Earlier tonight, the Columbia Journalism Review reported that the San Francisco Chronicle’s reporter on the Golden State Warriors beat, Rusty Simmons, had been suspended by the paper after writing a news story on the Warriors’ purchase of land for their new arena that was copied almost entirely from a Warriors press release. According to CJR, before the Chronicle changed and appended a note to Simmons’s story it had the same headline as the press release, and read the same besides leaving out a single word and changing a sentence with a semicolon into two sentences.

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Though he’s been with the Chronicle since 2002, Simmons became the Warriors beat reporter in 2009. In a by no means comprehensive review of his work during the 2009-10 and 2014-15 seasons, Deadspin found five more examples of what appears to be blatant copy and pasting from press releases. Additionally, we found an example carrying the byline of Chronicle sports editor Al Saracevic.

In none of these examples did Simmons or Saracevic indicate that the words under their byline were not their own, and in most cases a couple of words were changed, or placed among original words. This suggests that this is not just a case of chronically forgetting to write “From the NBA’s press release:” and quoting the material.

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When reached for comment, Simmons said he’d been “muzzled,” and in a later email wrote, “I would really like to tell you how that happens, but I’m not allowed. I’m so sorry. ...My suspension should be lifted in a couple of days, and we’ll talk.”

When presented with the five additional examples of copying and pasting under Simmons’s byline and one under Saracevic’s, San Francisco Chronicle editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper wrote, “I take these very seriously and we will be investigating them.”

Saracevic did not respond to a request for comment.

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You can see the six examples Deadspin found below.


Stephen Curry Headlines Selections For 2010 Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam (Press Release)

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The seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Curry currently ranks among rookie leaders in steals (1st at 1.86), 3-point field goal percentage (1st at .428), free throw percentage (2nd at .849), assists (3rd at 4.5) and scoring (4th at 14.5). He has tallied 25-plus points in four of Golden State’s last six games and tied a franchise record for most 3-pointers made in a game without a miss January 5 at Denver (6-of-6).

Sacramento guard Tyreke Evans and his teammate with the Kings, forward Omri Casspi, join Curry on the Rookie team, which also includes Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, Detroit Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko, Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jonny Flynn, Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden, and San Antonio forward/center DeJuan Blair.

The Sophomore team will feature Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley, Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Gordon, Minnesota Timberwolves forward/center Kevin Love, New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez, New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, and a pair of teammates from the Memphis Grizzlies – center Marc Gasol and guard O.J. Mayo.

Curry gets Rookie Challenge invite (Simmons article)

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The No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft currently ranks among rookie leaders in steals (1st at 1.83), three-point shooting (2nd at .428), free-throw percentage (2nd at .849), assists (3rd at 4.5) and scoring (4th at 14.0). He has scored 25-plus points in four of the Warriors’ last five games and tied a franchise record for most three-pointers made in a game without a miss Jan. 5 at Denver (6-of-6).

Sacramento guard Tyreke Evans and his teammate, forward Omri Casspi, join Curry on the Rookie team, which also includes Chicago forward Taj Gibson, Detroit forward Jonas Jerebko, Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings, Minnesota guard Jonny Flynn, Oklahoma City guard James Harden and San Antonio forward DeJuan Blair.

Neither of the Warriors’ second-year players, Anthony Morrow nor Anthony Randolph, made the Sophomore team. That squad consists of Chicago guard Derrick Rose, Miami forward Michael Beasley, Clippers guard Eric Gordon, Minnesota forward Kevin Love, New Jersey center Brook Lopez, New York forward Danilo Gallinari, Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook and Memphis teammates center Marc Gasol and guard O.J. Mayo.


Anthony Morrow Named To Sophomore Squad In 2010 Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam (press release)

Morrow, 24, has appeared in 36 games this season, averaging 11.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.03 steals in 29.4 minutes per contest, while shooting 47.9% from the field, 44.3% from three-point range and 90.0% from the line. He currently ranks sixth in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage. Last season, Morrow led the NBA in three-point accuracy, shooting 46.7% from beyond the arc to become the first rookie in NBA history to pace the league in that category.

[…]

In the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, Morrow will be competing against teammate Stephen Curry, who will represent the Warriors on the Rookie Squad. This marks the first time that Golden State has had a player on both the Rookie and Sophomore squads in the same season.

Morrow joins All-Star weekend (Simmons article)

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Morrow, 24, has appeared in 36 games this season, averaging 11.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.03 steals in 29.4 minutes a game. He is shooting 47.9 percent from the field, 44.3 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line. He ranks sixth in the league in three-point percentage this season after becoming the first rookie in NBA history to pace the league last season.

Morrow will be competing against teammate Stephen Curry, who will represent the Warriors on the Rookie squad. This marks the first time the Warriors have had a player on both the Rookie and Sophomore squads in the same season.


Warriors Waive Nemanja Nedovic (press release)

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The Golden State Warriors have waived guard Nemanja Nedovic, the team announced today.

