Lacob Makes His Move: Warriors sign Kwame Brown

I hate this signing for many reasons, but most particularly because the Warriors now have THREE big men who are afraid to catch the ball for fear of getting fouled.

Before doing anything else, check out this Kobe Bryant story about Kwame Brown.  That’s the man that Joe Lacob wants in the middle for the Warriors.

Do you remember what Don Nelson had to say about Biedrins and Amundsen in his radio interview last year?  I’m paraphrasing: “You cannot play basketball if you are afraid to use an upfake to get to the free throw line.”

The Warriors will not be able to use either Kwame or Biedrins (nor Amundsen) when in the penalty and most particularly at the end of games.

What else? Well he’s an unreliable shooter, has no post-up game, and can’t pass.

What about his vaunted defensive improvement? Granted, he appears to be able to put a body on big men and keep them out of the lane, without the help of a double team.

But what about shot-blocking? Isn’t that the Warriors greatest real need from a center behind Monta and Curry? Isn’t that what Tyson Chandler and D. Jordan, the two guys the Warriors chased, were exceptional for?

Kwame blocked 0.6 shots/gm last season, in 26 minutes.  Ole!

But hey, that Lacob quotient!  Kwame pulled down a respectable 6.8 boards/26 min. last season, and will help the Warriors rebounding to an extent.  But at what cost?  Basketball is a TWO-WAY sport.

I will have a lot more to say about this signing, what it has to say about Lacob’s inflexibility of mind when thinking about basketball, and the reasonable alternatives there were to it, in a future post. But for now, I’ll leave you with a positive thought:

That $7 million expiring contract will be a heck of trade asset.

 

 

179 Responses to Lacob Makes His Move: Warriors sign Kwame Brown

  1. If at the very least they had kept Biedrins’s amnesty. Then they’d have some real money to play with next year. Jordan was a long shot anyway, and I’m not sure how good a fit he would have been four years down the road.

  2. Please bear with me as I slowly try to put my comments section back together… What a clusterf***!

    • If you’re modifying style sheets, isn’t there a saved version somewhere you can revert to? (I don’t know much here.)

      • There would be if I hadn’t upgraded before backing my site up. Quel idiot!

        • Think it’s pretty much back… please let me know if you spot a glitch.

          • Post text I think was larger–looks small.

          • You mean the comment text? Comment text is same font as before, and I didn’t change the post text, but maybe the upgrade affected it.

          • No, the text for your posts. Definitely feels smaller.

          • I nudged the post font up to 15px, and condensed the line-height a tad.

            Better?

          • Feltbot,

            That looks good to me, but get other opinions. Actually it seems much larger, but again fine to me.

            My knowledge is limited, but I think you want to set fonts in relative em measurements (start with 1.05em and move up or down in .01 increments) or as a percentage. px is an absolute measurement, which may appear differently on different machines?

            It’s explained somewhat here:

            http://www.w3schools.com/css/css_font.asp

            Under “Set Font Size with. . . ”

            But also get people who know about this–and I think there are more knowledgeable people on the blog.

  3. New thread…thank you! I don’t know what it is about this blog, Felty, but the more posts there are, the more it bogs down my computer.

    12 days…woo hoo!

  4. Feltbot,

    Finally, something to talk about. I am not a Kwame Brown fan by any stretch of the imagination, but his signing is clearly a third or fourth choice move, and something had to be done about shoring up the center position. I’m glad it’s a one year contract, and it might very well work out just fine if for no other reason than Epke Udoh, my current favorite, will get more time to develop. Given the rate at which he improved last year, especially having a short season due to injury, there is no doubt that Udoh will jump ahead of Kwame Brown on the depth chart, very likely this year. This is just a temporary insurance policy. I would be lot more upset about it if they hadn’t made some good offers that were not accepted or if it were a longer contract.

    Sure you aren’t in favor of the Designated Free Thrower concept now more than ever? If only….

    It was awfully considerate of the Clippers to not leave us hanging until Wednesday. Does this mean that the rookies can practice now?

    Warriors basketball! Woo hoo! We’re back!

    • You are right that Warriors needed another big man, Andria. Let’s see how this plays out… could be a lot of craziness forthcoming until the rosters are set.

  5. I could suggest that a guy who mismanages the technology of his own blog site has no standing to criticize the Ws player moves, but let’s move on.

    Andria (welcome back) hits the nail on the head: “Something had to be done to shore up the center position.” Especially on defense and rebounding, which are Brown’s primary skills. This move is fine, considering everything else that has happened. I look forward to your discussion of “reasonable alternatives,” but I’d prefer to have heard those thoughts earlier, rather than in hindsight.

    Lastly, I think the reference to the Kobe Bryant story is a cheap shot. The incident happened almost four years ago. Kwame Brown is said to have matured and built up his confidence lately. Is it relevant to make the point that he lacked confidence in 2008?

  6. Steve | December 12, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Reply

    MWLX, good to see you back posting again. Now if we can somehow find (maybe an APB? LOL) Andria (this board is definitely lacking in female finesse and perspective) and get her back we’ll be cooking with gas just in time for the new season.

    MWLX | December 13, 2011 at 10:37 am | Reply

    Thanks for the welcome back, Steve, but what makes you think I’m not a provider of that particular perspective?

    —————————————————

    MWLX, I have no good answer for you other than to say there are just some names we always associate with the male species. You know, Bob, Bill, George, Stan, Dave and MWLX. LOL

    OK, so now that I see my APB has located Andria we can get this season rolling, and with now (maybe?) TWO female perspectives, which help make this thread THE best basketball blog on the net.

    P.S. BTW, MWLX just made me realize that other than myself and Andria no one else posts here using their actual first name. Hmmm, anyone hiding anything here? Could brytex actually be Joe Lacob incognito?

  7. Warriors still going after Paul? The combination of Peter Vescey and the NY Post doesn’t inspire but I still believe Paul is going to be traded, and soon. Again, would the Warriors make this trade, or any trade for Paul, if he doesn’t sign an extension? Would be more than surprised if either party said yes.

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/warriors-talk/post/Report-Paul-Warriors-still-possible?blockID=611654&feedID=2799

  8. This persistent Warriors/CP3 rumor is intriguing to me. Particularly since Marc Spears is reporting that the Lakers and Hornets are looking for a third team to supply youth.

    Could it be that the Kwame Brown signing is a prelude to flipping CP3 for Pau Gasol? I have a sneaking suspicion that the Warriors are on the hunt for Pau, because CP3 really wants on the Lakers, and a CP3/Curry backcourt makes no sense.

    But a big three of Pau, Lee and Curry? Oh, mama!

  9. Kobe’s interview about Kwame Brown was good news. All Kwame needed is a father figure with second to none Basketball IQ to mentor him.

