Warriors in Miami: behind-the-scenes with Floyd Mayweather, Usain Bolt (and Coach K in SF)
[free article, video, extra details]
The Golden State Warriors are now headed off to Atlanta, but every season the guys will circle the Miami Heat game, often coupled by the NBA schedulers with the Orlando Magic game. The above the clickable video shows you why. The newly dubbed FTX Arena (fka American Airlines Center) in Miami features a loud, diverse crowd with perhaps the funniest mascot — his name is Burnie — in the league and just walking outside is a simply pleasant with the ocean nearby and tropical weather. Miami is easily The Association’s No. 1 destination which is more of a statement when you consider that NYC is imo a distant second.
Here’s some notes to accompany the above video report, not necessarily in chronological order:
• Stephen Curry is obviously sidelined back in the Bay with the left foot sprain but at least it affords him some more time with the family, especially with his mom’s college roommate’s daughter Cameron Brink vying for a national title with the Stanford women’s basketball team. The circumstances also allowed Steph to meet with Coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke men’s basketball team, which was scheduled to play in the West Regional of the NCAA Tournament at Chase Center. Steph’s brother Seth Curry played for Duke. Incidentally, Moses Moody’s alma mater, Arkansas, also made it to the West Regional and Rona Moody, Moses’ mom, bumped into the team riding a cable car. The Razorbacks are coached by Eric Musselman, former Warriors coach from the Chris Cohan era. I was not able to include video of the cable car or Musselman’s tweets to Moses asking for the scoring report at Chase. Still on the topic of March Madness, Jordan Poole showed up to the Orlando game in his Michigan basketball jersey. The Wolverines are currently in the Sweet Sixteen as I write this, at the South Regional of the NCAA Tournament in San Antonio. Fellow Michigan alum Tarik Black, wide receiver for the New York Jets, attended the game in Miami and texted Poole before tipoff, joking that he wanted a 30-5-5 statline from JP and Poole almost got those numbers on the nose. And finally, trying things back to Steph, Ayesha Curry’s birthday was on March 23rd. Steph also tweeted the team congratulations after the win in Miami.
• Speaking of birthdays, Quinn Cook had the same birthday as Ayesha and another former Warrior, Jordan Bell, wished him HBD on Instagram with a post of them in the squad’s unis. Andre Iguodala has a fifteen year old son and his HBD IG post seems to show Andre Jr. at about the same height (6’6”) already!
• A picture of Andrew Wiggins’ youngest daughter Alayah was posted by her grandmother and the 11-month old is the spitting image of her father. Wiggins wore a left knee wrap in the game against Orlando after banging his knee in the loss to the San Antonio Spurs but didn’t have it on in the win over the Heat.
• Gary Payton II (left knee) was finally cleared to play at morning shootaround in Orlando. A Latin-American reporter (@sneakerheadgt) caught up to Payton pregame in Miami and asked about his Kobe signature kicks. GP2 said he always goes with Kobes.
• Both Draymond Green and Klay Thompson wore gray jackets to the Heat game. Klay rebounded for the squad at halftime and signed something for Olympic great Usain Bolt, then caught up with Floyd Mayweather, who was sitting courtside. After the game, Mayweather’s crew partied at a strip club. Klay somehow ended up walking through a parking garage, where a fan got a photo with him, by himself.
• Draymond and JP shared a special handshake after one of Poole’s daggers. After the game, Dray went to Twitter to praise Jordan’s performance. After the loss to Orlando, Green went on his own podcast to accept responsibility for the team not bringing the intensity. I did not include the tweet or the podcast segment in the video above. Draymond’s wife Hazel Renee joined him in Miami.
• As was publicized heavily, Jimmy Butler got into it with teammate Udonis Haslem, then coach Erik Spoelstra, on the Heat bench later in the game. The video that I found had a better angle of it than the other courtside videos that went viral.
• Earlier in the season (perhaps during one of the road trips to New York?), Poole said he’s awed by Wiggs’ game. After the buzzer sounded, he was hyping up Wiggins big time. This was a video clip shared shared by Warriors TV.
• After the Heat game Jonathan Kuminga gave his game-worn jersey to one of his business managers, who lives in Orlando.