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Dubs revel in 4th NBA championship in 8 years


After spending the last eight-plus months climbing towards the NBA’s mountaintop, the Warriors got to bask in the sunshine at the summit Monday afternoon.

They’ve been reveling in their fourth championship in eight years all weekend, but Monday’s parade through San Francisco gave them a setting to specifically do so.

Draymond Green was waiting for this moment, four years after the Warriors last hosted a parade like this one.

“I told y’all, ‘Don’t let us win a (expletive) championship and clearly nobody could stop it. I warned y’all,” he said. “So I’m just going to continue to destroy people on Twitter, as I have been.”

The NBC Bay Area telecast didn’t catch any of Green’s swears — there were multiple — in time to keep them off the air.

Klay Thompson and Steph Curry followed Green and Andrew Wiggins on stage.

“Real mature, Draymond. This guy has the maturity level of a third-grader,” Thompson joked before giving Curry a hard time for the tears he shed at the end of Thursday night’s clinching win in Boston.

“Who cries on a basketball court?” he asked Curry, who replied, “There’s no crying in basketball.”

Leave it to Steve Kerr, a five-time champ as a player now on his fourth coaching title, to answer the more serious questions.

In an interview just off the stage, Kerr shed a bit of light on Atkinson’s decision to stay with Golden State for next season. Recent reports said that he was headed to Charlotte to become the Hornets’ head coach.

Kerr pointed to Atkinson’s two children, as well as the chance to live in Northern California and work for a winning organization.

“I think it’s a really difficult thing to try to take a job in the middle of the Finals without really getting a chance to unwind,” Kerr said. “And I think, over the course of the Finals, he just felt it. He felt like this is not the best time for my family and me to leave.”

Who would want to leave these Warriors when they look to be having so much fun? Jordan Poole got his party started by blasting the crowd with a water gun as soon as he ascended the stage.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 20: Golden State Warriors’ Jordan Poole takes the stage as he is introduced during the Championship Parade and rally on Market Street in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, June 20, 2022. The Warriors won their fourth NBA Championship in eight seasons after defeating the Boston Celtics in the Game 6. (Ray Chávez/Bay Area News Group)

But Curry did have another team on his mind: Team USA. Olympic gold is the one major item missing from his resume his now that he has his first Finals MVP trophy.

Bill Cosby civil trial jury must start deliberations over


By Andrew Dalton | Associated Press

SANTA MONICA — After two days of deliberations in which they reached verdicts on nearly all of the questions put before them, jurors in a civil trial who were deciding on sexual abuse allegations against Bill Cosby will have to start from scratch on Monday.

By the end of the court day Friday, the Los Angeles County jury had come to agreement on whether Cosby had sexually assaulted plaintiff Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion when she was 16 in 1975, and whether Huth deserved any damages. In all they had answered eight of nine questions on their verdict form, all but one that asked whether Cosby acted in a way that should require punitive damages.

Judge Craig Karlan, who had promised one juror when she agreed to serve that she could leave after Friday for a prior commitment, decided over the objects of Cosby’s attorneys to accept and read the verdict on the questions the jury had answered. But he had to change course when deputies at the Santa Monica Courthouse appeared and required him to clear the courtroom. The courthouse has a required closure time of 4:30 pm because of no budget for deputies’ overtime

Karlan refused to require the departing juror, who had been chosen as foreperson, to return on Monday, so jurors will have to begin again with an alternate in her place.

“I won’t go back on my word,” Karlan said.

It was a bizarre ending to a strange day of jury deliberations. It began with a note to the judge about what he called a “personality issue” between two of the jurors that was making their work difficult.

After calling them to the courtroom and getting them to agree that every juror would be heard in discussions, the jurors resumed, but had a steady flurry of questions on issues with their verdict form that the judge and attorneys had to discuss and answer. One question was on how to calculate damages.

After the lunch break, Cosby lawyer Jennifer Bonjean moved for a mistrial because of a photo taken by a member of Cosby’s team that showed a juror standing in close proximity to a Cosby accuser who had been sitting in the audience and watching the trial.