    Guess what? We happened to have such genius in house. We have Mr. Lacob, aka the smartest man in NBA. Mr. Lacob will personally design and call plays for Kwame. Mr. Lacob will turn Kwame into his own Alex Smith. Mr. Lacob will even spend time with Kwame to teach him Basketball skills.

    Guys, we will see a new Kwame this year.

  10. Video debate: Would you trade Bynum and Gasol for Howard?

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7348164&categoryid=2459788

  11. “Klay is ready today. He’s ready today. He’s a big-time talent,” Jackson said. “I’ve seen coaches who would never play rookies, but that’s not my train of thought. Klay Thompson will play right away. There’s no question about it. He’s that good.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/13/SPC71MBQF0.DTL

  12. Felt, I agree that it makes no sense for the Warriors to trade for CP3 at this point. He would retard Curry’s development. I must admit that I have been wondering how the Warriors might be in on the rumored 3-way CP3 deal. Perhaps it’s for Gasol, although he seems too old for a young, building team like the Warriors to trade Monta/Thompson/Biedrins for. So does Scola. But who else realistically could be at play for us in such a deal? It would have to be a big and likely one of those two; or could we be angling to get rid of Biedrins’ contract and get a wing player and a first round lottery pick in 2012? (That would seem to require a fourth team in the trade.)

  13. Chronicle version of the KBrown signing.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/13/SPC71MBQEH.DTL

    The one positive for me is that the Warriors are in desperate need of players with inside physicality. Biedrins is a walking talking ad for Charmin-like softness, and on the few occasions when he attempts to “man up” defensively he’ll get whistled for three fouls faster than you can say three fouls. Brown at least brings some inside toughness. Beyond that? Hey, did you know there’s a chance of rain Thursday? Seriously, I think Andria (#4) pretty much nailed it.

  14. OT Timeout: “We as females, really are super women. We give birth, cook, clean and are better than men in at least four sports.”

    What???

    http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=ycn-10625005

    • OT Are you kidding me? What a load of crap! Yoga is a sport? I could go on, but please……This is just what we need to further the man/woman dynamic, an intelligent dialogue bolstered by scientific data to support it. Is there an icon for eye roll? I need one.

  15. Why on earth would NO (i.e. Stern) go for Ellis/Biedrins/Thompson? The first two alone have contracts of $20m for the next 2-3 years. This has to be the worst deal for NO yet. . .

    . . . unless the NBA has boxed itself into a corner with its behavior. Simmons is good on this:

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7348176/the-eighth-day-nba-christmas

  16. @5
    I could suggest that a guy who mismanages the technology of his own blog site has no standing to criticize the Ws player moves, but let’s move on.

    MW is back, people! Oh, and also Andria…and there’s rgg and white hat too. Almost a full roster.

    Alright, team, let’s focus on defense this year, okay?

  17. @6/Steve

    Could brytex actually be Joe Lacob incognito?

    If I were in fact this Joe Lacob person you speak of (he sounds rich), then perhaps I’d be able to afford a PC built within the last five years, one that wouldn’t crash when I log on to Feltbot’s Warriors Blog.

    Either way…11 days!!! Woot woot!

    • Curious, how does your PC do loading Adam’s blog?

      • Felt, it does just fine on Adam’s blog. Even on the threads with hundreds of posts.

        Now, your current Kwame Brown thread works just fine (for now). Only 37 posts.

        On the “Back to Basketball” thread (330 comments), it takes over a minute to load. On the “David Stern” thread, it takes nearly three minutes. And then when attempting to add a comment in the box the typing action becomes very sluggish.

        Could it be all the links we add?

        • Hmmm, don’t like to hear this. I turned my caching off while reassembling the comments section, maybe that had something to do with it?

          Otherwise, there’s something wrong with my site that needs fixing. Google will hate this.

          • I’d blame my old PC before I blame your blog. Especially if I’m the only one with the problem.

          • Feltbot,

            I’ve never had problems loading with any post, although sometimes I get a hiccup waiting for ads to appear. But when I see Feltbot’s Tickets is offering front row seats opening night for $25 ea., I can’t complain at all!

          • Wha???! I think you must be looking at a different game!

  18. Sherwood Strauss on Kwame signing:
    http://www.warriorsworld.net/2011/12/14/stuck-kwame-brown-moment/
    He makes quite a few good points, imo.

    • Another writer who’s in love with his choice of words, at the expense of persuasive argument. For example, “…I’m not sure he possesses the relevant skills.” Then why not await further evidence, rather than pronounce a verdict?

  19. Nice to see the Warriors official website keeps up to date:

    http://www.nba.com/warriorsnba/roster/

    As of this morning, they’re still listing last year’s team.

  20. Chris Paul raising a hammer over David Stern’s head: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/hornets-guard-chris-paul-nba-court-rejected-trades-article-1.991236?localLinksEnabled=false

    Are the Warriors in the hunt for Pau Gasol? Almost unforgivable to me if they are not.

  21. If Reggie Williams goes to the Knicks, as rumored, he will LIGHT IT UP. An instant candidate for 6th man of the year. D’Antoni will know how to use him.

  22. OK, so as of this morning, here’s the Warriors salary picture (most salaries courtesy of ESPN, league minimum salary plugged in for draftees) (sorry about the formatting, my xl spreadsheet didn’t feed into this format well).

    Louis Amundson C 29 225 $2,403,000
    Andris Biedrins C 25 240 $9,000,000
    Stephen Curry PG 23 185 $3,117,120
    Monta Ellis SG 26 185 $11,000,000
    Gary Flowers F 25 214 $473,604
    Charles Jenkins G 22 220 $473,604
    David Lee C 28 240 $11,610,000
    Klay Thompson G 21 205 $473,604
    Jeremy Tyler F 20 260 $473,604
    Ekpe Udoh PF 24 245 $3,294,960
    Chris Wright F 23 226 $473,604
    Dorell Wright SF 26 205 $3,823,000
    Edwin Ubiles $473,604
    Kwame Brown $7,000,000

    Total Signed $53,616,100

    Salary Cap $58,044,000

    Remaining available $4,427,900

    Julian Khazzouh $473,604
    Tommy Mitchell $473,604
    Tim Pickett $473,604
    Tommy Smith $473,604

    Total remaining after all signed $2,533,484

    18 players total
    Less $1,420,812 (subtract 3 minimum salaries)

    Total remaining under cap: $3,954,296

    The latest from the dubs FO is that they want a backup for D Wright. Replacing one of the training-camp invitees with a free agent, subtracting 3 minimum salaries (to get down to 15 players), and not factoring in a mid-level exception (which I don’t understand), they have $4 million to do it. They could sign someone pretty decent for that kind of cash.

    Or they could go over the cap – it’s not the end of the world, most winning teams do it. Even after signing their boatload of D-league players, the dubs could have gotten Billups (claimed for a reported $2 mil) PLUS a decent backup SF, if they were really committed to putting the best possible team on the floor. As an alternative, for a little more than $4 million they could upgrade the SF spot. It’s not a hard cap (!) and the Warriors play in the 6th largest metro area in the country.

