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NBA Franchise Notes: Jerry West Defends Warriors Against Tanking Allegations

NBA Franchise Notes: Jerry West Defends Warriors Against Tanking Allegations

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West (l) vehemently denies that Warriors are tanking season to improve draft slot
Warriors Exec BOD member Jerry West Thursday appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show" and addressed allegations the team is losing games deliberately to secure a better spot in the NBA Draft Lottery. West cited a rash of injuries for the lack of success and said, "Frankly, it’s offensive what people say. I would never be part of something like that.” West: “It’s offensive and it’s wrong. I have seen teams not try to win. We are trying to win up in Golden State and the people who write that, it’s insulting.” Host Dan Patrick following the interview said, “I would never think that he would stand by in any capacity and allow a team he was affiliated with to lose games on purpose” (“The Dan Patrick Show,” 4/19). ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser Wednesday said, “The Warriors are tanking obviously. They’re trading players who can play for players who are injured. They’ve shelved all their good players" ("PTI," ESPN, 4/18).

UNDER THE RADAR: In Indianapolis, Mike Wells wrote the Pacers have the fifth-best record (40-22) in the NBA this season, but they are “the team few people seem to talk about.” National exposure has “been minimal, with only one game televised by TNT, ABC or ESPN this season.” Pacers F Danny Granger said, "We take it a little personal. But we're a small market. A thing about being a small market is that you don't get the national media coverage like some of the other teams." Wells noted the Pacers have “faced an uphill battle to get recognition this season.” They are “not viewed as a glamorous team,” and unlike other teams, they “don't have that one marketable player fans flock to see” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/19).

SUNRISE OR SUNSET? In Phoenix, Dan Bickley wrote when the Suns organization was “our shining light, the home sellout streak swelled to 153 consecutive games.” But there “hasn't been a sellout this season.” The Suns' flagship radio station KTAR-AM “gave away 100 pairs of tickets to Wednesday night's showdown, speaking volumes about supply and demand.” Bickley wrote “even now, many fans would've preferred a bottoming out in 2011-12 in exchange for a marquee pick in the NBA draft, the kind that can regenerate a franchise.” But that management “chose otherwise" has not always been "received well.” Still, the Suns “are trying, and that includes owner Robert Sarver” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/18).

THE BATTLE OF N.Y.: The Knicks and Nets Wednesday night played their last game against each other before both team reside in N.Y., and SportsNet N.Y.’s Jeané Coakley asked, "How many Knicks fans will convert when the Nets move to Brooklyn?" SportsNet N.Y.’s Eamon McAnaney: “I don't think it's going to be a significant number right away. Maybe a few generations of kids going there with their dads by themselves and knowing nothing but Brooklyn might eventually create a fan base, but right away Knicks fans aren’t going to abandon the Knicks” (“The WheelHouse,” SportsNet N.Y., 4/19). But the N.Y. Daily News’ Andy Martino said, “There’s a lot of Brooklyn borough loyalty that is all about Brooklyn and not about New York City at large and people are going to be really into this” ("Daily News Live," SportsNet N.Y., 4/19).

THE NAME GAME: In Utah, Lee Benson notes new Hornets Owner Tom Benson is “interested in acquiring the team name that belongs to Utah's NBA franchise -- namely ‘Jazz’ -- and for the life of me I can't understand why we don't let him have it.” But Lee Benson notes his view “does not appear to be the prevailing feeling.” Still, he wonders why fans want to “keep it when there's a car dealer in New Orleans who is willing to buy it back?” (DESERET NEWS, 4/20).