Karlan said the photo didn’t indicate any conversation had happened, and quickly dismissed the mistrial motion, getting assurances from the juror in question, then the entire jury, that no one had discussed the case with them.

The accuser, Los Angeles artist Lily Bernard, who has filed her own lawsuit against Cosby in New Jersey, denied speaking to any jurors.

“I never spoke to any juror, ever,” Bernard told the judge from her seat in the courtroom. “I would never do anything to jeopardize this case. I don’t even look at them.”

Karlan fought to get past the hurdles and have jurors deliberate as long as possible, and kept lawyers, reporters and court staff in the courtroom ready to bolt as soon as a verdict was read, but it was fruitless in the end.

Jurors had begun deliberating on Thursday morning after a two-week trial.

Cosby, 84, who was freed from prison when his Pennsylvania criminal conviction was thrown out nearly a year ago, did not attend. He denied any sexual contact with Huth in a clip from a 2015 video deposition shown to jurors. The denial has been repeated throughout the trial by his spokesman and his attorney.

Lake Oroville reaches peak for the year


OROVILLE — Lake Oroville likely reached its limit last month when lake levels lingered at slightly less than 777 feet.

The Department of Water Resources said the lake hit its peak storage for this water year on May 8 measuring at 776.95 feet elevation and 1.94 million-acre feet — about 400,000 acre-feet higher than the peak in 2021.

“The water year ends on Sept. 30 and it is unlikely we will see significant rainfall before that time,” DWR officials said in an email.

The Lake Oroville Visitor Center is seen from the vantage point of its tower June 16, 2022 in Oroville, California. (Michael Weber/Enterprise-Record)

DWR said the higher peak lake level this year can be attributed to a record-setting atmospheric river in October 2021 and a robust snowfall in December 2021.

The lake is still below the average peak for the season, DWR said, as the north state saw below average precipitation this year and experienced its driest January, February and March in 100 years.

Morgan Hill tech and industrial park is bought by real estate investor


MORGAN HILL — A big new — and empty — tech and industrial park in Morgan Hill has been bought by a veteran real estate investment firm in a deal that tops $100 million.

Butterfield 5 Tech Park has been purchased for $119.3 million by an affiliate of Invesco Real Estate, according to documents filed on June 17 with the Santa Clara County Recorder’s Office.

The complex totals 410,100 square feet and consists of five large tech and industrial buildings, according to documents on file with the Morgan Hill Planning Department.

CBRE, a commercial real estate firm, arranged the purchase of Butterfield 5 Tech Park.

Building in Butterfield 5 tech and industrial park located on Butterfield Boulevard between Sutter Boulevard and Digital Drive in Morgan Hill, concept. (HPA Architecture)

Trammell Crow, a big commercial real estate firm that sold the buildings to Invesco, was represented in the transaction by Rebecca Perlmutter, an executive with CBRE National Partners.

“Demand for space that can cater to industrial, manufacturing and life sciences continues to grow in Northern California,” said Rob Shannon, a CBRE executive vice president.

The just-purchased project, whose construction was completed recently, could be poised to provide the kind of space that companies are seeking.

“Butterfield 5 has the flexibility to customize its space to meet the evolving needs of tenants,” Shannon said.

CBRE brokers Shannon, Chip Sutherland and Brian Matteoni will handle ongoing leasing to attempt to attract tenants to the tech park.

“Morgan Hill is poised for thoughtful, continued growth,” said Will Parker, a principal executive with the Northern California office of Trammel Crow.

The purchase of the tech park points to ongoing interest by big-time investors such as Invesco, the new owner. But the complex also has the potential to be an employment hub.

“Butterfield 5 Technology Park will provide local jobs and will serve as an attractive environment for established and expanding companies in the area,” Parker said.

Walmart hikes pay for more than 1,600 California pharmacy techs


Walmart has boosted hourly wages for its more than 36,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy technicians, including more than 1,600 in California.

The mega-retailer said it also plans to hire 5,000 additional pharmacy technicians this year.

