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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!

Basketball

Bucks bycott Game 5 in wake of Jacob Blake shooting, NBA season now in limbo

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Milwakee Bucks issue a statement

ORLANDO, Florida (Diya TV) — As the video of George Flyod’s killing spread across social media, the Black Lives Matter movement grew stronger & folks took to the streets to protest against police brutality. The NBA’s coronavirus-halted season resumed last month in Orlando. This Sunday, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a police officer shot Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, seven times in the back.

Outraged, the Milwaukee Bucks players, decided to boycott Game 5 of the playoff series against the Orlando Magic. They forfiet the game, but the Magic refused to accept the Bucks’ forfeit and instead, both teams stood united, and the Bucks called Wisconsin’s Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor during “game time”.

The news spread quickly and other teams followed suit, notably the Rockets and Thunder, after Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul discussed the boycott.

Coincidently, four years ago today, former 49er Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during the national anthem. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell finally said that he that he wished they “had listened to Kaepernick earlier.” Kaepernick, who was essentially exiled from the league, has been receiving a lot of praise after today’s boycott.

The players took the “game time” to call the Attorney General Josh Kaul & Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes.

Twittersphere saw a barrage of reactions from players, coaches to former president Barack Obama

The 29-year-old, Jacob Blake was shot repeatedly in the back as he attempted to get into his car, while his three children sat inside. Protests have erupted in Kenosha since the shooting, with two people killed after a teenager opened fire on demonstrators with an assault rifle on Tuesday.

After the historic walkout, a players meeting was organized that continued past midnight in Orlando & sources say there was some frustration in the meeting among the players with the Bucks blindsiding everyone with their walk-out plan. Bucks’ guard, George Hill admitted he first sparked conversation pregame to boycott and his teammates supported.

As the teams voted on the status of the season, the LA Clippers & LA Lakers voted to boycott the NBA season, with LeBron James walking out of the meeting. He was soon followed by all the players from the LA teams.

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India, Pakistan spar over women’s rights in Kashmir

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India

NEW YORK (Diya TV)  — At the United Nations, both India and Pakistan’s representatives took shots at their counterpart over women’s rights. Islamabad’s outgoing envoy to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, said the women in Jammu and Kashmir were suffering due to the communication blackout in the state. India’s First Secretary to the UN Paulomi Tripathi said, without naming Pakistan, these “baseless statements” were ironic given the amount of honor killings that take place there annually.

Rajeev Majumdar is the new president of the Washington State Bar Association, becoming the first state bar president of South Asian descent in the United States.

For the first time, India entered the ranks of the top ten countries sending visitors to the United States, with tourists from India spending nearly $16 billion in the U.S. in 2018 alone.

And while the Kings and Pacers played two entertaining games in Mumbai, their legacy will include supporting five under-resourced schools in and around the region, outfitting them with Smart Classrooms, STEM training and new basketball courts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Gandhi 150th birth anniversary noted around the world

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Birth Anniversary

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) —  Celebrations for Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary have been ongoing for the past year, but culminated with a ceremony in New Delhi featuring Prime Minister Modi and another in Washington at the Library of Congress. And France’s government worked with the Indian Embassy there to issue a stamp in honor of his birth anniversary.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal are meeting this week to continue the US-India discussion on trade and investment.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb came to New Delhi to strengthen ties between the Hoosier State and India. Infosys has already made a large commitment there. Holcomb is part of a large delegation of Americans now heading Mumbai to take in the first-ever NBA preseason games in India featuring the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings.

Bollywood turned Hollywood actor Anupam Kher came to the Bay Area to keynote the Akshay Patra annual fundraising gala that helps feed children in India a hot meal during the school year.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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