remember that the the guy who sang the National Anthem for the Warriors in the 1970s used to perform only the fourth and final verse?

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I think Warriors fans of a certain generation are the only people in the country who even know these words.

And, in honor of mayday, my current favorite version of the Internationale, a sort of Japanese-Klezmer rendition by the group Soul Flower Mononoke Summit. Enjoy!


Nelson also drafted Chris Washburn in 1986,

I don’t think that was Nelson. That was Al Attles, IIRC.

ran Mitch Richmond out of town,

Traded Mitch for Billy Owens … bad trade overall, but Owens gave the Warriors some height and that year they won 55 games, best since 75-76.

had Mr. Jennings run the offense, and regularly employed Donnie Nelson, Jr. as an assistant.

Can’t really defend Keith Jennings, other than to say he only started 24 games in ’94-’95 and I think that was the year Hardaway was coming back from being hurt and anyway wasn’t that the strike year when Jordan was hiding out from the Mob for his gambling debts (in other words, a lost year that was crazy all around and doesn’t count)?

As for Donnie Nelson – he’s very good at judging and signing European talent. Like really good. Sarunas and Dirk to name the biggest finds.


But is it better than Manute from downtown? (I haven’t watched a play this time)


A good stat:

Some years back ex-player Scott Hastings devised the Trillion Club. To become a member you must play in an NBAgame (no minimum time)and do
absolutely nothing since 15 zeros follow the minute column. (A commitee voted to allow a player to join the club if he only had a personal foul.) Ryan
Bowen led in 2005-06. The 2004-05 winner was Anthony Carter with a record 23. The 2003-04 winner was Darvin Ham with 10. The 2002-03 winner
was John Salmons with 10. The 2001-02 winner was Mark Pope with 9; in 2000-01, Travis Knight had 11. In 1999-2000 Doug Overton and Bruce
Bowen tied for first with 9. In 1998-99 David Wingate did it 8 times to beat out Brian Evans with 5. In the 1997-98 season DeJuan Wheat of Minnesota
led with 11; in 1996-97 Jud Buechler was the runaway winner with 15 games. Lou Roe led in 1995-96 with 12, Doug Lee in 1994-95 with 7.

Qetesh the Abyssinian

My aunt’s fiance was killed on the last day of fighting at El Alamein (my aunt was a couple of decades older than my mother). He was the teacher in a country school, and when I say ‘the’ teacher, I mean the only teacher: small country town, small country school.

My aunt never married, and she died at Easter (at the ripe old age of 95). We’ve had to sort her stuff, and I’ve found a couple of little gifts that he gave her, with the notes inside. It’s heart-breaking. He went because he was called up, not because he wanted to fight, but in those days every Aussie did his duty, and the second world war was at least a threat to us down here at one stage.

So thanks from here, Mikey, and know that you’ve done something far tougher than I’ll ever do. It’s a miracle that you got through it with all your bits still attached, and you are indeed one of the best of the Sadlynauts.

As for Mayday, my favourite Mayday was in Korea a few years ago. I went there for a conference, and since I don’t get out much, my sister and I went travelling a bit. Fascinating country, with a very troublesome history. We were trapped in the middle of Seoul by the Mayday march: hundreds of thousands of folks, from organisations and individuals, all marking the occasion. Dozens of armoured buses were disgorging hundreds of cops in riot gear who looked pretty damn scared, but there was no violence.

Interesting that the Koreans have had to fight so hard for democracy, after all the help from their American friends. Who remembers the Kwangju massacre? I recently got hold of a copy of the extremely hard to get Kwangju Diary, written by one of the surviving protestors, and it makes our claims to democracy pretty shabby in comparison.

Which is probably why the armoured and armed cops in Seoul that year: they’ve had to right for it, even at risk of their lives.


I don’t think that was Nelson. That was Al Attles, IIRC.

You’re right. Nelson came on in July 1987, which means I can’t blame him for Tellis Frank either.


I hate to break up the party but the Mavs and Dirk are largely responsible for the collapse. Frankly, the Warriors are a bunch of no class clowns. They did themselves no favors with their on court antics early in the series. That said, Dallas will lose and people will talk of MVP Dirk nevermore. GS will get beat by Houston in the next round, fun play or no.


Mmm, I could use some punch! Holy sh … what’s that floating brown thing … oh now that’s just disgusting.

Thanks heet!


heet was probably rooting for the Suns when the played the Lakers in the first round of the 1993 playoffs.


I remember my college days in the Bay, watching Sarunas Marciulonis just charge down the f-in lane with his shoulder wedged against the defender– people rarely could take a charge. He was a Pornstache Hall-of-Famer, too.


heet bets ‘no pass’ at craps and is hoping for a pistons-spurs final.


All right, mikey. You deserve it!.

But I want to talk about my friend Tom.

