By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Acting Warriors coach Mike Brown had a legitimate excuse for his late arrival at Oracle Arena for Game 2 of the Western Conference finals: seems he just avoided getting arrested right outside.
Brown was driving behind the Spurs team bus at a freeway exit as he was driving his son Cam — a huge fan of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich — and a couple of friends in his SUV on Tuesday. Initially, Brown was ushered through several red lights without having to stop, but then multiple officers on motorcycles yelled for Brown to hold up.
Even after he offered this:
“I’m like, ‘Warriors acting coach,'” he said, pointing to the logo on his shirt. “He’s like: ‘I don’t care. Hey you, stop!'”
At his final red light before reaching the gates to the stadium parking lots, Brown’s luck ran out.
“I’m like, ‘This is great, I didn’t have to stop for any of these red lights,'” Brown said. “So I literally start to go and I’m going to get in the far left lane to go through where we all go through, and a cop out of nowhere pulls in front of me and goes, ‘Hey you, stop! … So I’m like feeling myself a little bit. I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m being bullied by Oakland PD or San Francisco PD in my own building, my own parking lot.’ So I start to go a little bit and another one pulls up: ‘Hey, you, you heard him, stop!’
“So I’m like, OK. (They’re) on motorcycles, right? If I scoot a little closer, they’ll get a little scared, because I know I’d get scared. I start scooting forward. And then an SUV pulls up, and I hear them over the loud speaker: ‘Hey, you, in the Range Rover, stop! Right now! You heard the officer! Stop! So then I got scared. I’m like I’ve got five cops around me, so I just stopped.
“I said, ‘I’m trying to get to the game.’ So I let the bus go, and the 18 cops, and I’m going around behind the bus.”
Once the Spurs got by, Brown’s phone rang with a familiar caller ID — “Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs.”
“So I answer the phone and Pop is dying. He goes, ‘Mike, I didn’t know that was you,'” Brown recalled. “He goes: ‘I’m sitting here and I see this black Range Rover, I see all these cops surrounding them. I see the car trying to inch forward, I’m like, ‘He’s about to get arrested.’ I said, ‘Pop, this is my own building.’ He goes, ‘I know, when I saw it was you, I died laughing.'”
Popovich chuckled about it before the game.
“Somebody’s got to teach him if the California Highway Patrol tells you to move, you move over,” Popovich cracked. “He didn’t do that. But it was funny. They did a great job, by the way, getting us here. It was pretty cool to watch them. Everybody’s getting out of the way wondering what’s going on. It was much easier than normal.”
Brown said he did the right thing by just cooperating.
“I stopped, I did what they asked me to and I let them take care of San Antonio,” Brown said. “We got here just in time. Now I’m here.”
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