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Vivek Ranadive and the Kings take leadership in community building

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Vivek Ranadive addressing the crowds at the Golden One Center, just before the game, in light of Stephon Clark shooting. Photo: Sacramento Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Diya TV) — In a rare step for a professional sports franchise, the Sacramento Kings and their majority owner Vivek Ranadive are engaging in the contentious national debate over gun violence and the disproportionate amount of deaths of African-American men at the hands of law enforcement.

“We here at the Kings recognize that we have a big platform. It’s a privilege, but it’s also a responsibility. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously. We stand here before old, young, black, white, brown and we are all united in our commitment,” said Ranadive.

The Indian-American tech entrepreneur turned NBA franchise owner made those remarks on center court surrounded by his team after the Kings’ sparsely attended matchup with the Atlanta Hawks on March 22nd. The start of the game was delayed by 19 minutes because of protests over the police involved shooting March 18th of 22-year-old Stephon Clark. Thousands of fans were turned away from the arena because of rancor.

Clark was unarmed and holding a cell phone in his hands while in his grandparents’ backyard when he was killed. Of the 20 rounds fired, eight of them hit Clark, primarily in the back, according to an independent autopsy conducted by renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu.

Sacramento police say the shooting was in self-defense after Clark advanced towards them and ignored their orders to stop. He also had previous run-ins with the law and stood accused that night of breaking into cars.

Ranadive and the Kings are not taking sides, but merely entering the fray has left them vulnerable to criticism at this politically contentious time. Yet that reality has not deterred the team and their owner for being proactive in their support of this grieving community.

The Kings announced an education fund for the children of Stephon Clark and new partnerships with Black Lives Matter Sacramento and the Build.Black. Coalition in an effort to deeply invest in Sacramento’s black youth.

In addition, the NBA community has stood behind Ranadive.

“It was really cool to see the Sacramento community really stand behind each other. And it was really cool to see how Vivek handled it the other night with his address to the crowd,” said Golden State Warriors Guard Klay Thompson.

“I was very proud the way the Kings handled it and the way the NBA handled it.
And I thought Vivek’s words afterwords were beautiful,” remarked Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr.

Ranadive has shown a unique flare for community building since joining the NBA’s ownership ranks. He introduced Bollywood Night to the association when he was co-owner and Vice Chair of the Golden State Warriors and brought the tradition to Sacramento upon becoming the Kings majority owner. It’s become an event the growing Indian community has come to relish.

“I think Vivek is doing a really good job in the sense of promoting that and saying that hey, there’s opportunities like this to come and share a big stage with many talented people, with the basketball players and what not. So I think it’s a really good opportunity for everybody,” said Preet Chahal of “Dance In You” Academy.

“It’s a special privilege for me to be able to do this. To be able to give a shout out to the country of my birth,” said Ranadive.

In our exclusive interview, Ranadive told us why — as one of the few minority owners in sports — he’s speaking up when few in his position would do so.

“We’ve always had the belief, when I bought the franchise, that I had this vision of NBA 3.0. And it was about using technology. It was about being global, which we’ve done. But it was also about using basketball as an agent of good and as an agent of change.”

While he’s still finding his place in the hyper-competitive NBA, it’s clear this changemaker in the tech world is using his words and deeds to make a lasting mark on the Capitol City.

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Warriors emerge as the new NBA dynasty with a clean sweep in Cleveland

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Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant, second from left, celebrates after the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-85 in Game 4 of basketball’s NBA Finals to win the NBA championship, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Diya TV) – Back to back NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers taking on one of the greatest players in basketball and a new NBA Dynasty emerged.

At halftime on May 26, the Warriors were down 11 points in Game 7 against the Houston Rockets, with the entire season on the line. Losing that game, wasn’t an option. The Warriors reeled the game back in the second half.

“It shows what our team’s about,” Klay Thompson said after a champagne spray in the locker room.

The Warriors have secured their sixth championship, sweeping the Cavaliers after a rocky season.
Stephen Curry’s ankle and the new Rockets hurt the Warriors’ chances, but the Warriors stayed together and ended on a high note. Kevin Durant, a golden asset to the team, acted like the glue, helping the team during the season when they really needed it.

This back-to-back Finals MVP earned the well deserved Bill Russell Award, scoring 20 points and a triple-double.