    Hey, Warriors! Pay the !@#!@# money!

    • White Hat, I believe that teams are not allowed to exceed the cap when signing free agents. That’s why the Warriors amnestied Bell when preparing the DJ offer sheet.

      But no reason not to spend the last $4M, as you suggest.

      • You may be right, but I think there are ways around it. Restructuring the contracts of some of your current players, for example, or using the mid-level exception. Whatever, I’m just guessing and wondering here.

        On a different topic, Khazzouh and Ubiles look like possible keepers. Khazzouh is 209 cm tall (around 6’10″), and scored 21 points in his last game in the Australian league – not afraid to take his shot, a rarity among Warriors bigs. And Ubiles’ shooting stats look good – .397 from 3-pt range last year. Just guessing and wondering.

        • I’m hearing on Twitter that Warriors are in the mix for the Knicks’ Shawne Williams. Long athletic wing, good defender, who rails the three. Sounds ideal. Ubiles might work as well.

          Ws desperately need a defensive swing man who can shoot from 3.

          • Sounds good, but what happened to Tayshaun Prince? Last I heard the Pistons were negotiating a new contract with him for a possible sign-and-trade.

  23. http://l.yimg.com/a/p/sp/editorial_image/c2/c29764b022fa4fb3f9d8798bc244df79/kendrick_perkins_drops_pounds_bucking_the_lockout_trend.jpg

    Yikes! A before/after pic of Kendrick Perkins. He was always a little scary, but now he looks terrifying! He! Is! Ready!

    The Thunder’s front court of Perkins, Ibaka and Durant really puts the Warriors bigs in perspective. We’ve got a looooong way to go.

  24. Felty: While obtaining another three-point SF shooter would help, equally important, if not foremost, is for the Warriors to obtain players who can take it to the rim and get to the foul-line. Last year, with the loss of Mags, our woeful differential in foul shot attempts vs. our opponents, puts us behind the eight ball each and every game.

    Obtaining CP3 would also help immensely getting to the line.

    Neither R.Williams nor Shawnee Williams are very effective getting to the foul-line.

  25. From AW’s twitter:

    “Reggie Williams has agreed to a two-year deal, $5 million deal with Charlotte, a league source tells Y!”

    The rap on Reggie in some quarters is that he can’t play defense. But I wonder. I don’t recall complaints about his D his season with Nelson. I also wonder if Smart’s defensive plan was that good, but I don’t know enough about the game to make that case. Granted the team was short handed, especially up front, but what I recall most is a bunch of guys running around futilely and racking up fouls most of the time.

    There are all kinds of defense, and defense has to be incorporated into an overall game plan and make best use of available talent. The 49s have good defense, but it is a very intelligent, even inspired defense, not a get tough, knock them down defense (although they can do that too).

    Somebody help me out here.

  26. I agree we need go to run more and that we ran half as much as we should have last year. That being said, Ellis is the only player who got to the foul line a decent number of times, and we need more slashers in half-court sets.

    With Jackson playing mostly a slow style of play in the east during his career, it will be interesting to see how much he has the Warriors running. I do think he realizes that the Warriors as presently constituted are built to run.

  27. I have a sneaking suspicion the TWolves are going to get a terrible whistle this season.

    (That one’s for you, Steve :)

  28. OT: How popular is the NFL? The answer starts with the letter “B” and ends with the letters “ILLIONS”.

    “Financial terms have not been released, but the three networks are expected to pay roughly $3 billion a year on average annually compared to the current $1.93 billion they collectively pay. ESPN re-upped its deal with the NFL earlier this year at an annual rate of $1.9 billion. Factor in other media deals with the NFL Network, DirectTV ($1 billion annually), Westwood One radio and others, and NFL teams will divvy up nearly $7 billion in media money starting in 2014. That is more than $200 million per team every year before one ticket, beer or jersey is sold.

    The NFL’s new 10-year labor agreement and increased TV rights deals are the reason that NFL teams are worth $1.04 billion on average or twice as much as the average MLB team and three times what NBA teams command.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2011/12/14/the-nfl-signs-tv-deals-worth-26-billion/?partner=yahootix

  29. Unbelievable that Stern actually pulled off this trade. This is much better for NO than the Lakers’ deal. Young talent, lower payroll than the post-Laker trade, possible top overall pick in 2012 Draft, Kamann expiring….Wow. A lot of us are eating a little crow today re Stern’s move last week. Maybe he could help the Warriors with a trade?

    • You are right, OT. I thought the Clips were in the driver’s seat and wouldn’t have to give up Gordon.

      Stern, in fact, makes a good deal
      Cuban gets Odom
      And Sterling gets in one fell swoop a contending team.

      I can’t figure it out, but for some reason I suspect these guys are all going to heaven and I am not.

  30. “Fact or Fiction: The Clippers are now a contender.

    D.J. Foster, ClipperBlog: Fact. Although they’re probably not done making moves, the Clippers currently have five former All-Stars on their roster (Paul, Billups, Williams, Butler, Griffin). This is the best team Paul has ever played with by a large margin. All of the sudden, the Clippers are a title contender. Pinch me.”

    Title contender? LOL This guy has been following the Clippers for WAY to long. They suddenly show signs of a team on the rise (albeit not saying much when you’re talking about The Donald’s franchise) and he goes into delusional convulsions. If the luck of the Clips holds true Paul blows out his knee before Valentine’s Day.

    Hornets? Hail to the Stern. Good job by you.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/5-on-5-CP3-111214/did-new-orleans-hornets-get-enough-chris-paul

  31. OT: It’s Not Brain Surgery. (Just came across this tonight. Very off-topic but I felt worth posting, especially considering the diverse demographics of this blog.)

    • Felt, I see the YouTube links are once again showing up as a screen display vs just the actual link. Is this your preference or the end result of “a guy who mismanages the technology of his own blog site”? LOL

      • I like it (how about you?), but I have no idea why it turned off, or came back.

        So it’s even worse than MWLX put it. I am completely incompetent technologically, which has made this blog an adventure in more ways than one!

        • In this case I like your technological incompetence although this could add to Mr. Brytex’s download problems, but then again who cares? That’s what he gets for buying and still using the first computer ever made. :)

    • Stunning information that could be credible, though it’s hard to be sure. Off topic, as you noted, so enough said.

  32. I am so happy for Ralph Lawlor, the long-time Clippers announcer who also happens to be the very best in the business. He was so brilliant when calling endless blowouts that I can’t begin to imagine how he will call a joyful and winning season.

    I only wish that he were still partnered with Bill Walton.

