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Training camp CP3 x Steph Curry workout; Jumbotron; San Quentin; GP2; defense; Poole
I would’ve called this “DubNation Digest” as I used to do way back in 2015-16 — unfortunately the data transfer with TheSportsDaily was too complex, so all of those still reside there [link] — but it’s too long to put in the titles here on Substack. As I alluded to the previous article, we’ll do a near-daily “diary” of sorts. There was actually enough content during the off-season to do this!
The following is in chronological order of when they appeared in the news, if applicable, with the exception of the training camp Day 1 video which is at the bottom.
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MEDIA DAY REMNANTS
• Playing giant blue-and-gold-colored Jenga, sketching self-portraits, drawing other players (e.g., Klay Thompson on his boat), chanting “Warriors” (see next bullet point), moving ping pong balls across a table by blowing through a straw, dancing with sunglasses and a gold Warriors logo chain, and speed-putting apparently are some of the activities the players took part in. There’s also Stephen Curry re-doing his rap video from Davidson that just got posted by GSW social. We included snippets of some of these in the Media Day bts video:
• A clip of Andrew Wiggins trying to avoid chanting, “Warriors!”, then trying, then failing at it is going viral, posted by the team. In our video above, Chris Paul also balked at the chant, although it was more due to the awkwardness of being the team’s enemy for eons. Paul claimed he would need “baby steps” before being able to do the chant.
• Fans are likely to see these fun activities eventually on the Jumbotron at Chase Center and here and there by the Golden State Warriors social media team, but not during preseason games just yet.
CHECKING IN ON JORDAN POOLE
Believe me, I definitely feel like it’s time to move on and this will be my last Jordan Poole mention until the Warriors have to face the Washington Wizards, but just in case…
• Candace Buckner of the Washington Post asked Poole about The Punch on their Media Day (same day as GSW), or at least alluded to it:
[On questions about last year:] “I don’t answer nothing about those. Anything other than that, I’ll talk to you about that. [But] those? Nothing. Just because it’s so far removed now, and they [were] asking all them [questions] last year. You can ask but I’m going to give a very, like, bulls--- answer.”
“I can only speak for myself,” Wizards teammate Kyle Kuzma said when asked how other players around the league might have viewed Poole after the incident. “For me, I don’t really judge a book by its cover. That sent a shock wave around the world and the league, but I didn’t necessarily even know Jordan, but we had the same CAA representation. So I knew what type of person he was, so [now] being around him is amazing.”
No, he didn’t want to discuss the actual event — “If [reporters] ask me — NEXT! Next question!” Poole said. But he didn’t duck every topic.
Did the Punch impact how others viewed you? “I think anything that anybody does can get an impact from anybody, if that makes sense. I don’t think anybody really knew what happened, so opinions will be made like anything else. [Even] walking down the street with a hoodie over your head, you know what I’m saying? Everybody will have an opinion.”
Does it frustrate you that the conversation about the incident remains a hot topic, by other parties? “We in the era where people feel the need to express themselves. I don’t need that. I quite frankly don’t care. I really only care about hooping. All the extra stuff? It’s going to come — no matter how cool or how chill of a person you are, they’ll find something to talk about.”
KLAY, CP3, TJD VISIT SAN QUENTIN
This happened last Wednesday, but didn’t air on KTVU2 until Monday, probably due to the weekend San Francisco 49ers coverage:
Klay, CP and Trayce Jackson-Davis obviously didn’t play, and by the looks of the video and the fact that he’s no longer employed by GSW, neither did annual San Quentin participant Bob Myers, but the Warriors’ squad was repped by assistant GM Kent Lacob, who once played for the Menlo School varsity team. Klay accurately predicted that Sam Quentin would win.
The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson also attended and tweeted some vague praise about Klay, but the article hasn’t been published yet as of this writing. “MT2” has been busy breaking the news of Joe Lacob and Peter Guber’s purchase of a WNBA expansion team, which got a boost today as the Warriors said they’ll make a “major announcement” at Chase Center tomorrow morning. That and a golf-and-charity-related summer wrap-up piece on Steph have probably delayed MT2’s San Quentin story.
• Add “Newcastle” and “Agent Zero” to the list of nicknames for Gary Payton II, along with GP2 and Young Glove:
TRAINING CAMP DAY 1 NOTES
• A few of the song choices, usually made by assistant coach Khalid Robinson: “Tuscan Leather” by Drake, “soso” by Omah Lay, “The Ruler’s Back” by Jay-Z, and “SkeeYee” by Sexxy Red.
