Goon Squad Classic weekend meant more than just basketball

Photo: COS Foundation

Shameless plug alert.  My final thoughts on this past weekend over at SB Nation Bay Area.  A snippet:

Following suit with most of the exhibitions played during the lockout, the contest, which took place at an approximately two-thirds-filled-to-capacity UC Davis Pavilion, was more style than substance.  Greene’s team, which featured rookie-to-be Jimmer FredetteJason Thompson and former teammate Spencer Hawes won 167-164 in overtime against a squad highlighted by Tyreke Evans, Isaiah ThomasDeMarcus CousinsHassan Whiteside and Matt Barnes.  But more important than the result was Greene and company’s presence back in the community.  Without the constraints of the NBA’s tightly-guarded structure, they were more accessible than usual.

Case and point?  Saturday morning, Greene along with Thompson tailgated with fans at the 58th Annual Causeway Classic between UC Davis and Sacramento State’s football teams.  And they did so with ease.  The two wandered around the main parking lot of Hornets Stadium, mingling and chatting with fans.  There were no security or bodyguards trailing their every move.  Like normal people, they immersed themselves and genuinely enjoyed the college tailgating atmosphere.

“I can really appreciate (this) because when I went to college at Rider University we didn’t have a football team,” Thompson said after socializing and throwing footballs around with fans during Saturday’s tailgate.

Sure they were trying to promote and sell tickets to Sunday’s game, but nobody forced them to organize it in the first place.  Greene and the players who participated chose to play for this region that nearly lost the NBA all together.

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.