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Is CP3’s “it’s just basketball” the new “it’s huge”? + music, Mike Brown, Klay’s dad Mychal, Lakers
Yesterday aka Day 4 was the slowest day of training camp so far and yet I feel like there’s still so much to talk about. I know I write these like diarie, but to avoid burying the lede I’ll jump right into the Chris Paul presser.
First of all it was held upstairs on what I guess is now called the “Above the Rim” spot on the 9th Floor, formerly known as “Sky Deck”. That’s why there’s so much ambient light on the podium. If you want a more detailed look, Google “youtube letsgowarriors skydeck sky deck” and you’ll see my old footage. I’ve even gone live from there a couple times. Here’s a picture of the podium from CJ Holmes of the SF Chronicle:
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The reason why the interviews were held there and not in the usual Bill King [RIP 🙏] Interview Room was because of the Romeo Santos concert. When concerts take over Chase Center, they literally take over. Like, they control the media room and pretty much all aspects of the back rooms. One time, a reporter got yelled at for taking a banana from the media room (which emerges into a space where they serve food and drinks), so you know, battles that no one really wants to fight, with all the concert personnel “in the zone”, focused on executing a perfect performance. That’s why on concert days, the Golden State Warriors try to stay out of the way. Which makes the basement facility known as Oracle Performance Center all the more important to the “machine” (see previous diary entry for reference).
So Steve Kerr, CP3 and Brandin Podziemski (while “Podziemski” is surprisingly easy to type, BP’s first name is wreaking havoc for my iPhone) took the podium. I’ve decided that there’s too many limitations of the Otter transcripts so I’ve started something new below, which is really based off my work doing the YouTube timestamps for each video.
MUSIC PLAYED AT PRACTICE
For those interested, here’s a list of music heard at practice — I forgot to list these each day and will try to do the day-of from here on out, but we’ll see:
10/3 Tuscan Leather — Drake
10/3, 10/4: soso — Omah Lay
10/3: The Ruler’s Back — Jay-Z
10/3: SkeeYee — Sexxy Red
10/4: Back And Forth — Aaliyah
10/4: Go Deep — Janet Jackson
10/5: Candy Rain — Soul For Real
IT’S JUST BASKETBALL, MAN
With CP, I’ve noticed that maybe three times yesterday he answered with, “It’s just basketball,” as his go-to. That reminded me of Jordan Poole’s go-to: “It’s huge.” I listen to 99% of all Warriors interviews — outside of podcasts which are hard for me to find time for — so you really start getting used to how guys answer questions. Sometimes I’m even able to predict how they’ll answer.
So with Poole, whom I wrote about earlier this week after either Day 1 or Day 2, often times in a postgame interview he’ll be asked how someone else played or how some thing helped him. “It’s huge.” Well, at least he learned over the years to expand on that, but yeah, ask him how awesome it was yesterday that the sun came out and made San Francisco a balmy 85-90: “It’s huge.”
I’ve already written a few days ago that CP3 is gonna challenge journalists and fans alike to really just forget the details and skip to the bottom line that, “I’m a hooper,” and so we’ll probably be getting that in the form of, “It’s just basketball.”
I put all the three podium visits in one video:
How will he mesh with the incumbent playmaking of both Stephen Curry and Draymond Green? “It’s basketball, man,” Paul quipped to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, who’ll probably be coming out with an article about that in due time.
The three-word summation can also come in similar forms. What do you think about Klay Thompson playing the 4 on defense? “Anytime I see Klay, I see a killa,” also translates into “It’s just Klay,” right?
I like it, though. Sometimes the Warriors players, including Steve as I discussed yesterday about bullyism on Twitter/X, are “too nice” and want to give, give, give to reporters and then the public in the form of casual fans like to nitpick the answer. Cutting Gregg Popovich-ish to the bottom line of “it is what it is” puts the bullies in their place before they feed their addiction to that complaining character.
In case you’re wondering, Steph’s go-to is “It’s part of the process” or “Enjoy the moment,” which are equivalent. I could probably come up with a go-to for each player lol.
TRAINING CAMP DAY 4: CP3
• Like Curry, CP has a way of coming back to the big picture: “year in and year out is a blessing.”
• David West was his “favorite teammate my whole career.” Here’s an old interview of West mentioning CP3; while searching for this I also found videos of West hitting threes and shooting with Zaza Pachulia, Google “youtube letsgowarriors ‘david west’” with quotes around “David West”:
• Did summer mini-camps help? “We’re gonna see…on-the-job-training.” Chris just never wants to give the warm and fuzzy answer the public wants lol.
