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Warriors/Suns practice: Draymond, Klay, Kerr, Durant, Vogel transcripts
I won’t usually add commentary to a transcript post, but it’s necessary this time and as it turns out, a good intro to me and why I’m doing transcripts (mentioned in the previous post). What’s the opposite of “the eye of the storm”? Whatever that is, is what happened on Sunday. Draymond Green took the podium and delved into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, starting with voluntary comments at the beginning and peeling the onion just a little further at the end from reporter Alex Simon of SF Gate (see below).
But, understandably, media members and even the Golden State Warriors themselves stayed low-key. I mean, have you seen how angry people can comment on social media? It’s better that the greater media and GSW played it hush-hush. And don’t worry, I’m not ESPN. If I were, I’d probably not post this. But we (meaning you, my audience) know Draymond well and he’s like family to us, you as my audience already have high basketball IQ or show gratitude for the squad or both, so this is all part of our ecosystem, as I’ve written before. I’m doing what I do. We’re doing what we do.
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Education by controlled deluge of information, to me, is far better than clickbait or “Squirrel!” (referencing the dog Doug from the Disney movie “Up”) reactionary tweets or headlines. Hoop vernacular calls it, “Getting 1% better every day.” The more you know, the higher your basketball IQ. The higher your basketball IQ, the less complaining. The less complaining, the more society (okay, just DubNation in this case) gets back to the collective consciousness of joy — or as I incessantly say in my livestreams, ditching the need to throw someone under the bus, and realizing how negativity spreads within each of us and then among us with social media apps rewarding such behavior. I’m calling for less lack, less separation, more togetherness, more abundance. Let’s get back to respecting the universe as a collective consciousness that, lo and behold, should include compassion and love, just as DG23 alluded to Sunday!
The fact that Draymond happened to take the podium and had to get the Middle East conflict off his chest, probably due to his best friend who’s Jewish, as he stated, on a Sunday was ironic. The local TV stations didn’t seem to be covering practice as they probably would on Monday or today’s morning shootaround, in anticipation of Opening Night, not to mention that the San Francisco 49ers are the hot draw right now for weekend viewership.
The only reporter who wrote about the beginning and end of Green’s media availability was Simon, who provided objective context including Draymond’s visit to Israel five years ago. I wouldn’t do Alex’s piece any justice by block-quoting from it, so just go read it in its entirety here: https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/draymond-green-israel-palestine-conflict-comments-18441405.php
Anyways, there’s lots from Dray, per usual, to digest about a variety Warriors topics. I mean, he literally called out Kevon Looney and — stop the presses! — even Stephen Curry 😱 And in a way that I criticize Steph as well on each game livestream (okay, Game 7 in Sacramento is exempted). Unfortunately the vast majority of DubNation will have missed all this because of the other touchy subject.
We also have Klay Thompson and Steve Kerr who took the podium. There’s also Kevin Durant and Frank Vogel from Phoenix. Again, this was on Sunday, so I’m still in catch-up mode. Steve, Chris Paul and Loon took the podium on Monday and we should have those on this Substack soon. There’s also a digest of Warriors-related news in the LGW pipeline. We’ll see if I get around to all of this before tipoff tonight, as tomorrow is going to be another flood of Phoenix Suns vs Warriors content, especially with the KD appreciation video on the Jumbotron and all that. I’ll certainly try.
And, I get it, there’s probably some people who despise reading transcripts. I’m sure journalism professors would scoff at my work. Raymond Ridder himself told me in 2009 when I got my first game credential as lead GSW reporter for Golden State of Mind not to post Q&As and instead write a story around the quotes (but that was fourteen years ago; I’m sure GSW PR has evolved since then). You know what? That’s just not me. I tried that, actually, for at least four years before I had to pivot and focus on the YouTube channel.
I have an engineering degree from Cal. We do things very factually, logically — although I’m coming full circle with learning more about positivity through the YouTube channel — and kind of in a “technical manual” style. I think it’s advantageous to have that engineering acumen, to be able to handle that tidal wave of content coming your way, most of it repackaged by the media out there in a way so as to create separation with CRAP (comparisons, rankings, awards and/or predictions).
