The Steve Kerr Era: Open Thread

I’m not going to write up this move at this time, as I’m awaiting further developments on the coaching staff, and the roster. The construction of the staff around Kerr will obviously be hugely significant. Consider this story from the LA Times that states that Kerr has had several conversations with Alvin Gentry about becoming the Warriors “associate head coach in charge of the offense.” That has me scratching my head on several levels. I love Gentry as a coach, and kind of wonder why he wasn’t considered for the head coach job himself. Too much experience? Has his own opinions? Not enough “respectfulness” and “humility”? Doesn’t play golf?                   

If you care to look them up, I did give my initial reactions to the hiring on twitter (@feltbot) and in Comment 157 of the last thread.

I also gave a few thoughts on the other issue of the day, trading David Lee for Kevin Love, in Comment 159 of the last thread. As for the Marcus Thompson created rumor of Warriors’ interest in Carmelo Anthony, I’m just praying that Joe Lacob isn’t dumb enough to chain Stephen Curry to that selfish ball-stopper. We all saw how Linsanity ended, didn’t we?

At the moment, I’m still chewing over this conundrum: Mark Jackson, Hall of Fame point guard, got 3 years, $6 million as a rookie coach. Jason Kidd, Hall of Fame point guard, got 4 years, $10.5 million. Steve Kerr, career back-up spot-up shooter, got 5 years, $25 million.

What am I missing here?















Get the picture? OK, I’m off to play some golf.

332 Responses to The Steve Kerr Era: Open Thread

  1. Lacob isn’t going anywhere and we have to play the game on his terms. What has most been revealed this past year, really all along, is how fractured and incomplete the organization is. Maybe they will finally fix it.

    Kerr may well be the best—only?—candidate who can work with Lacob and bridge gaps. Maybe he will be a kind of hybrid—part coach, part GM, part camp counselor. If they do bring in a full, experienced staff, Kerr, as billed, will listen to them and coordinate decisions, and he does bring something to the table himself. At least GSW is finally committed to building a coherent and effective offense. And maybe this staff will develop a voice and have influence on the essential roster moves to come. In the past, roster moves and team identity and direction have never been coordinated or even well thought out, nor influenced by better minds with a stake in the future. Kerr may provide the best mediator between the team and coaching staff and the FO. He might be able to negotiate egos and delicate sensitivities. At least Lacob will listen to him, and I’m hoping he is ready to move major decisions down the organization, where they belong.

    At any rate, let’s hope for the best, because likely Kerr is here to stay. Maybe later we can consider the negative scenarios. Bad roster decisions alone could keep the team flirting with mediocrity for years.

    Meanwhile we can only wonder why this wasn’t done four years ago.


  2. Agree with you Felty that love plays horrible defense and Warriors would get short end of the stick trading Lee for him.

    Little reason to extoll owner Joe Lacob foras of right now we have no NBA draft picks and an often injured Andrew Bogut on the roster the next few years.

    Regardless of whether Steve Kerr turns out to be a decent coach, I agree that Lacob hired him even though he had no coaching experience because Lacob is a know it all control freak who has many disastrous decisions since he became owner.,his worse assessment being that Bogut who could not walk at the time is a transformational player. Not.

  3. Did Ric Bucher take over this blog?

    Alvin Gentry has a career 355-370 record. He’s been fired mid-season twice. He was throughout the Warriors’ search a member of the Clippers coaching staff and thus could not be interviewed until they were done playing. Not saying he doesn’t have great potential as a HC again, but it’s hardly scandalous that they locked onto the available SVG (for obvious reasons) and Kerr (higher risk but higher upside potentially than a known quantity coach), and are considering Gentry as a top assistant now that he’s available.

    And on your “conundrum”: there wasn’t a single other team that was bidding for Mark Jackson or Jason Kidd when they were hired (plus, Jackson was hired during the lockout when future league revenues were understandably unclear). In contrast, Kerr generated a bidding war between the deep-pocketed Knicks and a desperate GSW team (who had just been denied their other top-tier option in SVG). It’s basic supply and demand, and good for Kerr for getting Joe’s money when he saw an opportunity to exploit desperate teams.

    You’re right about Carmelo though. No argument there!

    • kerr’s situation was similar to a starting-level player hitting free agency — only two bidders with serious intent needed, to make it interesting [in the case of d.lee, the competing bids were possibly imaginary but riley wanted to close them out]. the $$ has no affect on the budget for the roster, and even compared to a player $5 m. per annum is about the mid-level exception (j.jack gets $6 m.).

      clearly the $$ spent gave lacob gratification — he got to hear the whole hoops community chime in, he knew who he wanted and got him, plus NY just doesn’t compare to GS. if he was forced to go to his next candidates like gentry or hollins (d’antoni, mcmillan, it’s moot) the process gets prolonged while he’s exposed to more flak about the termination.

      Prof. Rubin, the hat et alia rejected the perspectives of MThompsonII and aldridge about cultural divides contributing to jackson’s downfall, but kerr yes, gentry no, happens to fit that rejected narrative.

      • re your last paragraph moto, I see no contradiction there.

      • moto, Jackson was fired for his actions, not his background. His culture was the same before and after Lacob hired him. That makes MTII’s and Aldridge’s speculations just plain bullshit.

        That being said, every CEO has not just the right but the responsibility to establish and maintain an effective company culture. Lacob seems to want to run the Warriors like a large-scale corporation, emphasizing a high degree of teamwork among management. I think it’s probably not the best way to run a team. It’s too slow-moving. By the time you have a consensus, too many opportunities pass by. But no one has ever run an NBA team this way before and it could turn out to be a good thing. In any case, Lacob is most comfortable operating that way, it is his call, and it has some implications for his hiring decisions.

        Most NBA long-timers would find Lacob’s management process just plain bizarre. It’s not the way it has ever been done.Which, if you think about it, would go a long way toward explaining why Lacob repeatedly ends up with newcomers in key positions.

        Nothing insidious about it, not a racial/cultural thing, just a recognition of who’s likely to work best in the Warriors’ unusual (in the context of sports franchises) company culture. It’s why I never believed for a second that SVG would become the Ws coach.

  4. Bill Simmons on GS trying to acquire Kevin Love:

    “Golden State: Reportedly made Klay Thompson untouchable, which makes no sense because (a) he should be VERY touchable, and (b) you should want to flip David Lee and Thompson for Kevin Love every day and twice on Sunday. If they want to expand the deal with Harrison Barnes and Kevin Martin, that’s fine, too. Love and Steph Curry on the same team? Come on. Actually, why am I helping the Warriors? Definitely keep Klay Thompson! Best 2-guard in the league!”

    Joking aside, I’m SUPERFANTASTIC-ALL-ON-BOARD with Barnes for Kevin Martin.

    Lee for Love, not so much. It depends on whether Lee can ever get serious about hitting the weight room and building strength and durability. David, are you there? Listen to your bod, pal! Think core strength! Think what a pair of guns could do for your game! Unstoppable, baby! Put down the basketball and hit the !@#% weight room! If Lee can’t do that, Love promises a better future for the Ws.

    Lose Thompson? No. I defy you to name a single other available NBA player who could fill Thompson’s shoes. He’s more important to the Ws success than anybody not name Curry.

    Simmons isn’t up to speed on the Warriors. In these parts, he’s losing cred fast.

    • “Simmons isn’t up to speed on the Warriors. In these parts, he’s losing cred fast.”

      He’s not up to speed on any team outside of Boston. Not even sure he’s up to speed on that one. His idea last year was that Iguodala was a mistake because it wouldn’t enable Harrison Barnes to “develop”.

  5. This is hilarious. LA Times states Kerr in talks with Gentry to become Associate Head Coach in charge of offense. Now Diamond Leung reporting that Bob Myers believes Kerr is searching for a defensive coordinator/specialist.

    So what is Kerr exactly?

    • Has Lacob set-up 2 GMs? Meyers & Kerr?

      • “I understand” above—crap.

        One possibility is that they get a total mismatch of assistants.

      • Kerr sounds like the internally angry, hyper competitive guy that doesn’t us catch phrase excuses and probably ran his AAU offense better than Jackson’s pro offense.

        “At the end of the day” this is just basketball game and these men are trying to win at life. Wrong answer.

        Later bro..

    • Presumably Kerr will be able to coordinate plans and personalities. I’d hate to think they’re putting a lot of money into coaches who can’t get along, who have conflicting ideas.

      And if they do what they want, this will be one expensive staff. It will take bucks to lure the guys they’re considering. They may put more money into the coaches than the bench.

      I understanding they’re also looking for a jester and magician.

    • For whatever it’s worth, Larry Bird explicitly hired top-notch assistants in charge of offense (a guy named Rick Carlisle) and defense (Dick Harter) when he coached the Pacers.

  6. note for GooseL.G. from #161 on the previous column. good to see a south bay denizen standing up for lacob. maybe you and the hat go to the same sports bar.
    West already has a very rich g.o.a.t. pudding without you over-egging him. hyperbolic in re. to his bryant-snatch, ‘West did spot him when most others didn’t .’ not to deny him partial credit for going all-in with a good starting center to get the draft rights. more credit due for what he did as a player, to build the LA ‘brand’ and evoke bryant’s singular focus. but the entire country and some abroad as well had spotted bryant. LA wasn’t the only n.b.a. team to invite him to a scrimmage when he was in school — he’d been with Phi going face to face vs. stackhouse. he was acclaimed as the best school player in the country, breaking the Pa. scoring record held by Chamberlain and leading his team to a title. he made it clear he’d only sign with LA, and had leverage against getting drafted by anyone else. some GS partisans still think the team had the fuller pick to use on bryant, but similar to beisbol draftees under 18, he could opt for college instead, in his case the richest and biggest programs. if he did go to college and entered the draft later, he still could deny a team he didn’t like by going to europe, a familiar milieu to him and his father.
    you’re inaccurate about the older jackson’s coaching experience prior to his Chi tenure. he was a head coach in the second professional league at the time, the Continental Basketball Association. (eventually mismanaged into bankruptcy by zeke thomas, i.i.r.c.) jackson also had two lead assistants, Bach and Winter. if kerr does as well they’ll probably have a winning team.

    • An additional problem with GS drafting Kobe is that the all-time awful GM the Warriors had at that time (Dave Twardzik) didn’t think Kobe was all that good, and said so to reporters (e.g., Ric Bucher and a longtime SF Chron columnist whose name I’ve forgotten).

      Bucher told an AOL message board before the draft that Twardzik had scouted one of Kobe’s HS games and didn’t even think he was the best player on the floor.

      I doubt any other GMs misjudged Kobe’s talent that badly, but I’m pretty sure that if any of them shared West’s immediate assessment that he would be a surefire Hall of Famer, one of them would have taken the gamble on drafting him.

  7. van G. fans, review and enjoy the Lowe piece on, “Front Office Chaos”. van G. has pledged two words as his m.o. — “avoid groupthink”. [on two different blogs recently, including this one, v.c. partisans have lectured me about the ‘consensus process’]
    van G. is reviewing video for every Det game this season and requiring all of his staff to do likewise before anyone exchanges a single word in comments or observations, so no one’s opinions distorts another’s

    • I suppose you want to label the hat a vc partisan and Lacob supporter, but if so you’re distorting the facts. Still stinging about the Jackson firing, moto?

      I don’t know or care about Lacob. I just never heard anything about him misbehaving toward Jackson – while at the same time we saw Jackson out of line and subpar on many fronts. That makes me anti-jackson, not pro-lacob. Too subtle for you, moto?

      • touched that you cared if the preacher termination bothered me — it was a relief to know the content of the pre game shows on the radio with roye might be worth paying attention to, with kerr conversing. the favoritism jackson’s religious practice received was annoying too, unfortunately not surprising in the context of commercial sports. won’t know for a while how the team will fare of course.

    • SVG is sounding better all the time—starting from the ground up, actually looking at what he’s got and getting others to do so, rather than forcing some simplistic plan without looking.

    • Is “groupthink” actually a buzzword among business cults now? Do they not know its source and meaning?

    • “Avoid Groupthink” — could there be any more scathing 2-word indictment of the Warriors under GM Joe?

      • How many hours of tapes of the previous season do you think Lacob & Co. watched when they took over?

      • The pitfall Van Gundy is describing is more accurately called “ass-kissing,” not group-think. He wants everyone’s unbiased opinion, not influenced by what they may imagine is the boss’s POV.

        Ideally, in a consensus-driven organization there aren’t any penalties for contributing opinions, no matter how much they may vary from the boss’s. That’s a tough thing to accomplish, of course. It sounds like SVG is going about it the right way, though it has to be said that his plan will work only once, before everyone sees which way the wind blows. Afterward, well, it’s not generally seen as a good career move to disagree with the boss. Any boss.

        Honestly, SVG’s bottom line: his level of influence in the Pistons will be exactly the same as he’d have had with the Warriors. He’s going to have to make his case to Pistons management to make major changes, just as he would have had to do here. If he chose the Pistons thinking that that would not be true, then he made a mistake.

    • But SVG does not have total roster control. Look at what he settled for, consider what Lacob turned down as a possibility:

      “He and the team’s owners have 50-50 say in the final hiring decision, he says: ‘I’m not just picking someone I want, and they are not forcing anyone on me.'”

      From Lowe’s piece

    • To refresh our memories, the FO began with this plan some years ago:

      1. They wanted to get big ‘n defensive minded.

      2. They wanted to build the team around three top players of star quality—Meyers repeated this in an interview.

      3. They put most of their efforts into trying to get the big names, Howard most notably.

      4. They hired a former agent—Meyers—who could attract and negotiate with those players.

      5. And they wanted to build a glamorous arena in a glamorous city to attract those stars

      All of this from interviews with Meyers and Lacob. And I don’t recall that it ever got more sophisticated than that.

    • Actually, I read a good piece in the New Yorker about groupthink some time ago:


      “Most research and advice suggest that the best way to come up with good solutions is to come up with many solutions. Freewheeling is welcome; don’t be afraid to say anything that comes to mind. However, in addition, most studies suggest that you should debate and even criticize each other’s ideas.”

      “If you want people to work together effectively, these findings reinforce the need to create architectures that support frequent, physical, spontaneous interactions.”

      Openness, debate, and spontaneity are what the organization has never had, with or without Jackson.

      • warriorsablaze

        It’s amazing how much you “know” about the inner workings of the front office. You have absolutely no idea how ideas flow within the organization… it’s as if you expect an open dialog with fans about how the franchise should be run, which is ludicrous.

        Your article excerpts seem to support the style of management Lacob is espousing over the “no group think” style of SVG.

        • Actually, what SVG is doing sounds closer to the spirit of groupthink, as defined in the article—open discussion among informed members. It’s worth a read.

          The limitations of this organization have been clear from the start, from their own words and heavy implications. All of this has been supported by many, many links here over the years. Do you listen to these guys?

          The first and most obvious problem with the FO is that there is little to no direct experience with running a basketball team, yet these are the guys who make the decisions. Lacob has also made it clear he makes the major decisions, thus it is a hierarchy under his control, not an open discussion. He has also made it clear that the person with the most experience—West—has minor influence and isn’t followed.

          Lacob has also always worked from a limited and superficial set of assumptions, all made public. And he does not listen to views he does not want to entertain. He made that clear when he fired Nelson, and never listened to a word about the roster or basketball.

          There has never been any indication that any of the coaches, those closest to the players and game, have had any input or say in the meetings, and their separation has been abundantly clear throughout Lacob’s reign.

          Really, Lacob comes closer to the original totalitarian definition of groupthink: “a pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics.”

          You’d serve your cause better if you did some investigation yourself and supported your claims about the organization. Opposing viewpoints are welcome here.

  8. After reading Felty and others on this forum and listening to Kerr, seems like to me Kerr is looking at “ball/body movement” in the context of a traditional line-up, including a traditional stretch-4, as Felt Boss mentioned. (I was initially hopeful after listening to Kerr.)

    If that’s the case, and considering DLee seems afflicted with a recurring injury (damage to the siatic nerves?), then GSW might as well trade DLee, Mokur, and HB for whatever they can get, as they all fit better playing at least part of the game in a non-traditional role, which GSW under Lacob/Kerr does not seeem willing to do, nor even able to conceive.

    I know that’s a pessimistic assessment; however, it might fit the current GSW reality. If so, better to move along.

    • cosmicballoon

      Siatic nerve damage? That’s a chronic condition. Where did you read that?

      • CB, did not read it, just from my own experience, inferred from descriptions in the media of DLees injuries, which were brief, strictly speculation.

        • concur, lee’s symptoms were very similar to sciatica irritation, damage may or may not be involved. he probably needs to re-tune his conditioning and flexibility regimen.

    • cosmicballoon

      I’m glad you brought up the offense. One thing that has not been fully vetted on this blog is the mysterious disappearance of Lee’s elbow jump shot. My theory is that it was 95% analytics driven. I believe the front office looked at Lee’s finishing stats around the rim and basically told him to attack the basket with reckless abando, rather than taking that elbow jumper that he has shot his entire career. The organization also has subscribed to the 3 or layup thinking that has swept the league (fine…Curry and Thompson are great examples). This same thinking drove them to not resign Jack, who lived on midrange 2s.

