Warriors Training Camp sights & sounds

Practice footage could be limited

The first three days of Golden State Warriors training camp are now in the books. Let me walk you through the experience and make some predictions of what this will mean to future LetsGoWarriors content.

Media Day

Usually, Media Day is an opportunity not only to hear the GM, coaches and players for the first time via interviews, but also to see all the players in their uniforms, chopping it up with each other as the franchise gets all of the visuals and sounds for future Jumbotron segments and other promotional media all in one day. Juan Toscano-Anderson draped in a Mexican flag or five All-Stars in one shot come to mind:

Sadly, due to Covid protocols, it was difficult for me to get any of this type of content. Little did I know, the main court at Chase Center was being used for a lot of the photo shoots, but I’m not sure it would have been prudent to be there, again due to Covid protocols. The only media I’m aware of who made their way to the main court were Kerith Burke for NBC Sports Bay Area interviews with various players and Nick Friedell for a segment with ESPN.

There were still plenty of photos posted by the Warriors, so we blended that and some other clips from social media into the following portrait format (for mobile phones) video:

As far as the interview room, I didn’t have access to it and it was full of reporters anyways, plus there was a requirement to wear masks, so it would’ve been a tight squeeze for me plus mask fatigue. Instead, I hunkered down by myself in an auxiliary media room and took notes as the Zoom calls went on.

It might’ve been nice to catch some of the players in the hallway or coming in and out of the interview room, but it would’ve been difficult to have all of the footage from the Zoom calls, which we’re still getting through as you can see in the VIDEOS section on our YouTube channel. Also I wouldn’t have been able to type in the “Notes & Quotes” threads as they were happening. So, like Andre Iguodala always says, it’s a gift and a curse; there’s good and bad to every hand I’m dealt when I’m credentialed.

There were a total of 15 players at the podium. The ones who didn’t go to the podium were saved for the following media availabilities (yesterday, today and probably tomorrow).

First practice

The day after Media Day, I was allowed to be present in the interview room for Steve Kerr and the two players each day that would speak to media, which turned out to be Avery Bradley and Chris Chiozza.

At first we were told we could go down to Oracle Performance Center to observe shootaround after practice, but the door was locked and it sounded like practice was still going on. I ended up checking the door five or six times before waving the white flag. A bunch of reporters holed up in the interview room to await Kerr.

Then someone noticed that Anthony Slater had tweeted a video from the floor at practice, so we scurried on down to find him and Marcus Thompson already there. As we made our way towards them, Nick Kerr wondered aloud whether or not that was prudent (you can see his reaction in this article’s main picture). Today, I found out that there may have been heightened protocols enforced after that, meaning our access to players shooting around after practice might be limited, again due to Covid concerns.

Also there in the corner was KRON-TV reporter Kylen Mills, who even had a TV camera on a tripod posted up, filming a good portion of post-practice shooting. I would guess she probably did a stand-up soon after for KRON to air that night.

That’s why she had a good bevy of footage on Twitter, along with Slater and Thompson. My footage was fleeting. By the time I reached Mills, I was told Kerr went up the stairs to the interview room so I had to double-back, otherwise I believe I would’ve been locked in and thereby had zero footage of the interviews, I’m not sure. Aside from Jordan Bell going one-on-one against Kevon Looney, I had barely noticed my surroundings before I had to go.

Back upstairs, after we heard Kerr field questions, Bradley turned out to be rather soft-spoken, pretty much right up the alley that is the Warriors culture. Chiozza had the air of one of those gritty junkyard dogs on the blacktop court, and Kerr had alluded to that toughness even before Chiozza had gotten to the podium. I plan to break those interviews down into their bite-sized quotables soon. The full Q&As are on our YouTube channel [Kerr/Bradley/Chiozza].

3rd Day of Training Camp at Skybar

With the Michael Buble concert tonight, there were Covid protocols in place, we were told, so there would be no access to the event level of Chase where the interview room is. We were also told there would be no access to the practice facility.