I’m able to make sense out of all that and back it up with information, what so-and-so said, where it came from, when it was talked about, how it relates to whatever, and in the context of, say, the salary cap, a very factual numbers-driven bedrock of the NBA. Heck, by the time this season is overwith, this Substack will be a veritable database of Warriors quotes., basically timestamped and searchable.
And yes, I have been heavily criticized (more made fun of, or bullied tbh) by certain “peers”, let’s call them, for the bullet-point style. There are many successful, gainfully employed or self-employed story-weavers out there, I don’t even need to name them, they’ve got the 100k followers on Twitter, you already know them. One of them wrote about me and my relationship with Jeremy Lin once and it was beautifully written, even though I wasn’t laughing when he patted himself on the back for the elite prose describing my eyebrows (or lack thereof, haha). Another was a lawyer and wrote all his stuff like legal proceedings with arguments and conclusions. Both became super-successful in the NBA media ecosphere. Like, other media adore them and they’re making big bucks these days. Kudos to them.
I took the completely opposite route. And I firmly believe I’m helping change the world in doing so in a way that they can’t because I’m not playing their game and, with information as my foundation, infuse gratitude into DubNation which btw, have you ever noticed that that’s basically what Steph does on the podium every postgame after a loss? I suppose fans are already drowned from all the sky-is-falling and fear-mongering on social media — and ready for bed — by the time Wardell (who is always last out of the locker room, iykyk) hits the mic? Anyhoo, I’m different so read on, or not 🤷🏻♂️
DRAYMOND SUNDAY AFTER PRACTICE
0:00 question about Kerr saying they need to improve the defense
0:11 Draymond Green after practice: “Alright, so I'm gonna hold on to your question (that) defensively I've had a first row seat during the preseason, what do we need to do? I have not spoke since the Israel-Palestine conflict has been going on. And I just send my heart out to everybody involved, to Palestinians, Israelis. You got people dying, and daily. And so as I send my heart out to them, everybody's fighting over the politics of it. I don't get off into politics. I'm not a politician. If I'm totally honest, I don't know much about American politics, let alone anywhere-else-in-the-world politics, but I do know something about life and death because we deal with that on a daily basis. And to see innocent people losing their lives, family members got to live with and deal with. And so I send my heart, my prayers, my love out to them. I have a lot of Jewish friends, family. And one of my closest friends is actually Jewish. I talk to him every day. It's like every time something's going on, he hits me, he's like, ‘Yo, like this is crazy. And I'm in fear, you know? And so I feel that and I don't have much to say other than, I send my love and prayers … just want to see it end, people get back to living their lives the way they've lived their lives. But the killing of innocent people, terrorist attacks. We've dealt with that here in America. It's not good.”
2:34 Monte Poole: “Makes my question feel so trivial now.” Draymond: “Your question: my first row seat to the defense. I think at times our shell is great. I think at times our shell isn't there. I think at times when we have certain groups on the floor, they’re communicating, and then other groups aren't quite communicating. Obviously, that's something that I can help with on that side of things, with the communication and making sure everyone's comfortable. But that's something that we all have to collectively be better at. I think, obviously, we know the following: You turn the ball over, it's hard to defend a turnover. So those are the basics. We know we got to cut those things out. Turnovers and fouling jump shooters and all those things, like, that’s petty stuff that we should be better than that and we will be better than that. So I'm not too worried about those things. That's been a problem of ours. But I think with a little bit of focus, it goes for everybody. So I feel like if I, as someone who handles the ball a lot — CP don't turn the ball over much — it’s really Stephen who leads the charge and the turnovers. And so I feel like if we can focus in that area, then it's a trickle down effect. If you're defending at the top, you're defending at the bottom and so — not that we view anyone on our team as the bottom — but you get my point. And so I think that has to be a focus of ours, the guys who handles the ball a lot. Then we can clean the turnovers up and that'll help our defense out a lot but the number one thing for this group is going to be communication. It's a new group, still getting comfortable with each other, learning each other's strengths. And what helps with that will help speed that process up as communication. So I want to say this publicly because I want to put that pressure on him and I trust and know that he'll handle it. But we need Kevon Looney to talk more. Loon is someone who's blossomed into a focal point of everything that we do, and he knows everything, like, everything. Like, Loon will come ask me a question like, ‘Yo, so they're doing this and I was thinking about it this way, and I shoulda done it. What would you do?’ You just explain what I would do! He knows every single thing. So it's going to be important for us to hear his voice more because everyone on the court feels more comfortable when they hear the big voice and he's been growing in that area. And I think it's time for him to take that ultimate step in that area. And I have no doubt that he will but that'll be huge for us.”