      The only problem is that Lee sets up his drives to the basket by hitting the elbow jumper. By threatening from the elbow, it opens up pump fakes to dribble drive which Lee has done effectively for years. Mark Jackson and/or the FO shackled David Lee this season by telling him NOT to shoot that short jumper. This was one of the major problems with the Warriors offense, IMO.

      • +1

      • the other significant change in lee’s usage was a significant drop in his minutes at center. o’neal’s minutes actually exceeded bogut’s in the previous season, with the total of o’neal + bogut combined surpassing the ezeli + bogut total by nearly 750 minutes.
        acc. to rumours from unnamed sources, this was the least satisfying season for lee personally that he’s had since moving west.

      • warriorsablaze

        This is 100% based on memory so it could be flawed, but I seem to remember Lee taking his normal 15-18 ft jumper in the beginning of the season and missing it at an alarming rate (I remember lots of talk at GSOM about his bricking jumper)… and then he seemingly abandoned it more and more as the season went on. Whether that was analytics, confidence, or a combination of the two I don’t know.

        I do find it hard to believe that a team with the highest rate of iso’s and the lowest rate of passes on offense was “analytics-driven”. The FO moves may reflect that, but certainly not the play on the floor. If anything, the style of play was indicative of stubbornly ignoring, not blindly following, the data. In no way did our offense resemble Houston’s.

  9. IMO, this talk of trading Klay Thompson for Kevin Love is ludicrous.

  10. A couple of points about SVG and groupthink:

    First, I disagree with those who think his power with the Pistons is at all comparable to what he would have had here. He has given ownership veto power over the GM he hires, nothing more. That GM will work under his supervision. He will have, by contract, total control over the team philosophy, personnel decisions, and coaching.

    His position will be very similar to that of the other great franchise builders: Auerbach, Holzman, Riley, Popovich and Nelson.

    Can anyone seriously believe he could have had this power under GM Joe?

    Second, I disagree with those who feel there are positives to be had from “group think” in basketball. GT is the hallmark of mediocrity, that can produce only mediocrity. GT is a herd mentality, that resulted in Bogut, and Barnes, and one way defenders, and no stretch fours, and walking the ball up the court, and Curry getting the life squeezed out of him by blitzes.

    Now, as Steve Kerr has put it to Joe Lacob, “The league has changed.” And GT is now following the new herd, into stretching the floor, and pushing the pace, and abolishing ISOs in favor of continuity.

    A wonderful development, far overdue for Curry, but too late for David Lee, who is now past his prime. A wonderful development, but a result of following, not leading.

    Could Don Nelson have invented the modern game of basketball if he had been forced to submit to the yoke of Group Think?

    Where is the next great innovation in the game going to come from? From Joe Lacob’s Committee for the Advancement of Warriors Basketball?

    Who will be the next transcendent coach, empowered to mold his system and personnel to his vision of greatness?

    A committee member?

    • Actually, on rereading the Lowe piece, I see that SVG has a 50/50 say with the owners only on selection of GM.

      Read the New Yorker piece. It gives a different picture of “groupthink” different from focus group decisions or corporate conformity, at least in respect to a lot of qualified voices sharing info and speaking up. I assume that is why SVG is making them watch those tapes, so they can make unbiased suggestions.

      And I’m sure SVG will have the final say, but it sounds like he intends to listen (we don’t have much to go on). It’s the way D’Antoni’s Phoenix staff worked. He had a variety of staff with different expertise. Everyone, top to bottom, spoke up. D’Antoni listened and, of course, made the final decision.

    • “GT is a herd mentality, that resulted in Bogut, and Barnes, and one way defenders, and no stretch fours, and walking the ball up the court, and Curry getting the life squeezed out of him by blitzes.”

      So how did it lead to 51 wins? Just randomness?

      • With an incredibly gifted all-star core brought to the franchise by a genius; a great bench player brought to the franchise by a disciple of that genius, who had learned at his knee how to spot legitimate 3 and D players at the bottom of the draft; Jerry West’s pick Klay Thompson; and just enough overpaid role players to fill out the roster.

        And a GM and coach who prevented them from winning 58.

        • cosmicballoon

          To be even more precise, Feltbot, it was the conflict between the coach and the GM that never allowed the Warriors to spread their wings. I have to believe that Jackson was responsible for the hot start to last season (before the Iggy injury), and then when the Warriors cooled off, Lacob decided to start “offering” suggestions.

          A full account of last season up until the Kerr hire would be a fantastic, drama-filled read.

          • +1

          • They could have won a few more significant games simply if Barnes hadn’t played so many minutes, especially when it soon became obvious he wasn’t performing. They could have given the minutes to the rest of the bench—Bazemore, for example—and changed the lineup around as needed. Barnes was a starter preseason, before his injury, and speculation was that he would be in the starting lineup when the season began.

            And I can’t believe, by any stretch of the imagination, according to all the things we know about old school Jackson, that Barnes’ minutes were his decision. You have to wonder what else was passed down.

            I never got the sense Jackson passed anything up, or was allowed to. And while the picture painted was that he separated himself from the organization and bunkered in, the complaint from the FO may be that he didn’t follow orders as politely as they wanted.

            Which doesn’t make him a great coach. But it’s hard to believe he didn’t have to coach with one hand tied behind his back.

        • “and just enough overpaid role players to fill out the roster.”

          lol, I guess this is as close as you get to complimenting the FO on acquiring Iguodala.

    • One of the reasons I read McCallum’s Seven Seconds is to get an inside view. Here, he talks about coaching—and illustrates a point about coaching dialectic:

      As the defensive guru, Iavaroni is tasked with coming up with a plan. Plus, the Lakers are “his team.” The assistants (with the exception of Dan, who is in his first year) divvy up the opponents during the year for careful scrutiny, and the Lakers belong to Iavaroni, meaning that he has already watched them on tape for countless hours. His intelligence will then be combined with Todd Quinter’s more detailed scouting report. It is, however, difficult to out-detail Iavaroni. His father was for many years the supervisor at Kennedy Airport, a man with an organizational mind who made sure the runways were kept clean, and the son has that kind of mind, too. He had a seven-year NBA career as a cerebral, overachieving forward and cut his coaching teeth on Pat Riley’s uber-prepared staff in Miami. Phrases such as “Indiana’s 42 Fist is our quick curl pinch” tumble easily out of his mouth. “I think even Marc would agree that, left to his own devices, he would spend more time in the room than any of us,” says Gentry.

      Like players, coaches have tendencies. Gentry tends to conjure up remedies and theories from his rich past, having been a head coach of three teams and an assistant under men like Larry Brown, Kevin Loughery, and Doug Collins. Weber is a relentlessly upbeat clinician and an unshakeable positive thinker who has read over four hundred books with titles like Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior and written poems with lines like “So don’t wallow in doubt or be crippled by fear/ Take positive action and watch both disappear.” He never has a bad day. Dan D’Antoni, Mike’s older brother who joined the staff this season, coached high school ball in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for thirty years. Dan’s default strategic position is: Never mind all the X’s and O’s, let’s just play harder than they do. Iavaroni calls Dan, affectionately, “The Old Ball Coach.”

      D’Antoni’s coaching instincts are closer to Dan’s than to Iavaroni’s. Early in the season D’Antoni had a dream in which he had to prepare an academic paper about the season. “But then I found out Marc had already finished his,” says D’Antoni, “and I got all worried because I knew mine wouldn’t be nearly as good.” During a coaches meeting in December, D’Antoni said: “We need to play this lineup— Nash, Bell, House, Marion, and Diaw. Against the Clippers it was real nice; against New York it was real nice. We gotta have people who can make shots.” “But, Mike,” said Iavaroni, “that lineup was only out there for a few minutes together.” “But if you watch the game,” said D’Antoni, “you just get a better feel about it.”

      It was a constant dialectic between the head coach and his lead assistant: Iavaroni relies on tape and stats, D’Antoni on feel and flow. Art versus science. Quite often, after he has grouped his players into a certain offensive alignment, D’Antoni will say, “All right, from here, we just play basketball.”

      At the same time, D’Antoni has been around long enough to know that “just playing basketball” or “just playing harder” than the other team isn’t enough. And so he relies heavily on Iavaroni’s stats and ability to construct a defensive game plan. In preparing for the Lakers, Iavaroni wants to play more traditionally, less like an NBA team, and keep one defender on Bryant so he will be likely to take a lot of shots and freeze out his teammates. “So the philosophy we use on Carmelo Anthony, Ray Allen, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant is, ‘The more involved the superstar, the less involved his teammates,’ ” says Iavaroni. (When the coaches talk specific strategy about a player or team, they almost always bring in examples from other players and other teams.) “I know it’s not real comfortable for us if Kobe is feeling it. But for every shot he makes, the other guys are saying, ‘Oh, shit, Kobe’s doing it all again.’ ” D’Antoni sees some logic to that, but it makes him nervous. “I don’t know why sometimes we just don’t trap Kobe on pick-and-rolls,” D’Antoni says. “Why give him a chance to really get off? Let’s say we’re going down the stretch and we’re two points up. And now you can’t turn Kobe off.” Iavaroni: “You can’t turn Kobe off down the stretch anyway.”

      McCallum, Jack (2006-11-14). Seven Seconds or Less: My Season on the Bench with the Runnin’ and Gunnin’ Phoenix Suns (pp. 33-34). Touchstone. Kindle Edition.

      • What I have been discussing is a division of authority between ownership, management and head coach, not a sharing of opinions among the coaching staff.

        To restate:

        I, and history, favor the supremacy of one great basketball mind over the franchise, not the manufactured consensus of money men and their powerless hirelings.

        • No argument.

          Kerr, as head coach, will have to consolidate various opinions into something meaningful. But there’s much more involved. Often a coach will be presented with situations where there is no clearcut solution and will have to come up with the best compromise, as much determined by weighing the odds and different views as making an experienced hunch. And sometimes you have to have the gumption to stick with a compromise—because there isn’t a clear solution—and make it work. In this case, above, D’Antoni and his staff are trying to decide how to play Kobe in the playoffs.

          And often you have to make decisions on the fly in the course of a game, know when to stick with them and know when to abandon them and try something else. Jackson was especially weak here.

          And Kerr has no experience in either case.

          Someone correct me and I’m not going to check, but in all his interviews about major decisions (other than selecting a head coach, obviously), I don’t think Lacob once mentioned Jackson’s name in his “consensus” group decisions. Coaches were always treated as the hired help.

        • bloodsweatndonuts

          So are you saying that in order to maximize this core of players while Lacob is the Owner/GM/Megalomaniac-in-Chief, the Warriors will need to unwittingly hire a meta-genius who is not only a transcendent basketball mind but a borderline sociopathic manipulator who can convince Lacob that every non-traditional-yet-advantageous strategy and tactic was his idea?

  11. Since the issue of Jerry West’s front-office acumen has come up in this thread & the previous one, here’s some help: If you think West is so highly regarded because of Shaq and Kobe, you don’t know anything about his history as GM.

    As it happens, it was in 1994-95 (more than a year before the Shaq-Kobe summer) that West was voted GM of the year by such acclamation that other execs suggested they should just go ahead and name the award after him.

    That was because he had just done the seemingly impossible, rebuilding the Lakers into a young 2nd-round playoff team after only 1 year in the lottery, while other recent champions (the Celtics and Pistons) were still floundering well under .500.

    He did it with a starting lineup built entirely from draft picks: Vlade Divac (#26 in ’89), Elden Campbell (#27 in ’91), Nick Van Exel (#37 in ’93), Eddie Jones (#10 in ’94) and Cedric Ceballos (in trade for LAL’s ’95 first-rounder). The glamour of L.A. had nothing to do with it; West could have built that team in Milwaukee.

    Around that time, Sports Illustrated did a ranking of team GMs based on the value they got from their draft picks over the preceding several years. West came in 1st, and Don Nelson 2nd.

    • Swopa—

      It’s been linked here many times, in West’s own words, that he has limited influence on the organization and that his advice often is disregarded, as Lacob said in his last interview. Lacob does value him for promotional purposes, however.


      “Obviously I’m just a piece of the furniture here right now.”

      (On Jackson’s hire) “Listen, I try to explain it to everyone up there: I’m not going to step on anyone’s toes. Forget me, I think it was unanimous with the three people up there. They obviously asked me about it and I gave them my opinion and I think everyone’s very pleased today.”

      And he’s politely signed off on just about everything else.

    • First, I never said West wasn’t good. Just that his reputation as an all-time great was overblown. It rests chiefly on his championships, not that Ceballos led team, and those championships were aided by good fortune, the attraction of the Lakers franchise, and Jerry Buss’ wallet.

      Second, the timing of that SI survey was extremely fortunate for your point. Did Jerry West draft 11 future AllStars in his career? Did he ever draft a future AllStar in six consecutive drafts? Did he build four playoff franchises, from scratch?

      That’s the bar.

      • I have no disagreement with you about Nellie’s eye for talent, and I’ve frequently cited his building of multiple contenders in discussions elsewhere. And I agree that the SI analysis was fortuitously timed for West, since his drafting in his last L.A. years & with Memphis was unimpressive.

        But when I point out that the worship of West as GM (similar to that of Popovich as a coach now) came about in the mid-’90s — years after Showtime, and before Shaq/Kobe — and you assert that “his reputation … rests chiefly on his championships,” you’re just showing that your opinion is impervious to facts.

        You’re free to believe whatever want. But you’re quite wrong.

        • You seem to me to have gotten agitated on a silly side point that I’m not at all invested in — I’ve already admitted that West was a good GM — but just for fun, if we asked 100 Lakers fans in a sports bar why they think Jerry West is a great GM, I’d choke on my peanuts if even one of them mentioned that 94-95 team or any player on it. And if 10 of them mentioned it and them, I’d eat my shorts. In the bar.

          With a Jameson chaser.

          • Excuse me, but who cares what fans in a sports bar would say? That’s a foolish standard.

            This is from the L.A. Times on May 4, 1995:

            Even while the Lakers were dominating the NBA in the 1980s, Jerry West, their general manager, was not named the league’s executive of the year. But after this season’s turnaround, says Scott Layden, Utah’s player personnel director, “We shouldn’t insult Jerry West by naming him executive of the year. We should name the trophy after him.”

            But hell, that’s just a contemporaneous quote from an NBA executive. Let’s go see what a bunch of morons in a sports bar have to say!


          • P.S. Redbreast is a much better Irish whiskey for washing down shorts. (Or Powers if they don’t carry Redbreast.)

          • Moncrief over Magic?


            Your serve.

            (Thanks for the whiskey tips!)

          • Swopa, Jamesons is Southern Irish. Is Red Breast? Hard to believe there is a better whiskey than Jamesons. If I was still drinking, I would definitely sample the Red Breast.

        • The Moncrief anecdote (which I have no reason to doubt) aside, that article could have almost have been written by a typical Lakers fan in a sports bar. It shows no awareness of the mid-’90s period that built West’s “genius” reputation, just as it shows no knowledge of a guy named Don Nelson.

          Why should I give this guy’s opinion any credence? And if you’re really serious about “Moncrief over Magic” as an argument that West is overrated as a GM, can we talk about Billy Owens for a moment? :)

          • By the way, I lived in LA at that time (chasing poker games), and watched that Lakers team quite a bit.

            But I fell in love with the Clippers broadcasting team of Ralph Lawlor and Bill Walton, making some of the worst basketball ever played a joyous experience.

  12. Adande makes the vital distinction between prejudice and racism well:

    He reveals this startling survey:

    “In a survey of millenials (people age 14-24) commissioned by MTV, nearly half of the white respondents said they believe discrimination against white people has become as big a problem as discrimination against minority groups.”

    I do want to add a note that the people who have talked about race issues most sensibly, with the most understanding and tact, are African American (MT II, Aldridge, Adande, etc.)

    • This is a smart piece, but I couldn’t disagree more about MT2 and Aldridge. Good intentions do not equate to cogency. And I’m not even sure those 2 writers were entirely good intentioned. There was a willful blindness and bigoted subtext to both of their pieces that disturbed me.

      I also don’t agree with your general assertion, obviously.

  13. we’re in the dark about kerr’s staff of assistants, and who chooses to join him might also tell us a bit about the kind of offense kerr has in mind. one dark horse who played with kerr and has head coaching experience is corbin. unlikely as he might seem, if he did appear on kerr’s bench it probably means we’d see elements of the motta/sloan ‘flex’, which last made a poorly conceived and executed appearance with the locals under smart, who attempted to install it during his singular training camp in charge. why bring it up ? the flex gave us the apotheosis of none other than Mehmet Okur, and assorted other forwards who could score from anywhere on the court — Love, Walker, Aguirre, Hayes, Malone, for a brief sample. for the flex, the woeyrs might need reinforcement with the other essential element, pugnacious guards and wings who can handle, shoot, and set back picks like sloan, hornacek, stockton, kidd, kirilenko, williams, but green and iguodala and thompson wouldn’t be bad.