The pay hike took effect this week, raising their average wage to more than $20 an hour. The company has also committed to more frequent pay raises that will increase wages by up to $4 an hour for new hires over the next four years. Pharmacy techs will get raises every six months in their first two years with the company.

Walmart said it will also pay 100% of the costs for pharmacy tech certification. That includes everything from obtaining career diplomas and getting on-the-job training, to test preparation and paying the certification exam fee.

“This is the second time we’ve made significant wage investments for this group of associates in the past year, after also increasing their pay last August,” the company said. “We are sending a strong signal to pharmacy technicians everywhere that Walmart is serious about attracting top talent and giving them the tools to build a successful career.”

The pay Hike Took Effect this Week, Boosting The Average Wage for Pharmacy Techs to More Than $ 20 an Hour. (Photo courtesy of Walmart)

Walmart said its pharmacy techs have been “front and center” during the pandemic as millions of customers and members were tested for COVID-19, adding that many “went above and beyond” to help administer vaccines across the country.

“Our Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy technicians have proven time and time again how much they mean to the communities they serve,” the company said. “Simply put, our pharmacy technicians are heroes in their communities.”

Who’s overpaid, underpaid and fairly paid


In an ongoing effort, commissioner George Kliavkoff is attempting to convince Pac-12 presidents and chancellors that investing in football can provide beneficial returns for athletic departments and the campus community.

“Historically, I don’t think we’ve made a great case for the ROI of footbalI,” Kliavkoff told the Hotline following the 2021 season. “I’m not going to take the opportunity to speak to my 12 bosses without talking about it.”

Kliavkoff need not worry about Utah’s Taylor Randall. The first-year president clearly believes in football’s immense ROI.

Last week, Utah revealed a massive contract extension for coach Kyle Whittingham, who will receive $41 million over the next six years, culminating in an $8 million guarantee for the 2027 season.

The revised contract, coming a few months after the school’s first appearance in the Rose Bowl, makes Whittingham the top-paid public school coach in the Pac-12.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the deal is the university’s willingness to compensate Whittingham if a series of facility projects are not completed in a timely manner.

According to USA Todaywhich closely tracks coaching contracts across major college football:

“The introduction of the contractual facilities commitments, backed by what amount to $400,000 in financial penalties for the school, are even more unusual.

“Two of the fix-ups are relatively cosmetic: New graphics and carpeting for the football building. The other involves a nearly $62 million indoor practice facility for the team, which currently shares an indoor facility with other Utah teams and local recreation programs …

“Construction on the new facility must begin by July 1, 2023 and the university must assume occupancy by Dec. 31, 2024. If any deadline is missed, Whittingham must be paid $100,000 within 60 days.”

In other words, the Utes put themselves on the hook for resource investment — a move seemingly more likely to occur in the Big Ten or SEC than the Pac-12.

The facilities provision “helps the organization to keep focused on certain aspects, particularly as you go through your approval processes that are needed with your overall leadership,” Utah athletic director Mark Harlan told USA Today.

Harlan’s plan would not have been possible without support from Randall, who was appointed president last summer after a long tenure as dean of the business school.

Randall is a Utah alumnus and has witnessed the impact of football success on the campus writ large — first with Urban Meyer, then with Whittingham and the move into the Pac-12.

As we outline below, the revised contract vaults Whittingham’s guaranteed compensation into rarefied air within the conference.

(Salary figures from university disclosures or published reports. USC and Stanford are not required to make contracts publicly available.)

USC’s Lincoln Riley
Signed through: N/A
Average annual salary: N/A
Comment: Riley’s deal, which will eventually appear in USC’s publicly-available tax filings, is believed to carry a $100 million value over 10 years. If the Trojans reach the playoff this season or next, he might seem like a bargain.

Stanford’s David Shaw
Signed through: N/A
Average annual salary: N/A
Comment: The three-time conference champ is believed to earn $6 million to $7 million annually in guaranteed compensation. Despite Stanford’s recent downturn, Shaw will leave only when he’s good and ready.

