It all happened on Warriorsworld.net - a fan forum site populated by some of the most passionate, knowledgeable fans you would find in any sport. They range from the sensible mild-mannered types to boisterous bullies clamoring for revolt. Some are bandwagoners that are just getting familiar with the Warriors organization, but most know what they are talking about and use Warriorsworld as a place to air their concerns, criticisms, and thrown in their two cents on how things should go. It's one of the best places to debate, react to, and to discuss all things Warriors and the NBA in general.
Minutes after the end of the Fan Forum Teleconference Event where the media and rouge blogging was blamed for a lot of the recent bad blood between the fans and the Warriors organization, Raymond Ridder, head PR guy, posed as a fan and praised the front office by posting anonymously on Warriorsworld.net:
I think we are all so mezmerized by what we read in the paper and take it as gospel. I actually enjoyed the call and appreciate their honesty, even if everything was not what we wanted to hear. I would like to hear from them more often. I have already renewed and are part of the 70%, so I will hope for the best from section 121……
Ridder admitted to the post and says in Tim Kawakami's blog that it was just a harmless attempt to spur on positive discussion about what just went down. But what it really is, is a hypocritical act that confirms what many in the media and hard core fandom already believed - the Warriors organization was not being straight with the fans and underestimated their intelligence. Their silence and veil of secrecy carry the eerie tone of the Bush Administration. Misinformation, misdirection, and subtle manipulation of the media are the defining characteristics of the Warrior PR machine head up by a good man in Raymond Ridder, and overseen by owner Cohan and president Rowell who seem to put profitability and salary protection above building a true contender. Mullin wasn't perfect, be he was one of the good guys who would rather stay silent than spew out company rhetoric. Mullin was learning from his mistakes as GM, but Rowell had to have a more articulate front man as GM (Larry Riley) that was better able to deliver the company line, talking points, and thus sell more tickets. It's unclear which deals were Mullin's and which were others', but it seemed as though a combination of Nellie and Mullin was working wonderfully. When it became apparent that Mullin's job was not secure, the sharks circled, undermined his moves, and went in for the kill. That's probably an over the top analogy, but that's the way most fans feel in terms of how their beloved hero had been unceremoniously ousted.
If the Warriors would go to such lengths like posing as a regular fan on a popular fan forum trying to get people to buy season tickets, what else are they doing? Was that teleconference forum full of company plants that delivered pre-screened questions? Are they being honest with the fans whenever they address the public? Yesterday's events were 1 step forward, 4 steps back.
Raymond Ridder is just doing his job and he shouldn't lose it because of this incident. From what I've read and heard, he's a hardworking guy that love his job and is good at what he does, for the most part. The Warriors just need to learn from it and understand that an overwhelming majority of the long time fans (especially season ticket holders with enormous investment in the team) will give credit when credit is due and that the best way to win over the fans is not to hastily patch up the holes with the Maggette, Jackson, and Crawford signings, but to act intelligently with every move and with the one goal in mind - building a contender. You do that and you won't believe how much bigger 'We Believe' can become.
Original post by Raymond Ridder - Warriorsworld.net
Warriors PR director confirms he authored anonymous blog comment - Tim Kawakami
Riddergate: from ground zero. - Ajbry
Conference Calls, Comments and Conflagrations - Adam Lauridsen
STH Conference Call Transcript - Marcus Thompson
Warriors Conference Call with Season Ticket Holders: ROUGH Notes UNCUT - Golden State of Mind
The Art of Deception - Flashfire (Warriorsworld.net)
Please Tell Me He Didn’t Do It - Marcus Thompson