Milestones

With the ‘Hamptons Five’ leading the charge, the Warriors have found a new dynasty – a golden one that has won 3 championships in the last 4 years. This team has evolved over the ages, but maintained its style – attack the perimeter, defend the paint, and spread the ball around. And now with Coach Kerr, its redefining they way basketball is played. More skill, more talent, less physicality.

This “golden” dynasty has joined 6 other franchises- Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, L.A. Lakers, and Miami, to repeat as champions. The Warriors now have six championships tied with the Chicago Bulls for third place.

With the Hamptons Five leading the pack, the Warriors have found a new dynasty- a golden one that has won 3 championships in the last 4 years. This team has evolved over the ages but kept its style the same – attack the perimeter, defend the paint, and spread the ball around. This play-type has set records.

The legacy of Kevin Durant has been secured, but people are questioning Steph’s place. With records broken all over the roster, Steph carved out his place in NBA history, despite not winning the Finals MVP. Kevin Durant said, “Does it matter? Does it? Does it? We won two championships. We just won back-to-back. I don’t think anybody’s even worried about that type of stuff. I’m glad that we came out and played a great game tonight. We were able to finish the series off. That’s the only thing that matters to us.” about that.
This unselfish, team first attitude is unique to this Warriors locker room.
Steph echoed Durant saying, “K.D.’s been amazing these last two years, especially in The Finals, and so deserving of back-to-back Finals MVPs. I’m going to be his biggest fan in there with what he’s able to do. I think the biggest thing we appreciate in the locker room is, again, what everybody brings to the table and we kind of unlock the greatness out of each other. I can put my head on the pillow tonight and — actually, I might not go to sleep. When I do go to sleep, put my head on the pillow and understand I had a great year, had a great Finals and I’m a champ.”

LeBron James had rough night and despite the sweep, his contribution to the game and the Cavaliers franchise is unquestionable. He averaged 34 points a game in the Finals, including 51 in Game 1 against a booming Warriors’ defense. He also averaged 8.5 rebounds and 10 assists, almost a triple-double.

What’s Next

As soon as LeBron checked out of the game, he shook hands with the Warriors on court, talk about LeBron leaving the Cavaliers started to flood social media. It was also one of the first questions asked of him in the postgame press conference.

“I have no idea at this point,” James said.

Houston and the Los Angeles Lakers are often mentioned as possible James destinations — but since they’re in the Western Conference it would mean potentially facing the Warriors in playoffs before getting to the Finals. He could go to Philadelphia and join an up-and-coming team, although the 76-ers are dealing with their front-office questions after the resignation of Bryan Colangelo. He could also return to Miami, a place he still loves. However besides the obvious factors, for James there are also personal considerations to account.

“My family is a huge part of whatever I’ll decide,” James said.

Kevin Durant cleared any doubts about leaving the Warriors earlier this week on Thursday in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.
“I’m planning on staying with the Warriors, and we’ll figure the rest out,” Durant said, before adding that only “small details” remain to be settled.
After the big win tonight, he talked about how nice the Warriors’environment is and why he wanted to sign with them in the first place.

As for accomplishing anything, Durant said, “I’ve just got to keep getting better. I don’t think I prove — I proved to myself I picked the right career as a kid. I think I’ve got a lot more to go. So I’m just trying to prove to myself that I could just stay in it for the long haul, and hopefully I continue to have some success. Just keep growing as a player. That’s my only concern.”

The new NBA Dynasty


Love ’em or hate ’em, there is no denying them.

“That’s how you know we’re a great team, is when everybody’s coming after us,” Durant said. “Whether it’s opponents, whether it’s different coaches panning for us, whether it’s the fans, the media that hate us, it feels good when you’re the team that everybody’s gunning for. It makes us better.”

No team is better. They are the champions 2nd year in a row.
Golden State. Golden standard. A team that has changed the way basketball is played.

Overcoming obstacles all season long, the Warriors won their fourth straight finals matchup against Cleveland with a sweep. It was the first sweep in the NBA Finals since 2007, when James was dismissed by a powerful San Antonio team in his first one. His eighth straight appearance didn’t go well either, and now there’s uncertainty where the superstar will play next.
Right now, Golden State is on another tier and with Durant expected to re-sign with them in weeks and Curry, Thompson, Green and the rest still young and hungry, their reign could last much longer.
“We’ve got a lot of three-time, two-time champs in there, and we’ll have plenty of time in our lives to discuss that later,” Curry said. “So want to keep this thing going as long as we can.”

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Will the Warriors sweep, or will the Cavaliers live to fight another game?