5:18 on what’s unique about Chris Paul playing with Steph and those possibilities right now: “Obviously we know Chris is a basketball genius. I had the most fun (where) we’re just standing there and practicing. He come over on the side. He's like, ‘Yo, you see this and this thing and that thing? We can get this guy to go down there. He pop over there.’ And I'm just like, “Woah, all right. Yeah. That's great.’ And just hearing how he process and work through things, I think is incredible for all of us to have the opportunity to learn from him. I think it's great. I think it'll help all of us and when you add another playmaker, ball-handler, one of the best we've ever seen do it in this league. You put him around the talent and the skill that we have, it’s going to produce some good things. I think him and Chris’ chemistry has been great out there. They're working really well off each other. And I think that's gonna be something that teams with struggle with because even if, alright, say that they try to key on Steph and they want to take him away, Chris still can get this, though. And I think that's a different look than we have. So I think Chris will be really good for us. He'll be really good for Steph. He'll be really good for a lot of guys. That's who he's been his whole career. He's made everyone he's playing with better and I don't see that stopping now; I see it happening.”
6:52 on seeing him joking around with Anthony Vereen after practice and describing his coaching style: “AV is a very unique coach. He connect with players on a different level, which I think is important. We’ve always spoke about the well-roundedness of Steve's staff. And that's an area where he makes that his business to know, ‘How are you feeling today?’ Like we walk in and he’s spotting everybody, like ‘Draymond ain’t got it today. We need to be on him.’ He’d come to me, ‘Yo, Wiggs ain't got it today. We need to come here, I’ma go talk to him. I get him from this angle. You’re gonna to talk to him down there. We’re gonna get him together.’ Like, he's always doing a lot of work behind the scenes, but he's built that relationship and trust with guys, and I think that's important. And one thing I've been enjoying about AV also this year: so when you come into this league, there’s steps. And you go through those steps, and he came in and it's like strictly motivation, strictly kind of temperament of guys is kind of his role coming in. And then now starting to see that role blossom. I'm starting to see him getting more involved in the Xs and Os and things, starting to use his voice more, even more than just, ‘What’s this guy's temperament? How can we get this guy starting to use his voice more in all aspects of the game?’ And I think that's huge. For me, I've been around this league now for twelve years. You see a lot of coaches over my time and for me, I enjoy seeing their growth just as much as you enjoy seeing a player’s growth. And AV, just been watching him the last couple years, two-and-a-half years is somebody who wants it. He wanna be great. He wanna coach at the highest level and get to the highest point that he can get at at this level. And so you appreciate the hunger, appreciate the growth and his presence around here is huge for us.”
8:52 CJ Holmes (Omega Psi Phi alum): “What was your perspective of Steph’s shot on Wednesday against the Kings…what did you see from Chris in the moments after, out there kind of pointing guys around, getting them in position?” Draymond: “I thought it was very crazy that you did not stand up and join AV on ‘Atomic Dog’ (dancing during the Open Practice last Thursday). I’m not an Omega Man myself, I'm not anything Greek, but I know a little bit of the history and I was really surprised. I was really, really surprised that you let him get up there by himself. And you show no love to your brothers. I was really shocked by that. (Holmes makes a joke about getting his credential pulled.) Nah, Ray can't pull your credential for hopping…you gotta stand on what you stand on, champ. From what I've been told, y'all stand on that. So, you know me, I'm gonna go dance with my brother. I'll figure out the consequences later, but that's just me. I think differently. I could be a little screwed up, but that's just me. Chris’ attitude around here has been incredible. Him coming in, he is still Chris Paul. And we are in total support of him still being Chris Paul and by the way, ain’t nothing nobody can say about it. Because he is Chris Paul and that's what he does. He gets everybody into position. Don't call them Point God for no reason. He's earned that name. But that's because every team you've ever seen him on, no one's going to be in the wrong spot because he's going to make sure he does everything to get everybody in the right spot. And he did on that play, getting everybody in their spots. And he left so much open space for Steph to work and Steph did what Steph does which is why I know y'all saw my words of encouragement before he went and made the shot. So I'm gonna take the credit for now. My big shot.”