• Jonathan Kuminga “plays with, like, a joy.” You know, I never really thought of it that way, but yeah! Every thunderous dunk has joy behind it. That’s pretty neat.
• On a joy influencing young guys: “I mean, it’s basketball.” Paul didn’t want to back himself into a corner by mistakenly saying he’s carrying some torch for the youngsters, for example. It’s his way of saying he’s just one of the guys without going to that extreme, either.
• On Klay guarding 4s: “anytime I see Klay I see a killa…probably a lot taller and stronger than people realize.” I’ve been saying this over and over on the livestreams. Chris DeMarco used to be the Shaquille O’Neal in the men’s rec league I ran. His Marin All-Stars squad, captained by Nic Vu and his brothers, absolutely dominated a couple seasons and nobody really had an answer for the post play of 6’7” (maybe 240 lbs? Idk) DeMarco. Now, fast forward to him defending Klay in the post many-a-time at Warriors practices. Klay makes Chris look so pedestrian!
• “Klay just don’t say a lot of stuff that everybody catch on the cameras. He’ll say it to you, though.” Chris must not be on social media much because, you know, “4 rings,” anyone? Incidentally I googled that and it’s good to see that Klay’s “regret” on Paul George’s podcast has outweighed all the previous results of the original topic. Let that be your PR 101 lesson of the day. You do something wrong in the NBA, go on someone’s podcast and turn that into a positive!
• “All those Clippers years…Klay was guarding me.” Man, time flies! But yeah, as I’ve said, if Klay didn’t tear his ACL — trying really hard not to say something bad about Danny Green here — his trajectory in those Finals had me ranking him higher than Ray Allen to become the best all-time catch-and-shoot shooting guard ever (Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were not “stand-still” two-guards, so that’s how I dodge that issue).
• Here’s a leftover 3:34 video of CP from Media Day by NBATV. I haven’t watched it yet:
TRAINING CAMP DAY 4: STEVE
• Steve with the friendly reminder that things are pretty fluid and the wear and tear of travel takes its toll: “It’s a big, big camp for us…all about building habits…once the season starts, we just don’t practice as much.” I wonder what those specific habits are, and if “don’t turn the ball over” is one of them? It might not actually be on the coaching staff list, btw, because they already know the “organized chaos” (spurred on by Curry, of course) is part of our DNA. Also: “first week of camp is always a little clunky because guys have to get their legs underneath them.” Precisely why he said on Day 3 he’d rather have ten practices before their first game. In other words, tonight might be a little sloppy, and the fact that “guys were anxious to get going” probably means some anxious turnovers tonight. Let’s remember to not be too judgy.
• I’m happy to check out wing Donovan Williams for the first time, as “everybody’s gonna play” Saturday.
• We literally do not need to see video of Draymond “talking trash to both teams” for the imagery. Btw, I’m told that practices have been airtight to visitors since The Punch; in the past, Steve or someone on the staff might have a guest come by on any random day — not anymore.
• Even though Cory Joseph is injured, Steve has seen enough tape to know that he “never turns the ball over.” And Popovich saying, “He’s one of the best human beings I’ve ever coached,” is reflected in Joseph’s two interviews he’s done on the podium so far. So gracious to be a Warrior even though he’s buried on the bench behind two Hall-of-Famers:
• Kerr called Dario Saric a “playmaker” and then referenced not only Nemanja Bjelica, but also Otto Porter. I never really thought of Porter as, per se, a la the Saric description of “playmaker…spaces the floor and knocks down threes, but he's also capable of playing out of the pocket too, and pick and roll”, but Steve’s right — and a lot of it is Otto just moving the ball along. I said late last season that we could possibly get OPJ back for only the minimum next season because of the whole year lost with the Toronto Raptors, but let’s see what happens this year. If Otto goes 2022-playoffs nuts again and Masai Ujiri doesn’t want to pay him more than the minimum because one season was already wasted/overpaid, I think there’s a contender out there that would still pay him. On Saric, Steve also wanted to avoid comparisons, although he said Dario is bigger and more physical, obviously. Incidentally, Saric calls himself Megalodon. It’d be funny if Steve doesn’t know that. Maybe fans just have to see it to believe it, but Kerr is comfortable with Saric at the 5 vs Nuggets and Nikola Jokic, a detail specifically asked by Slater.