    • From a glance, this doesn’t look attractive for our guys.

      Corbin is the former Utah coach, right? Do you know why he got fired?

      And do you know what happened between him and Raja Bell, who was effectively exiled? I tend to take players’ sides in such matters.

      • not advocating corbin, just mentioning him because kerr has numerous former teammates who ended up in coaching, and ‘mokur’ is a quasi cult figure on this site. someone like gentry who would be ideal for the staff is likely to get offers elsewhere.

  14. Interesting scout’s-eye look at the top of the lottery:

    Enjoyed these two lines about Embiid:

    “I always want bigs that can punish the defense.”

    “In a league that is going smaller and smaller, a big that can move like he can is an advantage every night.”

    • Embiid is similar to Andre Drummond offensively or even better?

      Like your tweet trading Barnes for Udoh.

      • Isn’t Udoh a free agent?

        • udoh has restricted free agent status and would be in his final year of his first round pick rookie deal if Mil extends him the qualifying offer for ’14-’15.

          • I think that is unlikely to happen. They have way too many bigs already and could end up drafting another.

          • He’s a trade asset at his qualifying offer price, no?

          • udoh’s qualifying offer is just under $6 m., and safe to guess neither Mil nor any team will pay him that to play next season. his shooting pct. hit a career low, and drew undermined any potential trade value for him by keeping him on the bench — either inactive or d.n.p. for half the season for a team that won fifteen games. when former d-league/woeyr Adrien came via trade w. Cha around the deadline, he ended up averaging 25 min. a game for drew while udoh sat.
            if kerr’s talk about a stretch four isn’t merely talk, there’s another x-woeyr who’d be pretty cheap, tolliver, one of nelson’s biggest fans in the game.

  15. I take it as a very bad sign for the future that Bob Fitzgerald presided over Steve Kerr’s press conference….

    • Agree, though maybe not for the same reasons. I assume you dislike the implication that marketing/promo is going on. I expect that from a $billion entertainment firm, and don’t mind it so much. I just hate seeing it done so poorly.

      Fitz may not be the worst-liked TV announcer in the league, but he’s in the running. Not the guy fans want to hear from. Putting him front and center on the new coach intro suggests that he’ll continue screeching and sucking up for another season at least.

      • cosmicballoon

        Gah! I thought the same thing Felty and Hat.

        Fitzgerald is the exact type of company man that the Lacobites love. He looks like them, dresses like them and BS’s like them.

    • Yes, hard to deny that they excel at sales and marketing and raising ticket prices, while lowering labor costs.

      • “…Welts said it took owners who extended “gigantic permission to fail”…

        That’s a very good thing, and essential for any organization to be successful. It’s also the exact opposite of what many on this blog assume about Ws management. Especially you, Felt.

        Re excelling at sales and marketing, I’ll grant sales but the marketing needs work. The fan-focused ads tended to belittle and condescend – no fault of Bogut’s, but his ad was especially egregious. And then there was the drop JB/keep Fitz movement, essentially the exact opposite of what most fans wanted. Good marketing begins with good listening – give customers what they want. And NEVER make fun of your customers.

        Re lowering labor costs, I don’t get where you see that, Felt. The roster salary is higher than it’s ever been, team management is paid top dollar (especially Welts, West and now Kerr), and the training/medical staffs were upgraded significantly over Cohan’s. If they’re “lowering labor costs,” I don’t see where.

        Re raising ticket prices, during Cohan’s losing streak the Ws average take per ticket ranked about 26th in the league (I looked it up once, years ago). Despite their incredible run of sellouts, they’ve just passed the league mid-point on tix prices. Given the demand, they could have gone even higher. Despite improving the “product” immensely since Cohan, the Ws have roughly NBA-average prices in one of the most affluent regions in the country, in the 6th-largest metro area in the country. They have raised prices a lot. But a responsible management team should have done that. The Ws are not a public service organization, and its management is not permitted to run it like one.

        • Lower labor costs: the new CBA with its virtual hard cap. There is a reason why franchise values have suddenly exploded.

  16. Maui Nellie

    “The Golden State Warriors sent a large contingent, including Hall-of-Famer Jerry West, despite not having a pick in the June 26 draft.”

  17. latest from van G., not shy in his new job. told the billionaire oligarch Cle owner Gilbert (profiteered with ‘quicken loans’ both on the inflation of the mortgage bubble and the bail outs) to s.t.f.u. and take care of his own team.
    the city of Det is under bankruptcy and essentially under federal trusteeship, gilbert has snatched up real estate downtown for pennies and publicly mocked the n.b.a. team for not being from Det (‘Det doesn’t really have a team’) but the suburb Auburn Hills.
    rumours persist about the draft lottery being rigged, and gilbert’s success therein has added more offal to the sausage. in no way is he one owner among 30 peers, despite the state of his team, and if a new arena in the city of Det eventually gets the n.b.a. team, this was the opening overture.

    • I’m from Detroit, moto, and go there occasionally for family and business. My impression is that there is very little chance of a new downtown Detroit arena, for a few reasons:

      Unlike Lacob/Guber, the Pistons owner purchased a multi-use arena with the team. It’s a huge asset, but only if it’s kept busy. If the team leaves and the arena goes dark, it becomes a liability. I don’t see a VC owner taking a financial hit like that.

      Detroit proper is a bombed-out war zone, currently managed by a GOP state appointee whose primary agenda is to scrape out its few remaining assets to pay off creditors. The population is shrinking, public services are almost nonexistent, and public safety is problematic. Even as far back as the 70s, concert attendees at Joe Louis Arena (nee Cobo Hall, the old downtown Detroit Pistons venue) were always frisked at the door. God help you if you parked on the street. Downtown Detroit is not the place for “a good time out.”

      Gilbert is not alone in picking over the carcass of Detroit. Investors have swarmed to the area from all over the world, picking up abandoned properties for pennies. The thing is, the last elected mayor of Detroit (Dave Bing!) devoted a large part of the city’s discretionary funds to flattening whole city blocks and converting them to vacant lots, potentially farmland. That’s what many Detroit neighborhoods are worth right now: small plots of rocky farmland. Detroit is a smoking crater surrounded by white-flight suburbs. If Gilbert and other investors can change that picture, more power to ’em. But it won’t happen in my lifetime.

      And the last point: NBA owners barely break even on operations. They make their big scores with government freebies, like Lacob tried to grab in SF (and still will get, at a slightly reduced level). Detroit has nothing to offer – no money and worthless land. Any one of the suburbs could offer more valuable freebies. That’s how the Pistons ended up in Auburn Hills in the first place.

  18. Diamond Leung posted a picture on twitter a few days ago with Steve Kerr and Brandon Bowdry(never heard of him) the other day and I just took a look at his youtube stuff. How is this guy not in the league? He could be a nice piece for the team. He’s got some James Harden game going on.

    Anyway here’s the link if you guys haven’t already seen this.

    • It’s really hard to tell against inferior competition. Usually if a guy wants to be in the NBA and isn’t, it’s because the NBA doesn’t want him for good reason.

  19. (Wow, MJax is a boring announcer. One platitude after another. I wish I had that bingo card the press made for his conferences. He never bothered me that much before because I didn’t listen to him much.)

    • Yeah, I picked up on that too. Very annoying to hear constant, repetitive blather about the obvious, with a focus on machismo over skill and strategy. “That was a big-time shot!” No kiddin’. Where’s the remote, I gotta mute this crap.

    • How would you like to listen to an announcing team of Fitz and Jackson?

      I’m trying to remember who was cast aside to make room for Jackson alongside van Gundy. Hard to believe this could be considered an upgrade. I think Jackson has a very good friend in JVG.

      • Actually, I think that pair would be a hoot, especially in a losing season. They would be so bad they would be entertaining. Imagine how they would play off each other. I also suspect they would be at each other’s throat before long, which would be entertaining too.

        Anybody remember the announcers for the Oakland A’s way back when, Red Rush and Don Valentino, I think. They were sublimely horrible. If Bouvard and Pechuchet (from Flaubert’s novel) had tried their hand at broadcasting, that’s exactly what they would sound like.*

        *This is probably the greatest comparison of all times. There are probably only two people in the world who would understand it.

        • Monte Moore

          Red Rush (with his ‘words eye view of the ballgame’ and Don Valentino) helped (along with Billy Martin, Art Fowler and many great young Athletics) rescue Oakland from Art Finley and into the Haas Family control.

          Don’t even use Bob Fitzgerald’s name in the same thread as Red Rush. He was great! Red Rush R.I.P.

          • What I most remember is the way Red Rush would call routine fly balls, as if they had a chance.

            It’s going—

            It’s going—

            [The right fielder] makes the catch!

      • warriorsablaze

        Since I had to watch, ehem, “guestionable” feeds all season due to lack of cable, I gained new appreciation for Fitz after listening to other team’s home announcing crews. Perhaps tolerance is a better word. He adds a good amount of hype when things are going well, and is really only insufferable (to me) when we’re losing and the excuses start flying. Of course, his company man homerism is gross in general, but I don’t need a rebel as my play-by-play man.

        Fitz and Jackson, however, would be a nightmare. Fitz needs a foil, and Barnett plays that role nicely.

        • NBA Broadcast teams who are better:

          Ralph Lawlor/Michael Smith – Clippers.
          Mike Breen/Walt Frazier – Knicks
          Neil Funk/Stacie King – Bulls
          Bill MacDonald/Stu Lantz

          All three of the above combine their knowledge, humor and non homerism to inform the fan and keep the game entertaining. Concidentally, all are in the top markets.

      • That announcing team would be like being sent to purgatory. RE: Jax good friend, I lost all respect for JVG during the playoffs and all his “51 wins, how could they even think about dismissing him” jabbering. He either didn’t know about what was going on around here re: Jax and his “us against them” and religiosity b.s. or was being a good friend to a member of the club, those who apparently will never be unemployed in NBA land. And yes, who was cast aside to make room for the preacher and his insightful comments? All part of the process?

        • ESPN did not ‘cast aside’ anyone in favor of Coach Jackson. He was merely added to the same broadcasting team he was on before. Mike Breen, and JVG.

          Vogel showed us tonight his lack of coaching skills. Don Nelson was rolling over in Maui as Frankie insists on playing a 7 footer who is too slow and not very good. Along with a headcase like LS. Pacers are flawed.

          • So those 2 were working alone?

          • The trio teamed up until 2011 when Jackson made his move to coaching. Breen and JVG teamed as a duo 2012 thru 2013. Unless you want to count Heather Cox trolling the sideline and interviewing Popovich between quarters.

  20. Popovich definitely deserves credit for his ability to find great international talent, and willingness to rely heavily on it. But it is simply astonishing to me the degree to which Don Nelson is being erased from league history, and by Bay Area writers to boot.

    Nellie brought Marciulonis over the same year that Drazen Petrovic joined the Nets. 1989. Nowitzki preceded Ginobili and Parker. Bol and Zhizhi other players that Nellie experimented with. Who is it really who “opened the door”?

    Yes, and Mike D’Antoni invented Nellieball.

  21. Rgg makes telling point by stating that the front office under the Lacob regime had been composed of people with no prior NBA experience, and it shows.

    I suspect that one of the reasons Lacob thinks he knows what he is doing, is the fact that Lacob was a part owner of the Boston Celtics at the time the Celtics won an NBA championship,

    While some posters have maintained that Barnes and Thompson will part of the future success of the Warriors, I have maintained that they are not likely to be. Barnes has already shown that he as at best a sub=par player.

    And while Felty considers Thompson an all-star his play in the playoffs the last to years show he is at best an average NBA in this year’s playoffs he averaged 14 FGA’s and averaged only 16 points per game. He did virtually the same the year before. Also, n the playoffs, Thompson provided the Warriors with slightly fewer possessions due to his turnovers not being offset by offensive rebounds and steals he garnered. So, he is at best, an ok player, nothing more ,nothing less.

  22. Resigning Thompson to a maximum .contrsct makes as much sense as resigning an often injured Andre Bogut to a multi-year deal.

  23. Warriors need to play their bench guys a lot more. Thats how the Spurs are able to keep their +30 guys going. DLee, Iguodala, and Bogut can’t survive into the play-offs uninjured in a 82 game regular season schedule, unless their minutes are reduced, don’t play back-to-backs, games off, etc.

    • “Warriors need to play their bench guys a lot more. ”

      You want the likes of Speights, Crawford, and Blake playing more? Good luck with that.

      The reason the Spurs can play their bench more is because they have a much deeper and more talented bench.

      • warriorsablaze

        True…though I’m curious if Kerr can get more out of them. There’s talent there in the right system… I’m not sure how well the Spur’s bench would do in MJax’s playground iso offense either. Other than Mills, who could create anything?

        • this season ginobili started three games, came off the bench in sixty five, last season it was zero starts in sixty games. fans on all the woeyr blogs are recapitulating the flaws the see in d.lee, but the team also lacks a wing with the all around skills on offense like ginobili. myers perhaps guessed that iguodala could suffice, but he’s not strong enough with the ball in half court stuff.

  24. OK, maybe there is one NBA owner more power-mad and meddlesome than Lacob:

    • in the aftermath of the reconciliation, Pera had the chutzpah to admit that he and the coach had not previously conversed at length one on one. this might outrank lacob’s refusal to meet nelson face to face when he became principal owner in managerial incompetence ; both behaviours exhibit an appalling lack of civility.

    • The sports pages should keep stats for owners alongside those of players. For example:

      1. Cumulative win/loss records

      2. Length of stay of coaches and GMs

      3. Amount over the cap/luxury tax

      4. Bang for the buck—how well players perform, based on their stats, relative to their contracts.

      5. Efficiency—how well owners’ teams perform, as defined by the career stats of players. If they have top players, are their teams performing to expectation?


      All of these stats could be combined into a single ranking called “Winning Culture” to see who comes out on top and falls to the bottom at the end of the season.

      6. Obnoxious quotient—how much they embarrass themselves and the team in public exposure.

      I think my favorite owner is the owner of the Spurs. I don’t even know who he is and he doesn’t appear in the nat’l press. He would rank at the top in Winning Culture and apparently is low in #6.

      • Fantastic idea. EvanZ?

      • I need to add more categories:

        7. Fluff—how much money is spent on stuff that has no effect on producing a competitive team. It could be measured as a percentage of total expenditures. Cf. body fat.

        8. Flopping—would comprise 1-5. Maybe the NBA could levy stiff penalties.

        9. Continuity—a more serious category, which measures how competitive a team stays over a period of years.

    • Barnes replacement?

      • Didn’t you have the Tolliver idea? He shot over 40% on 3pta last season. I’m down with that.

        • Tolliver is a 6’8″ 240lb. tweener. He can sink shots when left alone in the corner.

          Felt says you are who you can defend. That sounds right. Unfortunately, it makes Tolliver neither a wing player (too slow) or a paint player (too small, and not effective in the paint on either end of the floor). Nelson used Tolliver to good effect as a stretch 4, but he hasn’t gotten a lot of playing time since leaving the Ws.

          I think the Ws #1 need is a savvy 3-and-D wing player, preferably with some quickness. That’s not Tolliver.

          • “Nelson used Tolliver to good effect as a stretch 4, but he hasn’t gotten a lot of playing time since leaving the Ws.”

            He’s played for Minnesota and Charlotte. Are they’re coaching masterminds in either place?

          • And FWIW he got 20 mpg last season in Charlotte. Not bad, it’s about what I would want to see out of him. Ranked #95 in the league in RAPM last season. They probably didn’t give him enough shots.

          • Adelman played Tolliver about 17.5 minutes in his 2nd season in Minn. He didn’t play more because, while he creates matchup problems as a spread 4, everyone is a matchup problem for him to defend. He plays sorta like Carl Landry, only smaller, not as strong, and with more shooting range.

          • Hat, in the future it will be Anthony Tolliverses defending other Anthony Tolliverses. You got to have the Anthony Tolliverses to compete.

          • That’s certainly an opinion, EZ.

    • Why not take both, if Nunnally is any good and can fill in for the traded Barnes?

      Tolliver scored 34 points in this game against Minnesota, and didn’t do it camping out in the corner—only 4 3-point attempts, but he can hit them. Love played heavy minutes, but only scored 17—who was guarding him?

      Tolliver, like Green, doesn’t fit exact player descriptions, but his intelligence and skills make him valuable, if anyone cares to make use of these. Green is stronger on defense, Tolliver on offense.

      Rather than gutting the squad to go after “stars,” the team would be much better off filling out the roster and giving it more flexibility and depth. Tolliver, Green, and/or Speights would give a sizable second unit with versatility and scoring punch. And the first two can fill in with the starters. If Nunnally is any good, he could spell Igoudala, once he develops.

      The best pets often come from the pound. Rather than go after players the college/NBA world deems as stars or rising stars, take players who had to work their way up and prove themselves in Europe and the D-League. And this wouldn’t cost much at all.