11:03 on working really hard out there and what the chances are for him to be on the court: “Ah, you know me, I don't hardly trust anyone. And then once I trust you, you got my trust and that's where I am with Rick (Celebrini) and his staff. I one hundred percent follow their guidance. If they say, ‘Yo, are you tired?’ Yeah, I'm tired. ‘We think you can go a little bit more.’ I’ma go more. If they say, ‘Yo, we think this needs to be a day off, as much as the competitive juices gonna be flowing’ — and I don't mean a day off in a game. I mean, like, through my rehab process. You go through the rehab process and, for me, every day you come in here, I'm attacking that like I'm attacking a game, like that's how you got to attack rehab. And so you come in, you get your competitive juices flowing and you're ready to go. And they're like, ‘Yeah, we think you're a little overloaded. We need you to relax today and come back stronger tomorrow and we'll have a big day tomorrow.’ I follow that, so in saying that, I do feel good. I don't feel all the way 100% myself, but I'm getting there and you know to be, what, three-and-a-half weeks or so removed, I'll take it. As far as Tuesday goes, I don't know. I think what they're saying is, we’ll see kind of how I come out of today which was a big day, my biggest day yet. As far as pre-practicing, practice and after practice working, lift, I did a ton today. So just see how the body recover now with that much and then we'll kind of figure it out from there, but like I said, I 100% follow their guidance. They have all the data, they got the trained eyes watching me moving, kind of picking out things: ‘Oh, you're not stepping here. You're not doing that.’ So I trust them and if I'm able to play on Tuesday, I'll be ready to go and if not, I don't think it'll be much longer after that if not. But right now, we'll see, it's up in the air depending on how I come out today and figure it out over this next day or so.”
13:24 on if he’d reconsider due to it being K’s (Kevin Durant’s) first game (in front of Warriors fans since he left): “Nah, it’s Game 1 of 82.”
13:32 on the crazy level of talent in this league, especially in the West: “I think the talent in the league is at an all-time high and the West is tough. It’s no tougher than it’s always been, it’s always been tough.”
13:55 Monte Poole: “Deep?” Draymond: “It’s always deep. You gotta still gonna win. I think the beauty in it is you don't have to beat all, what, 14 other teams. They have to beat three or four of them, the way it is. So I think being in a conference like this, you have tough games on the regular. It prepares you for what you're gonna see down the road, helps prepare you for April, May and June and that's kind of how you’ve got to approach it. But as far as the West being tougher, who cares?”
14:28 on if the seeding matters: “I think it matters. You always want to try to get the best seed you can, home-court advantage but at the end of the day, everybody got to play the same seven-game series and the way we view it, whether you got home court or not, you still need to go win one on the road. So whether you got home-court advantage or you don't, the mission is still the same. So it's not something I would say we're overly worried about. Definitely not overly overly worried about it, as long as you get one of those six. But in saying that, you still want to get as good as soon as you possibly can, because that can determine your road.”
15:14 on why it was important for him to speak on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “I think it's important because I think so many people are sitting quiet on it. And a lot of people stay quiet because they don't want to get into politics of things. A lot of people stay quiet because they don't want to get themselves in some type of trouble, whatever trouble means. And believe it or not, a lot of people sit quiet because there's not much compassion left in this country that we live in. And so I'm a black man. I know how it feels to get f—ed over. And so I sympathize with them. Like I said, when my best friend is contacting me three, four times a day, terrified, that’s a problem. But I know how that feels. I grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. You don't really know if you're gonna go home when you leave that day, like, yeah, the hope is to get back home but so many things take a turn throughout the course of a day in neighborhoods like we grew up in. So I know that feeling, that fear. I feel that because I am a part of a race and culture that’s marginalized, too. And so that's why I felt the need to say something because so many people sit quiet when they think it might get them in trouble. But if you just had a little more compassion, you may be okay. And so that's kind of how I approach it. I would hope that if — and it has, in times where things are going on in African-American community and Black Lives Matters and all these things, we want everyone to support us. And if someone don't support, then you're like, ‘Ah, well, they against black people.’ But then when something's going on with someone else, no one supports anybody like, ‘Ah, they could be wrong. They could be wrong. They're right. They're wrong.’ What about if both of them (are) right? What about if both of them (are) wrong? There's still something wrong going on. People are losing their lives. And so for me, I think it's just all about compassion. And like I said, if the shoe’s on other foot, we all want people standing with us and supporting us. Well, guess what? You’ve got to stand and support others as well. And like I said, I don't mean getting into the politics of everything and saying things on religion that goes back 150 (years) — I can't get into all that, I just don't know. But what I do know is there's people dying. I do know that there's people terrified. I do know that there's people dealing with a lot of shit. And for me, that's enough to say something.”
