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News » Warriors make a Wizard out of novice coach

Warriors make a Wizard out of novice coach

Warriors make a Wizard out of novice coach
ONE OF THE GREAT mysteries of the Warriors' recent five-game road trip against Eastern Conference teams was how they were humiliated by the Washington Wizards 124-100.

On one bench was a coach who had 1,285 wins in the NBA. On the other was a guy who was on the job for a little more than 24 hours. There was no great talent gap, but the Wizards played with energy and heart and the Warriors played with very little of either and blew what was probably their best chance at a win during the week-long excursion.

No one's going to say Ed Tapscott is a better coach than Don Nelson, but it was clear that the coaching change the Wizards made a day before they played Golden State provided some sort of spark. Before Friday's games, Washington was 2-3 with Tapscott after going 1-10 under Eddie Jordan.

The same thing is happening in Oklahoma City. The Thunder have just one win in Scott Brooks' first six games, but it appears the team is showing a little more passion than it did under P.J. Carlesimo, who was 1-12. And Toronto is hoping for a little more fire after replacing Sam Mitchell with Jay Triano.

Coaching changes aren't exactly a foolproof way of improving a team's fortunes. But if you're an owner or general manager and you don't like the way things are headed, why wait? Your team could just play a little better for the new guy.

BETTER VALUE: Twenty-two of the NBA's 30 teams saw the value of their franchises increase during the 2007-08 season, according to a report released by Forbes magazine Wednesday. Leaguewide, revenues totaled $3.8 billion, which was 6 percent higher than the season before.

Having marquee names such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James play on title-contending teams, and seeing the television ratings-friendly Lakers and Celtics meet in the finals were cited as the biggest reasons for the NBA's growth last season.

The Knicks were listed as the league's most valuable franchise at $613 million, followed by the Lakers ($584 million) and Bulls ($504 million). The Bucks were the lowest-valued franchise at $278 million, although they were one of 11 teams that saw their value increase by at least 5 percent.

One of those was the Warriors, who are worth $335 million, 8 percent more than last year. According to the report, the team made $14.2 million before taxes. Not bad considering Chris Cohan bought the team for $119 million in 1995. Golden State's revenue totaled $112 million, with player expenses at $65 million.

One of the reasons the Warriors' value went up was their average home attendance, which increased from 18,104 in 2006-07 to 19,631 last year.

It'll be interesting to see what these values will look like next season, since attendance has been down or static in many NBA arenas for the first six weeks of the season. Or if there's a Houston-Orlando final, which would be a ratings disaster.

The average attendance at Oracle Arena this season is down by close to 1,000 fans a game, but the average ticket price of $39 is roughly $8 more expensive than last year. Attendance may fall even further if the team continues to struggle on the court.

A NEW START: It appears that the situation involving Stephon Marbury and the New York Knicks is close to being resolved, as ESPN Radio reported Friday that the guard expects to have a buyout settlement within a week. Boston, Miami or Orlando have been mentioned as possible landing spots for Marbury once he's a free agent.

"It needs to be settled, one way or another. I said that kind of coming into the season," said Warriors guard and former Knicks teammate Jamal Crawford this week at practice. "Whether he was going to be starting, or if they had no intentions of playing him, it needs to be settled."

By trading Crawford and Zach Randolph, the Knicks have cleared salary cap space for the summer of 2010 in an effort to lure a big free agent to the Big Apple, such as LeBron James.

"Some people look at it like LeBron's worth the wait," Crawford said. "But there's no guarantee that you'll get LeBron, either. So we'll see what happens in the next year-and-a half. I'll be interesting."

Contact Curtis Pashelka at

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: December 8, 2008


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