      While we’re at it, bring back Reggie Williams and C. J. Watson from that year, and you have backup 1, 2, and 3’s. Such a squad could not only weather the storms of the season, they could make a lot of noise.

      • Watson is not a free agent.

      • And Reggie Williams was a terrible defender even when he had functioning knees.

        I don’t think this Ws team is going to be bringing back any old bench players from a 20-win Ws team, rgg. Time to move on.

  25. cosmicballoon

    Bogut’s ribs still busted a month later. Also, he made a comment about Jackson.

  26. From ESPN:

    Curry said the “semi-quick hire” of Steve Kerr as coach was “kind of a shock” to most players, calling it “a weird, expedited situation that we didn’t see coming.”

    • They didn’t consult The Hat either.

    • It will be even funnier when Curry fails to inform Lacob when he becomes a free agent and moves to another team.

      • Change is unsettling. Curry will adapt.

        Firing Jackson wasn’t weird, though. Nor was hiring a replacement coach so quickly. It happens all the time.

        It would have been weird if Lacob didn’t have a coach in mind to replace Jackson. It would have been weird for Lacob/Myers to discuss any of their coaching candidates with the players.

        Firing Nelson, now that was weird, especially the way it was done.

        • Hat,

          If a great player like Steph doesn’t like the direction of the team, he will be free move on to a superior organization. Talented players are valuable will not work with/for A-Holes (eg, Lebron moving to Miami, Dwight to Houston). I am very sure you have seen occur at your company.

          • Curry wasn’t pointing fingers, he simply said the change was weird. It’s a fact. It was.

            A coaching change is a BFD. It’s highly risky, and it’s disruptive, time-consuming and expensive. It’s safe to say the Ws wouldn’t have done it if they hadn’t had to. Curry knows the details better than we do. Notice that he wasn’t complaining about the Ws firing Jackson.

            No one, including Curry, expects management to consult him on personnel moves. Players come and go, coaches do too. At some point it could be Curry’s turn. He won’t even get much say about that. Curry understands that.

            Curry just wants to win. The Ws just dumped the guy responsible for most of the team’s losses last season. I think it’s all going to work out.

  27. Hopefully the Warriors are setting their sights on obtaining players for next year that far exceed the likes of Tolliver, R. Williams, and Nunnally who are being discussed here. Especially if one has expectations of the Warriors going further in the playoffs.

    • +++++

      Totally with you on that, Frank. The Ws better have their sights set higher than that if they want to improve as a team.

    • cosmicballoon

      You’re right Frank. I would like to get your take on what Pop is doing in SA right now. Marco Bellinelli and Boris Diaw are playing significant rolls, and by and large, San Antonio’s current talent level is mid-level NBA (factoring in the age and athletic ability of Duncan and Many).

      My point is that with a new coaching staff, talent will be important to the Warriors success. With a great coach, Pop or Nellie, the system and adjustments will deteine how the players buy in and fit, which will also result in wins. There are few coaches that can innovate like this. Let’s hope someone on Kerr’s staff will have the brains and balls to go for it.

    • My assumption, Frank, is that the Warriors’ cap is tight and they don’t have much to spend, that they can’t get a significant player without giving someone else up, which looks to be the case. Meanwhile, they have almost no capable bench players and little versatility, especially on offense, no one they have brought up over the years. Exclude Green, hope Ezeli returns to health, and hope they trade Barnes.

      San Antonio and OKC provide useful examples for comparison and contrast.

      OKC is suffering because it can’t get much scoring outside of Durant and Westbrook, especially from the perimeter. They had Reggie Williams for a while, who was tearing up the D-League, and had they brought him along and he returned to form, he could have made a difference.

      The Spurs started Bonner last night, which worked a little—he did draw out Ibaka and opened the court. If he hit his 3’s, it would have worked much better. And how would Tolliver compare with Bonner in the same situation? He’s 2 inches shorter—but a better shooter. He’s a better 3 point shooter than Green or Barnes, and can also score elsewhere, as he has shown.

      The Spurs also got good use out of the little PG no one else wanted, Patty Mills, last night and throughout the season. His 3’s were huge last night. Joseph has filled in in spots during the playoffs as well.

      In the previous game, the Spurs, down 25+, put in a lineup of Bonner, Ayers, Bellinelli, Joseph (and Diaw), all tweeners and minor players, who were able to make a run and cut the lead in half.

      I mention players like Reggie, Tolliver, and Mills because of what they represent—players who fall under the radar of NBA expectations, usually because of their size, but who are bright and skilled—and can score, if anyone is intelligent enough to find them and knows how to play them.

      It’s the other thing that hurt the Warriors this past season, a variety of versatile scorers.

      • “…they have almost no capable bench players and little versatility, especially on offense…”

        Crawford, Blake, Speights and JON all put the lie to that assessment, rgg. In a system that takes advantage of their talents, they’d do fine. For that matter, they’d do fine if they were given ANY offensive system.

        Re your latest hobbyhorse, Tolliver has a career 3-pt shooting percentage identical to Barnes. He’s also far less athletic than Barnes, a lousy defender, and 28 years old – in other words, he is what he will be, with no upside like Barnes.

        So for heavens sake, rgg, check your facts for once, and quit worrying about Lacob’s wallet. The team can pay out any amount they choose to, just as Lacob and Myers have said repeatedly for years now.

        • Curious how many years under the cap the Warriors have to go before you start to doubt Lacob’s word. It’s been 4 straight, so… 8?

          Also curious how immediately amnestying Bell to preclude all discussion of amnestying Biedrins, and then expending 2 first round picks later to get out of Biedrins’ contract, fits your narrative.

          I’ll bet any amount of money, and lay 3-1, that the Warriors don’t exceed the cap this year.

          • You’re probably right about the Ws not exceeding the cap this year.

            If they did exceed the cap, it probably wouldn’t be for long. The repeater tax is brutal. The sensible thing would be to hold off until they needed just one piece to win it all. I don’t see that situation arising with a rookie coach. No bet. Lacob/Myers are smarter than that.

            It’s not obvious to me that the Ws need to exceed the cap to have a serviceable 2nd unit. I think we all agree that Jackson seriously mis-handled his bench players. Any coach who didn’t handicap them as badly would have more success with them. It’s not as if none of those guys can shoot, as rgg suggests. Or do you want to change your tune on Speights and Crawford?

            Re amnestying Bell over Biedrins, that was stupid and everyone knows it, including, I’m sure, Lacob. There were extenuating circumstances at the time (mostly false hope but also Riley as GM, the lockout, an inexperienced owner…). Given the same choices in hindsight I’m pretty certain Lacob/Myers would choose differently.

            You consistently underestimate Lacob and Myers, Felt. Even stupid people can learn stuff. It just takes them longer. Now they’ve had 4 years.

          • Agreed Feltbot,

            Unfortunately, that may be the main reason David Lee is most often mentioned as trade bait. It allows the tact of taking $15 million off salary level and exchanging it for a relatively low pay (but high) draft pick and possibly an above average replacement. Lee as much as he helps the Dubs scoring wise, will help Lacob et al get cheaper replacement parts. Personally, I wish they would keep Lee and move others, but I am not the owner :-). The draft is supposedly very strong this year, and it seems like an option. Aaron Gordon?

          • @hat, I don’t really see how I can have underestimated them, until they prove me wrong.

          • I guess you haven’t noticed that the team is pretty good now, as opposed to when Lacob bought it. But don’t look now, the evidence might conflict with your opinions.

            Oh, wait, here’s where you say Lacob inherited all the goodness and everything he’s done has been crap. To which I reply:

            It takes real talent to avoid screwing up a good thing. For all Don Nelson’s brilliance, it’s a talent he rarely exhibited, while that coaching mediocrity Phil Jackson almost always managed it.

            Here’s the thing, Felt, if you worry about Lacob’s wallet, a lot of the Ws personnel moves are easy to second-guess. But if you ignore the salary, Iggy looks like a damn fine player, as does Bogut, Lee, and everyone else on the roster with the possible exception of Nedovic.

            Free your mind, dude. The roster isn’t what held the Ws back last season. Lacob/Myers just recently corrected the problem that held back the Ws this season.

          • The roster wasn’t the problem?

            So you were impressed by the post-season contributions of Bogut? In the last 3 seasons, he has been healthy for the playoffs…

            zero times. As I predicted when the trade was made.

            You were impressed by the backup center situation? It’s not as if you have to plan for Bogut and ONeal injuries…

            You were impressed by how Iggy matched up with one of the smallest and weakest defensive backcourts in the league?

            By Harrison Barnes? Steve Blake? Jordan Crawford?

            This was Lacob’s year 4, and Nellie could have fielded a better roster in year 1.

            I also think there could be significant degradation in the roster this season. Bogut got his contract and lost his incentive to show up in great shape. Lee is clearly past his prime. And Iggy just might be past his prime as well.

          • If you want to blame Lacob for player injuries, we’re through talking. I can’t picture how he could have managed it. Hammers? Banana peels? Get real or give it up, Felt.

            No, Felt, the roster wasn’t the problem. The bigs still had Speights, who was barely used by the coach. Draymond also filled in nicely. The Ws smalls clearly outclassed the Clips in talent. But when Barnes gets 3x the shot attempts of S Blake? That’s a coaching problem.

            The preparation and training, strategy and game-time adjustments – coaching – that was the problem. Too bad you couldn’t watch the playoffs with a clear eye. You would have seen that.

          • Don’t blame Lacob for player injuries? If he traded Monta Ellis for Greg Oden, would you still maintain that position? I do blame Lacob for Bogut’s injuries, because they were completely and utterly predictable. And I did predict it, the day the trade was made, and virtually every day thereafter. There’s something up with his bones — now 4 different bone breaks in his career, two of them crippling.

            Are you willing to rely on Bogut being healthy for next years playoffs, the way Lacob relied on him this season?

            Just keeping it real.

            As for the rest of the roster, I’m having difficulty reconciling your current position with that of the guy who was screaming after game 2 that the Warriors didn’t belong on the same court as the Clippers, and were going to get annihilated. But whatever.

            I think that the roster as it currently stands is going to be worse next season, not better. And it’s a roster that’s already flawed by the standards of the West. A center who can neither shoot nor pick and roll nor get to the line, a power forward who can’t shoot threes, and a shooting guard who can’t shoot, won’t shoot, and is afraid to get fouled. And aside from Draymond Green, one of the worst benches in the league. Steve Blake a mediocre halfcourt player, totally unsuited for an uptempo second unit. Jordan Crawford can’t shoot threes, and can’t defend.

            Not to mention the intractable problem of Harrison Barnes, whom Lacob will force his company men to play, so long as he remains on the team.

            The coaching under Lacob’s reign has been a disaster — something else completely predictable — but you’re dreaming if you think this current roster is equipped to challenge in the West. It was put together by an amateur, and it looks it.

  28. Still think San Antonia very talented team. He keeps his veterans fresh throughout the year and in the playoffs. Pop’s offensive and defensive
    schemes off the chart. Has the players to obtain extra net possession and compete at foul-line. Warrior current roster don’t have that dimension. Funnels opposing team’s offense to his defense.

  29. If Warriors can trade Lee and Barnes for love they will need to obtain someone like Udoh to protect Love deficiencies on defense as Bogut ca’t protect Love. Udoh’s 20 minutes of play would give the Warriors 2 net extra possessions. Don’t care about his shooting percentage as he averaged last year only 3.4 shots per game. Always thought he would hit a decent percentage if alley oops for him was made part of the offense. However, am concerned a little bit about his injuries last year that results his bock shots declining. Do think if the Warriors obtain Love and Udoh, and obtain decent back-ups for Curry and Thompson, Warriors have cakewalk thru play-offs next year. Looking forward to comments questioning whether my last comment is serious

    • A significant part of the value of most players for the Spurs is that they are Spurs, i.e. they have been intelligently selected and developed over time—I believe I heard even Bellinelli benefited from a shooting coach, with results. They were selected for their variety and the options they provide. They also got significant playing time in a system that exploited their talents. If the same players played for most other clubs, we wouldn’t be hearing about them.

      So the Warriors’ future depends upon doing the same, which they haven’t done yet, and they’re going to start over with a new staff. It will take them time to develop whatever they’re capable of developing.

      I believe I was clear in my point above. I only used Reggie, Tolliver, and Mills as examples of the kinds of players they might bring up. All have a much higher b-ball IQ and a variety of skills. Presumably the Warriors would try to find something similar.

  30. Here’s one for legal scholars and fans of the constitution:

    The last thing I want to do is defend Donald Sterling, whose monstrosities should have been dealt with decades ago by the NBA. But he was brought down by a private and, apparently, authorized telephone conversation. We can only wonder what might happen if there were other such tapings around the league, and can rest assured steps have been taken to prevent them. (Erman, meanwhile, was fired for recording what I’m guessing now was a holy roller meeting, though no legal action was taken.)

    Now Sterling’s wife has had him declared mentally incompetent— Alzheimer’s—so she can sell the team. The implications here are rather frightening.

    At least Sterling can invoke the Constitution:

    “The [termination] charges in the lawsuit are an invasion of his constitutional rights, violation of anti-trust laws, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract,” attorney Max Blecher told Shelburne.

    I think the moral is there’s no moral.

    Meanwhile, for the worshippers here of guys with lots of money, this guy has put up $2 billion to buy the Clips, making Lacob a bit player:

    • Hate to keep nitpicking, rgg, but…

      “…whose monstrosities should have been dealt with decades ago by the NBA…”

      In (pre-Patriot Act) America, no one could be legally punished for being something, only for doing something. Sterling has the legal right to be despicable or foolish in every conceivable way, just as we all do. As long as Sterling hasn’t violated the law he hasn’t committed a single monstrosity. In the latest controversy, Sterling hasn’t broken any laws.

      That’s Sterling’s argument with the NBA. He’s right about that, though his contract with the NBA might include a “conduct detrimental” clause that gives Silver just enough legal cover to throw him out anyway. That’s TBD.

      Whatever. Ballmer’s offer for the Clips probably makes the entire conflict moot. Sterling is a nut, but not nutty enough to refuse an offer as outrageous as that.

      On a side note, Ballmer’s offer makes Lacob’s Warriors purchase look like a stroke of genius. The instant Ballmer takes ownership, the Ws increase in value by more than Lacob’s purchase price. Lacob doesn’t even have to lift a finger to see his investment double in value, overnight. With the stroke of someone else’s pen.

  31. The Spurs have three players-Parker, Genobili, and k. Leonard, who are better players getting to the rim or foul-line than Curry or Thompson. I don’t include Iggy as in the half-court set he’s not a good finisher. They also have more three point shooters. in Genobili, Bonner, Green, and Bellinelli, and Leonard. Duncan, Splitter, and Diaw, are superior than Bogut, Lee and Speights. And the Spurs have a better offensive and defensive system. Leonard dwarfs Thompson in creating extra possessions for his team compared Thompson and is better defensively.
    The Warriors should put both Barnes and Bogut on the trading block for a player and draft choice. I fully expect that Bogut would draw much interest given his history of injuries which demonstrates how stupid the Warrior were in extending his contract.

  32. Interesting discussion on owners, will they or will they not exceed cap. There is no evidence that they will not exceed cap. Most every with, may be the exception of Dolan and Russian mob boss, you don’t go over cap for signing role players. Also, going over the cap limits the GM’s hand in lot of ways. So, you go over cap only if you are sure you will contend and for a super star kind of player, just like Lacob said.

    But, curious to see what Lacob will do if dubs get Love without losing Klay and then have to extend Klay this year and then Green and then Barnes. We will know then, till then this new management gets my benefit of doubt. I am with Hat on this.

  33. Well Jackson and his unfortunate stance are back in the news again.

  34. FB’s twitter link at SF Bay isn’t opening for me. Quotes?

  35. Part of me would like to see Sterling take on the NBA in court, push his case all the way to the SC, and see what shakes loose, say in anti-competitive practices, contracts, violation of civil rights, as in discriminatory hiring practices, even occupational hazards employees are forced to endure. He’s got the money and nothing better to do.

    Enough was revealed years ago in actual court cases against Sterling that would have violated the NBA’s code of conduct, but nothing was done. And that behavior involved actual damage, along with symbolism every bit as pernicious as what was revealed in a private phone call. But his phone call went viral and forced the NBA to act.


    You’re our resident constitutional scholar. If you’re of a mind, what legal protection does the NBA have that puts it outside of the pale of the law? Are there other similar instances, outside of sports? (Religion? Other non-profits?)

    The law, of course, is whatever the powers that be make it. About a century ago big business used the Clayton Antitrust Act to bust unions.

    • What such a trial would shake loose is similar or other offensive behavior on the part of other teams that does violate the NBA’s code of conduct. This would be entertaining.

    • The thing that is really scary to me is that Sterling was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which denied him his legal rights. Imagine if such tests were performed on other elderly—of if mental tests were made to find other illness. How would other owners fare? See Ballmer, Steve, in the YouTube @ 33. Obvious signs of manic depression, perhaps other abnormalities.