KLAY (+SUNDAY PRACTICE FOOTAGE)
0:00 mini-camp late Sept or early Oct at UCLA
1:13 Steph mic’ed up from Training Camp Week
3:32 GP2 and Curry talk about the movie Rookie of the Year and Steph vs Rockets
4:28 Draymond (ankle) workout on Sun 10/22
5:36 Steph vibing and dancing
6:33 glimpse of Kevin Durant in Phoenix
6:45 Klay Thompson after practice Monday on how he feels the team looks: “I'm really excited. I think the team looks great. I think preseason and training camp are great for us just to work on things that we consider weaknesses and I think with knowing the games count going forward, that just kind of unlocks another level of competitiveness We need to have a great start.
7:18 on how the defense has to get better: “I think what will happen is getting Draymond back in the lineup is awesome, just because he's one of the greatest defenders of all time. And then, on top of that, just continuing to play with high levels of energy, which can be hard throughout a training camp and preseason, because of the workload you endure. So coming Tuesday night, I think you'll see a much better defensive effort than you've seen previously, these last two weeks.”
8:08 on what he liked and didn’t like about his preseason, individually: “I loved it. And what I liked about it, I was playing basketball. I haven’t played preseason basketball since — I can't even remember — 2019? So I loved it.”
8:27 on Kuminga: “Um, I mean, it's awesome to see Jonathan's improvements. I know how hard he works. I see it on the daily. His shotmaking is looking like it’s going to another level, especially in the mid-range. I've always said he had a great-looking shot and now to see him making it at a higher rate just shows he's been working really hard. So teams used to sag off him. I don't think they’ll be able to do that as much this season, especially from the corners and we obviously know how great of an athlete he is when he's getting downhill or elevating above the rim. So I just look forward to him making a huge leap this year and being a two-way player that has great ability on both sides of the ball and a future staple in this lineup for years to come.”
9:38 Marcus Thompson mentions it’s been five years, actually, 2018 was your last preseason game. Klay: “Ha! I didn’t play in 2019?” MT: “You did not, sir.” Klay: “That's wild. Wow. Five years, man… The years just makes the — Wow, it’s a blessing. Wow! Sorry.”
10:05 on how well Chris Paul has adjusted to the nuances of playing with Steph: “Chris has been great. He gives Steph a break from handling the ball responsibilities and is such a smart player. I learn something new from him every day. And yeah, that's going to be a dynamic duo going forward, just from both guys operating the pick-and-roll. And we know Steph is equally as good coming off screens off the ball. So Chris is just going to give us a whole new dimension as far as allowing Steph and I to play off the ball, kind of like Draymond does, but even Wiggs with his cutting. So just another great facilitator who's going to cut down turnovers and run offenses smoothly.”
10:59 on working with assistant coach Anthony Vereen: “Man, I love AV. I've known Anthony a long time because he played with my brother in Santa Cruz and I used to really enjoy going to watch those guys play. And Anthony is just such an easygoing guy and he has a great passion for the game. And he's a student of the game and he can relate to any player, whether they're a veteran or a rookie. And he never really relied on his athleticism to be the player he was, so he is great at teaching the fundamentals and I know he's been working real close with Jonathan. And I think he helped him polish that pump fake that’s so lethal for him now. So he is just a great addition to the staff and he's a joy to be around every day. (Looks around and assumes there’s no further questions.) Nice.”