As a rookie in 2013-14, Nedovic appeared in 24 games and posted averages of 1.1 points, 0.5 assists and 0.6 rebounds in 5.9 minutes per contest. The 23-year old guard spent 15 games with the Warriors’ D-League affiliate in Santa Cruz, tallying 14.9 points, 4.2 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 28.5 minutes. He did not appear in a game for Golden State this season.

Originally selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 30th overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Golden State acquired the rights to Nedovic in a draft-day deal on June 27, 2013.

Warriors waive Nemanja Nedovic (Simmons article)

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The Warriors waived guard Nemanja Nedovic, the team announced Tuesday.

As a rookie in 2013-14, Nedovic appeared in 24 games and posted averages of 1.1 points, 0.5 assists and 0.6 rebounds in 5.9 minutes per contest. The 23-year old guard spent 15 games with the Warriors’ D-League affiliate in Santa Cruz, tallying 14.9 points, 4.2 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 28.5 minutes. He did not appear in a game for Golden State this season.

Originally selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 30th overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Golden State acquired the rights to Nedovic in a draft-day deal on June 27, 2013.


Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to Participate in Three-Point Contest (press release)

Curry (23.6 points per game, eighth in the NBA) and Thompson (22.4, 10th) are the highest scoring backcourt duo in the NBA, ranking third (147) and fourth (145), respectively, in three-point field goals made this season. Curry ranks fourth on the NBA’s all-time three-point percentage list (.434), while Thompson ranks 14th all-time (.417) and fourth in the league this season (.446).

Curry, who will start in the NBA All-Star Game for the second consecutive season, is averaging 23.6 points, 8.1 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 2.13 steals (second in the NBA) in 33.2 minutes over 47 games (all starts) this season, hitting 48.9 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from three-point range. [...] The two-time All-Star will make his fourth career appearance in the Three-Point Contest (2010, 2013, 2014) and second in the Degree Shooting Stars (2014), where he is paired with his father, 16-year NBA veteran Dell Curry, and eight-time WNBA All-Star Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm.

Thompson, who will make his first career All-Star appearance as a Western Conference reserve, is averaging career highs of 22.4 points, 3.0 assists and 1.24 steals to go with 3.5 rebounds and 32.4 minutes in 46 games (all starts), hitting career marks of 48.1 percent from the field and 44.6 percent from three-point range.

[...]

Curry and Thompson are the first pair of Warriors to be selected to the Western Conference All-Star team in the same season since 1993, when Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin were both chosen, and the first time the team has sent two guards to the annual showcase.

‘Splash Brothers’ learn 3-point competitors; Curry adds ‘Shooting Stars’ (Simmons article)

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Curry (23.6 points per game, eighth in the NBA) and Thompson (22.4, 10th) are the highest scoring backcourt duo in the NBA, ranking third (147) and fourth (145), respectively, in three-point field goals made this season. Curry ranks fourth on the NBA’s all-time three-point percentage list (.434), while Thompson ranks 14th all-time (.417) and fourth in the league this season (.446).

Curry, who will also compete in the “Shooting Stars” competition with his father and will start the NBA All-Star Game for the second consecutive season, is averaging 23.6 points, 8.1 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 2.13 steals (second in the NBA) in 33.2 minutes over 47 games (all starts) this season, hitting 48.9 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from three-point range. The two-time All-Star will make his fourth career appearance in the three-point contest (2010, 2013, 2014) and second in the “Shooting Stars” (2014), where he is paired 16-year NBA veteran Dell Curry and eight-time WNBA All-Star Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm.

Thompson, who will make his first career All-Star appearance, is averaging career highs of 22.4 points, 3.0 assists and 1.24 steals to go with 3.5 rebounds and 32.4 minutes in 46 games (all starts), hitting career marks of 48.1 percent from the field and 44.6 percent from three-point range. Curry and Thompson are the first pair of Warriors to be selected to the Western Conference All-Star team in the same season since 1993, when Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin were both chosen, and the first time the team has sent two guards to the annual showcase.


Hall of Fame announces 12 finalists for 2015 class (press release)

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[...] This year’s list includes nine first-time finalists: 39-year NBA referee Dick Bavetta, two-time College Coach of the Year John Calipari, two-time NBA Coach of the Year Bill Fitch, all-time winningest boys high school coach Robert Hughes, eight-time NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutumbo, four-time Division III national champion coach Bo Ryan, seven-time NBA All-Star Jo Jo White, the all-time winningest high school coach Leta Andrews and three-time WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie.

Also announced Saturday are five Direct-Elects who are the initial members of the Class of 2015. They include Louie Dampier voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, John Isaacs from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Lindsay Gaze from the International Committee, Tom Heinsohn from the Veterans Committee and George Raveling from the Contributor Direct Election Committee.