      • Whose rights are being violated? Sterling’s rights vis a vis the NBA are determined by contract law. If it had come to it, he could have fought it out in court. No rights violation there.

        What should the NBA’s procedures be towards mentally incompetent owners? Should they be allowed to continue to represent their teams and the league?

        I don’t see any legal or ethical issues in how this is being resolved. Everyone’s rights are being looked after, ESPECIALLY Donald Sterling’s.

        • You know more than I do. The mental incapacity determination was made outside of the NBA’s actions, which is what I find scarey. But, as you say, Sterling certainly has the resources to contest it in court. And maybe he will?

    • First of all, not sure why you accept Sterling’s complaint as fact. It’s garbage.

      As it currently stands, Sterling doesn’t even have standing to sue the league. Ownership of the Clippers was transferred to his ex, either by his signature, or because he was declared incompetent under the terms of the Sterling family trust (this point is still unclear). His ex has full power to make the sale. That’s why the NBA dropped the hearing to remove Donald.

      Also of interest, Shelley Sterling agreed to indemnify the league against any lawsuit brought by Donald. An ingenious provision, which means that if Donald brings suit, he will effectively be suing himself!

      As for whether Sterling’s constitutional rights would have been violated if the league had kicked him out, I think that’s far-fetched. The question would be decided by contract law — simply whether the terms of the ownership agreement had been followed. How the recording was obtained and whether it was legal is largely irrelevant, and even if it weren’t, the acts of coverup and lying to the league afterward would be sufficient grounds to boot him on their own.

      • I don’t accept his complaint at all—and you give specific reasons why I shouldn’t. Rather, I’m curious what a protracted trial might shake loose about the NBA itself.

      • Sterling could have substantially delayed the outcome of the lawsuit, hurting the NBA’s brand. He could have won through attrition. The case could easily have gone over two years, and further embarrassed the league. Also, the case could have exposed anti competition practices of the league, hurting the NBA brand further. Sterling likely knows about other owners and their behavior in the past. As well as players behavior.

        Many owners would not say publicly (except for the great Mark Cuban) that Sterling’s expulsion sets a risky precedent. What goes around comes around. Another owner could be thrown out in the future.

        I am suspicious about the inflated selling price of $2 billion. I would not be surprised that some of the purchase price was contributed by fellow owners. The purchase agreement contains an indemnity clause which shields the league from liability if Donald Sterling continues the lawsuit. There is no way the wife would agree to that indemnity clause without getting something for it (eg more money). Otherwise her attorneys would be negligent. Why would the wife in a forced sale, and then turn around and protect the NBA from the husband if the price was an honest market value? Balmer didn’t get rich by overpaying.

        Alas, the terms of the sale will not be made public so we will never know unless it leaks.

    • And of course we can ask why the NBA did not act to remove a coach who said about gays “Not in my locker room,” or at least recognize the implications and deal with it in some way.

      Did Jackson say that publicly?

  36. TK makes a point about the Warriors’ roster:

    “Yes, it’s not only tricky to have FIVE players (Love, Bogut, Curry, Thompson, Iguodala) in the top 10 percentile of NBA wages, it’s just about unprecedented.”

    He’s assuming Thompson gets a big deal, as predicted.

    And he goes on to compare the Warrior roster to top teams in the playoffs.

    We’ll be staring at this one the next years.

    • before the love speculation started the lacobites were already looking at the strong possibility that thompson’s next contract in July 2015 would make lux tax penalties nearly inevitable. if we see them avoid the lux tax again for the coming payroll year(they could rule out signing established vets for the bench, who want multi year deals, for example), even before his contract gets resolved, we’ll know why.

      they can rationalize all they wish about the payroll if they do manage to snag love while sacrificing thompson, but losing a heavy usage two way player for a weak defender won’t take them into the elite two or three teams. they probably consider love as a higher visibility ‘star’ for marketing, relative to either lee or thompson, more highlight plays usw. for their brand.

    • It can only work if they can convince a bunch of vets to take the vet min, like Miami has done.

  37. Felt, would you trade Bogut and Klay for Marc Gasol?

    • Jeez, could you ask me an easier question please?

      Hmmm. I would view this as a straight up Klay for Gasol deal, with the added benefit of a Bogut salary dump. Since the going rate for similar salary dumps is two first round draft picks…

      mmmm… yeah well… yeah I guess I’d do it… Yes.

      Beyond the fact of Gasol being a great 2-way player, I’m desperate to see Curry partner with a scoring center before his career ends.

  38. @ Feltbot #30

    “Don’t blame Lacob for player injuries? If he traded Monta Ellis for Greg Oden, would you still maintain that position?”

    Of course not. The Hat railed bitterly against the Monta trade. Trade your best player for a broken one? What kind of fool would do that? Competition is about Now, not Then, or Maybe.

    “I do blame Lacob for Bogut’s injuries, because they were completely and utterly predictable. And I did predict it, the day the trade was made, and virtually every day thereafter. There’s something up with his bones — now 4 different bone breaks in his career, two of them crippling.”

    What are the odds of getting speared by both a Marc Gasol knee and Manimal elbow in the same month? Both were pretty weird incidents. And if I remember correctly (I do, actually), you made the same prediction The Hat did, that Bogut’s ankle wouldn’t hold up. It did. I’m damn sure you didn’t predict a broken rib or busted nuts.

    “Are you willing to rely on Bogut being healthy for next years playoffs, the way Lacob relied on him this season?”

    Well, yeah. As much as I’m willing to count on any single player being available for the playoffs. Felt, you’re a brilliant bball analyst, but not a seer, doctor or geneticist. Know your limits, pal.

    “As for the rest of the roster, I’m having difficulty reconciling your current position with that of the guy who was screaming after game 2 that the Warriors didn’t belong on the same court as the Clippers, and were going to get annihilated.”

    Dude, a reality check is in order here. The Ws did lose that series just as The Hat predicted. The Hat didn’t base his prediction on personnel, but on the coach’s ability to make wins happen with the personnel at hand. The Hat was right while The Feltbot was MIA. You want to bet against The Hat? Step one: show up for the game.

    Reality Check #2: The Hat is batting about 95% on his predictions. He doesn’t make a lot of them. Check it out: when The Hat makes a prediction, he’s got 19/1 odds. FWIW, the one single prediction The Hat has made here that didn’t pan out was in saying that Jackson would be dismissed over his hooker blackmail shaming incident. The Hat is bitterly disappointed in his ability to predict Lacob, while also respecting Lacob’s determination to see things through. He’ll live with his ONE missed prediction quite comfortably.

    “I think that the roster as it currently stands is going to be worse next season, not better. And it’s a roster that’s already flawed by the standards of the West. A center who can neither shoot nor pick and roll nor get to the line, a power forward who can’t shoot threes, and a shooting guard who can’t shoot, won’t shoot, and is afraid to get fouled. And aside from Draymond Green, one of the worst benches in the league. Steve Blake a mediocre halfcourt player, totally unsuited for an uptempo second unit. Jordan Crawford can’t shoot threes, and can’t defend.

    Working backward among your issues, Jordan Crawford shouldn’t be shooting 3s on the 2nd unit, Blake should. Blake is a weak athlete who is very smart and competent, and a good shooter. J Crawford’s best contribution is as a disruptive element, this year’s/this team’s Monta/Ginobili. J Crawford is no Ginobili. But he’s a damn useful player when used correctly. Something beyond M Jackson’s ability to accomplish.

    JON as the lead C on the 2nd unit is a (poor) coaching decision, not strictly a roster problem. Speights/Green is… hey, wait a minute! Speights/Green is a damn fine front line for a 2nd unit! So WTF happened there last season? Shitty coaching happened.

    “Not to mention the intractable problem of Harrison Barnes, whom Lacob will force his company men to play, so long as he remains on the team.”

    OK, right. Harrison fing barnes should learn the game of bball, as The Hat has mentioned about a bazillion times on this blog. A coaching conundrum: if the guy can’t make good things happen, but might be made to look like he’s worth something in a trade with some fool, what’s a coach to do? In February The Hat had an answer: give up and cut his ass. At this time, The Hat declines to provide guidance. Barnes still has “upside potential.” He really does.

    “The coaching under Lacob’s reign has been a disaster — something else completely predictable — but you’re dreaming if you think this current roster is equipped to challenge in the West. It was put together by an amateur, and it looks it.”

    Dude. So righteous, so bitter. We’re all “amateurs” about the future, and no one’s past experience can prepare them for immediate onrushing innovative competition. Adapt or die. Time on the job doesn’t necessarily help you adapt.

    This Warriors team is quite well poised to adapt. Despite The Hat’s gradually learned disdain for rgg’s opinions, he does agree with him on one point. He wishes the Ws had more up-and-comers, and, more importantly, a way to develop them into players who can make a contribution at the NBA level. But again, that is more a coaching issue than a roster problem. Not one that is solvable simply by adding more neophytes, but one which requires a clear, concise vision of the role appropriate for each player as they become available.

    Hey. It’s been fun. Now it’s over.

    The Hat is an artificial entity whose sole purpose is to serve his creator as an outlet for accuracy over popularity. That’s not a success strategy for a real human.

    The Hat is always right. For a real human, there are more important things than being right. Proven once again, right here on this blog.

    Maybe The Hat will come back someday.

    Cower in fear, y’all.

    • The roster is flawed unless Lacob goes (way) over the salary cap:

      Next year’s TOP 3 salaries:

      David Lee $15,000,000 (Lacob trying to trade for Kevin L, or a draft pick)
      Andrew Bogut $13,000,000 (poor man’s Roy Hibbert, often injured missed 20 games Plus 7 playoff games)
      Andre Igoudala $12,000,000 (missed 20 games, offensivley challenged)

      To be fair, the Warriors did benefit from a weakened Steph Curry bargaining position and are only paying $10,000,000 for the MVP of their team.

      That’s $50 million for four players. The above is 67% of their salary cap. Next 11 players please?

      The Lee trade would be made to get substantially under the salary cap and an acknowledgement they have no real flexibility in making moves to upgrade the team.

      Their Competitors

      An improving Portland (Paul Allen $$$), Dallas(Cuban $$$), Houston, and Phoenix (young,gifted and athletic).

      Don’t forget the Spurs, Clippers, and Thunder…

      Not a lotta wiggle room especially when you add a rookie coach (historically, successful NBA coaches tend to have experience).

      Dubs may get past the first 2015 playoff round, but please don’t bet your Family Farm on it. Not Next Year anyway.

    • And some might say that the (borderline?) dirty play by A. Stoudemire that caused the fall that fractured the elbow that turned Bogut into a lousy f.t. shooter and generally ineffective offensive player wasn’t his fault and isn’t an indication of being brittle-boned either.

      • Let the record show Lacob trades and signed Bogut after Stoudemire wrecked his shot. At the time of the trade, Lacob caled the move “transformative” to the Warriors franchise.

      • Lacob signed Bogut long term well after the injury. He called the Bogut trade “tranformative” to the franchise. Apparently, Lacob was not aware of the injury, or didn’t care about it.

      • How many NBA players do you know who fracture their ribs from an elbow?

        Who shatter their joints into a thousand pieces when they take bad falls? And then develop arthritis in the joints? Twice?

        Who get stress fractures in their back?

        I’m having trouble thinking of any. Now imagine a player who has all four of the above happen. At some point the “freak injury” narrative ceases to be convincing.

        You don’t have to be a doctor to understand that it’s idiotic to place faith in Bogut’s health. Just someone with a knowledge of the history of 7 foot centers in the league, and the ability to put two and two together. (Although when I did consult with a very eminent physician about Bogut’s ankle, he looked at me and said, “This is why they shoot horses.”)

        There’s a reason why the Bucks dumped Bogut. And a reason why the only sucker they got for him was a rank amateur, who had no fear of getting himself fired.

    • Don’t leave Hat. Won’t be the same without ya.

  39. Getting a little testy here.

    Agree that Lacob won’t pay any luxury tax.

    Do think bench sucks and Warriors never had best roster in the Spieghts had good offensive playoffs but sucked most of the season. Crawford and Blake not even serviceable players.

    Sterling predicament has less to do with contract law and more to do
    with that fact that no one would have played for him next year. In that sense he checkmated himself with his remarks from ever owning the team again.

    Do Warriors have their player trade exemptions to trade.? If not why did the Warriors not use them when they could have.

    Agree Warriors in a financial pickle of their own doing.

    Let’s see what they do in off-season before predicting whether next year’s team better than worse.

    All we can say now with some confidence is that Kerr an upgrade over Jackson.

  40. Let me say this about Joe Lacob. He was an investment banker. He made his money investing money in profitable businesses predicting they would continue to do so and grow. As such he never ran a business. This is his first venture running a business. No wonder he has been floundering so badly. He ‘s trading and signing an injured player and then resigning him even though he continued to have injuries show how much and idiot he is. His gambling on signing to non-coaches in a row show he has no idea what he is doing. And his insisting on watch Barnes in a final workout before the draft show how he thinks he has an inflated ego. Not amnestying Biedrens, drafting the wrong guys in Barnes Thompson, when the Warriors could have drafted K.. Leonard leaves one less than enthused over his regime.

    • +1 agree with everything except your analysis of how Lacob got rich. He was a venture capitalist at the very height of the internet/biotech/Greenspan stock market bubble. Which means a very large part of his wealth was created by taking companies with no earnings public, and dumping shares into unsophisticated investors’ retirement accounts.

      • Not only unsophisticated investors’ retirement accounts but also the trading accounts of those who thought they were going to get rich quick by flipping the shares they just bought to some other fool who would pay more. I watched it happen among friends, shaking my head at their apparent ignorance of the ponzi scheme-ness of it all.

  41. If what you say Felty and there is no reason to suspect it’s not, that makes Lacob a total scumbag. As one can’t get lower than raising money from one store by stocks hoping such will go up in value only for Lacob to use the money raised to open a retirement account in his own name. Wow! If such is legal than our whole financial system allows for wide spread fraud.,such is worse than a guy who goes into a store and steals something as the amount of money diverted for on’s use from innocent investors is a million fold than the item taken from a store.,there should be a law that make such a criminal offense if it’s not already. Does anyone want to buy a ticket to a game when part of the proceeds goes into his pocket? Go Kings.

  42. At least Kerr got to study the Spurs before he begins his new job. And maybe he learned something. And maybe his boss will find someone to listen to this time.

    No Parker? No problem—plenty of developed options behind him. And it was a mid-sized, low-priced veteran on the bench who carried the day, Diaw.

    There’s only one work to describe the Spurs organization: professional. They are all professionals. Anyone who wants to make a splash in the NBA should study the organization top to bottom. And anyone who wants to coach should study game tapes religiously, all of them.

    • if you didn’t see it already, stein on has an entertaining mini-history of the popovich era in SA, “Pop and Timmy : Power Couple”.

      lacob so far has chosen an anti-SA course — their owner is the most hands off in the association. and most owners have taken the opposite approach with coaching hires, with all other teams except SA with coaches averaging under two full years of tenure. lacob is on his third coach to begin the fifth year of his rule, all three without experience as a head coach, including two prodigies who skipped apprenticeship or intern training.

  43. Great article on Pop and Duncan:

    My favorite line: “It doesn’t hurt, mind you, that egoless Popovich and Buford are empowered by perhaps the most hands-off owner in sports.”


    • cosmicballoon

      +1 Worth the read.

      Lost in all the hoopla of last night’s Spurs win was the fact that Durant tripped over his own shoelaces and turned the ball over in a crucial situation in overtime. It was one of the most embarrassing plays I’ve ever seen in an elimination game by a superstar player. I think we have to start putting Durant up there in the Chris Paul category in terms of superstars who seem to choke at the end of playoff games.

      • As Sir Charles said post game, Durant needs a post up game, so Derek Fisher cant guard him! Choke? He is 7 foot and has no post up game. Some on this blog, might call it poor coaching.

  44. from the Mark Spears coach-recruitment grapevine — both GS and Hou have expressed interest in t.corbin for an assistant’s seat, and the same two teams in l.hollins to take the ‘associate head coach’ chair. spears also mentions four teams considering hollins for the head position, LA, Cle, UT, Min. gentry of course a contender for those same teams.

  45. Felty: what’s your source for serious criminal allegation you make against Lacob in post 43?

    • Frank, It’s not criminal, that’s how the bidness works. The VC guys salt a lot of projects and if 2 of 10 succeed they be rich! You’re free to do it too. Think about how Cuban, Ranadive, the new Bucks owners, Ballmer and his friend in the attempt to move the Sacto opp to Seattle, make their coins. Sure, some produce “products” but mostly they mint money. Consider too that egomaniac who stuck SF with a large chunk of change for his fancy sailboat race, another guy seemingly always at the ready to join the NBA club.

      • For “succeed”, read “get to IPO.” The VCs have no long term interest in the companies they fund. Their goal is to cash out by selling their shares to individual investors who have been whipped into a lather by hired Wall Street touts.