12:02 on working with assistant coach Chris DeMarco for what seems like forever: “I mean, Chris is just another one just like AV. He loves the game. Just like AV, he wasn't the most athletic player. So it's easier for him to relate to guys who got to get by by doing the gritty stuff. Sometimes I gotta get gritty, whether it's playing defense or playing with a lot of heart, emotion. And we like just to do the same things. We enjoy nature, our dogs, the Bahamas. And CD’s been awesome to be around this last decade, a great friend of mine.”
12:43 on the Western Conference being really deep this year: “I mean, it's been deep my whole career. I see a bunch of great teams from top to bottom, even the teams you consider on the lower end of the totem pole still have a ton of young talent that and I think the NBA is just full of so many talented players, a position-less game it seems to be these days, and there probably will not be any nights off going forward. So it's gonna be a fun challenge to accept.”
13:27 on picking the Vikings or Niners for Monday Night Football (Klay will be a guest on ManningCast): “I got the 49ers. Yeah, they’re rolling.”
STEVE AFTER SUNDAY PRACTICE
0:00 Steve Kerr after practice on if Draymond has done 5-on-5: “Yeah, today. First time he played 5-on-5. We didn't scrimmage for long but he did play and it was good for him to get out there and great for us to have him back. He just adds such a competitive force to our team and his IQ is just off the charts. So even having him in practice going through all the drills, the team benefits from his presence.”
0:37 on Draymond’s conditioning: “It was his first scrimmage so he needs to build his conditioning and stamina for sure. He looked good out there but we'll see. I would say ‘questionable’ on Tuesday, but he needs more work for sure.”
1:00 Raymond Ridder, as reporters go silent to tweet the Draymond news: “…10 seconds before the next question.” Kerr: “Remember we had the Rubik's Cube? What’s we call it, Skits & Bits?’”
1:24 on if Chris Paul’s integration was seamless: “I've always admired Chris so much from afar for his feel and his brains and his competitiveness. So there's nothing surprising about watching all that up close, wearing a Warriors jersey. I think he has gone out of his way to try to fit into what we do, which is a sign of his respect for the game and for his teammates. And I feel like the last couple games were good for him preseason just because he's starting to get more comfortable. And I've been telling him to — we need him to be himself, to not just blend in with what we do. So it won't be a perfect fit for a little bit of time because with any new player, it just takes time to incorporate the new player and for the new player to feel comfortable with everything but the process has been great. We're really on a good trajectory and couldn't be happier with his progress. We’re gonna get to a point where everything's going to be really smooth in terms of lineups and who's playing with whom and we're not there yet, though and that's team-wide but Chris fits into all that, of course.”
3:19 on him saying earlier the Western Conference is really, really strong: “Yeah, I mean, I just base it on what I saw last year. Lakers knocked us out of the playoffs. They were really good. Denver won the title. Phoenix is loaded with talent. Sacramento won our division. We just saw San Antonio, we see what Wembanyama can do. And there are other young players complementing him. And I'm leaving out Clippers and Memphis and should go down the list. I mean, the whole conference is deep and a lot of teams (are) all-in to try to win a title, so it can be very competitive. Trying to think who I left out, because somebody's going to have the bulletin board material, as if they care. OKC. Man, how did I leave them out? No, honestly, I mean, those guys last year are just young and talented and they're all gonna be a year better. That team's gonna be excellent this year.”
4:39 on if there’s anything about his team he doesn’t know yet: “Well, I think every year is unique. So the circumstances this year are that Draymond is just coming back. And so we haven't been able to really get a feel for the mix, starters, bench, who's coming off with whom, all that stuff. So there's still a little bit of uncertainty until Draymond is back for good. And even then we have to work some more to figure stuff out. I think at this stage of camp, you worry about all the stuff that you haven't gotten in yet, because even though we've been at it for, I guess, almost three weeks, two-and-a-half weeks, there’s a million things that you need to prepare for. What if at the end of the game, we have to miss a free throw on purpose to try to get a shot. We haven't worked on that yet. It’s two-and-a-half weeks. We’ve got other stuff that's way more important. And there's half a dozen other things just like that and every head coach goes through this. You got a list of things you want to go through. You try to get them all in, you get three-quarters of the way and you can't possibly have the time to do it. And then you're scared to death that that scenario is going to come up and you're not going to be prepared, but it's all part of the early season and there's gonna be some growing pains and some time needed to to make sure you're prepared for everything … That's one of them. And then there are others. But if you spend all your time on every possible scenario, then you're not getting good at the stuff that actually is very meaningful, that you're going to be executing over and over again. So that's the hard part early in the season. You worry about sort of being unprepared for something kind of random.”
