Pretty much ever since the Bob Myers era began in Golden State, the Warriors have traveled across the Bay to Marin and played basketball with inmates at San Quentin state prison. The rules are the same, the fouls are hard and each side comes into battle with a winner's mindset.
Community outreach is nothing new to professional sports in America, I usually post a FanShot or two of current Warriors helping out around the bay. But this is different. This is going into one of America's most storied, violent prisons and playing basketball with inmates, many who are serving indeterminate sentences and may never go home.
That's deep. That's territory that I'm fairly sure no other franchise in the NBA has been willing to step into. And it's telling. Some of these men are gone for life behind mistakes made many years ago as young men. The rest who might actually make it home one day will be faced with a social stigma worse than being declared a leper in the days of Caesar.
But Bob Myers doesn't care. Recently on an interview he related a story about his first year going to Quentin and how he asked this young kid how much time he had left (please forgive Bob for not understanding the subtle nuances of prison yard behavior, he didn't know any better before he asked) and the kid replied, 'All Day.' For those of you not up on the current slang being used by inmates in our correctional system; that means he got life.
That's the reality of the situation once you go through those gates. Some come and go but others never make it home. That's a reality faced by the correctional officers, too. The Warriors understand this and accept the invitation without fail, every year.
This year Kevin Durant and Draymond Green showed up along with the usual front office staff that makes the annual voyage. Word on the yard was they signed a few autographs and played bones with a few of the guys on the sidelines.
I applaud the Golden State Warriors for taking the initiative and reaching out to some of the most at risk inmates in the country. For letting these men know that they are still human beings and for giving them hope.