    • Jim’s right, it’s not technically illegal to bring a worthless company public. The Wall Street investment bank handling the IPO assumes the risk of any fraud. The only players who ever went to jail in the IPO business were the salaried analysts hired by the banks to tout the stocks.

  46. Numerous times last night Kerr discussed the influence of fatigue on the players—the effects of Westbrook’s minutes the previous game, Duncan’s extended minutes, etc.—which I thought unusual.

    One the one hand, he is just being sensible. Pop’s ability to preserve his players’ health and freshness has been a significant factor in his success this season. And it’s something the Warriors sorely needed throughout the course of the last two seasons and into the playoffs, where they let it all out in their one or two series.

    Still, I found his concerns rather fussy, especially in the context of the playoffs.

    Since we’ll be sitting on our hands for a while, some idle speculation. He strikes me as being cautious, maybe overly so, to the point of being equable. He’s also a consensus builder—and follower. These, of course, are the reasons Lacob hired him.

    His broadcasting gig has given him exposure to many NBA players, which will be useful, and he has a fine appreciation for Steven Adams. He also shows some sophistication in understanding the game. But his observations sound merely bookish—he’s repeating something he has heard but hasn’t tried—and, as we all know, it’s easier to observe a game than make on the court decisions.

    In short, he doesn’t appear to have the killer instinct, the spark of inspiration, the manic drive to take risks and win. Or the battle tested grittiness even MJax had. Hard to believe that Phil Jackson’s main interest in Kerr wasn’t in getting a coach he could direct. (Cf. Riley and Spoelstra.)

    Then there’s the question of what he will do with his assistant coaches, especially if they have experience—and egos. Will he be able to synthesize their views into something meaningful, or just work for consensus—and compromise? If he doesn’t get such coaches, will he be able to create and direct a plan himself?

    The big test will be whether this roster can be bolstered, whether the coaches will have good input and will be heard. (Is the talk about Love a Kerr suggestion for a stretch four? More likely, Lacob is trying to show himself a player.)

    All this bodes mediocrity, at the least a learning curve. Hope I’m wrong, of course.

    • I didn’t read him as being overly cautious, at least by the remarks you cite. I think you’re reaching.

      Popovich rotated his players all season, relied heavily on the bench and no one averaged 3o minutes a game. Even earlier in this series he sat the starters when a game looked somewhat out of reach.

      I think Kerr was just commenting on the change away from an established substitution pattern, given the prospect of a potential game 7 in just 48 hours.

      • I probably am reaching, in part because I’m disposed to see him that way anyway, perhaps wrongly. The temptation has been to listen to Kerr closely the last broadcasts to predict what we’re in for. Still, it did strike me he spent a lot of time talking about fatigue, rare for other announcers.

        And we’ll have to interpret what he says from here on out and sort it out as best we can. Necessarily, especially with this organization, he’ll be repeating in part what has been decided above and passed down. At least, however, he’s talking about offense, and with some sophistication, the first time in the Lacob reign.

        Adande does a good job discussing Pop’s substitution patterns last night. In Pop’s own words:

        “What matters in a game is execution and mental toughness,” Popovich said. “You have to execute and you have to play with passion. So it’s like the old Dean Smith/Larry Brown thing: play harder and smarter than your opponent. It doesn’t happen all the time, but if you can do it, that’s the goal.”

        It’s not just having the right strategy and the right players on the floor. First, of course, you have to have the variety of players on the bench to make such changes. But also you have to develop players, and build their confidence in themselves and in their coach and his system.

        All of these will be the test for Kerr and GSW. And they’ll take time.

  47. I’ve been holding my breath on this all season, and wow is my face blue. Curry, I think, had a minor strain on his ankle, but aside from his concussion, that was it as far as his health is concerned. The reason, however, isn’t that his ankle got stronger, though apparently it has healed, but that he found a way to stop stepping on other players’ feet and, generally, contain his play from injury.

    Which brings up the obvious comparison with Bogut. He is not a good athlete, not that strong or quick or tightly, solidly built, so the way he most plays effectively is by overextending and exposing himself. And we have seen the results, and have every reason to expect more.

    Will Kerr try to contain him more? With what effect on the team?

    But note the added toll on the roster and salary cap: they will absolutely need to have a capable backup center. Or two, since we’re still not sure Ezeli will return to form. His knee injury was serious.

    Or, knowing Lacob, three.

  48. NBA economics 101 (referring to Ballmer’s $2b bid):

    “The leading theory for what the hell just happened is what you might call billionaire glut: Thanks to the U.S. economy’s increasing propensity for concentrating all its wealth in a tiny number of people, there are a heck of a lot more rich guys like Ballmer in the market for sports teams these days, and not an appreciably larger number of sports teams for sale. That imbalance of supply and demand drives prices through the roof, with would-be hoops magnates bidding each other into oblivion in order to find something to buy with their money.”

  49. We know that Riley found and recruited Ezeli and Green. But who recruited Nedovic and Kuzmic? Schlenk and Kirk made a trip to Europe a year or so ago—any chance their hire was influenced in part by Lacob fils?

    • Thanks for posting this article link. Quite a (long) tale, some interesting comments at the end as well. Hoping many of your readers take the time to read & ponder the questions it raises.

      • Bizarre and scary. Any thoughts, Jim, on what might be applied down here in the comments?

      • many of the comments addressed how the anonymity provided by the internet will liberate and protect destructive, criminal, pathological personalities while the rest of us have to be anonymous to be protected from them. ‘celebrities’ and such surrender their anonymity so they’re perfect victims.

  50. Thrilla in Manila

    Reggie Williams with San Miguel Beermen now:

    “Reggie Williams had the hot hand as the injury-hit San Miguel Beer side escaped Barako Bull, 115-112, in overtime in the 2014 PBA Governors’ Cup Wednesday at the Alonte Sports Center in Biñan, Laguna. Williams, the former Oklahoma City Thunder guard, lit it up with 33 points on 13-of-20 shooting from the field, including five 3-pointers.”

  51. I missed this:

    Even losing Kent Bazemore, the team’s 12th man, right before the trade deadline angered Stephen Curry enough that after the trade was announced before a game in Sacramento against the Kings, Curry ran past Myers’ press conference and yelled, “It’s a business!”

    Curry and Bazemore could have made music together.

    • Yes! But Jackson almost never played them together.

      • cosmicballoon

        Jackson’s two biggest coaching flaws:

        a) Too many post ups/ lack of discernable offense.

        b) Not giving his bench players a chance to play with starters.

  52. Would not be surprised if Warriors buy a pick and/it trade for a first round pick.

  53. Remember Rodney Carney, who was with GSW about half a season, 2010-11? He put up 28 points for the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in their win over the San Miguel Beermen (I like this league), 103-97, last Saturday. Reggie Williams scored 33.

  54. Memory lane, when GSW blew out the Clippers (Griffin, but pre-Paul and Jordan):

    With Feltbot’s comments:

    This was the second game of the season, essentially a Nelly squad. Several notes:

    1. Curry and Ellis played well together, 17 assists, 31 points (and Smart perversely limited Curry’s shots and minutes).

    2. Smart abandoned his “motion” offense, shown in the preseason, for a more efficient scheme.

    3. Lee played good defense:

    “As I predicted, David Lee is turning out to be a terrific team defender at power forward. He has the size and strength to hold his position and allow help to arrive. He has a terrific hoops IQ and quick hands that he uses disruptively. And of course, he rebounds like a demon. Is ending a possession with a rebound a part of defense?”

    4. And paired well with the then healthy Biedrins, whose length and mobility were an asset. And he scored some buckets.

    5. 31 points from the bench, including good numbers from Rodney Carney.

    6. This bears repeating: 31 points from the bench.

    So what happened?

    To be sure, Dorrell Wright had a very fine game, but he was up and down the rest of the season. Vlad Rad and B Wright were Vlad Rad and B Wright. Biedrins got spooked and injured. And Smart went back to his “motion” offense and mis-coached Curry.

    But this wasn’t a bad lineup at all, done on a tight budget. Throw in more bucks and a good coach, and there was potential here.


    • in hindsight of course, the life expectancy of a healthy + motivated biedrins was quite finite at that time. carney was waived in the first week of Jan. that season. why wouldn’t that roster w. a viable biedrins be competitive against that incarnation of the sterlings ? paul might actually be one of the rare players who makes his ‘mates better on both ends of the court. [green is another, but it remains to be seen how the lacobites manage to compensate and keep him, whether barnes remains ahead of him in the rotation, or whether he’ll be just fodder for a ‘headline’ acquisition in the future].
      the ‘motion’ offense you cite was a cloned version of the Motta(sloan his guard in Chi and the more current interpreter) flex system. acc. to the M.Spears coach-recruitment grapevine, corbin(sloan disciple) is under consideration for an assistant’s position by GS, Hou, Sac, while hollins is a candidate for ‘associate head coach’ by GS and Hou. the obvious suspects LA, Min, Cle, UT will probably snag both gentry and hollins for the boss’ chair.

    • not really a surprising result — a healthy and engaged biedrins makes that team competitive. griffin has improved as a player since then, and paul is one of the few impact players on both ends of the court. carney was waived in early Jan. that season, was picked up by Mem, where he enjoyed his college heyday, but failed to stick with any team after that year.
      the motion offense smart attempted to install was a clone of the flex, first made prominent in the pros by Motta and much imitated because of what Motta’s lead guard sloan did with it. acc. to M.Spears’ coach-recruiting grapevine, sloan’s disciple corbin is being considered for an assistant’s position by Hou, GS, and Sac, while Hollins might be offered the ‘associate head coach’ job in Hou and GS, at the same time in contention for the boss’ chair at Min, UT, LA, and Cle.

  55. Carlisle expresses confidence in Ellis:

    And it looks like he is going to get some good coaching.

  56. Random takes on a variety of topics discussed here & elsewhere:

    1. Both Curry and Bogut nail the biggest challenge with firing MJax & hiring Kerr: The need to deal with a novice coach’s learning curve. There are a million things an NBA coach needs to do well, and basically no chance a novice will succeed at *all* of them. So whatever positives Kerr may offer, it’s no surprise that players are gritting their teeth at being on a potentially contending team, but having to endure his “rookie mistakes.”

    2. That said, Kerr does have the potential to improve on some areas where Jackson was weak. I remember hearing a radio interview with him years ago where he emphasized Phil Jackson’s attention to details & fundamentals in practice (& I expect his experience under Popovich was similar). That’s something the Warriors could use.

    3. I don’t really blame the front office for the weak bench this year. Generally, you can only change a couple of pieces per offseason in the NBA, and the W’s blew their proverbial wad on getting Iguodala to replace Jarrett Jack & Carl Landry. That was intended to address the need for a secondary ballhandler (Curry is great, but can’t carry 100% of the load) without the defensive issues of a Curry/J. Jack backcourt. Didn’t completely work out, but I don’t think any of the alternatives (e.g., re-signing Jack) would have done any better.

    4. Which means that backup PG is still a problem to be solved — as Jerry West noted, they need a 2nd option who can attack off the dribble, hit some outside shots, & create for others (e.g., a facsimile of what they gave up in trading Ellis, and letting J. Jack walk, but cheaper, hopefully better defensively, and OK with playing on 12-15 minutes per game). But guess what? Just about *every* team in the league needs a player like that, and there ain’t many to go around. (Remember, the conventional wisdom around the NBA was that Indiana had scored a major upgrade by getting C.J. Watson to replace D.J. Augustin.) Who’s available this offseason that might succeed where Toney Douglas, Kent Bazemore, Jordan Crawford, and Steve Blake all failed?

    • cosmicballoon

      Well put. I disagree with your last point about Jordan Crawford failing. Crawford played just fine…it was Jackson’s misuse and lack of offense that absolutely debilitated all of the players you mentioned. Douglas was not given the opportunity….Blake was not given a system to run…Crawford was simply asked to score without an actual system in place. Bazemore needed to learn how to dribble below his belly button. They all had things that Jackson was not able to coax out of them. Curry’s brilliance covered up the majority of Jackson’s flaws, IMO.

  57. Spears tweets Warriors going after Tyrone Corbin and Lionel Hollins.

    I got bad feelings about Corbin but don’t know much. Hollins has been covered here before.

    I don’t see coherence here. This just sounds like getting former head coaches on the staff for the sake of getting former head coaches.

    And maybe putting some pepper on the table, next to the salt shaker.

  58. Guys I just approved a batch of comments from moto and Barry, starting around @45. Very annoyed with my spam filter working ass backwards the last few months. I think I got the spam under control, by locking old threads, but now this.

    If you find your comments held up for moderation for no reason in the future, please notify me at Thanks.

    • thank you, Professor. my resuscitated posts are repetitive or duplicative because my assumption was they were broken or lost. it’s nice to see a slightly different cast of writers here, and it seems to be a kinder, gentler place without one of the resident geniuses.

  59. In a very real sense, the Warriors, after 4 years of Lacob rule, are starting over again and still haven’t yet formed a coherent identity or solid organization. They will have a completely new coaching staff, may be looking to trade a key player, and the bench is still largely a question mark.

    The point of looking at the game @59, when the Lacob era was just beginning, is thinking what might have been under better direction, i.e., what Nelson could have done with that roster, who he would have added, and what he could have left behind. The Clippers, of course, weren’t that good, but that Warrior roster had potential and, even with all the injuries, even under Smart, played competitively. (And as moto tells us, Carney wasn’t that good. I forgot about him, and looking back to learn about him was what got me started.)

    Instead, the organization has been late figuring things out and made a series of superficial decisions based on questionable assumptions, with consequences that will linger.

    1. Coaching

    Finally they realize the need to put together a full staff. But, while Kerr’s lectures on offense are refreshing, he was hired for organizational purposes, largely to lead a staff that Lacob feels comfortable with, and not for his coaching abilities. And why are they looking for veteran coaches, say Gentry to help on offense? Do they not have confidence in Kerr?

    The test will be if Kerr can put together a staff that recognizes and can work with the talents of the team. But if they just tack on names without a coherent sense of how they work together, at best they will be inefficient.

    But in four years, not a single assistant has been brought along who might step up now, who might have provided continuity with the players, say a shooting instructor who would have been working with the players the past years. They are all gone. (We kind of liked Malone, though didn’t know much about his influence. Yet why is Sacramento going after the same assistants, Gentry, etc.)

    2. You can’t win without a dominant center

    Well, they can. And they have. They have had to because of injuries to Bogut and then Ezeli. And they’re still looking at the health of both.

    Most of the trading effort and bucks have gone into landing a center, over $80m, when you count Bogut’s salary for 5 years, plus not amnestying Biedrins, plus the bucks that went to Kwame.

    Plus the players they let go to make the cap work when they sought other centers—Lin, and I think Reggie, plus others. Add to the expense here other players they might have brought up, more affordable, compromise, cheaper centers, who might have complemented the team better. Plus the Jefferson $10m contract.

    Plus the lost draft picks in the trade and deals.

    And these deals also didn’t leave much money for prospects with potential, though we got a break with Green, and hopefully Ezeli.

    Add the backup insurance they’ll need—other centers—for Bogut if he goes down once more. Think where they’ll be left if he goes out for an extended period, or can’t complete his contract years. Think Biedrins with his groin problem.

    2. You can’t win with two small guards

    Everyone said it. West said it. Even Nelson said it. You’ll never make the finals with two small guards. But there are so many other reasons they won’t make it to the finals, still not taken care of, and they had other priorities.

    Yet Ellis did well in Dallas. Carlisle believes in him, and I listen to Carlisle. The right coach would have brought out the maximum potential from the two. A better roster, and they could have made some noise. All the evidence is there. At some point an Ellis trade would have to have been considered, when his contract ran out, but with a deeper roster the team would have done better and increased his apparent value to the rest of the NBA. And with adequate backup center support, they could have traded him for someone other than a center.

    Of course that would have meant they might have overlooked Klay in the 2011 draft because they didn’t need a 2 that much. They would have had to draft someone else—

    Such as Kawhi Leonard?

    3. They need to have more defensive players.

    Make a long list of all the one-way players who have come and gone. And think about who might be helping out now on the bench if they had found prospects who could have stayed and developed. Such as a backup point guard.

    • as to (1), neither lacob nor the preacher had any experience in assembling and supervising a coaching staff. the owner chose to discard a tremendous resource in that regard, nelson.

      in re. to starting two small guards, the great ellis himself didn’t believe it could work. whether it could work in the abstract doesn’t matter if one of the players is ambivalent. most coaches would choose curry over ellis as more important to develop for any team. we didn’t get to see if the preacher could heal the problems ellis brought to the locker room, it could have been interesting fodder. when ellis departed MThompsonII felt comfortable disclosing the dissonance from ellis he’d observed — ellis strongly resented lee becoming the highest paid guy on the team, wanted the alpha male role but didn’t have the emotional and mental discipline for it, extremely moody after a bad game or loss. lee played an important role in curry’s ascension as a team leader, so keeping ellis around probably puts the team on a different course altogether, we’ll never really know.

      it was probably necessary for ellis’ maturity to go through another city, another coach, contract disappointment, and find a winning team with an established identity and coaching.