Utah’s Kyle Whittingham
Signed through: 2027 season
Average annual salary: $6.83 million
Comment: If he averages 6.5 conference wins per year and coaches through the end of the new contract, Whittingham would retire with 92 victories in Pac-12 play — third all-time behind UCLA’s Terry Donahue (98) and Washington’s Don James (97) .

Oregon’s Dan Lanning
Signed through: 2027 season
Average annual salary: $4.85 million
Comment: We long ago stopped wondering about Oregon’s commitment to football success. The school wants a national title for Phil Knight, and Phil Knight wants a national title for Phil Knight.

Cal’s Justin Wilcox
Signed through: 2027 season
Average annual salary: $4.75
Comment: Wilcox might be overpaid based on his record in Berkeley (26-28), but he’s assuredly underpaid given all the administrative and bureaucratic hurdles he confronts, especially in the past two years.

UCLA’s Chip Kelly
Signed through: 2025 season
Average annual salary: $4.75 million
Comment: Kelly’s recently-signed extension limits UCLA’s financial liability if momentum fades over the next two seasons — an entirely plausible scenario considering the developments across town.

Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith
Signed through: 2027 season
Average annual salary: $3.77 million
Comment: The Hotline’s supercomputer ran the numbers on coaching salaries, victories, recruiting rankings and university resources and determined that Smith, even with his new contract, is one of the Pac-12’s best bargains.

Arizona State’s Herm Edwards
Signed through: 2024 season
Average annual salary: $3.7 million
Comment: The Hotline’s supercomputer ran the numbers on coaching salaries, victories, recruiting rankings and NCAA investigations and determined that Edwards has officially entered the stealing-money phase of his tenure.

Walnut Creek Restaurant Week runs through June 26


Walnut Creek Restaurant Week is back with meal deals from now through Sunday, June 26, giving East Bay residents a chance to discover new restaurants or revisit old favorites.

More than a dozen businesses are offering fixed-price meals, specials or other discounts.

— Benvenuti Ristorante has created a $55 three-course dinner special that starts with a Pear Salad, includes a choice of either Involtini de Pesce (filet of sole with crab) or handmade Fettuccine with Mushrooms and Truffle Butter as an entree, and finishes up with Tiramisu for dessert.

— Broderick is making Johnny Cash Burgers, Flank Steak Salads and Beer-Battered Fish, with appetizer and dessert, for $30.

— At Torsap Thai Kitchen, two can dine for $79 on an assortment of appetizers, entrees of Choo Chee Curry with Salmon and Crying Tiger, with Thai iced teas and Mango Mania for dessert.

— At Twisted Times sports and spirits restaurant, $20 will buy you three courses: Bruschetta Chicken, Pulled Pork Sandwich or Gluten-Free Pasta with House Marinara, a side salad and brownie a la mode.

— LITA is offering a $35 tasting menu that includes choices such as Mojito Lime Shrimp, Heirloom Beet Tartare and Jerk Salmon.

— Rotator Taproom has a local beer flight special (four 5-ounce pours) for $18.

— And at both Sakimoto Sushi and Rooftop Restaurant & Bar, diners will get 15% off their lunch of dinner bills of $100 or more.

Other participants include Bourbon Highway Country Bar & Kitchen, Buckhorn Grill, The Garden, Manakish Oven and Grill, Rooted Coffee and the OL Beercafe & Bottle Shop.

Details: Hours and days of deal availability vary from restaurant to restaurant. Check the website, https://walnutcreekdowntown.com/marquee-events/restaurant-week/, for specifics.

Authorities in California seize $60,000 worth of meth hidden in child booster seats


By Emma Tucker, CNN

US Customs and Border Protection officers have seized $60,000 worth of methamphetamine hidden in child booster seats at a checkpoint in California, the agency said.

Agents assigned to the Newton Azrak Border Patrol Station in Murrieta stopped a driver on an interstate north of the checkpoint on Wednesday. There were two adults and four children inside the vehicle, authorities said in a news release on Friday.

