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The Warriors make a big splash signing Kevin Durant

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Kevin Durant will sign with the Golden State Warriors

OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV) —Sometimes the snow comes down in June as Vanessa Williams sang in her classic ballad, “Saved The Best For Last”.That was my high school senior prom theme in 1992, nearly 25 years ago.  Now it’s Christmas in July after the Warriors inked THE free agent in Kevin Durant.

Many are surprised by the signing just as they were when LeBron James made “The Decision” when he joined the Miami Heat back in 2010. Some similarities remain. There are media personalities like ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith who think KD sold out and that if he does win a championship or two, it’ll be tainted.

I got a one-on-one interview with CSN Bay Area Warriors Insider Monte Poole and here’s what he had to say about the deal:

“It makes the Warriors the most explosive team in the league right now, and maybe in NBA history. You’ve got (Stephen) Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant on the floor at the same time. This is what the Warriors planned for. They won 73 games last season…did not win the NBA Finals. They probably won’t win 73 games next season, but the NBA Finals, they are the favorites and this is why they’re doing this. They don’t care about winning 73 games. They want to win the championship again and with this group of players, certainly the starting lineup and the “death lineup” they have the goods to do that, fill in a few roster spots, they’ll be in good shape.”

When asked how the Warriors were able to secure Durant,” Poole said, “The recruiting process started a long time ago and then you go to the Hamptons over the weekend with seven men: Curry, Thompson, Green, (Andre) Iguodala, CEO Joe Lacob, General Manager Bob Myers, Steve Kerr the head coach, all go to the Hamptons to sit with Durant and then on Saturday they call the hammer, Jerry West…he’s the closer.”

When Poole said closer, all I thought of was that classic scene in Glengarry Glen Ross by Alec Baldwin.

And it would only be complete to get some fan reaction. Many in Oklahoma City have burned their Durant jerseys, just as they did when LeBron James left Cleveland.

Said Jeren Livernois from Modesto: “As a Warriors fan, I have a little sympathy for them but whatever. It is what it is. I feel like we’re the villains now but we can embrace that as fans.”

Wow, the Warriors have come a long way. They never in their history ever have had a big name free agent. Sure they’ve had players like Wilt Chamberlain and Rick Barry but they came up as rookies. Arguably, their biggest acquisitions before this were Andre Iguodala and Baron Davis but Livernois had low expectations many years ago.

“I remember back in the day when I was excited about Larry Hughes coming to the Warriors as a free agent. We’ve come a long way since then and I’m pretty excited. It’s awesome…good stuff!”

Good stuff indeed and I tried not to laugh when he mentioned Larry Hughes’ name. Other than a 44 point performance, Hughes was mostly a bust and best remembered for this arm tattoos when that was just becoming a fad.

And Jake Rickard from Woodside chimed in with his thoughts:

“I think it’s a game changer man.  It’s going to tear the league apart, honestly. From the reactions I’ve been seeing, it’s just been either really happy or really upset and from the players in the NBA, their reactions are mostly pretty upset. For me as a Warriors fan I think it’s going to be unbelievable.”

Bottom line, this is the 21st Century. The era of playing on one team for the entirety of your career isn’t common or practical.  Sure it’d be nice if Kevin Durant stayed with Oklahoma City, but this is the United States of America, not the USSR. This is a free country and that’s the definition of a “free agent.” Monte Poole appeared on the Giants telecast on Monday and gave a great analogy. Imagine Willie Mays with Hank Aaron as his teammate and that’s what the Warriors essentially have done. They have arguably the best starting lineup in the game.

Give Lacob and Peter Guber some credit. They’ve stated since the day they bought the team in 2010 they wanted their legacy to revolve around championships. Since 2012, the Warriors have won two division titles, played in two NBA Finals and won one Championship. Maybe to the rest of the NBA this is a monopoly but for the Bay Area, these are exciting times!

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Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen resigns

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Secretary Nielsen resigns

WASHINGTON, DC (Diya TV) —   Kirstjen Nielsen, the US Homeland Security Secretary, is stepping down over major differences with the administration on how to implement President Trump’s immigration policies.

Meanwhile, President Trump continues to campaign around the nation to make the case for his re-election in 2020. Over the weekend, he told a Las Vegas crowd India is charging 100% tariffs to the U.S. on many things and he wants to reciprocate. He added the Senate is not doing enough to change what he calls “stupid trade.”

The South Asian Bar Association’s Northern California chapter held their annual fundraising gala, a chance for judges, attorneys and the next generation to network and honor their peers.

The NBA Champion Golden State Warriors are moving to San Francisco in the fall, so they held their final Bollywood Night in Oakland. We’ll take you behind the scenes and introduce you to a member of the Warriors Dance Team that choreographed an epic Bollywood dance.

And Ravi Ahuja, the former CFO of Fox Networks, is now Walt Disney Television’s CFO and president of business operations.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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University of Houston’s President, Renu Khator joins the NCAA Division I Board

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NCAA board

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) —  Renu Khator, President & Chancellor of University of Houston, the first Indian American to lead a major research university in the U.S., is joining the NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors.

Framroze “Fram” Virjee is now permanent president of the California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). He was a private practice lawyer for nearly 30 years before becoming interim CSUF president last year.

Rutgers Law School announced Neal Katyal, the former Acting Solicitor General of the United States and Vanita Gupta, the former head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division will both be 2019 commencement speakers.

George Jacob, the President & CEO of non-profit Bay.org behind the ambitious Bay Ecotarium, received the 2019 Louie Kamookak Medal from the The Royal Canadian Geographic Society for making Canada’s geography better known to Canadians and to the world.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Golden State Warriors host first-ever Sikh Awareness Night

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OAKLAND, CALIF. (Diya TV) — Oracle Arena was the site of the first-ever Sikh Awareness Night as the Golden State Warriors cruised to a 117-101 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies Monday night.

It was the second one in as many weeks throughout the NBA as the Los Angeles Clippers introduced it to their home crowd last week.

Other teams and leagues have previously hosted Sikh Heritage Nights, including the San Jose Sharks, who were the first NHL team last year to hold such an event.

Aman Singh, part of the local gurdwaras organization to put the event together, was excited for the community to be represented.

“We contribute to society here, so it’s great to be able to be part of this, to be able to have exposure and allow other folks in the community to get an idea of our heritage, Sikh values,” Singh said.

Fans got there early enough to take pictures outside Oracle and awaiting them inside was an up-close view of Stephen Curry’s highly-anticipated shootaround.

Soon enough, Singh — who was also coaching the pregame scrimmage — would hit the Warriors hardwood with 16 young kids from the Sikh community to shot hoops.

For 13-year-old Gagandeep Kaur of Milpitas, it was an unforgettable moment to be out there.

“Being able to play on the same court as my inspirations means a lot,” she said.

The five-minute scrimmage right before players from the Warriors and Grizzlies hit the floor included some dazzling shots and a buzzer-beater as well.

Members of the two teams remained close by as they eventually stood in front of their inspirations during the National Anthem.

Additionally, right after halftime, they were greeted with high-fives from Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and among others coming out of the tunnel.

“It’s great to be part of something like this,” Singh said.

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