    I make the Clippers to be a better team than the Lakers this season, mainly for these 2 reasons: 1) Kobe is no longer Kobe and 2) Pau Gasol hates Kobe’s guts, and it’s destroyed the team’s chemistry.

    But there’s also the fact that Lamar Odom is gone and the Lakers don’t have a point guard, which matters when you’re not running the triangle. And the fact that the Clippers starting five is CP3, Billups, Butler, Griffin and Jordan. 4 former all-stars, and the guy Joe Lacob had a wet dream over.

    Western Conference Champion? Wow, tough to say. The Mavs are clearly worse. OKC will be better. Denver will be tough. I see the Clips biggest hurdle being their game-finishing ability: Neither Griffin nor Jordan can hit a free-throw.

  33. “Brown might be the final major preseason move by the Warriors, who had also been in trade talks for All-Star point guard Chris Paul. But don’t be surprised if they add point guard Ish Smith, who was waived Wednesday by Memphis and whom the Warriors tried to get from Houston last season.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/14/SPR31MC90A.DTL

    • Mark Jackson is posting up Monta, and letting David Lee shoot the three! I really think I might like this guy.

  34. Warriors lose out on Shawne Williams, who’s headed to New Jersey. Does Lacob intend to spend that last $4M? Or pocket it, and collect revenue-sharing?

    • SW got 2 years, $6.1M. Would have been easy for Warriors to compete.

      I guess Lacob is holding out for a wing man who can’t shoot.

      • ‘wing man who can’t shoot’ is about letter perfect for their latest acquisition, Dom McGuire. he shot .27 10 ft. or beyond, and was L.Brown’s favorite no-offense wing in Cha.

  35. Shawne Williams: 6’9″, 230. Shot over .400 from 3 pt range last year. Excellent FT shooter. Fewer than 3 rebs per game career average. “One dimensional offensive player, a spot-up corner 3. Jamal Crawford a better offensive option.” Reportedly better on D than Crawford, but so is my grandma. And she’s on a respirator.

    Looks like a good backup player – but a career backup. Maybe Lacob is hoping to land a difference-maker, or thinks he needs more rebounds from the SF position.

    • Not sure where you got that description, but I’ve seen him described as a versatile wing defender. I admit that I didn’t see him play often, and didn’t pay attention to his defense.

  36. @48 No sooner do I write that, but the Warriors sign a defensive wing named Dominic McGuire. A guy who would be shooting below .400 for his career if it weren’t for one single year over .400 back in 2008. Doesn’t even bother attempting 3 pointers.

  37. “The best five teams in the West, on paper, are Dallas, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Memphis and the Clippers in some order. From there, it gets weird: Denver is still putting together its team (and has two potentially key guys still trapped in China); Portland got blindsided by the Greg Oden/Brandon Roy injuries (although I still think it’s a playoff team); Houston might blow things up and rebuild unless it can revive the Gasol trade; New Orleans already blew it up; Minnesota and Golden State will be better (but not “playoffs” better); Sacramento and Utah are in No Man’s Land; and Phoenix looks like a fringe playoff team.”

    The 10th Day of NBA Christmas (Bill Simmons bubbleth over with Clippers pre-66 game season euphoria)

    The only question now is when will actual gloom-and-doom events arrive to once again ruin another season of LA Clippers basketball? Not if, but when? The curse of The Donald lives on.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7357471/the-tenth-day-nba-christmas

  38. “Perhaps no one will ever know the truth about how Chris Paul became a Clipper, about perhaps where the lines blurred between a negotiation and a shakedown. Nevertheless, the star point guard gets to throw lobs to Blake Griffin in Hollywood, Demps gets to repair his credibility in the draft lottery, the Lakers and Rockets get shafted and Stern and his unforgiving, unrelenting Olympic Tower gang reminds the NBA once again: Our league, our whims.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Alkf6n0adi3nKzkeMVvcoCE5nYcB?slug=aw-wojnarowski_chris_paul_trade_nba_david_stern_121511

  39. “Your 2011-12 Golden State Warriors” (From Adam Lauridsen’s blog)

    Can you have a different team with largely the same players? That’ll be the first — and biggest — question hanging over the 2011-12 Warriors as they kick off their pre-season on Saturday at the Oracle. This team has plenty in common with the 2010-11 model that missed the playoffs by 10 games, but Mark Jackson and Mike Malone are hoping that new faces on the bench bring new results on the court. Although it’ll take more than catch-phrases and good intentions to turn this team around, there are a few clear reasons for optimism.

    The Warriors’ off-season of great expectations is behind us. There will always be time for second-guessing and hand-wringing, but the more pressing matter is what to do next. The Warriors need a difference maker, but landing that type of player either takes exceptional risks or exception assets. The Warriors’ owners appear to lack the stomach for the former, so they need to get to work on developing the latter. This is where new coaches Jackson and Malone come into play.

    The single fastest way for the Warriors to improve their roster is to get more from the players already on it. Give the ramshackle, one-dimensional systems run by Keith Smart last season, it doesn’t take a great leap of faith to assume that Mike Malone (one of the league’s best Xs and Os guys) will find a way to construct a game plan better crafted to accentuate the roster’s strengths and cover its weaknesses. Similarly, if Mark Jackson lives up to his pledge of holding everyone accountable for equal effort at both ends of the court, the Warriors might actually start to shake their gimmicky, offense-only reputation.

    Big picture, these potential changes may not win the Warriors many more games (the rest of the West got better while the Warriors largely stood still) — but on a player-by-player basis, they may make a difference. If Monta Ellis starts giving effort at both ends of the court, he could shake his league-wide reputation as a one-dimensional player that has consistently depressed his value. If Andris Biedrins can be slotted into a system where his speed and mobility are used, not wasted, he could again emerge as one of the league’s most intriguing high-energy guys. If Stephen Curry can work an apprenticeship under his former point-guard coach, he may just live up to the lofty value the Warriors have draped upon him. Even guys like Brown or Udoh could have breakout years. I still don’t think the roster as assembled is more than a 7th or 8th team in the West under the best case scenario, but the Warriors could do a lot to rehabilitate their image even if they fall short of the playoffs.

    That rehabilitation — if successful — pays off in two ways. First, it would allow the team to trade high on players, rather than falling into the all-too-common trap of only moving someone once their value has been destroyed. Granted, it takes guts to move someone like an Ellis or Curry if he’s playing well, but if it’ll land you an even better player as part of a larger package, it’s the type of shrewd move that elevates franchises. Second, the Warriors’ biggest asset next off-season will be their $10M+ of cap space. To make that open space on the books attractive to a free agent, the Warriors need to shake off the stench of being perpetual losers. The new coaching staff could go a long way to burying that image if they can develop some momentum through this limited season. The Clippers lost 4 more games than the Warriors last year, but they were viewed as a more attractive destination by Chris Paul because they’re seen as having more upside. The Warriors’ need to create that same sense of a team on the verge.

