On Lopez-Ellis, Warriors cap space, Bogut

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On Lopez-Ellis, Warriors cap space, Bogut

Sometimes you need more than 140 characters on Twitter toexplain yourself. Here is expansion on some of my recent tweets:THE TWEET: There obviously must be"other stuff" involved in Ellis-Lopez. That "other stuff"to me, anyway, determines deal.THE EXPLANATION: Its importantto acknowledge that the Warriors cant trade Monta Ellis for Brook Lopez, despitethe rumors that are out there in the N.Y. Post. For that particular transaction,the move would likely involve at least one more team and possibly two.In addition, because the salaries of the two players dontmatch up, there would have to be other playerssalaries either coming orgoing.My point is that the other players included -- or notincluded -- in the deal would likely determine whether the deal is made or not.THE TWEET: And never forget, kids ...With cap space comes responsibility.
THE EXPLANATION: There is a school ofthought regarding the Warriors that advocates the team starting over orblowing up the roster.The idea would be for the Warriors to get way under the capand then go after some big-name free agents.If only it were that easy.The bottom line is the Warriors have never been asignificant factor when it comes to free agency. And when theyve had money,theyve failed to use it in a way that dramatically alters the shape of theteam.Two recent examples:After Baron Davis left for the Clippers, the Warriors had awindfall of cap space. They used 50-plus million on Corey Maggette, which wasan awful move.More recently, this past offseason the Warriors had capspace. But they struck out in their quest for Tyson Chandler, then made anunwise and failed offer to DeAndre Jordan.The reality is that creating cap space doesnt guaranteeyoure going to land a star. In fact, thats never been the case in Warriorshistory.THE TWEET: I understand Andrew Bogut's hadinjury stuff. But that's kind of guy you take chance on in my book. Not unlikeDavis back in day.THE EXPLANATION: I think a center such asAndrew Bogut is a much better fit for Golden State than Brook Lopez. Bogut is abetter rebounder, better defender and significantly better passer.Yes, Bogut has had injury issues in recent years, but thatcould work to the Warriors advantage. To me, acquiring Bogut would be a movesimilar to the acquisition of Baron Davis back in 2005.Thats when the Warriors took a chance on an out-of-shapeand disgruntled Davis for Dale Davis and Speedy Claxton and it paid off in abig way.THE TWEET: Last point on Ellis. He's --by far -- toughest, gutsiest player on team. If he goes, Warriors will becomeeven nicer, softer than now.
THE EXPLANATION: For all the Warriorsfans out there who want to trade Monta Ellis, I offer these words of caution.Who will take the teams big shots? Who will get the Warriors tough basketsdown the stretch of a game when the offense breaks down?The reality is that for all of Ellis flaws, if the Warriordont get the right player back, theyre going to get worse. Ellis is notafraid to take the tough shots and that cant be said for everyone on theteam.

Kerr befuddled by Barkley's criticism of Warriors: 'I think he goes overboard'

Kerr befuddled by Barkley's criticism of Warriors: 'I think he goes overboard'

As Charles Barkley continues to throw rubber darts at the Warriors, disparaging their style of play at every opportunity, sometimes going out of his way to do so, the Warriors continue to shrug them off.

They believe the only significant response to Barkley or any other critic is by producing successful results.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr has known Barkley for years and he basically sees his act as perfect made-for-TV moments.

“Having worked with Charles in TV, for TNT, I understand that there’s a show that has to happen,” Kerr said Friday on The Warriors Insider Podcast. “There’s an entertainment value that he brings that nobody else can bring. I think Charles is hilarious. He’s really good at what he does.”

Yet Kerr is at least slightly puzzled when Barkley constantly singles out the Warriors for being a “jump-shooting team” or playing “little girly basketball,” as he said Thursday on TNT.

“I think he goes overboard with his criticism of us,” Kerr said. “Everybody is the league is basically doing what we’re doing. Cleveland takes more 3s than we do. They beat us last year in The Finals by going small and shooting 3s and LeBron (James) playing the 4. The series came down to Kyrie (Irving) making a 3.”

It’s apparent to those paying attention that Barkley, who retired in 2000, has not made the observational transition to basketball as it is played in 2016.

