Warriors celebrate arena groundbreaking with dancing excavators, duh

Acrobats and construction equipment perform at the Chase Center groundbreaking ceremony. (AP)
Acrobats and construction equipment perform at the Chase Center groundbreaking ceremony. (AP)

The Golden State Warriors have had plans to move from Oakland to San Francisco pretty much since owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber bought the team from Chris Cohan in 2010. The team’s plans have changed several times due to community opposition (and a toilet-shaped design), but the new Chase Center appears set to open for the 2019-20 season without major issue. In fact, the franchise officially broke ground on the site in the city’s Mission Bay neighborhood (not far from the San Francisco Giants’ beautiful AT&T Park) on Monday.

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The groundbreaking ceremony was a celebration, as expected. Lacob commented that Kevin Durant will be in a Warriors uniform for a while, San Francisco mayor Ed Lee made his 427th unappealing public appearance in a row, and various other organization luminaries basked in the rich-person glow that only an arena groundbreaking can provide.

Also, three giant excavators danced to Johann Strauss’s “The Blue Danube” while acrobats performed in construction-worker uniforms:

At least Lacob and Guber didn’t do anything to suggest they are out of touch with the team’s traditional (and extremely supportive) fan base in Oakland. That would have been embarrassing.

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If you’re one of the many people who found this aspect of the Chase Center groundbreaking a little weird and unfamiliar, don’t worry. The event still had people in suits wearing hard hats and shoveling dirt:

And Lacob assured San Francisco’s wealthy tech workers and aggressive gentrifiers that he and the Warriors are on their side:

All in all, the groundbreaking seems like a big success. You have to wonder why anyone sees the move out of Oakland as a negative. Isn’t that right, Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group?

For decades, the Warriors have refused to acknowledge our city. Years ago, during the previous ownership, I asked why they weren’t the Oakland Warriors. Years ago, after they introduced the retro San Francisco jerseys, I asked why there were no Oakland uniforms. Each time, they gave the same answer: our fans are all over the Bay Area. “We have season ticket holders in Walnut Creek and Concord” … “We have to think about our fans in the South Bay” … “We’ve been Golden State for so long, why change?” … Blah. Blah. Blah.

Translation: Oakland is too violent, too ghetto and too ugly and we don’t want to share in that brand. Even where the stadium is located – deep East Oakland, where the undesired grime and ruggedness is the décor – is deemed unfit for such a glamorous team.

For 50 years, Oakland has embraced the Warriors. This city was the refuge back when San Francisco didn’t support the Warriors and then-owner Franklin Mieuli was ready to bounce to San Diego. This region, with its rough edges and bent on loyalty, made the Warriors relevant when the franchise wasn’t shiny enough to attract San Francisco’s wealth. Oakland made the Warriors. The East Bay made the Warriors. […]

But today, I’m siding with those who are hurt by the having their beloved team snatched from them, only to be dangled where they can still see it. Today, while the Warriors celebrated their hard-fought achievement, I’d rather chill with those who see this as an elite takeover – who invested into the Warriors and whose interest makes this team cool and hip and popular enough for the ownership to go make a killing on the Silicon Valley crowd. Today, I choose not to act like the Warriors moving to San Francisco is a great thing.

I guess all that grime and rugged decor would’ve been more marketable if it’d been backed by a classic Viennese waltz.

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Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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The NBA's coaches will vote on their own coach of the year award

Fred Hoiberg knows what's up. (Getty Images)
Fred Hoiberg knows what’s up. (Getty Images)

Not only does everyone get an award, everyone now gets to give an award. Participation trophy culture is real, the critics will snarl, until we inform them that in this instance Gregg Popovich will be involved.

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NBA coaches will vote on their own coach of the year award, starting in 2017, with an appreciation to go alongside the NBA’s Coach of the Year award (which is voted on by the press).

The National Basketball Coaches Association will call it the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award, named after the long-time Executive Director of the National Basketball Coaches Association (via Pro Basketball Talk).

From the press release:

The Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award will be an annual award given to honor the most successful Head Coach in the National Basketball Association (“NBA”) as voted upon by his or her peers. It will be the only award chosen entirely by NBA Coaches. Every season, Head Coaches representing all 30 NBA Teams will select the winner. The winner of the 2017 Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award will be announced at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 NBA regular season.

[…]

And so, the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award honors the substantial contributions of Mr. Goldberg, who set the standard for loyalty, integrity, passionate representation, and tireless promotion of NBA Coaching.

(Many hoopheads may recognize Goldberg’s name from Terry Pluto’s book ‘Loose Balls,’ which rightfully credited him as one of the leading lights in the NBA-ABA merger.

A “merger” that wasn’t, per Goldberg: “First of all, the NBA never called it a merger. The four ABA teams in essence bought their way into the NBA and the NBA considered it an expansion.”)

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This move comes on the heels of the National Basketball Players Association’s decision to hand out its own awards, following the regular season, which led to one televised ceremony in its first year of voting on trophies, and a bunch of annoying video tweets the second.

The NBCA is no stranger to award ceremonies, sending president (and Dallas Mavericks head coach) Rick Carlisle out each June to the site of that year’s NBA Finals to present the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award to a legendary member of the league’s coaching fraternity, but that designation is for the league to decide upon.

That doesn’t make the choice for the 30 NBA coaches any easier. The Coach of the Year voting is annually the toughest pick in the NBA’s award season, a tradition that figures to extend into 2016-17, with the league threatening to make it a firing-free season for coaches for the first time since the early 1970s.

The politics will intrigue. With a typically-strong slew of top picks to choose from, you might assume that the group (mindful of the NBA’s own award doing the heavy lifting) would look to congratulate longtime members of the profession. Someone like Charlotte’s Steve Clifford could take the nod, even if his team misses the playoffs. Or a long-timer like Terry Stotts (at only five seasons at Portland, he qualifies in this league) or Rick Carlisle himself.

I’m telling you, Frank Vogel will get votes. The list of assigned values, in coaching ranks, runs deep. This is why we love them so.

No word on if the NBCA will produce its own, televised, award ceremony.

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Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!