    In short, if the Warriors want to upgrade their talent next year, they need to get every last bit of production out of their existing roster this year. Very briefly, here’s a breakdown of what I’m hoping for from the guys sure to make the final roster.

    Stephen Curry — Focus, discipline and resiliency. Curry improved his natural abilities this summer by adding muscle, which should help him hold his own against some of the larger, stronger guards that used to abuse him. But more than physical development, I’m optimistic Curry will make the mental leap the team needs if he’s going to be their floor general. Curry needs to think like a point guard — valuing possessions, setting the pace of the game and forcing defenses to respond to him (rather than vice versa). Coddling Curry when he makes mistakes helps neither him nor the team. But it’ll be up to Jackson to find the careful balance that keeps Curry happy as a Warrior while pushing him to become a better basketball player.

    Monta Ellis — There is no reason Monta Ellis, in theory, can’t be a good defender. Although slightly undersized, Ellis makes up for in quickness (both hands and feet) what he lacks in size and strength. That quickness actually gave him a nice advantage against bigger players during some of last year’s match-ups. If Jackson and Malone can keep Ellis’ minutes in the 36 minute range, it should free Monta up to have more energy for the defensive end of the court. And if Jackson and Malone condition Ellis’ minutes on equal effort at both ends, it’ll provide Ellis an incentive to focus on the previously neglected aspects of his game.

    Dorrell Wright — Wright was the clearest bright spot on this team last year, and there’s no reason he can’t cement his reputation this year as a player fully reborn in a new home. Wright’s offensive game evolved before fans’ eyes during last season. He can hit the three, but he needs to work on slashing and pulling up from mid-range to round out his offensive tricks. If Wright can keep up his solid defensive play and pair it with a growing mix of offensive moves, he suddenly becomes one of the NBA’s best talent-to-cost players not on a rookie deal (if he isn’t already). The Warriors could use 1 or 2 or 8 more guys like him.

    David Lee — We’ll never know whether Lee’s elbow was a root cause or convenient excuse for his less-than-impactful play last season. His stats were down across the board despite playing only one less minute per game, and his general activity level seemed lower than the crashing/diving player we saw in New York. The only thing that was as advertised, unfortunately, was his poor defense. This year, the Warriors don’t need Lee to be a dominant scorer, they need him to be a utility player. Against half-court teams that neutralize our backcourt, Lee needs to be a point-forward capable of finding open men other than in transition. Against smaller opponents, Lee needs to be the explosive slasher attacking the basket. Against bigger squads, Lee needs to spread the court to create lanes. And against all competition, Lee needs to show that he can keep enough focus on the defensive end to fight his man to a draw. He doesn’t need to be the second-coming of Dennis Rodman, but he can no longer give up as many baskets as he contributes.

    Andris Biedrins – It was only one practice against friendly competition, but the Andris Biedrins Warriors fans saw Monday night at the open practice looked like the sparkplug that helped drive the We Believe engine. Blocking shots, pushing the ball up court and getting a hand in every rebound, Andris looked like a changed player from the slow, hapless stiff that slogged through last year. In the hands of a defensive guru like Malone, Biedrins’ agility and bounce should be a huge asset. The team doesn’t need him to be an offensive force aside from the odd pick-and-roll or put-back for him to stay on the court — just boards, rebounds and defense — but there’s no way he gets meaningful end-of-game minutes unless he raises his free throws odds above a coin-flip.

    Klay Thompson – We know he can shoot. From your back-up shooting guard, that’s a good place to start. The real question as Thompson adapts to the NBA is what else can he do? Does his size allow him to rebound or block shots? Does his handle allow him to slide into a secondary playmaker role? Does he have some hereditary killer instinct passed down from his father? Or is he just this new generations Kevin Martin, delivering points and nothing else? Given Jerry West’s ringing endorsement, I’m curious to see what extra Thompson brings to the court.

    Charles Jenkins – The Warriors keep talking about Jenkins being an immediate contributor at back-up point guard, despite being scraped off the heap in the middle of the second round. Warriors fans saw glimpses of why the built-like-a-tank guard may make a few teams regret passing on him. He already has an NBA body, he’s physically aggressive on the defensive end and he looks pretty comfortable with the ball in his hand running an offense. The rumored pursuit of Ish Smith — another young point guard — may bump Jenkins down in the depth chart, but he strikes me as the type of guy that will do enough small things to earn more minutes as the season progresses.

    Ekpe Udoh — Udoh’s first training camp will be an abbreviated one, but after playing catch-up his entire injury-abbreviated rookie season, something is better than nothing. Although most would count Udoh’s first year as a moderate success (given the relatively modest expectations), he’s going to be in a fight for minutes as a sophomore. Brown has stolen his thunder as the lead defensive presence down low — although there’s certainly no rule you can only have one good post defender at a time. The challenge for Udoh becomes presenting a rounded game where he can afford to be paired with other one-dimensional players like Brown or Amundson. We saw flashes of offensive confidence towards the end of last season, but the April emergence of Warriors’ rookies has been fools gold far too many times before. And please, for the love of Larry Smith, grab more than one rebound every six minutes.

    Lou Amundson — If there’s an odd man out with the signing of Brown, the rumored return of Biedrins and the continued rise of Udoh, it’s Amundson. In a contract year with no clear role or minutes is not a good place to be. Does Lou end up getting stashed on the bench or can he resume the role he played in Phoenix — 10 to 15 minutes of raw, relentless energy a night? If the Warriors’ depth at the 1-3 spots proves to be an issue, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Amundson (and his expiring deal) shipped off to create a more balanced roster.

    Kwame Brown — Can Brown finally be the guy that stops the Warriors from being manhandled by opposing big men, or is he just six more fouls to throw at the problem? The Warriors are selling the Brown signing as a defensive improvement, and hopefully it won’t be just another case of unfulfilled expectations. There are plenty of questions regarding how Brown fits into anything beyond the most basic offensive schemes, plays at the end of games given his free throw troubles and complements Lee or Udoh under the basket, but there’s no questioning his size. Here’s hoping that Brown is no longer a punchline, and that the Warriors get the last laugh on the signing.

    Jeremy Tyler — Although I’d love to buy into the immediate Tyler hype, he looks physically like he’s a year or two away from being ready to bang with the rest of the NBA. While he grows into his body and refines his skills, hopefully Golden State (or Bismarck) can provide a stable environment for a young man who has already bounced around a lot. I give full credit to the front office for investing in a long-term big-man project. Now the team and fans just need to give him time to develop.

    After four years of Don Nelson and one year of Nelson-light with Keith Smart, it should be fascinating to watch the Warriors implement an entirely new system on short notice. There will be growing pains — and the odds are already stacked against the team given the minor off-season additions — but this group undeniably has room to grow. It’s up to Mark Jackson and Mike Malone to turn this familiar group into something we haven’t seen for awhile: a winner.