• As caught on film by Anthony Slater of The Athletic, CP3 and Curry, along with Bruce “Q” Fraser, were drilling through some pass-hand-off sets. As mentioned by Steve Kerr (see video and transcript below), CP will start this Saturday against the LA Lakers.
• Kendric Davis went back to the facility last 8pm to do a workout.
Here’s the behind-the-scenes compilation which includes Slater’s footage of what he called “hit-and-handoff”:
KRON4’s Jason Dumas’ version:
My Top Five takeaways from Kerr’s Q&A after the first day of practice:
He’s really excited about Dario Saric.
Klay will play the 4 on defense and GP2’s full-time availability, as well as CP3’s “rock” and “brick wall” references in the defensive post will be key drivers to get GSW back into the Top Ten on defense in the NBA. Heck, it might even be Top 5 if you think about it.
A little S/O end-of-the-bench guys who won spots through training camp: Justin Holiday, Quinn Cook and Ian Clark (and Avery Bradley, sort of).
Brandin Podziemski, Rodney McGruder, Jerome Robinson, Rudy Gay, and Usman Garuba “dominated”? 👀 It was a short scrimmage, though. Wait, did Steve really say “panties”? 😮 And way to go, Usman (see previous article)! 💪
Draymond Green riding the stationary bike like “crazy” sounds on-brand for the Peloton aficionado. Anyone remember his, “I had a great 2020!” chirp/flex while on the bike in the Soul Cycle room (when everyone else’s sucked due to the pandemic) on Instagram story? 😂 We’ve got that video somewhere on our YouTube channel.
Steve Kerr 0:00
We did scrimmage. Yeah, at the very end. We had maybe 20 minutes of scrimmaging with three teams, short games. Guys were pretty tired because we put them through a lot. First two hours of practice and then finished it up with with the scrimmaging and guys are getting shots up and lifting now and it's good day.
Anthony Slater 0:20
I mean, I know you were kind of joking about it, but was it intermixed? Or did you go first unit, second unit?
Steve Kerr 0:25
Uh, no, we put -- with Draymond out, we put the other five guys on one team and then we separated the next two to white and red. The team that dominated was the red team with the red panties on. Let's see that Brandin, Jerome Robinson, Usman, Rudy Gay, Rodney McGruder. They they swept. They swept three games, so they were fantastic
Anthony Slater 1:01
Visions into those scrimmages, like who looked good and that's not I mean --?
Steve Kerr 1:05
It's too early. I mean, everybody is in really good shape. That's the main take away, everybody's in good shape, good spirits. Really a lot of teaching today and everybody took to it well and very productive day.
Anthony Slater 1:22
Is it fair to assume though, that until Draymond is back, your starting lineup is the four with Chris. I mean, sounds like that was the default.
Steve Kerr 1:31
I mean, yeah, those five guys will start the first game. So you can tweet that out. It'll be a great talking point around the water coolers, I guess, but as I said in camp, we're going to try a lot of different lineups throughout the exhibition season. So they'll start the first game and we'll see after that, but we've got to try a lot of different groups and see what we have.
Kendra Andrews 2:02
Following up on this but more just in a broader term, without Draymond being available for camp and for at least a handful of preseason games, how does that affect trying to figure out different lineups, different combos that work and then also just trying to build new chemistry on the court with Chris integrating and also just other rotation players?
Steve Kerr 2:24
Yeah, it's not ideal. But Draymond, obviously, has been doing this a long time. So he'll pick up everything right away, but it would have been nice to see him in different combinations. Get him and Chris together and others but it is what it is. So you just move forward.
Madeline Kenney 2:48
I don't know if you were kidding. So you're saying that you hope that the starting five and whatever you're doing, Chris Paul's included in that?
Steve Kerr 2:59
When we play our first game Saturday, Chris will start with Wiggs, Klay, Steph, and Loon. So that'll be the starting lineup. And I'm really happy about announcing it now because now I don't have to answer that the next four days.
Madeline Kenney 3:16
Just following up on that, on paper, that's kind of a small lineup, but how much does it help to have Chris Paul's playmaking to replace Draymond in that situation?