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Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant celebrates with Stephen Curry, left, and Draymond Green (23) during the second half of Game 3 of basketball’s NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wednesday, June 6, 2018, in Cleveland. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 110-102 to take a 3-0 lead in the series. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Diya TV) – Stepping back after a dagger 33-feet 3-pointer with less than a minute left in the game, the ‘assassin’ as LeBron James called him, stood there savoring the moment as his teammates screamed in absolute joy. It was the Kevin Durant show. The Cavaliers setup an effective defense on Steph Curry, double teaming him and while he perhaps had the worst night of this finals series, it was Durant’s night to shine. With 43 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists the 6’9″ soft-spoken Warrior along with his supporting cast, executed exactly what the Warriors team is known for – Strength in Numbers. Switching the plays from Curry to Durant, Coach Kerr, chalked in yet another victory for his franchise.

Game 3 was the Cavaliers’s big chance to make a comeback, but this loss lifted the Warriors to places hard to reach. A comeback from a 3-0 deficit has never been done in the playoffs. But the Cavaliers have shown before that they can make history, so this series is still far from over.

The Cavaliers came back from a 2-0 deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals to win the Championship in Game 7 and did not allow the Warriors sweep them last year. However this year the Cavaliers have made many changes to their roster, including bringing on point guard George Hill & the aggressive and fierce shooting guard Rodney Hood and these two made their presence known in Game 3, despite the loss.

For the Warriors, with Durant in his second season with Golden State, their team chemistry has only gotten stronger.
“When a guy like Kevin Durant is hitting these shots, it’s a joy to watch. It’s amazing to be a part of,” Klay Thompson said, about Durant’s 3-pointer. This three is similar to the one last Finals in Game 3, one that was also crucial to the win.

The first and second quarter performances by the Cavaliers were extraordinary, they moved the ball and stopped Curry from finding his rhythm. In addition to having a firing offense, led by Kevin Love and J.R. Smith, they were able to maintain some good defense and keep a double-digit lead for part of the game. Tyronn Lue said, “I thought we played a good first half. They’re going to make runs. That’s what this team does. To be up 6 at the half after being up 13 in that first half, but they’re going to make runs.” Lue decided to play Rodney Hood last night, after benching him for most of the Celtics series. Hood’s 15 points gave himself and the Cavaliers new life, creating offense where there was none.

Stephen Curry was 3-16 from the field, with only 11 points, a rare performance for this all star. Klay Thompson wasn’t able to score much either, with just 10 points. However, Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala, JaVale McGee, and Jordan Bell pitched in. Shaun Livingston has only missed 1 field goal this entire series, pitching in 8 points. Iguodala, although not 100%, showed championship experience and grit with 8 points and a plus of 14. Coach Kerr said, “Andre was really good. He gave us much-needed minutes.” McGee racked in 10 points in 14 minutes and Bell had 10 points in 12 minutes.
Its that kind of team performance that has been the Warriors key to success.

History in Making

Game 3 uncovered a few historic moments in the NBA. Durant, with his notable performance, finished with a career-best in a playoff game and the third-highest point total in Warriors history in the Finals. He also, Durant surpassed veterans Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor on the NBA’s all-time postseason points list, at 17th place with a total of 3,636 points. He has maintained his streak of scoring 25 or more points in his first 13 Finals games.
This has only been matched by Shaquille O’Neal (first 20) and Michael Jordan (first 21).

Draymond Green passed Wilt Chamberlain and became the leader of most rebounds in the postseason for Golden State.
He also made franchise history, with his 100th playoff game, the 2nd Warrior to join Klay Thompson in this record.

Despite the loss, James had his 10th triple-double in the Finals, extending his personal record. He is climbing up the Finals’ leaderboards, coming in second in the all-time steals and points, third in assists, and fifth in rebounds.
He recorded his 110th playoff game with 30 or more points, passing Michael Jordon (109) for the most in NBA postseason. He also logged his 10,000th playoff minute during tonight’s game, becoming the first player in NBA history to do so.

Game 4 A Sweep or a Bloody Fight?

The Warriors have maintained they know the Cavaliers are no easy task and taking it for granted was never an option. The Warriors should have lost Game 1 had it not been for the unbelievable error by JR Smith, so the greatness of this opportunity to sweep, is not lost on them. “It’s just going to be …it’s a trap game. You let your guard down. You show up thinking that we’re going to show up and win, right? Start making preparations for celebrations. You can’t do that. You have to go against the grain.”, said Shaun Livingston

And given how critical Game 4 is for the Cavaliers, Curry reminded everyone, “Understanding that Game 4 is going to be the toughest game that we’ve played in the series, to close it out. We’re going to need energy, effort, focus from every
guy that steps foot on the floor for 48 minutes.”