    • “…the rest of the West got better while the Warriors largely stood still.” What is this guy smoking and why does anyone read him, much less copy his blather to another blog? I’m serious, Steve.

      For starters, the Lakers are a shambles, Portland is a hospital ward and San Antonio is another year older. If I wanted to read this drivel, I’d go to his blog, which I don’t do and haven’t done for two years now. Please, Steve, I’m begging you.

      • “Please, Steve, I’m begging you.”

        MWLX, I’m afraid “begging” won’t quite do it. Now, if we’re talking a little extra dinero on the side…..?

        OK, I would like to point out a few things here in my defense.

        1. The one and only feltbot, to whom we gather and worship at his basketball throne daily, actually, he himself, the one and only, posted the following on the previous thread:

        135. feltbot | December 9, 2011 at 1:17 am | Reply

        Highly recommend Lauridsen’s piece on the Paul fiasco.

        Now, if felt is recommending, even if only once in a great while, one of AL’s blogs, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that an infrequent copy-and-paste from “there” to “here” should be acceptable, even taking into consideration the much higher level of sophistication and intellect that defines the readership of “here” vs “there”?

        2. I clearly typed the author’s name meaning you knew full well and good that you were about to enter a sea of “blather” and “drivel” before you proceeded, and despite being “warned”, you continued reading. Now, who’s fault was that? I know, it was my fault, right? Yep, now I know for sure you’re a woman. :)

        3. Damn, I forgot what my third point was? Hellfire, you win, no more Lauridsen. Are you happy?

  40. Last season:

    Warriors were 26-15 at home.
    Warriors also had a winning record when Curry, Ellis, and Lee all played.

    This season: Better defense with an improved roster. Don’t see why we won’t be sniffing one of the last playoff spots.

    Please, no injuries.

    Ten days, people!!!

  41. ESPN Radio Daily: Michael Wilbon, Jerry West and Jeff Van Gundy talk Paul trade and the NBA.

    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=7358294

  42. Yo Feltbot, what’s Nellie’s opinion on GSW ’12?

  43. So…
    I’m no FB, but it sure seems like the Clippers should (will?) be a running team. But, and correct me if I’m wrong, that hasn’t really been Del Negro’s M.O. has it? I expect the Clippers to be good and fun. But if they underperform, Nellieball fans should start the drumbeats early. I have to believe Nellie coudn’t help licking his chops when he saw the Paul trade finalized (just like so many others must have). I fully realize it would be extremely unlikely. For one thing, even if Del Negro doesn’t run, I’d think he’d at least know to pick and roll the rest of the league to death. So I strongly doubt that the Clips will be anything but quite successful. But if they’re not, if the Clipper curse somehow sets in, the calls for Don Nelson should ring out!…however unlikely that they’d be heeded. Even the contract seems obvious enough: the Clippers need to make Paul and Blake very happy by Summer 2013; if Del Negro blows it, Nellie could take over this midseason and sign a contract that goes through the end of the next season, with a team option for longer.

    I can dream, can’t I?

  44. Warriors notebook: Charles Jenkins impresses.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_19558575

  45. Yikes. Good luck with this guy. I don’t care how “talented” this kid is, no thank you!

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/pages/video?PID=tn2XICNkFWwqtOInUfHpU4tLvFWaMAer

  46. All you need to know about Brandon Roy:

  47. The Paul trade–

    Several columnists have voiced suspicion. It is just uncanny–the trade stalls, then all of a sudden Billups goes to the Clips for $2m, and voila! The trade. Bids aren’t publicized, right? Though I suppose if other teams had bid more they’d be speaking up now.

    • The charge is that the league tipped the Clips to the proper amount to bid. No one would speak up, because all the owners are delighted with the trade. Except one.

      • It’s hard to believe there wasn’t one other team that didn’t offer more–$3m is still an incredible bargain, although the odds of Billups’s contentment with any team other than one with the Clips potential are not good.

        • Billups’ reputation is funny. He’s 35, not too old, and he’s an unusually good floor general. But starting with Detroit 2 years ago, his teams have been treating him as if he were washed up.

          He doesn’t think so, and he says he’s not interested in “mentoring” someone else to be the starting PG. Which makes a strong argument for the Warriors not to try to claim him off waivers.

          But with CP3 now on the Clippers, I wonder how Billups fits in there. He’s some damn fine insurance, but that’s not the role he was looking for.

          • No telling how Billups would have responded to the Warriors. But we aren’t a tank team and he definitely would have had a significant role. With Billups/Curry/Ellis at guards, there are all kinds of options with any at 1 or 2–and Billups could have put serious minutes in, at the very least to cut minutes from Curry and Ellis. (I’m not clear how many years he has left on his contract. And yes, what exactly is his role with Paul?)

    • Imagine when this second unit hits the floor:

      Smith
      McGuire
      Amundsen
      Biedrins or Brown
      And I guess Klay will have to carry the offensive load?

      When did offense become evil?

  48. If Jenkins can adapt to the NBA he’ll play more than Smith. That’s always a big if, but everything I’ve heard about Jenkins says he’s very skilled, smart and strong. Derek Fisher with youth and speed, perhaps.

    I doubt McGuire will be on the floor much when both Monta and Curry are off. In fact, Dorell will probably log too many minutes again this year. Whenever it is all-2nd-team time, it’ll probably be Thompson at the 3 with Jenkins/Smith at 1 and possibly Ubiles at 2. That’s some firepower. If Udoh can get his offensive game going this year, the 2nd team O will be OK across the board.

    Amundson won’t get much PT at all this year behind Lee/Udoh/Biedrins/Brown. He’ll be the team’s designated fouler. Depending on whether some of the other newcomers can step up to the NBA game, Amundson could be tradeable.

    I’m almost sorry to see the Ws sign Smith, because it may mean some of the other newcomers like Tyler, Khazzouh and Ubiles have less chance of making the team. On the other hand, Smith is extremely quick, seems to have a good handle, has at least some NBA experience, and he provides some more depth. This year especially, depth is going to be very important. Think double back-to-backs.

    For all the whining we did last year about the dubs’ lack of a bench, right now they at least have bodies for all the chairs. What they have is not enough for a new banner in the rafters, but it’s a step in the right direction. Maybe Lacob has been sitting in on this blog. MWLX?

    • I was kidding. But why not draft two way players, just in case? And maybe one of them will surprise.

