Lacob’s ringing endorsement of Myers & Kerr: “Trust them”
The Golden State Warriors had their first pre-Finals formal practice yesterday. The team also scrimmaged (see notes & quotes below) and took advantage of the lack of a concert at Chase Center on a Monday to utilize the main court for that.
As mentioned before, the media extravaganza is on Wednesday, so there will be one more “regular” practice today, ending in the early afternoon. The Boston Celtics flew back home at just before 2am EDT from Miami after their Game 7, took the rest of yesterday off, and will obviously fly out to San Francisco at some point today.
All the video coverage from Monday’s practice is already on the YouTube channel, but this post containing those links and highlights notes & quotes is a tad late due to reasons already given to our live chat audiences during the Celtics’ Eastern Conference Finals victory Sunday evening (subscribe to our YouTube and tune in next time for an update!). Speaking of which, various Celtics touched on facing the Warriors in postgame interviews:
Back in San Francisco yesterday, Steve Kerr took the podium and gave an update on Otto Porter, Gary Payton II and Andre Iguodala (see notes & quotes below). Then Joe Lacob took the podium and it just so happened I had a small pocket of time available to transcribe some quotes myself, so I’ll lead off with him, below.
Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins also took the podium but I have not even gone through their entire interviews yet and there wasn’t in-depth coverage on either player from beatwriters, so there aren’t a ton of quotes below even though Curry’s Q&A stretched to nearly twenty minutes and Wiggs’ went past seven minutes. This also tells me the writers should be coming out with stories soon containing these quotes. But first, the video links starting with general behind-the-scenes coverage including Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole splashing together:
DISCLAIMER: These are all just notes for my main workflow of YouTube videos, tweeted by beatwriters. I used to transcribe every interview but it became too tedious and not worth the investment for the small amount of views we got on the soundbites on YouTube. The links to the tweets are not available because sometimes I don’t use the full tweet and just having a ton of tweets on this website imo isn’t aesthetically pleasing and gets away from the main goal: transferring information (not so much entertainment) asap.
• Joe Lacob mentions he “had a Pepsi” that is affecting his voice, apologizes, before talking about expectations earlier this year: “I was always optimistic that if we ever got all those guys together (from various injuries this season) that we’d be pretty darned good.” (me)
• Lacob references the 2019 NBA Finals: “we should’ve won that series, we would’ve won that series.” (me)
• Lacob references Kobe when asked about Moody and Kuminga: “Nineteen year olds just. Don’t. Play…our success was always gonna depend on (the vets, but praises Moody, Kuminga and Poole)…(Wiseman) just told me that he feels fantastic.” (me)
• Lacob: “I have a lot trust in (Myers and Kerr) even though like anybody — fan — you always question what’s going on on the floor, ‘Well, we should do this, do that.’ The truth is, trust them a lot.” He says organizational chemistry is key to the team’s success. (me via Holmes video, Kylen Mills)
• On Wiseman: “We have tremendous confidence in him.” Lacob says Wiseman has been dealt a bad hand, but the organization still completely supports him and believes he has huge potential. (Mills)
• Lacob: “The organization took some criticism from people that we should trade all our draft choices that we had to get one more great player or whatever. I was very adamant about it, so was Bob, that was not the path we're going down. We want to be great for a long time…Our goal is to be perennially good & challenging for a title. Otherwise there’s no point in doing this.” He wants the Warriors to be the greatest organization on earth. He wants to catch Boston which has 17 NBA titles. (Dickinson, Mills)
• Lacob: “I'm just as proud of Chase Center, personally, as I am of this team. I can't even tell you how hard this was to get done, it took 7 years. In this city it's probably harder than any other city to do it. ...Every single night I get chills when I walk into the arena.” (Janie McCauley)
• Lacob ended his media session saying Jerry Buss took the Lakers to 16 Finals in 33 years: “We’ve made six in 12 years. So I love that 50% rate. Whether we can continue that, I don’t know. I’m sure as hell going to try.” (Shayna Rubin)
• Steve Kerr on Jayson Tatum: “can beat you in a lot of different ways…combination of size and speed and skill, it’s very rare.” (me via CJ Holmes video)
• On thinking Wiseman would get healthy and not signing an extra center: “Not as much need for the multiple aircraft carriers” (in the modern NBA). (me)
• On GSW culture: “Steph’s presence from the very beginning allowed that culture to blossom.” (me)
• Kerr on Gary Payton II, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr.: “None of them scrimmaged but they all took part in practice. They’re all progressing and doing pretty well.” Kerr said Warriors would have a better idea on their status later in week if/when they scrimmage. (John Dickinson, Anthony Slater)
• Kerr on Marcus Smart: “He's like the guard version of Draymond. He can literally guard 1-5.” (Dalton Johnson, Dickinson)
• Kerr on Poole: “Carry over into the post-season.” (me)
• Kerr: “Those fifteen games (in 2020) were impressive…all of last year really gave him a chance to get a better feel…off-ball movement…continuity is so important…you can’t just throw people together and expect it to work…Wiggs has just been a perfect fit. We wouldn’t be here without him...Really more a role to play than a leadership position…worked out even better than we’d hoped…we had (playmaking) with Kevin (Durant)…we haven’t always had that.” (me, Dickinson)
• Steph Curry on the Boston Celtics: “It will be an amazing test. Got some guys playing at a really high level. Very well rounded team…We like the matchup in terms of just confidence going in, knowing that we can win but there's obvious respect in terms of what they present as a team.” (95.7 The Game, NBCSBA)
• Steph compares the emotions of this trip to the Finals with his first in 2015: “A different level of appreciation of what it takes to get to this stage.” (me via NBCSBA video)
• Curry says he’s tried to help Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole prepare for the limelight of this stage. But his main advice has been when the ball drops, block it all out & just do what you’ve been doing: “It’s just basketball.” (Kylen Mills)
• Curry says when he’s not putting in hours at the gym he spends time with his family, and he tries to enjoy some sunshine & the green grass. Curry knows the playoffs are a grind and his family helps him decompress. (Mills)
• Andrew Wiggins on how he's feeling before his first NBA Finals appearance: “I’m very excited. Every moment I’m awake I think about it. We have a chance to do something very special here.” (95.7 The Game)
• Wiggins says he remembers when he first heard about the possibility of being traded to Golden State while he was in MN. He says he was excited - playing for an organization like the Warriors & the team’s core would be a big opportunity. (Kylen Mills)