6:42 on load management and the challenge of keeping guys as fresh as possible for the postseason and how valuable Rick Celebrini will be: “Yeah, we just have to work with the league, know what the guidelines are and do what we've always done, which is if a player is banged up, make sure that a player gets his rest and gets healthy before we throw them out there. But if there's guidelines that we've got to be mindful of, well, we'll be all over that. Our performance staff will know that and we'll make sure we're complying with the rules and doing everything we can to put the best product on the floor and get the fans their opportunity to see our guys play, but sometimes Mother Nature takes over and guys are injured and they can't play so we'll do our very best.”
7:53 on the motivation for having coaching pods or groups during practices: “We're just always trying to be more efficient. And coaching is the same as playing, if you're not adding to your knowledge, your experience, your practice, then you're not getting better and we're constantly seeking ways to improve our coaching and we felt like a handful of changes were necessary and I'm really, really excited. We have a great staff. Our guys do an amazing job. They work so hard. They were so well-prepared for this season. I was gone obviously for a couple of months and I came back and Kenny had done such a great job of organizing the group and really covering our bases and making improvements in the way we do our business. So I'm very, very proud of our staff.”
9:03 on thinking they’ll get better defensively when Draymond comes back versus needing to get better without him: “Both. I mean, Draymond will automatically make us better because he's Draymond, but that doesn't excuse us from making some of the mistakes we're making because those mistakes are gonna happen whether Draymond is there or not, unless we correct them. So defending without fouling is a really big deal. We've been kind of up and down with that in the preseason. I think overall, our rebounding has been pretty good. But I think it was the Sacramento game, (we) gave up one offensive board in the first half and ten in the second. So, like I said, up and down, we need to be more consistent. I didn't think our defense was great in the preseason. It's got to improve and we'll keep working.”
KD, VOGEL ON SUNDAY FROM PHOENIX
10:19 Kevin Durant after practice in Phoenix on team defense: “Defensive versatility, I think, more so than anything. Everybody needs to have some defense in the league, but being a versatile defensive team is something that we wanna be, easier said than done, and it’s gonna take some growing pains for us to get there, in-game. But I like the direction we're going in. I think that's really who we are. Obviously we got guys who can score the basketball. It’s who we want to be on that side of the ball.”
10:41 on getting back to Chase Center: “Yeah, I’m excited to play in front of those fans. I spent some incredible moments there. We had built a bond that don’t really have to be spoken about, me and the fans in the Bay Area. I feel like they’d been supporting me well before I even came there, actually, and then once I became a part of the Warriors, they just went even harder in support of my, myself and my teammates. Every player individually felt what it was like to be a Golden State Warriors and then to win a championship is immortalized there, no matter what your role was on the team. So (I’m) excited to get back to people I call family there, that organization, fans that I played as hard as I could there for three years, so it should be fun.”
11:41 on how he thinks Chris Paul fits with the Warriors’ system: “He fits well, somebody that can offset the three-point chasing, a guy that can shoot the mid-range, get into the paint, and can just do something outside of shooting threes like the rest of the guys. So it's just kind of like their specialty player that they needed. Him, Wiggins, Draymond, those guys are kind of the glue for the team. They can pretty much fit any guy into their system and it’ll work well.”
12:08 on if game-planning for the Warriors is completely different with the two different kinds of threats in Steph Curry and Chris Paul: “Yeah, just can’t be gimmicky. You gotta be straight up, play hard, solid basketball. That’s really what it is. Those types of players, they're smart enough to read the gimmicks and read any coverage you throw at them. So it’s all about just playing hard and making it as tough as possible.”
12:36 Frank Vogel on the intense practice they had
12:55 on if everyone is healthy: “I limited Brad and Book just to some minor stuff, but they should be good to go.”
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