For the Cavaliers, this is do or die, on home court. There is no way they will allow the Warriors to sweep them in Cleveland and spray champagne in their locker rooms. Earlier today JR Smith said, “Just know that our backs are up against the wall and if we don’t win, it’s over. So if that’s not enough motivation for you, I don’t know what is. It’s The Finals, and we’ve got to come out and play the way we know how.”

Kevin love is keenly aware of what it will take, “For us, that margin of error is very small. We know that if we keep our coverages tight; we foul when we need to; we switch when we’re supposed to; we don’t let them slip to the rim, get those easy buckets that are deflating; and then on the offensive end in the third quarter we don’t get stagnant and play a full 48 minutes of moving the ball and playing our game, we’ll give ourselves a chance and we feel like we can win.”

As for James, his message is clear and simple, “You’ve just got to try to hunker down and get stops and try to create a little space.’

It all unfolds Friday night at 9PM Easter/6PM Pacific at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

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Warriors blaze through the Cavs to go up 2-0 in the NBA Finals

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Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates with forward Kevin Durant during the first half of Game 2 of basketball’s NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV) — In Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the Golden State warriors put on full display the depth of their lineup and left the Cavaliers heading back to Cleveland in dire straights, down now two game to zero in this best of seven series.

After a tough overtime battle in Game 1, the Warriors drew first blood and never allowed the Cavs to take the lead even once, winning Game 2 122-103. Golden State got off to a quick start in the first quarter with a 15-6 burst just 3:46 into the game. Although the Cavaliers put up a strong fight, the Warriors continued to stretch the lead until a patented Curry flurry in the 4th quarter put the game away.

Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said “In that third quarter, I thought we did a good job…That’s their (the Warriors), that’s usually the quarter when they extend the lead and come out and kind of blow the doors open… I thought we did a great job of really staying in the course, coming out in the third quarter and attacking offensively… I thought we were more physical, defensively.”
The Cavaliers outscored the Warriors 34-31 in that quarter but fell behind in the fourth.

What Changed from Game 1?

The Warriors chose not to play with their small ball lineup and brought in centers. JaVale McGee had 12 points, the fourth highest on the team while making all of his attempted field goals. David West contributed defensively with 3 blocks in less than 11 minutes and 3 pointer thrown in for good measure.

In total, the Warriors had 8 blocks, but only 3 steals, a reduction from Game 1’s 10. Even so, we saw a decrease of points from LeBron James, from 51 to 29. However, LeBron was one rebound short from a triple-double.
The Warriors saw a change offensively. Stephen Curry hit 9 3-pointers, an NBA Finals record.

Draymond thought there was ‘no way’ Klay Thompson could play in Game 2. Even so, Klay Thompson went for 20 points. Defensively, the Cavaliers were unable to reel it in. J.R. Smith portrayed it as ‘miscommunications’. In Game 1, the Cavaliers quickly adjusted to screens. However, the Warriors fast pace proved too much.

Looking Ahead


After Game 1, LeBron’s response was to “put it behind him.” He had the same response after Game2. We’ve seen before, how the Cavaliers come back at home and regain control of the series. The Cavaliers are in a similar position as 2016 Finals. Klay Thompson mentioned, “we are extremely focussed. This team has been down 2-0 in the last series (2 years ago) and came back to win it. It’s nothing to feel happy about being up 2-0. This team plays great at home, and we expect their other guys to play even better at home, too, not just LeBron.”

Kevin Love said, “So we just have to be better, and I think just going home and being in front of our crowd for Game 3 of The Finals will be huge for us.”

LeBron, on the other hand, is not counting on a boost at home. “You know, we’ve got an opportunity to go home, and we played some really good basketball on our home floor. But that shouldn’t give us any comfort. We should still be uncomfortable with the series as we were in Game 1 and as we were tonight,” he says.
Before Game 1, the Warriors were favored to win the series. Questions arose after Game 1, and those questions were shot down after Game 2.
As for now, Game 3 could be the final straw for the Cavs. They have done it before, in 2016 most notably, but will they have enough overcome the deficit again? Game 3 is on Wednesday June 6th, 9PM EST.

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