I met my friend Tom in ’79. Tom was my coworker. We were dispatched by a labor union to various worksites, working for various employers. We worked long hours and the work was heavy, physically. There were many times when a quick, smart action by your coworker meant the difference between being safe and having something heavy dropped on you. All of us hung tight, looked after one another, talked a lot of trash, covered up for each other when we needed it.

I used to think Tom didn’t like me, maybe because I had gone to college, and he hadn’t, maybe because I was a newbie and he thought I hadn’t paid my dues. But I admired Tom, because he was one helluva worker who wasn’t afraid of anything, and after working with him for a long time, I finally got the sense that he didn’t think I was too bad. I remember how good it made me feel to earn his respect.

Tom was also a Vietnam veteran. I never really heard it from him, I only heard second hand stories, but I heard he had been a medic.

Tom was a drinker. He was a famous drinker, in our ranks, and, oh, we could drink. And drug, too. He was the guy who did crazy shit. He was a guy you’d tell stories about. He went over the top.

Tom had a wife and a house and a dog. Afte a while, he moved out to the country to mellow out and start a plant nursery and get out of the crazy lifestyle of our line of work. A couple years into this, his wife left him. He moved back into town and went back to work.

Soon, he was calling in sick, missing work calls, and showing up drunk or drinking on the job. He hooked up with a young coworker of ours, but it grew stormy and ended. His dog grew old, and she died. Employers wrote him up, or told the dispatcher “don’t send Tom on the job anymore.”

One day – and I don’t remember what year it was – Tom stayed up all night drinking by himself at home and had a gun and shot himself in the stomach.

It didn’t kill him. He lay on the floor of his house for hours, calling out for help until his neighbor heard him and called the cops.

Tom ended up at the VA hospital, paralyzed from the waist down.

By this time, I had moved to another town. I had a business trip that brought me back home, and I made plans to see Tom on my last morning before flying out. I drove my rental car up to the VA to see him. I think it was in 1999.

Tom had long black hair, and he’d always worn a beard, and it looked funny to see him pale and thin in a wheelchair. He was pretty good tooling around in the chair in the hallways of the VA. He told me how he’d been in counseling and in rehab. How this was the very first time since the war that he’d actually started dealing with things. He had the bullet they’d taken out of his spinal column, and showed it to me – that was creepy and I told him so. I told him how much I’d admired him and tried to gain his approval at work. He told me how he never felt like he was good at anything. I didn’t ask him about his ex-wife, or about our coworker he’d been in a relationship with – I thought it was too weird.

Mostly, he told me that, sitting there in the VA hospital, he felt for the first time that he had a future. And wasn’t that ironic, given the fact that he was a paraplegic for the rest of his life?

I finished my business and flew home.

A little while later, I got a message from someone saying that Tom had died.

He had completed his rehab and his physical therapy, and was moving to an apartment in a handicap-accessible building. He was enrolled in some programs to help him reintegrate into life. He was sober and he was full of hope for a new life. He moved into his new apartment, and then, shortly after, he was found dead. A blood clot, complication of his condition, had gone to his brain.

This is for my friend Tom.


Until this year, the best Warrior game I ever saw was the night Spree put up 46 against Orlando in 1995 to match Penny’s 46, with Hardaway hitting a corner 3 to go to overtime. Shaq shifted the stanchion with the alley-oop over Seikaly that won it; you could feel that throw-down from where we sat.

But Baron, my Bruin boy, when he’s healthy he has near-Jordan skills, and he makes these games just as amazing as that one. In one series, they’ve made GS a prime destination for free agents. Everyone will want to play there. All playoff progress from here on out is gravy after that one accomplishment. Siberia no longer.


Beautifully written, g. And you’ve inspired me to thank my love, Neil, who went to Vietnam, too. He’ll never see this, because he’s a Republican and doesn’t care much for talking politics–much less arguing with a bunch of snarky lefties–but thank you, Neil.


Hey, don’t get me wrong, Baron is a badass. The Warriors did something the Mavs couldn’t do – win. In games 1 and 2, the Mavs just thought it was a quick stop on the long road to the finals. As thing went downhill, Dirk has shown he is a horrible leader and can’t handle pressure. They fell apart. C’mon, the Mavs won 67 regular season games!

GS deserves these wins, no doubt. They might even beat the Rockets in the next round. That will be a great series. Watch out, though. I predict Phoenix will steamroll GS and take the championship.

Beautiful story, g. I see guys at the VA occasionally and they all have stories. One of the biggest moral deprivations the right rhetori-matic spin machine has performed is the demonizing of our VA system and the people who use their facilities. The RW need to piss on socialized health care is so great they will sacrifice our commitment to Vets. People who should know better, AF and national guard vets, have told me VA clients are all unemployed drug abusers and the system is a waste of resources. Shameful.


I love mikey.


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