Instead, the interviews were held at the top floor of Chase, the ninth floor, called the Skybar. The room had a view of the city skyline, Bay Bridge and docks nearby the arena, plus a high ceiling and a patio which was locked. Apparently the space is available to rent. I went live on Instagram from there:

After Kerr led off as usual, Mychal Mulder spoke, but a lot of reporters have already asked the same type of questions to him through the 2020-21 season (on Zoom, nevertheless), so we already know a lot about his character and his interview only lasted six minutes. Mulder did say it was nice to see all the reporters in person rather than on Zoom, before he departed.

Langston Galloway spent a good chunk of his Q&A revealing his sneakerhead affinity and new shoe brand, Ethics. Spurred on by the SF Chronicle’s Rusty Simmons and new SJ Mercury beatwriter Evan Webeck (replacing Wes Goldberg, who is now a Miami Heat beatwriter at the Miami Herald), Galloway even mentioned that the entrepreneurial Iguodala asked about his new Ethics basketball shoes that he was sporting.

Content outlook for LGW

I’m still getting back into the flow of things and almost re-learning the routine that I had developed up through 2019-20 before the pandemic hit. One thing I’ve noticed is that I can’t record the full interviews plus have them for you asap (along with the Instagram livestreams) in addition to “Notes & Quotes” on this website. It’s one or the other. However, sometimes transcribing the major quotes is necessary for the YouTube channel anyways, so maybe there is still hope for having them all on this website.

There were also some technical difficulties with a couple of the interviews today, so I’m not sure I want to continue going live on Instagram for the first two minutes of each media availability. We’ll see. Our Twitch channel has been dormant since 2019 as well. I would like to restart doing things on Twitch, as Amazon Prime members can hook into Twitch and send $2.50 in monthly revenue to LGW, with no additional cost to the Prime member.

Will there be post-practice footage of players shooting around? I’m not sure. Maybe the Buble concert was the tipping point and Kylen got the most one-day practice footage you’ll ever see this year from a reporter. We shall see.

Meanwhile, it looks like Laurence Scott has moved on, as the training camp videos from Warriors TV have a different narrator. Please check the official GSW YouTube channel for those additional views from practices. So far, those videos have only been a little over one minute each.

Maybe practice or morning shootaround footage will be more doable on the road? I’m not even sure if I’ll have access on the road. So a lot of this mirrors the Warriors themselves: they’re not sure if the 15th roster spot will be a backup point guard or center, let alone taken. They’re not sure if Andrew Wiggins will play home games [I have a scoop coming up for subscribers!]. And they’re not sure when Draymond Green will get back. A lot of unknowns for them and for me. We’ll just have to take it day by day. Cool, I used an NBA cliche!

Incidentally, Green’s situation is indeed at face value. I’ve been told there’s nothing to read into. He really does have a personal reason that prevents him from being at training camp. In the Q&A today at Skybar, Galloway even hinted it was some private family issue, which all signs had pointed to already, anyways.

For home games, I won’t have access to the interview room or the floor. It’ll be exactly as those few games I reported from last season: Section 125. I’ve been told things won’t go back to the way it was for us until Covid is gone. But I did okay during those 2020-21 home games. Afaik, you will still get to see players do their pregame workouts. We all can’t wait to see Klay Thompson do his for the first time.

Finally, I think this may be the last long-form article for awhile. I’d rather do super-short ones and just give my hot take on a burning issue, on a more frequent basis, but this is all part of that process of figuring out things on the fly, trial and error.

Don’t forget that LGW is really your platform with three pillars, in no particular order: the YouTube channel for all the visuals in two- to twenty-minute experiences, this website for more reasoned fact-based opinions (aka “The Erudite Warrior”) plus insider stuff that needs to be dropped primarily with words, and the Discord server/app for momentary and timely reporting.

You only get the Discord when you subscribe to this Substack at at least the $5/mo or $50/yr level (i.e., not the free one). Also, I must say this: If you use Twitter or Instagram or, really, any alert-based source for your Warriors news, you can just ditch that and go all-in with the Discord app. We repost pretty much all of the relevant tweets or Instagram Stories anyways.

And you will never be at risk of misinformation as you would with the usual social media apps. Yes, we do our fair share of myth-busting, too.

Thanks for hanging in there! I hope to have an article for you from Day 4 of training camp tomorrow as I dabble in more timely but shorter articles. At the podium will likely be Kerr, then Gary Payton Jr. and Jordan Bell, as Warriors PR is sending up players who did not speak on Media Day.