BTS recap from Warriors-Lakers Opening Night [DubNation Diary]
And a few preseason observations (eg Portland)
It’s already 3:45PM before the home opener. Jordan Poole is likely to take the floor soon — he does his workout early because he’s one of the youngest players on the team and vets generally get first dibs on when they take the court — and I’ll be neck deep capturing those moments for the YouTube channel; I’ve got probably 45 minutes to write this.
First off, Substack, the platform that this website resides on, recently did something cool. They allow me to cut off the article at a point where everything underneath that demarcation is hidden behind the paywall. I’m going to put bonus video behind that demarcation/paywall, starting with this article. Very cool feature imo.
Again: At the bottom of this post there will be bonus video for subscribers only!
Alright, so let me fly through preseason. I wanted to do one of these per game, but we’ll have to see. Traveling saps the juices of human beings. I think it has something to do with being up at 10,000 feet. Land mammals are not supposed to be up there. So yesterday I woke up at 6am to get gas, drop off the Hertz rental car (always go with Hertz, so good!), and take their shuttle to LAX, only to have to immediately go cover Golden State Warriors practice. When I got home I ordered UberEats dinner then fell asleep from 8pm to 1am, waking and falling asleep two more times after that, working a tiny bit one of those times, for a grand total of about twelve hours. I gave the rest my body needed so I could be fresh as I write this.
Portland and the rest of preseason
Let me quickly recap the preseason behind-the-scenes sights and sounds, which won’t do it justice. I’m still planning to post a video and article on the Warriors’ offensive system, which I first observed upon entry into morning shootaround at Moda Center in Portland on Monday, October 4th. It was a pleasure to see Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Mychal Mulder and Leandro Barbosa run what they call “group work” which is better described as a “read-and-react drill”. Anyways, more on that in a future post because I actually asked both Steve Kerr and Nemanja Bjelica about that since then. “Beli” has described the system as “simple”, multiple times while on the interview podium in front of reporters.
I also did a video report about Portland, which has really struggled during the pandemic and has a homeless problem reminiscent of San Francisco’s, and being there as a Warriors fan:
One thing from morning shootaround that sticks out to me was Mulder and Chris Chiozza shooting threes. I got a close up look at them going. It was also cool to see Kenny Atkinson so actively involved. But one time when Mulder missed, he exclaimed, “Shorty!” He knew the shot was going short. I thought to myself that had it been me, it would’ve been some expletive at some very high volume. I miss Mulder. He was a nice guy. Maybe too nice.
The other thing that sticks out is how Moda Center is configured. It forced the Warriors to use a side curtained-off area as a training room. But it also gave me (and YouTube viewers) and extra opportunity to see guys like Stephen Curry go back and forth. The more “touch points”, the better! I’m not sure if they’ll keep having that access, though. The other night at Staples, media was divided into two tiers and those of us in Tier could not access any part of the event level. I couldn’t even get into the media room, which on the surface sounds silly for any media on any level of the totem pole. This was different than the previous preseason game just seven days prior at the same Staples Center venue!
Btw if I remember anything else noteworthy about the two weeks of preseason, I’ll put them in the comments below.
So the best part about Moda Center is the ability to see the squad huddle up before running through the tunnel. You can’t get this anywhere else other than Orlando, Oklahoma City, and maybe Denver (I recall the security guard suddenly not allowing this one year out there). If I think of any other arenas, I’ll edit this paragraph later.
It sure felt good to be so close to them. I think they added a prayer before the requisite “Just us!”, as I heard an “Amen!” before that:
Alright, I’m pretty sure I did not do any justice to the rest of preseason, but we move on. I have about 15 minutes before Poole arrives here on the beautifully painted San Francisco Warriors era-style court.
I always love LA just because of the weather and the fact that I’m forced to rent a car. I always go with Hertz as it’s worth the extra price than those other off-brand companies who only have a shuttle show up at LAX every 30 minutes whereas Hertz is almost instant, plus Uber/Lyft is too expensive, you have to walk to the rideshare area in case you hadn’t heard as of a couple years ago, and public transportation is not only far away from LAX but covers the city poorly, in general. At some point, your time is money and so just rent from Hertz. It’s a no-brainer after you compare your options.
TNT being there for Opening Night makes it a very fun atmosphere for everyone, even if you don’t have a ticket. Shaq and Charles Barkley even came down from the stage to mingle with the fans. I’m not sure if they signed autographs or not as I didn’t have time to really do a full report on the experience. Here are some sights and sounds:
I can’t wait until they have TNT for Opening Night at Chase Center’s plaza aka Thrive City!
First of all, morning shootaround in LA, just like its preseason predecessor on the aforementioned October 4th, was one of the best ever. To summarize, they went late, which also allowed me to go live on multiple platforms including our Twitch (Twitch has the ability to tie into Amazon Prime which then allows anyone who is a subscriber to Prime to have Amazon give us $5/month but I’m still looking in to how to do that).
Draymond Green talked a lot, and Klay Thompson shot around a lot. Our YouTube thankfully hit a tipping point and there’s been a nice influx of views since then. There was so much time with media present that I caught Klay calling Moses Moody a fun name, that was probably not really the best “fun name” one can think of, but a reinforcement of just how goofy Klay is, sometimes. I will have to reveal that nickname under the paywall demarcation point below, sorry to the “freeloaders” lol. I wonder if that name has stuck. I kinda hope it hasn’t.
I had to do some of the videos in selfie mode as I was simultaneously filming an interview from the baseline first row where either Kerr or Gary Payton, Jr. was sitting. Btw, the NBA does not require coaches to do media during morning shootarounds but Kerr does them anyways when on the road. That’s one of the reasons I love going on the road with squad:
Also I can’t remember which video had Moody blessed with the nickname Klay gave him, but if I posted the videos without drowning out the background copyrighted music (done for YouTube monetization purposes), everyone would’ve heard the nickname.
But more for music purposes and the joy that I remember of doing a basketball workout with the latest and greatest jams, or just whatever trainer/DJ Khalid Robinson might put on (he did “This DJ” by Warren G then “Sucka For Love” by 2Pac which Klay remarked was a great song, too), I’m thinking of offering the full workouts with their original songs intact r subscribers only. Good idea? Would you sign up at $5/month or $50/year for that extra access? 19-year-old gym rat me definitely would’ve, despite not having a regular job, so that’s why I’m asking. Lmk in the comments…
Btw we have a whole playlist dedicated to Klay workouts here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLszalip37vKJfion7xPzoWQ61Fp4k-jzD
It was also fun seeing Klay take trainer Lainn Wilson in the post, although they were fade-aways:
Finally — and I’m sure I left something out so I’ll add stuff later in the comments —there was the Kuminga vs Barbosa shoot out. Apparently “JK” thought they were going to seven when “LB” made it clear they were going to six:
Oh, I forgot one more thing from Portland: Shaun Livingston doing the honorary, “First bus!” yell. I suppose I might have to explain that one further at a later date for people who aren’t familiar. I’ll try to get “Sdot” on camera from the road trip to talk about that. Maybe this Sunday at Sacramento. Always fun to go into a morning shootaround with a specific goal, too:
Below the paywall demarcation point, please find all of the postgame interviews from after the win at the Lakers. I also took notes and quotes that are on our Discord server. If I have time, I’ll paste them below
Oh yeah, Klay’s nickname for Moody is…