Steinmetz: West sees W's potential, seeks size

May 24, 2011, 10:32 pm
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Let's be honest, it's nice and all that Jerry West is going to have a variety of duties with the Warriors -- including some marketing, sponsorship and public relations stuff. But all most people care about is this: Are the Warriors going to be any better of a basketball team now?Well, of course, that remains to be seen. But at West's introductory press conference on Tuesday morning, we got our first indications of what he thinks of the Warriors, their personnel and what they have to do to become a factor.The Warriors have missed the playoffs for the past four seasons, and 16 of the past 17 years overall. And yet West, who has been a part of the NBA for six different decades of basketball, doesn't believe things are desperate.RELATED: West sees 'great opportunity' to grow Warriors
"I think I see the needs of this team," said West, whose Lakers teams won six NBA championships while he was general manager. "To me they're kind of definite. It's not always possible to do something overnight. But they don't have to do a lot here, in my opinion, to make the playoffs. That's the first step."And the definite need: "I think they need more size," West said.No surprise there. Yes, that means the backcourt and frontcourt. West was asked what he thought of the Warriors' backcourt of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis and whether that undersized combination can be successful."They're two terrific young players, they are," West said. "Watching Monta Ellis is like watching a blur. He's really competitive. I like tough-minded players. Obviously, you'd like to have more size back there. I think those are areas you can address. I look at that backcourt and it's not a lot of fun to play them in a open game, I know that."STEINMETZ: Playoffs show Warriors short on size
And the interior?"I say size -- that would be up front," West said. "How can you get somebody in there who will be more consistent than the players they have here? They have young, attractive players that there's promise for. But those are the areas I think you have to look at and say: 'The best risk-takers do the best.'"West seems to be in agreement with owner Joe Lacob and general manager Larry Riley when it comes to Curry and Ellis -- that they're the key pieces and the strength of the team.In fact, West even went a little further, suggesting a backcourt of Curry and Ellis might be able to thrive in the playoffs. Conventional wisdom has that backcourt being too weak defensively for the Warriors to ever become successful. West doesn't seem so sure."If you watch the playoff games, the difference in playoff games is you can't run an offense," West said. "You cannot run an offense. You need people who can create off the dribble, and both those kids can do it. And they are kids. I think you'll see them grow together, but again you would like more size."But not necessarily a big-time scorer. A role player might suffice."I'm not a big statistics person," West said. "I'm not. I really believe that when you look at a player, the way I value a player ... Is he versatile? I like more versatile players. Somebody gets hurt, a coach can put someone else in different positions. But you cannot measure what's inside."

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