• It’ll have to wait until the regular season, but I can’t wait to see the counters vs the Lakers. Steve said LA “exposed us…bottled us up defensively and we didn't have a counter so we got to make sure we have counters this year.”
TRAINING CAMP DAY 4: BPODZ
• Podziemski twice deflected hints that there’s been a learning curve for him: “The way they like to play was a simple fit for me and it didn't wasn't much of a learning curve.” Again, I just love his dawg mentality; it’s very CP3-like.
• Seems like the mini-camps included bonding in LA and Vegas. I would grossly speculate that he and Trayce Jackson-Davis rode together on the flights and that the participants all had dinners together, but I won’t be able to confirm this. Just a good vision to have and, bad journalism notwithstanding, I’ll assume it’s true unless proven otherwise.
• Did BP really say he’s “trying to help some of the other guys that may be a little bit behind you.” Okay, so that means the younger Exhibit 10 guys like Williams, Kendric Davis, Javan Johnson and… Lester Quinones (probably not)? I mean, literally everyone has more tenure or is older than Podziemski! So Donovan and KD and Javan are “some of the other guys”, then. Or…? 🤔
• BPodz said his family just flew in that day. Lotsa times, it’s literally the family that makes you feel more nervous. Don’t know if that’s true for him, but he did say, “you always get a little bit nervous and tingly before you get to play out there.”
MIKE BROWN THE MAINSTAY IN SAC
Great article by my guy (everyone’s guy, but he always made time to say hi to little ‘ol me in the media room when everybody just walks by the non-TV/radio/newspaper dude who’s always got his head down filming something) Marc Spears — Hall-of-Famer! — for this wonderful Andscape piece on Mike Brown. Brown, true to character, has taken the expectations in and connectivity with Sacramento up a notch:
“I told ’em that the elephant in the room is not as pink this year,” Brown told Andscape from the team’s practice facility Wednesday afternoon. “But the pink elephant in the room is everybody’s expectations. And I told them the reality of it is we’re competing for a championship. It’s as simple as that.”
“We’re already a good team. We’re already a playoff team, and so we’re competing for a championship just like everybody else. And the first thing that you have to do in order to attain anything in life is you have to believe in it. If you don’t believe in it, it ain’t going to happen.”
“There are a lot of things I was pleased with,” Brown said. “The best offense in the history of the game. You love that. You love Fox winning the clutch player of the year award. You love Fox and Domas being all stars. You love Keegan breaking the rookie 3-point shooting. There’s a lot of things to look back on and that you’re proud of. But just how this group was connected from day one makes me the most proud.”
“People may disagree, but to feel like we lost a series because we weren’t able to keep them off the offensive glass when it was very controllable by us,” Brown said. “It hurts that much more. If Steph got 50, Klay [Thompson] got 35, Jordan [Poole] got 20, and we lost because we couldn’t stop all of their players, then maybe it is different. But it does hurt.
“But it’s a good hurt because Steve’s [Kerr] a great coach. They got great players and they really made us look inside of ourselves and also reexamine everything that we were doing on both ends of the floor, especially offensively, just to make sure that what we’re doing is right to win a seven-game series versus the world champions.”
It’s no coincidence that Klay would “surf” inside the weight room whilst dad Mychal Thompson tweeted this, right?
“I say giv Caitlin Clark to the new team in SF…That way SF can hav the 3 BEST shooters in basketball in the Bay…” https://x.com/champagnennuts/status/1710337761943982319?s=46
STEPH x POSITIVE COACHING ALLIANCE
Steph and Curry Brand support Positive Coaching Alliance with the new “Curry Coach of the Year Award”:
I’m now inspired too start the Positive Social Media Alliance…
MORE WNBA, BRANDON SCHNEIDER
Haven’t watched this yet but I’m always curious to hear people from the GSW business talk. They help make that “marketing machine” of Joe Lacob’s happen, but I sometimes wonder if adopting more and more of Kerr’s ecosystem of collaboration and openness comes into clash with “Corporate America”? Btw, it’s not just Kerr, it’s a lot of characteristics of basketball. I used to work in venture capital and there’s a reason why I’m no longer in it, even though two of my eight portfolio companies went public during the dotcom bust, a record not many billionaires even can boast, if I’m tooting my own horn. I’m curious…
"The Bay Area market is right for this" — Warriors President & Chief Operating Officer Brandon Schneider can't wait for tip-off in 2025 in the Bay Area: podcast link
Kuminga’s birthday was yesterday and one of his managers posted this from the 2022 championship parade which made me notice his keen fashion sense (as I mentioned before I still have footage g from his recent visit to Milan, Italy for the BOSS fashion show), wearing Off White kicks with the neat lacing.
