Warriors-Wizards practice: Draymond responds to Rapinoe criticism; Rick Welts lit up the room

“Oh, I can’t wait” for the fans to return April 23

Here are notes & quotes from Warriors practice, on the day before Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal come into town with the Washington Wizards. As previously and separately posted, we had Gary Payton, Jr., as the last interviewee. I left the GP2 notes in the bullet points below.

Steve Kerr and Draymond Green were first, and I decided to keep Green’s 14-minute response to Megan Rapinoe’s criticism here in the same post, as I also expect to add Dray’s appearance on Kevin Durant’s podcast as yet another separate post.

The video above this paragraph is clickable (the photo at the top of this article is just a picture, not a video) and is a compilation of snippets about the Wizards, as well as how the Warriors are doing leading up to tomorrow’s game. Stephen Curry is expected to play both games of the back-to-back.

The video below is Draymond’s response to Rapinoe:

More videos are expected on our YouTube channel by tomorrow and, in fact, we still have some footage left over from the Bucks postgame.

KERR:

Kerr opens: “Privileged to work with Rick since 2007…so instrumental…the brand that is now the Warriors that didn’t really feel the same ten years ago, so I want to say thank you…really gonna miss him…so Rick, congrats, I know we’ll still see each other and this isn’t goodbye.”

- personal experiences? “Anybody in the company would tell you, and we’ve got 400 employees, he just lights up the room…always made me feel great everytime I saw him. What a powerful trait for a leader…collective effort.”

- Chase Center: “getting anything built in San Francisco is virtually impossible…it required someone like Rick with the ability to break down barriers…Rick really was the key behind the scenes to making it all happen.”

- Gary Payton II: “he practiced today…he’s been here for a couple of days…will be available tomorrow…our scouts have shared a lot of their thoughts…excellent defender, smart, tough, someone we’ve had our eye on within the organization for the last couple of years.”

- fans: “Oh, I can’t wait. I’m thrilled. There’s just an emptiness in this building this year without our fans…a different vibe…we’ve played in five or six arenas (with fans)…dramatic difference…(MSG) was amazing…the same thing is gonna happen here.”

- Steph ok b2b? “Yeah that’s the plan.”

- Welts 40-year career: “Yeah, pretty remarkable to be part of the league for that long especially starting as a ball boy. He’s got a life-long affection for the Seattle Sonics…18 years with the league office in New York, kinda David Stern’s right hand man…”

- how special to be part of GSW? “Just who he is as a human being…his energy is infectious…he’s always excited about the day, he’s always excited about the next project…rubs off.”

- Sean Miller out, maybe coach Arizona? “Wow, are you laughing at that notion?…I have thought about coaching my alma mater, but I have a great job right now. I love coaching the Warriors…definitely want to thank Sean for his commitment…supportive of everything the university is going to do.”

- fans on April 23: “They’ll give us energy…I told the players today, we have a chance to do something special still…more than a quarter of the season is still left…we have the ability to make a run, to make some noise…get some momentum…healthy…got a lot of home games…getting fans back could be a great thing…”

- Welts coming out: “it meant a lot to me, just him breaking down that barrier took a lot of guts…it’s funny, talking to him about it, now it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but back them it was a big deal…opened so many doors…meant so much…crucial to see everybody out there…to feel comfortable in their own skin and feel confident that they will have opportunities.”

- Wizards backcourt: “Just an a electric backcourt. Both guys are playing really well. You got your hands full…we know what they’re coming up…seen Russell a ton…”

- mood after Bucks: “everybody came in today with good spirits. We just had a good practice so we’re ready to go.”

- defense: “we’ve shown signs the last two games…the defense in general besides the fouling was really good…Milwaukee…made a lot of shots but our focus…for us to make this run that I think is coming it has to start on the defensive end.”

- Arizona reach out? “It’s well known that I’m quite happy here. I have great relationships with people at the UA…already understood.”

DRAY:

- Welts: “It’s tough playing in front of an empty arena…excited for the fans as well, coming to games for some people is a huge part of their lives…also excited for Rick Welts…getting the arena to where it is today…big blow to this organization…this is one chapter of his life that’s coming to an end…all the great that he’s done in the NBA…for this organization, it definitely doesn’t go unnoticed. Really redefines what a president of a team means…excited to him to see fans come back here, for him to experience those last 9 games in the building that he built from all the meetings with the city, the investors, construction, you name it…congratulations to him on a very successful run…(even if it’s doing nothing) doing nothing is something…it’s been one for the books, which is why he’s in the Hall of Fame.”