Steve Kerr 3:26
Yeah, I mean, Chris, is -- it's hard to describe the feeling of having Chris Paul on our team. He's one of the great point guards of all-time. We've been competing against him for so many years. He's one of the guys that I've coached against where you just shake your head at how good he is and how particular he is about every possession. Getting his team a good shot, getting himself a good shot, getting everybody organized. He's so smart. He's a winner. And so to have him on our side is amazing. And I think maybe the biggest benefit that he will bring to us is his ability to run an offense when Steph is off the floor. I mean, they're going to be great together too. But the biggest problem we've had since I've been here is the non-Steph minutes even when we had Kevin and that group that won back-to-back titles. Our non-Steph minutes, our whole goal is to just put a great defensive team on the floor and win the game, win those minutes with defense. We've never really generated great offense with Steph on the bench and Chris will help us do that.
CJ Holmes 4:54
With that starting lineup, obviously Klay will be at the three. You talked last year about kind of like the evolution of Klay's game. Do you see him being more of like a two-three also now and possibly even a four at times, the way that his -- the evolution of Klay, too.
Steve Kerr 5:08
Yeah, Klay, if we play that lineup that I talked about Saturday to start, which I'm anticipating doing as I said, barring injury, Klay would guard the 4-man. He's so physically strong. He's so used to guarding post-up players after switches. So we're thinking Klay can guard as a four this year, we're going to put him in coverage where he's having to defend pick-and-roll as a four. That would be a different job for him. But we're planning on on doing some of that and seeing how he does.
Dalton Johnson 5:48
Steve a bit of an older roster this year and different rules in terms of how guys can be managed. With a bit of an older team this year, what's going to go into keeping these guys fresh and throughout the duration of this 82 game season?
Steve Kerr 6:01
We won't really change anything. I will lean on the performance group to really share their thoughts on practice schedules and intensity levels and and then part of my job as coach is to pace the team through the season. So I feel like I have a pretty good feel for what guys need, if they need a day of,f if they need a light practice. That's a big part of the job but with all the people we have involved in that decision-making process, we'll figure that out.
Kendra Andrews 6:38
Jonathan and Moses have had interesting first two seasons in the league and I guess since this is the new era of you guys, young players have come and gone but they're still here. Just how important is this Year Three for both of them. And where do you see them contributing to this team?
Steve Kerr 6:56
Yeah, I mean, Year Three is always a big moment in everybody's career. You get a couple years under your belt and really it's time to take that next step and both guys have been working like crazy all summer. And I have plenty of confidence in both of them. They have each helped us win a lot of games in their first two years. They happened to come to a championship team right away. First year in the league being with a title team, that's not an easy thing. But they're both working and getting better every day and I have a lot of confidence in both.
Anthony Slater 7:38
You kind of alluded to the fact that when Steph's off the bench, you're gonna want to have Chris kinda running the show. How do you envision that unit playing, I mean, will it be kinda like Chris Paul basketball with that second unit?
Steve Kerr 7:54
One of the things with having veteran players is they dictate a lot of what happens during a possession. So I don't anticipate having to be standing up making calls a lot. We're going to run plenty of pick-and-roll because Chris is one of the best pick-and-roll players in the world. But he's also showing that he's very interested in incorporating himself into some of the stuff that we already do. Our split game and our movement and he's such a smart player that he's already figured out ways to be effective. So I kind of look at it like we're going to lean into him, but he's also going to lean into us and we're going to kind of meet halfway and the offense will form as we get a feel for combinations and and patterns.
Anthony Slater 8:44
Specifically with that second unit, though, who do you think can really benefit from that style? I mean, obviously Kuminga comes to mind as maybe a dive man, but how are you seeing that second unit?
Steve Kerr 8:55
Yeah, well, we'll see. I mean, I know that Chris and JK played together a lot this summer and pickup ball. We did that on purpose to get them together because we see Jonathan really benefiting from playing with Chris but I think everybody benefits from playing with Chris. He makes the game easier on the whole group. But it's easy to envision Gary out there, Dario. I mean, these guys are proven vets, right? And so whatever the combinations are, we've got a lot of guys who can play and have proven that they can win at a high level in this league.
Zena Keita 9:35
Hey Coach, so obviously it's Day One, very early, preseason games haven't even started but they start this weekend. Now coming into the season, being able to kind of see your guys on Day One -- obviously, being able to be on the same page all throughout last season may have been an issue. How do you feel going into this season? Seeing all the new faces -- I know everybody's excited to be back -- but do you feel like everybody is kind of on the same page, that there's a cohesiveness there this season that wasn't there maybe last season?