    • adding Smith won’t affect whether Tyler goes to the d-league to get regular and substantial playing time. Smith is a reliable ball handler and his impact on the budget is minimal and short term. they’re already counting quite a bit on Jenkins’ maturity and smarts, but why rely on a rookie for the primary option at point until he’s proven capable — they’d be back to the over use of Ellis as an alternative.

      bouncing around the international leagues didn’t burn off Tyler’s ‘baby fat’ ; he got into shape for his n.b.a. auditions but from many reports has quite a bit further to go in terms of both strength and conditioning (seasoned vets like Lee and Amundson both struggled last season to regain theirs after injuries). the guy Tyler would need to surpass in the rotation to get solid minutes would be Udoh, and by the reports on the latter’s work ethic and progress, that isn’t likely at present. several of the vet bigs will be trade candidates in a few months, or have contracts that expire this season, so Tyler’s time will come.

  49. For the Warriors to be successful, D.Wright, D. Lee, and Thompson will have to share the SF spot.

    Udoh should get more playing timeat center then either Brown or Biedrins. If not, the Warriors are in trouble.

    Jenkins is the real deal.

    Can’t understand why Smith shoots so poorly, as his highlight film reveals a nice stroke and ark on his shots.

    Khazzouh looks like a stiff in highlight films.

  50. Hey Feltbot! When are we getting your take on this team?

  51. @ Frank: I thought we might see D. Lee at smallball center this year. Didn’t picture him at small forward. It’s not clear that he has the range or speed to be a wing.

    Udoh should be better this year, but he has to improve his rebounding and scoring a ton. With a little defensive help, maybe he will.

    Mr. Jenkins is the real deal, but he will need to change his game a little. Watching him play college ball, it looked like he could get away with simply overpowering defenders sometimes. That won’t happen so much in the NBA. But he’s a great athlete and potentially a very good NBA PG, in a completely different style than either Monta or Steph. Pity the poor defender who has to make the mental switchup from Curry to Jenkins.

    Don’t know about Khazzouh, but he’s probably not on the team by Christmas in any case. 6 other bigs have guaranteed contracts.

  52. From the one and only TMZ: Kobe’s wife fed up with his infidelity.

    http://www.tmz.com/2011/12/16/kobe-bryant-wife-divorce/

  53. “Shooting guard Monta Ellis and center Andris Biedrins reported to this year’s camp in the best mindsets of their careers, largely because of the groundwork Smart laid a year ago. Stephen Curry says he’s a better point guard because of Smart’s coaching.”

    Steph shows a lot of class with that comment but I probably won’t be able to stop laughing for at least a few more hours.

    “I always want to leave things better than I found them,” Smart said. “You can see some of things I was trying to implement there. I did a number of things that are going to help them for the rest of their careers, not just last year.”

    Yeah, right. Keith Smart, oh how we won’t miss you so.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/16/SPNU1MDC0D.DTL

    • at least R.Williams managed to land on his feet with a two year deal after Smart undermined his career and value to the team. properly deployed last year, Williams could have earned a actual extension instead of a minimum qualifying deal, and at least retain value in a trade for a draft pick if Jackson or West didn’t like him. justice was served to Lacob when he had to sacrifice Lin as well as Williams in the carefully calculated offer to Jordan. two years from now when the new c.b.a.’s limits take effect, they’ll be chirping, it worked out just fine that our offer was matched, Jordan is o.k. but nothing special. if J.Crawfor- can find a niche as a valued bench scorer, Williams should be able to do at least as well. Smart can become a coaching specialist for teams that want their offenses to regress.

  54. Billups obviously thrilled to be a Clipper.

    Kevin Arnovitz: Chauncey Billups on being claimed by the Clippers: “It could’ve been worse.” Twitter

  55. Fortunately, GSW didn’t get Reggie Williams…….

    Rick Bonnell: Bobcats won’t have Reggie Williams for 6-8 weeks. He needs surgery to fix a meniscus tear. Twitter

  56. The twisted NBA career of Stack Jack continues, and surprise surprise, he’s not happy.

    After holding a gun to Robert Rowell’s head (I mean, is there any other possible explanation other than maybe nude photos?) while he signed off on Jackson’s ridiculous contract extension, he’s now proceeded to the point where that absurd sum of millions already banked, and the continued flow of said millions to the tune of another $20MM over the next 2 years, apparently isn’t enough for a sound night’s sleep.

    At one time I was a fan but those days have long since passed.

    http://www.journaltimes.com/sports/bucks-beat-jackson-isn-t-happy-with-current-contract/article_eb9d12fc-27a3-11e1-b0f9-0019bb2963f4.html

    • Face it, Steve, we’re all jealous. I’d do that kind of stuff if I could get away with it.

    • Business is business. What matters to me is what takes place on the court, and I’d take Stephen Jackson back on the Warriors in a second. And I’d bet Tim Duncan, who called Jackson a champion and the MVP of their title run together, would take him back on the Spurs in a second. He happens to be exactly what both teams desperately need.

      • For me this has nothing to do with “jealousy” or “business is business”. We all want more money but Jackson has slowly but surely become a selfish pro athlete who’s on-court and overall team priorities have eroded over the years.

        Lots of pro athletes who want to win and help their team achieve loftier goals in the future will restructure their contracts to free-up money for use in signing other players. And then you have Jackson, who wants his money and be damned the subsequent team consequences (salary cap issues), which became painfully obvious with the Warriors. After he gets paid he whines and wants to be traded to a better team. Not to mention the distraction all the whining causes, as the “whispers” around the Bucks and their practices currently illustrate.

        With his selfishness the cliques in the locker room follow close behind. The worst mindset/attitude that Monta ever brought to camp and a new season with the Warriors was the offseason he spent letting Jackson get into his head about what he (Monta) should and shouldn’t do in regards to the team and management.

        When Duncan praised Jackson SJ was just starting his career. One of the big reasons the Spurs have been so successful over the years is the character and leadership that players such as TD and MG have supplied to the court and locker room. While Jackson would quickly be put in his place there now, he’s a potential cancer on most other teams. If you think a good player, even great, can’t ultimately bring down a team and their locker room with his me-first attitude look no further than Terrell Owens.

        I can actually understand certain sentiments that favor “dealing” with problem players such as Owens and Randy Moss because of what they can do in games, but we’re talking about 2 great players when in their prime. Jackson great? Not even close, which makes dealing with all his baggage/headaches not even worth contemplation if I’m an owner or GM.

        Funny, this was only 2 years ago yet some seem to conveniently forget how the Warriors and Nelson were falling apart, with Jackson leading the death march…………

        “As recently as October, Jackson was a Warriors captain. But during a preseason game against the Lakers, Jackson picked up five fouls and a technical in fewer than 10 minutes and was pulled from the game. He had a testy exchange with Nelson on the floor and was sent to the locker room. He was then stripped of his captaincy.”

        That was from an ESPN piece, with the following from Ken Berger.

        http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/11838893/18274859

        Oh yeah, I’d love to have Jackson back on the Warriors. LOL My sincere sympathies to the Milwaukee Bucks.