The Warriors average 32.2 3-pointers per game, behind the Rockets (37.0) and defending champion Cavaliers (34.8). Only one team, the Pistons, at 19.8, averages less than 20 shots beyond the arc per game.

When Barkley retired in 2000, only the Kings, at 20.2, averaged more than 20 3-pointers per game. The Rockets were second, at 19.8, and Barkley was a member of that team.

“This is just the way the game is played these days: spread the floor, very few low-post plays,” Kerr said. “The game has changed a lot. I don’t know why Charles continues to crush us. But the game’s changed, and almost everybody is playing like this now.”

Whereas the big men of yesteryear – Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson etc. – tended to operate in the low post, those of today are more likely to venture out beyond the elbow, and even the arc.

“The big guys that you see now who are coming into the league, the best players, guys like Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns, they’re out there shooting jump shots, because they grew up handling the ball,” Kerr said. “They grew up as guys who wanted to be Kevin Durant, and not Charles Oakley.”

Though some of the transition is due to bigger players being more versatile, it’s also a matter of coaches understanding new rules and finding rosters that can exploit them. Gone is the hand-check, as well as the days of zone defenses being illegal.

“We do what we need to do to be successful,” Kerr said. “. . . Our players are suited to play the way we play, and we’re not going to apologize for that. But we know that criticism and judgment are just part of the deal. It really doesn’t bother us.”

Kerr acknowledges marijuana use for chronic back pain, advocates for change

Kerr acknowledges marijuana use for chronic back pain, advocates for change

There were days and nights when he was in agony, when no medication – and he tried many – could stop the headaches from corroding his mere existence.

So Steve Kerr tried something once considered radical.

The Warriors coach sought relief in weed.

“I guess maybe I can even get in some trouble for this, but I’ve actually tried it twice during the last year and a half, when I’ve been going through this chronic pain that I’ve been dealing with,” Kerr said Friday on The Warriors Insider Podcast.

“(After) a lot of research, a lot of advice from people and I have no idea if maybe I would have failed a drug test. I don’t even know if I’m subject to a drug test or any laws from the NBA.”

During the summer of 2015, Kerr underwent two surgeries on his back, the latter procedure in part to alleviate the pain from the first. Still, the pain continued. He arrived at training camp to coach the defending champions and two days later realized he was not up to the grind.

Kerr, now 51, took a leave of absence that lasted nearly four months, during which time he sought comfort through various painkillers and treatments.

He returned to coaching in January 2016, but it was during his absence from the team that he reached the same conclusion as many medical professionals.

“I’m not a pot person; it doesn’t agree with me,” Kerr said. “I’ve tried it a few times, and it did not agree with me at all. So I’m not the expert on this stuff. But I do know this: If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you’ve got a lot of pain, I don’t think there is any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin. And yet athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C, like it’s no big deal.”

Vicodin (hydrocodone) and other pain relievers come with side effects – including nausea, vomiting, constipation and blurred vision – that can be even more damaging to the body. Moreover, painkillers invite the risk of addiction that, for some, can lead directly to death.

“I know enough, especially over the last couple years, having gone through my own bout with chronic pain, I know enough about this stuff – Vicodin is not good for you,” said Kerr, who still has experiences discomfort. “It’s way worse for you than pot, especially if you’re looking for a painkiller and you’re talking about medicinal marijuana, the different strains what they’re able to do with it as a pain reliever.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before the NBA and NFL and Major League Baseball realize that.”

Marijuana has been legalized in some form by 26 states and the District of Columbia. It has been used to treat patients suffering from chronic or acute pain. Yet it remains stigmatized in certain segments of American society.

“There’s this perception in our country that over-the-counter drugs are fine, but pot is bad,” Kerr said, explaining that some folks continue to resist the notion that pot is somehow more treacherous than, say, alcohol, while others have studied the subject and become advocates.

“I would hope,” Kerr said, “especially for these NFL guys, who are basically involved in a car wreck every Sunday – and maybe four days later, the following Thursday, which is another insane thing the NFL does – I would hope that league will come to its senses and institute a different sort of program where they can help these guys get healthier rather than getting hooked on these painkillers.”