The agency dispatched a K-9 team, which detected the presence of narcotics inside the children’s three booster seats, the agency said.

“In those booster seats, several packages were found containing a white crystal substance that tested positive for methamphetamine,” according to the release.

The inspection revealed that the driver — a United States citizen — was in possession of 26.9 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $60,000, authorities said.

From yuppies to ‘Cuppies,’ Wrigley Field bleachers are still the place to ignore the Chicago Cubs’ failures – The Mercury News


It was a beautiful afternoon for baseball Saturday, so I ventured out to the Wrigley Field bleachers to see how Chicago Cubs fans were coping with the rebuild that can’t be called a rebuild.

The bleachers were packed for the game against the Atlanta Braves as fans stood behind the last rows in left and right field and congregated behind the concessions to socialize without the obligation of watching the actual game.

In other words, business as usual at the corner of Waveland and Sheffield avenues.

Cubs owners throughout the years have counted on fans being oblivious to the failures of the team on the field, knowing that no matter how bad it gets there always will be young fans looking for a party atmosphere at Wrigley.

The bleachers have been a prime spot for tanning, beer drinking and people watching forever, which is why tickets are so expensive for seats so far away from the action. Even former Cubs President Theo Epstein made a trip out to the left-field section Friday afternoon to soak in the sun and have a few cold ones with friends.

After selling the White Sox in 1981 to a group led by Jerry Reinsdorf, Hall of Fame owner Bill Veeck spent his summer days sitting in the front row of upper center field at Wrigley, which he called the “best seats in the house.” In an interview from his perch his in 1983, Veeck told me: “It’s one of those rare places where people of my generation can get along with young people.”

Back in the days when bleacher tickets went on sale only on the day of the game, regulars would line up early along Sheffield to ensure their favored spots. But the former owner, Tribune Co., did away with that long-standing policy in 1985 in a money grab that changed the bleacher vibe.

Veeck, who helped plant the ivy on the outfield walls in 1937, began his celebrated boycott of the bleachers because of that policy change.

Every generation of Bleacher Bums decries the younger generation encroaching their territory at least since I was a 20-something sitting in right field in the 1980s before heading to work on the Chicago Tribune city desk. Years later, after becoming the Cubs beat writer, I spoke with longtime Cubs fan and rock star Billy Corgan about the trendiness of celebrities attending games.

“The emphasis has to be on the people who support the team — day in, day out — and I always defer to that,” Corgan said in a 2004 interview. “I’m a common Cubs fan. I was a common Cubs fan long before I became famous. I’ll never forgive the yuppies for moving in back in ’84. I’m still mad about that.

“When the Cubs stopped selling bleacher tickets the day of the game, that was the end of that old Bleacher Bums culture. Now it’s just fake Bleacher Bums.”

The yuppies may have caused the demise of the bleacher culture four decades ago, but now it’s the “Cuppies” who’ve taken center stage. You may have caught them on recent national TV broadcasts, including Fox Sports and ESPN telecasts of the Cubs-Cardinals series two weeks ago.

The Cuppies are young fans who spend a significant part of the game collecting empty beer cups to stack high enough to cover several rows. These are usually referred to as beer snakes or cup snakes. It has been going on for at least five years but lately has become a nuisance to some.

The regulars I spoke to Saturday in the left-field bleachers were adamant: The Cuppies are ruining the bleacher experience. But they also agreed there was nothing anyone could do to stop them.

A security guard I spoke to said orders from on high were to stop the Cuppies from going section to section collecting cups and to remove those tossing cups for beer snakes from one section to another. When I mentioned that beer snakes received obsessive coverage on both Fox and ESPN, the guard said the Cubs couldn’t do anything about the national telecasts but that Marquee Sports Network won’t allow shots of cup stacking during its telecasts.

The security guard asked not to be named to avoid being reprimanded by the Cubs.

At least Cubs security bosses have their priorities in order. As someone once ejected from Wrigley Field for accidentally spritzing a fan with a water mist from a spray bottle on a sweltering afternoon in 1983, I can attest that bleacher high jinks can lead to a life of crime. Fortunately, I turned my life around by moving from the bleachers to the press box, where I’m no longer a threat to the organization.