        • Gotta go with you 100% on this, Steve. We have all seen the effects of a cancer on the team, and SJ’s entitled attitude is the worst possible addition to this group. We have also recently seen what the effect of good coaching can do to a team like the 49ers, so I’m going to give Mark Jackson my vote as the right Jackson to be a part of the Warriors.

        • I too fully agree, Steve. Sure, asking for more money is all business. But does that mean you don’t have to conduct yourself in a profesional manner? Keep Stephen Jackson away, please!

        • I couldn’t agree more, Steve. You nailed it.

  57. rgg @78 I’m working on a 4-part preview of this year’s Warriors, that should start hitting early next week. I also intend to write three additional posts before the season starts: Forecasting the Western Conference, Handicapping the NBA game totals, and Identifying this year’s Fantasy Sleepers.

    So you could say I’ve got my work cut out for me.

    • 4-5 games a week–are you going to make it through the season? You may need subs on the bench this year (preferably ones who can shoot).

  58. From Bill Simmons 11th. Day of NBA Christmas:

    “Golden State struck out with Marc Gasol, Nene, Tyson Chandler, tried to overpay DeAndre Jordan (four years, $43 million), then settled on a one-year, $7 million deal for the immortal Kwame Brown. I’m not sure if “settling” is a strong enough word, to be honest. If the newly single Ashton Kutcher spent the night talking to Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Blake Lively, threw the kitchen sink at Kaley Cuoco and went home with a portly cocktail waitress, I don’t think we would use the word ‘settling.’ That’s basically what happened here.”

    (I don’t understand have of Simmons’s allusions, btw.) Also this:

    “Charlotte snared one of my favorite under-the-radar guys for $5 million over two years: Reggie Williams, a gamer and long-range sniper (2010-11: 42.3 percent 3-point FG) who toiled in obscurity for a lousy Warriors team last season.”

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7360397/the-eleventh-day-nba-christmas

    (Sorry Steve if you put this link up above!)

    • “half” of Simmons’s allusions–sorry

      • Also, Steve, just saw your link about RW’s injury. (Take care Reggie!) One report from a foreign source said he was injured months ago in Europe, though I haven’t see that stated locally.

    • rgg, you beat me to that one. :) Simmons is always a kick to read, but I’m with you on the “allusions”.

      Lots of hype about the Clippers but here’s a prediction that I’m sure you could get decent odds on today: GSW will be a better team than LAC within the next 2 years.

  59. “Biedrins went to Toronto to meet with Dr. Dana Sinclair, who helped him block out the negative and taught him how to breathe for maximum focus.”

    As much as I dislike Biedrins as an NBA player, I definitely don’t want him to stop breathing. Good job, Dr. Dana. As for everything else, I’ll believe it when I see it.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_19567184

  60. @ 85

    Totally agree with your take on Stephen Jackson, Steve. He’s a fine player, but he should leave his negotiating to his agent. He’s not going to find another fool like Rowell. His act sounds too much like Latrell Sprewell II.

    http://espn.go.com/dickvitale/vcolumn041108-Sprewell.html

  61. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I absolutely understand where everyone is coming from re Stephen Jackson. I despise a lot of ballplayers for their selfish actions. Quite a few NFL receivers and a former hometown hero now under house arrest come to mind.

    I draw a distinction with Stephen Jackson, though. Jackson has never been selfish when between the lines. He works harder than anyone, defends harder than anyone, wants to win more than anyone. He is a champion, universally loved among his teammates. And Tim Duncan and Don Nelson love him.

    How could I not?

    • btw, just to put some perspective on this:

      Jabbar forced himself off the Bucks, Shaq left Orlando and forced himself off the Lakers, Pippen and Jackson left the Bulls, H. Grant forced himself off them, Barkley left the Sixers, Boozer screwed the old blind owner of the Cavs, Lebron took his talents to South Beach, Deron Williams forced himself off the Jazz, Paul forced himself off the Hornets, Odom forced a trade from the Lakers, Howard is forcing himself off the Magic… Need I go on?

      Business is business. And basketball is basketball. Stephen Jackson is one of the greatest champions I’ve had the privilege of watching play, the undisputed MVP of not one, but two teams’ legendary postseason performances. It astonishes me how evanescent We Believe is in most Warriors’ fans minds. Not mine. I cherish those memories.

    • No problem with Jackson the player. Jackson the agent isn’t representing himself well. In fact, he got his sweet deal with Rowell by acting like the model team representative/good citizen – the exact opposite of someone who issues press quotes that sound greedy and manipulative.

      Have you noticed that one component of the new Warriors culture is more professional sounding interviews? It’s no coincidence. Good PR work increases a player’s personal brand value. And since for most people PRspeak doesn’t come naturally, the dubs players have obviously been coached at it. If Jackson ever had training like that, it didn’t seem to take. Too bad. Everything he says in front of an open mike makes a difference. For better or worse, that’s a fact.

      • That’s fine, but I predict you’re going to be offering Kobe PR lessons very soon.

        Bottom line, there is very little love lost between players and owners, and rightly so. Franchises rarely have any loyalty to players, and yet the inverse is expected by the fans. I call baloney.

        I don’t care a whit how players leverage their power or rep themselves in the media. I care about how they play for their teammates and their coaches. Jax will always be in my pantheon.

        • Kobe’s net worth was in the news today, estimated at about $350 million. Only $200 mil was from his basketball salary. You don’t think Kobe has had PR coaching? For $150 million?

          As a fan I prefer players who speak from the heart and don’t always sound niceynice. You get more truth that way. But as a marketing guy I guarantee that being negative on camera is expensive. It costs the player money in lost endorsement opportunities, appearances and other ancillary income, and it brings their “locker room presence” into question, which can threaten their primary source of revenue. Ask Latrell.

          Warriors players have undoubtedly had classes in PR. Good PR is good for business, and working to get it is simple professionalism. Lacob wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to get it right. The Maloofs should probably do the same, to keep DeMarcus Cousins from sounding like a complete ass.

          Cap’n Jack isn’t doing himself any favors. That’s a fact. Right or wrong, good or bad, that is the way things work.

      • the players were fortunate to get through the recent labour kerfuffle relatively unscathed (too bad for those political prisoners in the PRC, maybe that will serve as a cautionary tale for those who only see a potential billion household market), considering how poorly they present themselves in public and media relations.

        some of the players most prominent in the spotlight, like James and Bryant, apparently missed their tutorials on post plantation behaviour. descendants of serfs can become distorted imitations of the most excessive owners and overseers, and equally ridiculous in their arrogance and delusions of entitlement. James and Bryant probably grew up hearing the propaganda slogan, ‘be like Mike’, who not only imitated the owner but became one.

  62. Is there an online live feed for the game tonight? I haven’t upped my cable yet.

  63. OK, my first Warriors preview is up. From now on I should be posting more, and commenting less. Thanks as always to everyone for the great discussion and link-mastering as we endured this miserable off-season.

    Let the basketball begin!

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