      • Kerr doesn’t have any experience in assembling a staff either, except for his brief stint in Phoenix. Was he involved in the Gentry firing? I’ve forgotten the timing. And we don’t know Sarver’s influence in those decisions.

        And I don’t put much stock in his experience with head coaches as a player, unless he picked up a few things from Popovich in his brief stay and brief minutes there through osmosis.

        I suspect you’re right about Ellis, the sobering effects of his penance in Milwaukee. Even shoring up the team a bit more (with a better coach) his last year in GSW, Lacob’s first, would have returned better results, as FB keeps arguing. And it would have enhanced his trade value, if he wanted to move to greener pastures, as he apparently did. The point is, they could have gotten more value for Ellis. And they didn’t have to use him to go after a center.

        And with a fuller squad, and better reinforcement later, I suspect we wouldn’t have heard all this business about Lee’s defense. FB’s tweets on Lee was one context for the comment.

        The real point is to set a bench mark, four years ago, against which progress can be measured. I’m skeptical, needless to say.

        • But part of the reason Ellis’s head got swollen his last year here is that Smart treated him like an alpha dog, while Curry was kept on a leash. There were complaints he was a volume shooter. But that had to be on order from the coach. Or, if it was a problem, why wasn’t it curbed? A more resourceful coach could have made the Curry/Ellis dynamic more productive.

          And Carlisle, in the link @60, is going to have a shooting coach help improve Ellis’s midrange shot. Something else the team has never had.

          • coaching excellence is by no means simple to secure, depending on a novice owner to identify it is probably fruitless. lacob might have put worse coaches on his bench, and the unpredictable trade market might have garnered worse returns for ellis. keeping ellis around probably decreases the chance for curry to get his break out season in ’12, especially if you take thompson out of the roster — for one thing, jack is either off the roster or in a very different role, and he was one of the guys along with lee who helped make the team curry’s. what we have is lacob’s creation, and if you long for an alternate history you’d need to change him. easier just to follow another team more compatible with your preferences.

            curry is by no means ideal material for the team leader, and the team might be stuck in quasi-contender purgatory without a dynamic, forceful personality in a two way player to combine with him. for me the team with curry in the lead is much more tolerable to watch (still in very limited doses until they improve) than the ones led by ellis.

          • Not trying to rewrite history but, as I said somewhere here, set a benchmark for progress, or lack of it. Ellis was a much better player/trade asset than they made use of.

            I disagree about Curry’s leadership. He leads by example, as can be seen by the play of just about every player he’s on the floor with. And if he is given a plan and room to move, the results can be electric.

      • The intriguing loss that year, of course, is Lacob’s pick Lin, about whom there was justified skepticism here. But no one knew his work ethic or ceiling. He was dropped to clear room for the Jordan trade. I suspect most here would be happy to see him at backup now. And had he not made his brief run in NY, he wouldn’t have drawn the salary he has now.

      • Agree that Ellis has discovered the point guard position, but must correct some revisionist history.

        Ellis played ‘4 on 5’ with a starter named Biedrins, and Lou Amundson getting major minutes. Don’t forget Charlie Bell, Dan Gadzuric, Acie Law, aforementioned Rodney Carney, and Al Thornton would make this year’s bench look like Hall of Famers. They still finished with 36 wins. As someone who saw a few game that year, they were still fun to watch. And Ellis outplayed (a healthy) DRose big time against the Bulls.

        Dallas had 49 season wins (2 less than Dubs) with a much less talented roster.

        Yet, it was arguably the most talented team Ellis has played with during his career. They also took San Antonio to seven games in the playoffs. It is great he landed on a Mark Cuban owned team. Cuban will get Ellis and Dirk some more horses to play with. Talent (and coaching) wins in the NBA and Mavs will be better. Go ME!

  60. Think all the points made by Rgg and Moto are valid ones. One gives some kudos to the front office because our win totals have gone up each year. But in hindsight such appears more the result of the team having less devastating injuries. Rather than any frantic improve ment in the roster.

    And the Warriors have made significant mistakes like trading for Bogut and resigning him, drafting Barnes and Thompson when there were better players were available, not amnestying Biedrens which would have allowed the warriors the offer of Harden for Thompson. These were critical events that led to the Warriors being in a no man’s land where there is little they can do to dramatically improve the roster.

    Just a few comments on world events. It’s a sad day when President Obama championed the overthrow of a democratic elected government in Ukraine and both he and our press condemned Putin for opposing it.

    It’s also a sad day that Snowden is considered by some a traitor and should be criminally prosecuted while those who violated our constitutional rights on a large scale remain in their positions in our national security apparatus and are not prosecuted.

    • “And the Warriors have made significant mistakes like trading for Bogut and resigning him, drafting Barnes and Thompson when there were better players were available,”

      Plenty of better players than Barnes. Kawhi is the only player who you can even make a plausible argument for being better than Klay. And I think at most you can say it’s a push.

      • Evanz

        Agreed and if you look ahead of the Thompson pick, teams really screwed up:

        Derrick Williams #2 (Wolves)
        Tristan Thompson #4 (Cavs)
        Vesley #6 (Wizards)
        Biyombo #7 (Charlotte)
        Knight #8 (Pistons)
        Jimmer #10 (Kings)

        Thank God for the Eastern Conference, Wolves and Kings Incompetence.

    • ++ Frank

      On both the Dubs and Ukraine…Balance we need balance!

  61. K Leonard is far superior to Thompson. As are other players drafted lower in 1st and 2nd round of 2001 NBA draft: Vucevic, Faried and
    C. Parsons, albeit, they are not shooting guards.

    • in the 2011 draft, Butler taken down at 30 functions at a higher level and helps his team more than faried who was picked at 22. the missing elements in faried’s game might in fact negate the positive ones, and he’s probably best used as a specialist reserve. with respect to bringing high effort and high energy, green is somewhat similar but much smarter and more skilled on both ends of the court.

      both butler and leonard benefit from top level coaching and playing with smart, accomplished ‘mates, while many of the guys chosen higher including thompson were stuck either with mediocre coaching or/and rosters in transition to nowhere. parsons flourished because his team and coach provided an ideal system for him, and his team is so weak defensively he’s valuable on that end as well. not difficult to imagine thompson doing similarly in Hou.

    • Wouldn’t take any of those players above Klay.

  62. Haven’t seen Butler play that much. But stat-wise I would lean toward Faried as being a better player. As Faried gives his team an average of 4 net extra possessions per game to Butler’s 2. Also Faried shoots 55 percent from the field to Butler’s 45 percent. Would concede that Butler is a better defender.

  63. you know its the off season when reggie williams and rodney carney are discussed in some depth.

    I hope Bogut can prove you wrong this coming year Feltbot. Its easy to jump on him for his flaws, but you can’t deny his skills. Fingers crossed..

  64. cosmicballoon

    Frank — please explain in detail what Thompson’s flaws are. Please consider that he is a shooting guard in your analysis. You seem to have a bias and are perhaps leaning on an opinion of his play during his rookie year. I would love to hear your complete critique of his game. I just don’t see how you can continue to bash the Klay pick…

  65. Warriors/Gentry:

    Just reported, but probably a rehash of a previous announcement. But I wouldn’t be surprised GSW makes an attractive offer, in part (or largely) because they wan’t to improve the “pedigree” and status of the coaching staff. And I assume Kerr is behind him. Both Utah and Cleveland would be less than desirable positions for Gentry, for a variety of reasons.

    • And on Comcast Kerr repeats his desire to have an experienced head coach beside him.

    • warriorsablaze

      Gentry would be a good fit, but the problem with getting assistants with head coaching experience is they want to be head coaches… meaning, like Malone, they’ll jump at the first opportunity.

      I suppose it makes sense as part of the Kerr transitional period while he figures things out… but it doesn’t create any long-term stability.

    • Hard to tell from the Comcast interview whether a veteran head coach on the bench is Kerr’s idea or his boss’s. And I suspect that will be the case from here on out.

      At least Kerr is articulate. He may become the team’s spokesman. He is the only person the organization has had yet had who can explain the team’s plan and focus because: 1. they have neither, and 2. there hasn’t been anyone in the organization who has the knowledge and experience to build them, who even understands the lingo. From Jackson we got platitudes and homilies. From Meyers and Lacob we’ve gotten a vague, purplish mess (seriously—listen to those guys).

      He may fulfill other roles—such as partial GM—as they really don’t have anyone with the knowledge and experience there, either.

      If they do hire Gentry, I assume he’ll listen? And maybe put aside his triangle thingy? Or would Gentry be an implementer?

      But Kerr’s theories do not impress. They sound like observations from an outside theorist (which will impress a certain crowd), but they haven’t come from the laboratory of experience.

      Mahoney makes a fair assessment of Jackson, and defines Kerr’s challenge:

      “Before any talk of how Kerr might move the Warriors forward, though, he must first prove that he can return them to their baseline. Jackson wore his tactical flaws on his sleeve; it was easy to see the error in his all-bench lineups or mismatch-chasing post-ups, to say nothing of the macro-level missteps of his coaching work. But ultimately, Jackson coached this team to solid execution. Their effort and focus were not matters of debate, which is more than can be said of many other rosters. Reaching that square-one point – and building an actionable trust with his players — will be Kerr’s first test as a coach, and in time he will be held to Jackson’s standard.”

      • “Their effort and focus were not matters of debate”

        They seemed debatable when Jermaine O’Neal gave his famous half-time speech.

        • I keep hearing about how Jackson motivated the team to play hard, which is a head scratcher for me. I agree they played hard, but can you name another playoff team in the West they played harder than? Did they play harder than 9th place Phoenix?

          In my experience, all teams contending for the playoffs play hard most nights. Only the teams with nothing to play for, or internal dissension, slack off.

  66. If Nellie could make Biedrins work, there’s no reason Bogut can’t be a valuable contributor on both ends of the floor.

    I’d like to see him used in PNR more often than he was.

  67. All I have said is that there were better players in the 2011 draft than Thompson that the Warriors could have drafted. Also, his stats are limited as he obtains few offensive rebounds or steals which resulted in him not giving the Warriors extra net possessions. Nor does he get to the foul-line much nor create assists vey often. His hitting 2’s below 50 percent. His shooting poorly on two’s was somewhat do Jackson not having the team run much and his lack of offensive rebounds is due Jackson having him retreat to prevent fast breaks.

    Because he doesn’t get to the foul-line often he often scores slightly more points than the number of shots he took which is not very good and shows he’s ok but no star offensively. He’s slightly above average defensively.

    For the Warriors to move further in the playoffs they need an additional and better shooting guard.

    • “All I have said is that there were better players in the 2011 draft than Thompson that the Warriors could have drafted.”

      It’s pretty clear that you said that, and that your assessment is incorrect. As I said, Kawhi is the only player who is even arguably better than Klay at this point, and I think Klay has a good shot at unquestionably surpassing him next season.

      I like Chandler Parsons as well. Everyone does. Do you honestly think they should have taken him #11, when the rest of the league waited until the second round? There’s a lot of teams that should have taken Draymond Green in the first round, but that’s hindsight.

      As far as Faried and Vucevic, I’ll take Klay. By a wide margin. Not even a question.

  68. Since most good players make shots in a narrow FG percentage range, in drafting a player one n need to put a high priority in drafting a player who provides a team with the extra dimension of providing the team with net extra possessions in most games. Leonard, Vucevic, Faried, and Parsons do that. They range from 2-4 net extra possessions per game. Thompson slightly less than “0.”

    It’s not where NBA league teams draft a player, it what is there actual value. It’s up to the team’s scout to get it right. Based on the performance of players in the NBA we as fans are in the position to see if they did so. Leonard, Faried, Vucevic, and Parsons all should have been drafted before Thompson if getting the best player is the criteria. They by providing their respective teams with net extra possessions are impact players, Thompson less so.

  69. Also, does anyone disagree that in the second round of the NBA draft the Warriors should have drafted Isiah Thomas over Tyler or Jenkins. What a dynamic duo Curry-Thomas would have been. One can only fantasize.

  70. I would add that after evaluating a player’s ability to obtain for his team
    Net extra possessions I would then look to a player’s ability to get to the foul line where a player shoots a much higher percentage than FG percentage and has the ability to score three points. he scored. Thompson does not get to the foul-line much, this rendering himself to not being much of an impact player.

    • If all those players you name are better than Thompson, why does he have by far the best RAPM rating of the lot (and improving each season)?

  71. More family business:

    Kris Weems, a high school coach, was hired as an assistant coach for player development, but was fired by MJax after two years.

    “Weems quickly landed on his feet, being hired as a scout by Warriors General Manager Bob Myers and Assistant General Manager Kirk Lacob, who played basketball for Weems at Menlo School.” (As a senior, Kirk averaged 7.7 points and 2.7 assists.) And that contract has just ended.

    Kirk, in fact, was the first hire of the Lacob regime. However:

    “After graduating [from Stanford], Kirk Lacob planned to go to Phoenix and work for Suns general manager Steve Kerr, who unexpectedly resigned. Then, Joe Lacob asked his son to join the Warriors, knowing there would be claims of nepotism.”

  72. Arguing about Klay is beside the point (though most are happy with him here). Getting a SG to replace Ellis, who would be shipped for a center, was the first and only plan. There wasn’t much money or draft picks left for anything else, except, of course, their lottery pick Barnes.

    Though we might want to wonder why getting a real GM and more experienced staff to scout was not also a priority way back when.

  73. Rgg: your comments about Thompson and how happy you are that he plays for the Warriors is predictable given that sometime ago you said that both Thompson and Barnes are the Warriors future. You have already been proved dead wrong on Barnes. Why you would want Thompson over Leonard when Thompson only scored 2.9 points over the number of shots he took compared to Leonard who took fewer shots and scored 4 points more then the number of shots is beyond me. To be happy with the Warriors getting an inferior player should never be what a true Warrior fan should settle for.

    And to then rationalize the move because it was the Warriors first and only move was got rid of Ellis for a center, obfuscates and covers up the fact that the trade for Bogut was a stupid one.

    • Frank, please, keep track. I was critical of Barnes before he was even drafted—I followed him at UNC, briefly—and have kept the criticism up ever since, with cause. Go back here a few years back and check if this is an issue.

      My criticism of Bogut and his trade has been just as lavish, from the start, to the consternation of some.

      That I said Klay was the only option because of their plan is as much a criticism of the narrow GSW plan, as I noted above.

      But the defense of Klay has been substantial here, and I accept it—and won’t repeat it. His development has followed an upward curve, and his performance with a shorthanded squad and shortsighted offensive strategy this past season was quite good. Give him some offensive backup, reduce his minutes, and work him in an open offensive plan, and his numbers will be very, very good. I guarantee it.

      • promising developments for thompson in two critical aspects last season — with iguodala on the court, he didn’t automatically have to defend the best player of the opposing guards and wings, and, his accuracy improved from every range, at the rim, the often problematic 3-16 ft. range or the 16+ 2 pt. shots, and in 3’s. continued to establish his durability as well, missing action only to attend a funeral.

        • One thing that needs to be factored in is how heavily they have relied on Klay to be on the court most of the game to keep the offense going, often, with these starters, when he is the second primary option, with third well behind in load, as well as shore up as best he can the faltering subs. In raw terms, he puts in heavy milage every game, under pressure.

  74. Rgg: I went back and some of your posts that indicated your problems with Barnes as well as Bogut. My apology.

    I just hope you don’t think that Thompson is superior to K. Leonard.

  75. Very revealing quote from HB today:

    “Realizing what kind of things you’re going to work on to implement in your game,” Barnes explained. “Last summer, I worked a lot on pick-and-roll because I thought that was how I was going to be used. In actuality, it was more like isolation and post-up. So this year, it’s kind of like going back and refining little things that will make your game better.”

  76. If anyone is looking for up and coming coaches, I’m intrigued with Quin Snyder:

    Who may have the inside track at Utah. I watched him play for Duke and coach at Missouri.

    He is smart: a double major (philosophy and political science) and earned MBA and JD from Duke. (!!!!)

    He has experience: “multiple positions on Krzyzewski’s staff from 1993-99. His Missouri coaching days were filled with Elite Eight success followed by bumpy times, including the program being placed on probation for minor NCAA violations. From there, Snyder returned to the professional ranks, beginning with a three-year stint with the Toros [D-League]. Since then, he has toiled as the Sixers’ player development coach (2010-11) and as an assistant with the Mike Brown and Lakers (2011-12), Ettore Messina and CSKA Moscow (2012-13) and ex-Spurs coach Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks (2013-14).”

    Is it any wonder he was never looked at by GSW?

  77. Blatt sounds like the Nellie of Euro leagues.

  78. “As one major college coach who has studied Blatt’s offense this spring told Yahoo Sports recently, “I am not sure there is anyone in the U.S. with the kind of creative efficiency or ability to change constantly like David Blatt has. He utilizes what his players do as well as anyone I’ve ever watched.”