- advisor: “Always great to see them around…their presence.”

- Welts personality: “When you see him, very personable…and yet completely stays out of everyone’s day…brightens up the room, just a special person…I’ve now had the honor of working with him for nine years…his door is always open…such a special person…”

- Welts coming out: “I’m not even sure when that happened (Ray said 2011)…where this world is today is completely different than where it was ten years ago…I am a firm believer in always staying true to what you believe…nothing but respect to Rick…”

- GP2: “I’ve seen young GP play a lot of times…scrappy…you don’t get a chance to show that a lot in practice…but we know who he is as a player.”

- Poole worker: “he’s always on the court…he’s there early…he’s there after practice…comes back to the gym at night…when you see him on the floor and he’s going hard…going 110% with every rep…it’s showing in his game…”

- from Day One? “Absolutely, before he ever stepped on the court in a Warriors jersey…several times with me last year.”

- fans: “Fans definitely help on the defensive side of the ball…energy…you get a stop, crowd goes crazy…imo it’s definitely the defensive side of the ball.”

- Bucks win: “Much needed…you need something to feel good about…we can’t come up to here today and say man, last game was the turning point and we get cracked by thirty…”

- high screens: “if you got guys that can make plays, you do that…”

- fans/hecklers: “nothing better than going to an opposing team’s arena and you quiet the crowd…hecklers, most of the time they say stupid things…Steph Curry, you can’t shoot…idiot…a heckler, someone that just comes to the game…there’s really no space in the game for some hecklers.”

- defensive numbers, NBA rules, fouling, pace: “you can’t guard anybody, everything is a foul…players have gotten more skilled…the game is way faster…more possessions…teams like they were a defensive team (not anymore)…you don’t find teams that are literally like, we need to get this point guard (for defense, gives examples of every position needing to shoot the 3 lol).”

- wrong era? “Uhh, maybe, but I enjoy this era.”

- Beal, Steph tomorrow: “Hopefully a drag it out defensive disgusting game to watch because when you’re a shootout you just never know which way it’s going to go.”

- means to be GSW? “One of the longer tenured players…nine seasons…coming into a 23-win team and then us kinda just building it up from there…I enjoy it here, this is my home.”

- discussions with Welts: “we’ve had discussion about a lot of things, but not that in particular (coming out as gay).”

- not specifically that? “There’s just a respect there…I respect Rick regardless…he already has my utmost respect (even if he came out with “bombshell” news)…it is a complete body of work…it’s how you treat people…Rick checks a lot of those boxes.”

- Chase Center: “that also comes from his entire body of work…you can build an All-Star Weekend into what it is, you can build a building…”

- “I’ve been waiting for you to ask me” …clarify women’s issues? “As a man with two daughters…what I’ve said has been extremely misconstrued because I am on their side…what I’m saying is here’s what I think can work…so let’s try it, in no way is that saying the women haven’t tried X, Y, Z…everything is driven by the media, social media, you can pull up anything in two seconds…steps that they can be taken behind closed doors…but what is reported is such and such (makes this amount of money)…let’s make sure we’re driving what is reported…asking for what it is that can help change what it is that we want to change. Maybe that’s asking more of Nike…to tell these stories in order to help that bottom line…so the women can capitalize on all of this growth…I saw what Megan Rapinoe…I think it’s unfortunate that she trained it’s unfortunate…what Megan wants and what I want is the same thing…if we can both do something to move the needle to get to the end goal, then great, I have no complaints…it doesn’t really matter to me how we get there…I’m not gonna sit here and condemn her comments to me…help her get to that end goal…Spurs…didn’t get there (championships) the same way (as the Warriors)…I have no complaints about the way she wants to get there…I don’t think I’m the smartest person in the world…I don’t think I’m the smartest one to drive this whole thing…I don’t have the time…I can help…whatever helps us get to the end goal…I do want to have those conversations with them…so yes I did add those women (@ them on Twitter)…I don’t want you to make out my whole positions with my tweets…to help get over here to the side of good…Candace Parker trains with the same people I train with…I understand what they go through…just being women on top of all the work…I think they should be rewarded and compensated for that as well…”

/end