Tim Kawakami's Encounter With John Herrera May Not Be His Most Ridiculous Raiders Story

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By now, pretty much everyone has seen the incredible video of Raiders' beat writer Tim Kawakami being confronted by John Herrera following the Lane Kiffin press conference on Monday. It illustrates just how far the once proud franchise has fallen, and confirms that Al Davis is surrounding himself with people who are just as crazy as he is - if not crazier.

The problem is, this isn't Kawakami's first interesting encounter with a member of Davis' inner-circle of insanity, or Davis himself.


Yesterday, over at Deadspin, Kawakami took part in an interview with Rick Chandler and tells the story of how Davis once confused Kawakami, a Japanese-American, as a Chinese man. As Kawakami tells it, the encounter took place after the hiring of Kiffin (still employed, by the way) when the San Jose Mercury beat writer told Davis the selection was "a strange hire."

Al didn't like that, and said: 'I'll bet you don't even know who Deng Xiaoping was.' I was like, what? What does that have to do with anything? Al pressed it. 'Who is Deng Xiaoping?' So I thought for a minute, and said, 'Well, if I'm not mistaken, wasn't he the General Secretary of the Chinese government during the Tiananmen Square massacre?' And Al repiles, 'But what can you tell me about him other than that? See? You don't even know anything about your own culture.' I said, 'Al, I'm Japanese-American, not Chinese.' And Al said, 'Ohh, geez. I bet you're going to kill me on that now.' It all happened in front of about 20 reporters, so I didn't have to.

I believe this can be referred to as awkward. Terribly, terribly awkward.

The other interesting note in the interview is the mention that Davis -- The owner. The boss. The big cheese -- doesn't show up in the office until 4:30 ... in the afternoon.

Al wants to fire him, but at the same time he has to figure out what to do afterward, and he's not ready for that yet. He's got to hire someone else, and that's not an easy thing to do when you don't get to work before 4:30 p.m. each day.

You know what? It's shocking, shocking I tell you, that this team hasn't won more than five games in a season since 2002.

If Davis is in desperate need for another executive to help him out, I can think of one guy who might fit in nicely with the current situation in Oakland. And he just became available!

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