  79. “But even more important than this was the players’ adoption of Blatt’s coaching philosophy. From day one, the outgoing American coach had stressed two things: his team’s defense will be granite-tough and its offense will be lightning-quick. Indeed, what we saw in Spain was a towering defensive wall that in nine encounters allowed opponents to score only 65.7 points per game.

    Reigning European champion Greece was held to just 53 points, while the Spanish marksmen’s two-point shooting against Russia in the final was an appalling 20 percent as they hit only seven baskets in 35 attempts.

    The lack of size in the frontcourt (CSKA Moscow’s Alexei Savrasenko was the only true center in the squad) Blatt’s men compensated by quickness – his forwards often rushed to help in the paint, eventually double-teaming the opposition’s scorers. Russia’s backcourt players, led by Holden and point guard Pyotr Samoilenko, harassed one after another of Europe’s leading playmakers, limiting such stars as France’s Tony Parker, Lithuania’s Sarunas Jasikevicius and Spain’s Jose Calderon to subpar performances.

    On the opposite end of the court few teams could handle the Russian players’ fast-paced offense. Their quick feet and movement without the ball often set up open shots along the perimeter, while the point guards fed their frontcourt quartet of Savrasenko, Morgunov, Kirilenko and Viktor Khriapa for easy baskets in the paint, taking advantage of the teammates’ quick rotation on the floor.”

    Sounds good to me.

    • Blatt would be a brilliant hire for the big chair in NY (media-favorite potential) , but the greater jackson would have to stomach someone smarter than him determining the team’s on-court future.

  80. An alma mater aside. Blatt had this assessment of Jake Cohen, a recent grad from Steph’s Davidson, a gritty, very smart (on and off court), skilled—and undersized forward:

    Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv head coach David Blatt: “We have had our eye on Jake throughout his college career and of course while he was playing for Israel’s U-20 National Team. Jake is a multi-layered big man who can play and contribute from both the 4 and 5. He has an excellent offensive game both in and out of the paint, along with excellent shooting skills. Keep in mind that he is a young player who needs time to develop, but there is no doubt that this player has tremendous potential.”

  81. burrrrrnnnnn…
    nobody mentioned the big subtle dig on MJax from Woj, crediting Erman for the only good thing he implies Jackson had, a defense-

    The Warriors practiced less than most young NBA teams under Jackson and never had much structure to schemes. Golden State had a top-five NBA defense, installed by former assistant Darren Erman, but always hovered in the middling of the most effective NBA offenses.

    PS- I know literally nothing about the Tel Aviv guy, but he could be a beast from what I’m reading. What do you guys think?

    also, is there a way to sign an assistant to a deal that is ironclad so they can’t leave to be a head coach? That seems to never be the case, but would be logical, no?

    • a capable and confident coach doesn’t give away his options for a better position unless he’s an older vet who has already been the boss and isn’t interested any more in the stress. phil johnson was sloan’s first assistant for a long stretch in that situation. a team should welcome younger, dynamic coaching talent, and their ambition is part of the package.

    • I think it’s hard to predict how NBA vets will respond to him.

      And Kerr.

  82. Blatt terrific. Should have been hired as head coach.

  83. As far as vets go, the Warriors don’t have any prima donnas. Lee, Bogut, and Iguodala are total professionals. I can’t imagine any of those guys having issues with Blatt or Kerr when they come to training camp.

    We’re not talking about Melo or Kobe here.

  84. Full rundown on Blatt, a good one:

    “From a psychological perspective, I don’t have to say who David is – he gets down on you when needed, and lifts you when needed,” says Ohayon [a player]. “He deserves more than anyone to be in the Final Four. He’s the first to arrive at the court [for practice] and the last to leave. He works harder than anyone on the team, and gives everything he can. We players are blessed to have a great coach from who we can learn so much. I really enjoy playing for him. That’s my luck.”

    From an assistant coach:

    “David is a perfectionist,” Stein says. “He goes into the tiniest details and it doesn’t matter if it’s shooting practice, a regular training session, preparation for a game or after a game. His head is permanently on basketball. On a personal level, David knows when to slap someone on the head but he also knows how to listen. When players go through a poor period, David knows how to approach and speak to them and point them in the right direction. He knows how to encourage them when things are not going well. In professional terms, David has a method he believes in, and he knows exactly where he wants to dock the boat.”

  85. I missed this a week ago—Curry made a plea to keep Klay:

    “I love playing with him,” Curry said. “He makes me better. I try to make him better. How much better he’s gotten since Day 1 is kind of scary. He’s such a great two-way player. He hasn’t come anywhere close to hitting the ceiling.”

  86. Blatt, in fact, wants to be an NBA head coach and may not be interested in an assistant position. Why would that be better than what he has? But no one else has gone after him, at least not yet. He did announce his interest only a few weeks ago, however. Still, quiet inquiries could have been made prior.

    And Blatt looks to be the complete package. And he looks driven. But it’s hard to see him playing second fiddle, or doing so very long.

    In the Kerr Comcast interview, Kerr made it clear they want an experienced head coach:

    I’m guessing this is a FO directive. They need one for the sake of appearances, and need one anyway so the team can hit the ground running this summer.

    The only way to make the assistant job attractive is give the new hire a lot of control and influence. And, of course, a lot of bucks to show respect. I’m hoping it might be attractive to Gentry because he’s older, and he may not want to perform in the Cleveland circus. It would make sense for Utah to get a younger coach like Snyder, who could develop with the team (I like Snyder, from a casual glance.) Which is what the Warriors should have done four years ago.

    But then what? What is the timetable for Kerr to take over himself—and can he do it?

    Listen to the reports on Kerr. He appears knowledgable. He’s a great guy. Everyone likes him. But has anyone praised his drive and desire? His competitive instincts? And of course he hasn’t proven himself on the battleground. Kerr has been a follower all his career, on the sidelines observing, or, while with the Bulls and and Spurs, playing a backup role, fitting in as a shooter, while the leaders on the floor and on the bench dictated the game.

    Compare his presence in the Comcast interview with Blatt’s in the YouTube EvanZ linked. Blatt takes control of the interview in five seconds. Kerr politely walks around it.

    It’s not hard to see why Lacob was attracted to Kerr, why it was essential he hire him. Lacob could threaten MJackson, largely by withholding contract extension, but couldn’t control or influence him. I doubt he could talk to him to try to persuade him, or even knew how. Jackson and his antics were an embarrassment to Lacob, publicly and privately.

    Kerr, however, gives Lacob someone in the trenches he can talk to and persuade. The upside here is that if Lacob trusts Kerr, Kerr and his staff might gain influence in making decisions and they might eventually take over. Also the organization needed someone who had some experience and knowledge in the game. There’s none at the top. [I bracket West because he’s only a consultant, who Lacob only listens to on occasion. Also I question how much good influence he can have at this stage in his life, given his distance from the floor. I also wonder if Lacob trusts him. He doesn’t appear to in his interviews.]

    One scenario is that Kerr was brought on to solidify the organization, make it coherent, and open lines of communication. Maybe he would have made a better GM, or might be one eventually, but they weren’t going to fire Meyers. So maybe Kerr does something different. He does give significant control to his assistants, but also becomes a de facto GM, guiding and coordinating major decisions. And maybe if an assistant coach proves himself, Kerr could move over to the GM spot or keep playing this hybrid role.

    What, after all, were Kerr’s options? He would have been under PJackson’s thumbe with the Knicks, with a questionable owner. At least with GSW he has an owner he knows will back him.

    But that’s probably wishful thinking. More likely, Lacob is preparing a transitional period until Kerr can take over fully as head coach, a plan, like Kerr, that is tentative and hopeful.


    • “And Blatt looks to be the complete package. And he looks driven. But it’s hard to see him playing second fiddle, or doing so very long.”

      As Felt pointed out he has zero NBA experience. Has a first-time head coach ever had zero NBA experience (including player, GM, assistant, etc)? I don’t know any off the top of my head.

      It would make perfect sense to me that he would want to be an Assistant for a few years (less accountability that way) and then head off when the timing is right. Look at guys like Budenholzer or Thibs as the model.

      • Kerr has zero experience coaching anywhere. That Blatt took over in Russia and did so well is promising. He looks to be a fast learner. Kerr could fill him in on details about US players. And maybe Blatt could give leads on promising European players.

        Again, who scouted Nedovic and Kuzmic?

        What impresses me about Blatt is that he built his system around the available players, tested it, adjusted it, and made it work. He should be flexible and able to adjust. Kerr just repeats the now conventional theory.

        But I can’t see this working out unless Blatt gets serious control and Kerr steps back. Work as an assistant can be a kind of purgatory with the wrong head coach. You may not get a chance to prove yourself or develop or be noticed.

        • “Kerr has zero experience coaching anywhere. ”

          But he was an NBA player and an NBA GM.

          Blatt has ZERO NBA experience in any capacity (as far as I know he may never have attended an NBA game).

    • there’s actually a prominent example of kerr’s competitiveness, drive and desire receiving praise, from his bloated arrogance the jordan. his airogance liked to bully his ‘mates in practices to motivate them, kerr stood up to him and got a black eye for his cheek. jordan likes to cite the incident as the reason he trusted kerr to take the winning shot in a finals game vs. UT when stockton predictably left kerr to double team jordan.

      lacob can’t really know what he’ll be getting, he’s only sticking to his m.o. of complete confidence in his own confidence. at minimum, with a brand new from scratch staff, only one impact elite player on the roster, it will take at least a full season and post season for the team to establish what it’s going to be, and probably longer. and the shelf life of a couple of key veteran starters is just one or two seasons. with luck, kerr will be getting things running just as the roster will need a renovation, and if things don’t suit curry he leaves as a free agent.

      • The FO has already conceded they may be years off from being a top competitor.

        A good coach, with control of the roster, could work effects in a season.

      • I’d be more impressed with Kerr and the story if Kerr had started the fight himself.

  87. We need to make another bingo card for Mark Jackson as he announces the finals. In addition to the one that has all his platitudes, add one for all the things he praises the teams and coaches for doing that he didn’t do himself. (Pick and roll was prominent last night.)

    Man, I’m tired of listening to this guy. I survived the past three years by turning the tv off after the game was over and not listening to interviews.

    • espn radio coverage was good to very good as usual. the preacher is appropriate for the disney/abc market. game coverage was worse overall on abc to fit more prime time commercials in, rather than supplemental replays and highlights.

    • when Blatt mentioned the many skills he’s had to apply, ‘criminologist’ came up, something most n.b.a coaches don’t think about but probably should. [lacob might wish to think his players are squeaky clean but his coaching staff this season likely weren’t].

  88. Why I have zip confidence in Bob Meyers as a GM:

    “Look, he’s fantastic in pretty much every category, so it’s hard to really nitpick, but what we talked about was finding a way to get your teammates going when they’re struggling a little bit,” Myers said. “Because he has clearly shown that he can dominate a game and get his shot whenever he wants to and obviously get high assists, but just learning how to lead, continuing to lead and maybe pick up a player when he’s struggling.”

    Give him a friggin’ offense, Bob, and he’ll take over and lead from there. Curry made D-Leaguers look like AllStars his first year.

    Meyers is an idiot.

    • Seriously. If Meyers wanted to have this talk with Curry, he would have known what Curry has done in the past, where he was effective. He would also know why Curry struggled and turned the ball over in certain situations. He would also know that Curry did everything he could to get players involved in Jackson’s system, and if he failed, it was because the system sucked—the post ups, the isos, etc. And there’s nothing to be done with Bogut. Meyers would also know that in the right system Curry is a phenomenal leader.

      Meyers is an idiot.

      • My question is since when is it the GM’s job to tell a player what he needs to work on?

        Is Myers the one that told Barnes to work on pick-and-roll only to have Mark Jackson put him in iso and postup situations all season?


        • considering the unproven staff Myers has for evaluation and scouting, with the myriad of other duties that could occupy him, Myers must be a real savant to set his brief aside and help the new coach. or, he’s not secure that kerr will offer curry sufficient guidance and support.

    • *Myers*

    • Here’s how I read this conversation: “Please try to get my #1 draft pick Harrison Barnes going.”

      And yes, it is absurd that Myers is let anywhere near the players, let alone Stephen Curry.

  89. Cleveland is now looking at Blatt.

  90. And Jazz to hire Snyder. Gentry may shake free yet.

    • Give me one good reason why Gentry should leave the Clippers and Doc Rivers in order to take orders from the Lacobs and their spokesmodels on the Warriors.

      • Money. Lacob is trying to buy his way into respectability and competence. But if Rivers has any desire to keep Gentry, I’m sure Ballmer can outbid him.

        The only thing that might be attractive to Gentry is if he is made a de facto head coach who tutors Kerr until he’s ready, or at least is given a heavy say in deigning the offense. Otherwise, what use is he? What is he going to do? But where does this put Kerr and would he really want to go along?

        And we have no reason to believe that Lacob intends to do that or that he or Kerr has any idea what they’d do with Gentry or anyone else. If I were Blatt, I’d steer clear of this organization.

        I’m tired of trying to give this organization the benefit of a doubt. Hiring Kerr 5 years x $5m makes no sense whatsoever, and we can only hope that Lacob shifts decision making into better hands and Kerr pans out. I don’t see either happening.

        • “designing the offense”



          thanks, EZ

        • warriorsablaze

          “I’m tired of trying to give this organization the benefit of a doubt.”

          Ha ha… when exactly have you given the organization the benefit of the doubt? I don’t recall anything coming from you but just regular ol’ doubt.

          • I’m a sentimental fool at heart, WaB. I’d like to get excited about this team. I’d also like to have someone to listen to from the organization who impresses.

  91. Utah is excited by Quin Snyder:

    Snyder got mixed up in some scandal while at Missouri, but I understand the infractions were minor and the scandal overinflated.

    • snyder established a reputation for player development with second tier talent both at MO and at different levels in pro ball. UT committed to younger players, letting the greater jefferson and millsap walk last summer and the lesser jefferson and biedrins evaporate this summer, so he fits their needs. probably works for less than ‘retreads’ like hollins, gentry, mcmillan, less competition for his services than guys like stevens, hoiberg, kerr.

  92. Apparently NY is interested in Blatt as head coach, along with Cleveland, and it’s been reported that Saunders at Minnesota is looking at him as well as an assistant with the lure of a clear track to replace him.

    Fantasy: imagine Nelson were kept and such a coach were brought in for the same reason. Nelson, his last year, would have been willing to give him a free hand and that coach could have learned from Nelson. What kind of discussions would Nelson and Blatt have had, two sharp, experienced minds going at it? What would Blatt have learned? (Smart is put in an awkward position in this fantasy.)

    Which leads to the question of what kind of coach would want to come here. The obvious problem is that there won’t be any replacement track for five years, given Kerr’s contract. And I’m betting Kerr stays, barring dismal results the next years. So what is the attraction for an upcoming coach? If the team does well, I suppose he would attract attention. Given the way this organization thinks, they must believe it will automatically give him prestige for working with a first class organization (in their view). Meanwhile, that coach would be biding his time until he could make the jump—one year, two? How long will he want to wait?

    But what would be that coach’s relationship with Kerr, who has no experience, but I assume wants to take the lead? Will Kerr put his whiteboard offense aside and listen? Take advice? Allow him significant planning and on court decisions? Or will Kerr ask him to implement whatever strategies he thinks right and take an ancillary role? How long would a coach like Blatt endure that? But either way, he’s looking to bolt as soon as possible, a year, if he’s lucky.

    As for veteran head coaches, who would want to come to GSW unless they can’t get a job elsewhere? Better, who is left who would contribute to the staff? Maybe they can give Mike Brown another shot. And the same situation would apply—and questions remain about authority and influence.

    What is a head coach with no experience, who should be an assistant, supposed to do with an assistant who has more experience than he does?

    The only thing that makes sense is that they are assuming Kerr will take over and lead, that he’ll hire lieutenants to help and give advice, and support him until that can happen.

    Which makes no sense at all.

    • “So what is the attraction for an upcoming coach?”

      Since when was replacing the head coach the main motivation for taking an assistant job? That hardly ever happens. You’re much more likely to get fired when the head coach gets fired, then you are every getting hired by the same team as their head coach. If Blatt comes to GSW, it’s certainly not because he thinks he has a path to the head coaching job. It’s so he can get a juicier job somewhere else in a few years. It only took Mike Malone one year to get a heach coaching job.

  93. Coaching is very enjoyableand not that diffult shen you have talent and design offense to llayer’s strength. Helped out-of -state HS team go from 13-14 record to 20-8 last year. Losses against some of the best trams in nation fonished 15th best team in state. Should be in top five in State this year. If head coach will allow me will introduce spread 4 this year and will Easy to coach when you have 5 D-1 players in starting line-up and all 5 can take it to the hoop. It also helps to have front-line that is 6’7″, 6’9″, and 6’8.” Backcourt 6’2″ and 6’3.”