Steve Kerr 10:04
Yeah, it feels great first day, a lot of good work. Good vibes, everybody on the same page. Losing will do that sometimes. We lost in the second round last year, we didn't have a particularly successful season with our expectations, and sometimes that can be very motivating. So it's a long offseason, our guys came back really ready and I'm excited. I know that they are, too.
Monte Poole 10:35
Steve, what do you get from a healthy Gary this year? I mean, in the past, you've used them in certain specific ways, but this year, he says he's really feeling good. What do you want to get from him?
Steve Kerr 10:45
Well, the first order of business in camp is to re-establish our Top 10 defense and Gary's one of the best on-ball defenders in the world. So having him healthy, on the roster right away. I anticipate we were going to re-establish our defense easier because of his presence and in theory, that should lead to a better start to the season than we had a year ago.
Monte Poole 11:09
Is it similar to last year where he played some with starters and some with the reserves, he kind of was a bridge guy where he played a little bit of both spots.
Steve Kerr 11:18
Yeah, I mean, Gary's gonna be in our rotation. So if you're in the rotation, you're gonna play with a lot of different people. I anticipate bringing him off the bench like we did two years ago. But I anticipate him playing a lot of minutes and very important minutes he could be to be in there down the stretch or games if we're rolling and he's playing well, and he's gonna play a huge role for us.
Monte Poole 11:41
And the last question I have right now at least is quickness. Your team doesn't look they have a lot of quickness. But how much of that can be offset by age and ingenuity and just knowing the angles and stuff like that?
Steve Kerr 11:48
I mean, we do have some some speed and athleticism in our roster, but I think that's accurate, we're not going to be the quickest team, the most athletic team but a lot of skill, a lot of knowledge, a lot of feel, championship experience. I think we we have a chance to be a really good team that can be a good two-way team and that's what it takes to win at a high level, win on the road. So that's what I'm looking for.
Anthony Slater 12:28
What's kind of the defensive key when you play Chris and Steph together?
Steve Kerr 12:34
They're both really good defenders. They obviously don't have a ton of size. What we found playing against Chris was on switches, he's just a rock. He's a brick wall down on the block. And so people can try to post him down on the block, but it's not easy to score on him down there. But it'll be matchup-based, who's guarding whom? What's our pick-and-roll coverage? Who's out there with those guys? So those things are all to be determined.
Monte Poole 13:05
On the second unit, obviously, Chris will be out there some of the time at least and, like you'd mentioned, he's played with JK a little bit. Chris and Dario, how much will their history kind of matter with what you guys want to do?
Steve Kerr 13:21
How much will it matter based on what?
Monte Poole 13:22
Just the fact that they played together. They're two vets who have been teammates.
Steve Kerr 13:26
Yeah, that's a big part of this. We were so excited to get Dario for a number of reasons, one of which was that he was very effective with Chris in Phoenix, but we felt like what we had two years ago with Beli and Otto Porter, that dynamic of having a big who can shoot and pass and make plays and has experience was really important to give this team a different look. And Dario does all that stuff. And he's a great pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop player, excellent shooter, and so he's a really big addition for us. We're excited.
CJ Holmes 14:03
As far as the the two open roster spots, right now, do you care how long like that decision goes for? Or are you comfortable doing it closer to the regular season? Or do you as a coach kind of have a baseline as far as when you want to make those decisions?
Steve Kerr 14:16
We've been in this position a lot and we usually let it play out over the course of camp, so why not right take every day that you can to evaluate. I know two years ago Gary Payton was in that spot with Avery Bradley. They were both worthy of winning that final spot. Ultimately, we gave it to Gary and he helped us win a championship. So this is a great process. For us to be able to really evaluate over three weeks before we have to make a decision. Justin Holiday made our team seven, eight years ago in the same manner. Ian Clark, I think Quinn Cook maybe, too, so we've had guys who've really been effective for us who made the team in camp and it's a really valuable tool for us to be able to have given that we do have these two open spots.
Anthony Slater 15:16
What can Draymond do right now?
Steve Kerr 15:30
He was riding the bike down there like crazy, so it's good to see that he's able to do that and he's able to lift and so he said it to you guys yesterday, he's a quick healer and the swelling in his ankle's gone down pretty well. And he's working in that weight room and he's going to do everything he can to be be ready.
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