I asked some of the Baby Boomer bleacherites if the current Gen Z and Millennial inhabitants really are any worse than the Boomers were during their heyday. In case anyone had forgotten, I reminded them the Cubs installed the baskets at the bleacher wall in 1970 because fans had been jumping onto the field after wins, a deed far worse than stacking beer cups.

They assured me the original Bleacher Bums were there only to root for the Cubs and have some fun, while the Cuppies are a blot on bleacher society and not even “real” Cubs fans. Someone pointed out that one fan caught a Manny Machado home run during the Cubs-San Diego Padres game Wednesday and refused to throw it back. Oh, the horror!

I have no quarrel with the Cuppies. They have the right to be oblivious to the Cubs’ plight, just like the generations that came before them. If someone wants to pay $100 or more to not watch the Cubs from the bleachers, that’s their prerogative.

Back in the summer of 1987, for an article on the 50th anniversary of the construction of the bleachers, I interviewed 57-year-old fan Marv Rich, a Bleacher Bum since 1943. Rich insisted the yuppies had taken over the bleachers and spoiled the vibe for everyone else.

“They don’t care about watching the game,” he said. “All they care about is getting a good tan and being able to tell everyone later that they got it in the bleachers.”

The Cuppies have taken over from the yuppies, but the song remains the same. The bleachers are part of Wrigley Field, but watching the game isn’t mandatory.

It’s going to be a long, hot summer. The Boomers and the Cuppies will have to coexist.

Can’t we all just get along?


Will Heat prioritize Victor Oladipo or Caleb Martin? – The Mercury News


Q: I know the Heat have Victor Oladipo’s Bird Rights but if they could only afford to keep either Caleb Martin or Victor, which one do you think they would prefer to keep? Caleb is younger and more athletic at this stage of his career, but Victor may still have more upside on the offensive end. Thoughts? – Jeffrey, Miami.

A: I believe the choice would be Caleb Martin for this reason: The way this roster is constructed, it’s all about complementing Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. That is among the reasons why Kyle Lowry was brought aboard. Caleb is more of a complementary component than Victor Oladipo, whose style tends to overlap with Butler’s approach. That said, there currently is no reason that both can’t be brought back, unless either gets an outside offer that exceeds the stratosphere of logic for the Heat.

Q: Upgrade Tyler Herro for a superstar like Bradley Beal, get Kyle Lowry into shape, upgrade backup center, re-sign Victor Oladipo, find an upgrade at backup point guard, and go bring Goran Dragic back for when Lowry/Jimmy Butler need days off. – James.

A: Nothing like a man with a plan. Except . . . so where do we start? You can only flip Tyler Herro for a superstar if you find a trade partner. There are no guarantees there that teams won’t seek more, perhaps far more. As for an upgrade at backup point guard, what exactly is wrong with Gabe Vincent? As for Victor Oladipo’s free agency, that likely comes down to price point (with there likely a point of no return for the Heat). And, sure, nothing against bringing back Goran Dragic. But not sure about carrying both Goran and Udonis Haslem at their ages.

Q: Ira, I have been a Heat fan since the ’80s when they started the franchise. I love Udonis Haslem as much as the next guy, which brings me to my question: Is one spot on the roster nowadays considered so inconsequential that you can afford to have a mentor take one of those positions away from a “possible” contributor? I ‘m starting to question his actual value his. If he wants to continue to mentor then he should be an assistant coach and if he doesn’t want to coach then he should move on. Just saying? – Brent, Wellington.

A: As long as the Heat believe they have ample resources in their developmental pipeline, then the impact of carrying such a player is mitigated. The Heat closed this past season with Omer Yurtseven, Haywood Highsmith, Mychal Mulder and Javonte Smart as developmental pieces. Ultimately, it’s not as if Markieff Morris contributed much more than Udonis Haslem this past season. All of that said, one would think a point would be reached where a compromise could be made for that roster spot.