Marek Warszawski

Warszawski: Color the Warriors slight favorites in compelling NBA Finals

Warriors guard Klay Thompson suffered a concussion in Game 5 of the conference finals last week but is expected to be cleared to play by Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson suffered a concussion in Game 5 of the conference finals last week but is expected to be cleared to play by Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Associated Press

Enter the Warzone, flagrantly fair and foul.

▪ So many storylines in these NBA Finals, it’s hard to know where to start. Two long-suffering franchises and fan bases. The NBA’s two most popular players, judging by jersey sales. The best team (67-win Warriors) against the world’s best player (LeBron James). Two rookie head coaches. Two teams that use gold as a primary color.

Threw in the last one to see if you were paying attention.

▪ Andrew Bogut provided the best line about whether the laconic Klay Thompson still has concussion symptoms: “Can’t tell with Klay.”

▪ How smooth is Steve Kerr? When we asked him back in January about assistant Ron Adams (a Laton native), Kerr went out of his way to include former Fresno State coach Boyd Grant in his answer.

▪ Last time the Warriors were in the NBA Finals, 1975, Patty Hearst was the nation’s most famous criminal (besides Richard Nixon), gas cost 36 cents a gallon and “Jaws” was the top-grossing movie.

Sounds like a pretty good year.

▪ Our pick: Warriors in seven. Too much depth and too much shooting.

▪ Once upon a time the Giants had tremendous success developing pitchers but no clue how to develop hitters.

That time has passed. How many other MLB teams can boast an all-homegrown infield?

▪ The Reds’ Joey Votto drew a five-pitch walk during Sunday’s game against the Nationals. Problem is, two of them were strikes.

That’s it. Baseball’s new pace-of-play rules have gone too far.

▪ That Derek Carr couldn’t throw at Raiders OTAs is not a big deal — and still won’t be if he can’t throw at next week’s minicamp. But if Carr’s not ready to go by training camp, then it becomes a story.

▪ Rob Gronkowski hit the beach with 10 bikini models for a magazine photo spread.

Looks like he’s coping with Tom Brady’s suspension just fine.

▪ The 49ers are ranked No. 26 and the Raiders No. 31 in Peter King’s offseason NFL power rankings. Guess that means there won’t be an all-Bay Area Super Bowl 50.

▪ Six months after announcing it was dropping football, UAB reinstated its program.

File that in the playbook under “Reverse.”

▪ Not all that long ago golfer Bryson DeChambeau was winning the Len Ross Fresno City Junior Amateur. Now he’s an NCAA champion.

Chapeau to DeChambeau.

▪ Roy Williams says he hasn’t seen the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations against the North Carolina basketball program.

Much like he had no idea about the rampant academic fraud that evidently has been going on 18 years.

▪ In honor of left-hander Jose Jose, all persons named Jose were granted free admission to Monday night’s Visalia Rawhide game.

IDs were required, because otherwise every ordinary Joe would want in.

▪ From the Never-Woulda-Thunk-It File: Stephen Vogt has more all-star votes than Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz combined.

▪ Reader reaction from Sunday’s column about rafting down the Grand Canyon:

“Good for you and your little water trip,” one of them writes. “Let’s focus on getting rid of (Fresno State baseball coach Mike) Batesole. Cal State Bakersfield won a goddamb (sic) playoff game and Batesole can’t even get there with the best facilities.”

Bulldogs fans are such a cheerful lot.

▪ Say this for Caitlyn Jenner: She sure is a lot more interesting than Bruce.

▪ For no particular reason: Chris Gatling

▪ First the U.S. cleaned up the sport of cycling. Now, soccer.

You’re next, cricket.

▪ Speaking of cycling, Secretary of State John Kerry broke his leg while riding the Col de la Colombiere, a mountain pass used in the Tour de France.

There’s no negotiating with terrorists — or gravity.

Give and take with the Warzone (but mostly give) at (559) 441-6218, or @MarekTheBee on Twitter.