[…]

TIM HARDAWAY [Player] - A 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist, Hardaway played 13 NBA seasons scoring a total of 15,373 points while averaging more than 20 points per game for four consecutive seasons. He is the 1990 recipient of the Jack McMahon Award for most inspirational player and a 1993 All-NBA Third Team member. He currently ranks fourteenth in NBA history with 7,095 career assists. The Chicago native was a member of the men’s basketball team at the University of Texas at El Paso (1985-1989) and played in the NBA from 1989-2003. He is known for making his signature move — the “UTEP Two-step” — famous in 1989, the same year he was named WAC Player of the Year.

[…]

KEVIN JOHNSON [Player] - Johnson is the first player to have his jersey retired at the University of California. After playing for Cal from 1983-1987, he played for 12 years in the NBA and holds the NBA Finals single-game record for most minutes played with 62. Johnson is the first player in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 10 assists, a .500 field goal percentage and two steals per game for an entire season. In 1989, he earned the NBA Most Improved Player award. The three-time NBA All-Star (1990, 1991, 1994) is also an All-NBA Second Team member (1989, 1990, 1991, 1994) and an All-NBA Third Team member (1992). As the mayor of his hometown of Sacramento, California, Johnson was a major advocate of keeping the Sacramento Kings NBA team in the city when it was at high risk of moving.

[…]

The Class of 2015 will be announced on Monday, April 6 at a press conference in Indianapolis prior to the NCAA Men’s Championship game. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2015 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts September 10-11.

Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson headline Hall of Fame finalists (Simmons article)

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This year’s list also includes 39-year NBA referee Dick Bavetta, two-time College Coach of the Year John Calipari, two-time NBA Coach of the Year Bill Fitch, all-time winningest boys high school coach Robert Hughes, eight-time NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutumbo, four-time Division III national champion coach Bo Ryan, seven-time NBA All-Star Jo Jo White, the all-time winningest high school coach Leta Andrews, and four-time NBA All-Star Spencer Hawywood.

[...]

Also announced were five direct-elects: Louie Dampier, voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee; John Isaacs from the Early African American Pioneers Committee; Lindsay Gaze from the International Committee; Tom Heinsohn from the Veterans Committee; and George Raveling from the Contributor Direct Election Committee.

[...] A 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist, Hardaway played 13 NBA seasons scoring a total of 15,373 points while averaging more than 20 points per game for four consecutive seasons. He is the 1990 recipient of the Jack McMahon Award for most inspirational player and a 1993 All-NBA Third Team member. He currently ranks fourteenth in NBA history with 7,095 career assists. The Chicago native was a member of the men’s basketball team at the University of Texas at El Paso (1985-1989) and played in the NBA from 1989-2003. He is known for making his signature move – the “UTEP Two-step” – famous in 1989, the same year he was named WAC Player of the Year.

Johnson is the first player to have his jersey retired at Cal. After playing for the Bears from 1983-1987, he played for 12 years in the NBA and holds the NBA Finals single-game record for most minutes played with 62. Johnson is the first player in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 10 assists, a .500 field goal percentage and two steals per game for an entire season. In 1989, he earned the NBA Most Improved Player award. The three-time NBA All-Star (1990, 1991, 1994) is also an All-NBA Second Team member (1989, 1990, 1991, 1994) and an All-NBA Third Team member (1992). Now the mayor of his hometown of Sacramento, Johnson was a major advocate of keeping the Kings in the city.

The Class of 2015 will be announced April 6 at a news conference in Indianapolis prior to the NCAA Men’s Championship game. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2015 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts September 10-11.


Warriors Tip-Off 2010-11 Season At Oracle Arena On Wednesday, October 27 (press release)

Golden State is slated to make seven (7) national television appearances this season, with six (6) games scheduled on ESPNs family of networks and one (1) appearance on TNT.

[…]

Tip-off time for the majority of Golden States home games during the 2010-11 season will be 7:30 p.m., with the exception of four Sunday contests and one special Monday matinee.

[…]

The Warriors will play four of their first five games at home to begin the season before playing 20 of their next 30 contests on the road. Golden State will then play 18 of its next 22 games at Oracle Arena between January 7 and February 25, a stretch that is immediately followed by a season-long seven-game, 11-night road trip between February 27 March 9.

Warriors 2010-2011 Schedule (Al Saracevic article)

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Golden State is slated to make seven national television appearances this season, with six games scheduled on ESPN’s family of networks and one appearance on TNT.

Tip-off time for the majority of the Warrior’s home games during the 2010-11 season will be 7:30 p.m., with the exception of four Sunday contests and one special Monday matinee.

The Warriors will play four of their first five games at home to begin the season before playing 20 of their next 30 contests on the road. Golden State will then play 18 of its next 22 games at Oracle Arena between January 7 and February 25, a stretch that is immediately followed by a season-long seven-game, 11-night road trip between February 27 — March 9.

Photo via Shutterstock


E-mail: kevin.draper@deadspin.com | PGP key + fingerprint | DM: @kevinmdraper