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Gary’s Blog: This & That

By Gary Dickman.

First, some good news for University of Hawaii men’s basketball and their fans: As reported by Rob DeMello of KHON, Samuta Avea said yesterday that he’s coming back to UH to play as a senior next year. I think that’s great news. Hawaii could have used Samuta this past season. Just think about those close games Hawaii had in Big West play, maybe UH wins one of those.

I know the focus is always on the players that are leaving, and we’ve seen quite a few this off-season move on. This is a welcome change. Signing day is this week on Wednesday April 14. We’ve heard about two verbal commits. I’m excited to see who Eran had staff are bringing in for next year. But just adding Samuta and hopefully a healthy Bernardo da Silva already is a major upgrade for this upcoming season.

I’m hoping that things will be back to normal by next season. They have to be, right? I’ve been mentioning several times over the last month about why haven’t fans in small numbers be allowed to attend sporting events here. I believe every business, restaurants, bars, stores, etc. have been allowed to open at least on a limited basis. It seems every pro sport in the USA are now allowing fans at games. I’m not asking for 100% capacity, like Texas is allowing. Why can’t Governor Ige allow 10% capacity for now? UH Athletic Director David Matlin said on Monday that they’ve asked if fans might be allowed to attend for whatever’s left of the spring season, and they were not given approval.

I don’t want to get political here. My question, though, is this: If gatherings of 10 or more are allowed anywhere in public, why can’t sporting events have the same opportunities? I really don’t understand why it’s okay to have crowds all over except at our sports venues. David Matlin said the focus is to be able to have fans at games for the fall sports: women’s volleyball, soccer, and football. I thought last year that from what we were told, by fall sports would be about normal, same with going to games. I do wonder what it’ll be like for the first game I attend as a fan. I’m not sure I’d want to sit next to someone for three hours. I have flown several times over the last few months, only the last trip did I have to sit next to strangers. It might feel uncomfortable the first time, but in time it’ll hopefully feel like it used to.

Before this NBA season, I said the Golden State Warriors would be a playoff team again, and maybe win a round or two, even without Klay Thompson. With a healthy Steph Curry, a full year with Andrew Wiggins, they’ll be a force, just not a title contender. Then I watched this team struggle more than I thought possible. Earlier this month, the former champs lost to Toronto, 130-77. For those of you without a calculator, that’s a 53-point loss. They trailed by 61 in the third quarter. Toronto didn’t even play with their best player, Kyle Lowry. I’m still not sure if Golden State will make these playoffs, but I was reminded on Monday that on any given night, Steph Curry is doing it again. What was he doing? Shooting the lights out, scoring 53 points with 10 3-pointers. He had 6 rebounds as well. When Curry can score at will, which he has done so often, the Warriors can beat anyone in the NBA . Denver doubled and even tripled Curry in the game, then he’d find an open teammate. My point is don’t count out the Warriors in the playoffs. They might not go far, but they’ll go down fighting. I kind of want them to go far in the playoffs. It wasn’t as much fun last year without Curry, and hopefully this year we’ll see a lot of Steph, and maybe a few more 53-point games like Monday.

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