I have now spent three hours+ on this post and the pregame for LAL-GSW is about to start with Kerr, so I’m gonna be lazy and just copy and paste Sean Grice’s livestream with us:
0:00 S/O @chanodesigns for the thumbnail PhotoShop, Iguodala said recently that he doesn't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame
1:00 topics: Lakers (no LeBron), is JK vs Rui the matchup to watch?, CP3 running the wing on the break, WNBA and team names (it's definitely NOT the "Warriors"), Embiid/USA, big man talk through the context of Wiseman
9:45 Sean Grice of Lakers Fast Break comes on! (Dean technical difficulties)
14:00 Sean on mid-40-wins
16:00 on the Miami Heat and James Harden, will Philly come away with nothing
19:00 on Nick Nurse and Sean being in Toronto when I was in 2019, keeping Embiid happy
22:00 getting granular on the Lakers
24:00 starters: Taurean Prince at the 3, Vanderbilt at the 4
25:00 Prince is a "volume 3-point shooter"
30:00 Christian Wood: 8th team in his 8th year, We Talk Mavs said he got a raw deal, is he a weak point on defense (2 blks/game)? AD is the anchor
32:00 on Philippines fans being so diehard
35:00 on Rui Hachimura: an enigma with Wizards, 40 great games but 40 scratching your head, pivotal moment: LAL vs CHI Ham sat him then came out "hells on wheels" game after game (asked for LeBron for suggestions), 2 best 5-man Laker lineups: Austin and Rui (4 of the top 5 five-man lineups), "I think he's integral even though Vando might start"
40:00 on Kuminga having a parallel path as Rui?
41:00 Lakers will have to make a decision on Vando vs Rui in 2 years, looking at their salaries (wow, Rui makes $15-18M), can Vando hit the 3?
43:00 on salaries, 3-4 guys making $10-17M, always an opportunity to flip them and try and get value
45:00 on Dennis Schroder, prioritized Rui and Reaves, Gabe Vincent is a little bit better defender
47:00 on the first Lakers rotation in the regular season: Gabe as the 3rd guard (Spoelstra called him a "shapeshifter"/versatility), Sean calls him the "chameleon...we really miss Alex Caruso...I've never seen a fanbase pine for a player", Top 10 in deflections (Rondo/Caruso)
50:00 does LeBron skip the 7 road back-to-backs? Yes! (Assuming it doesn't break the new rules), another reason to have Wood be a "spot starter"
52:00 any injury to Lakers or Nuggets is a big impact, depth is good but it's more of a ripple effect
53:30 AD will get back to the All-Star Game, he's got a mindset, more toned/muscular, wants to win DPOY, took it personally that JJJ won it
55:00 on why we have problems with AD: his game is really face up north to south, midrange was below average even though that's his bread and butter, made adjustments and played really physically from mid-post in, Kings took a lot out of the Lakers, just like the Warriors took a lot out of the Lakers for Nuggets, schemes were effective, if he's not a force on the boards
59:00 for Saturday's game: Wood, Prince, Rui hybrid 3/4
1:02:00 on rooting for the Kings, having the most scars currently in the NBA just like when the Warriors won the championship
1:15:00 forgot to ask Sean who his favorite player is (per Amy) and forgot to ask him what he thinks about Klay playing the 4 on defense
1:15:45 it makes me want to look up our old videos where I have Klay posting up Chris DeMarco who is a big man in real life, he was Shaq in Dream League, the men's rec league that I ran from 2002-20
1:19:00 on "if Klay struggles": one thing that I said on the Lakers Fast Break podcast last week was that if we were to repeat Klay's Game 6 in LA, Steve Kerr would simply sub Chris Paul in for Klay (who was having a bad game)
1:20:00 Gago in the comments says can't wait for PHX-GSW on Opening Night, gives me the idea that WE WILL DO A GIVEAWAY OF REMAINING CUPCAKE HATS!!
1:22:00 Arbel says he can't wait for new jerseys: PLEASE WAIT FOR ME TO UPDATE OUR LGW AFFILIATE LINK FOR WARRIORS SHOP!!!!
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