While most of the focus with the Warriors centers on free agency these days, theres still a summer league team to put together and the Warriors are finalizing that roster.Three of the Warriors four draft picks will play for the team, and games begin July 13. Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green will head to Las Vegas this weekend to start practicing.Warriors assistant coach Pete Myers will coach the team.Ognjen Kuzmic, whom the Warriors selected with the No. 52 pick in last Thursdays draft, will not play for the team. Warriors general manager Bob Myers said on Monday that its likely too quick of a turnaround for Kuzmic to play for the summer-league team, then rejoin his Bosnia and Herzegovina national team later this summer.Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins, two second-year Warriors players, will also play in Las Vegas. Tyler didnt distinguish himself during his rookie year with the Warriors, though the organization still seems to be high on him.But theres no doubt, the Warriors front office will be keeping an eye on how Tyler does against Ezeli and vice versa.As for Jenkins, he exceeded expectations his rookie season, but the issue now is whether the team can count on him to be the first guard off the bench. As promising as Jenkins rookie season was, at this point it would be asking a lot to be the full-time backup point guard. But at this point, its Jenkins job to lose.Klay Thompson, penciled in as the starting shooting guard in 2012-13, is already in Las Vegas, practicing with the US Select team. Myers said he doesnt expect Thompson to play with the team, but that if Thompson wanted to play he could.Also expected to play for the Warriors summer league team are Rakim Sanders, Justin Burrell and Wendell McKines.Sanders, who attended Fairfield, impressed the Warriors with his pre-draft workout. Burrell, who played for St. Johns in 2010-11, has worked out in recent months against Thompson, Tyler and Jenkins.McKines, an Oakland native, worked out twice for the Warriors in the weeks before the draft. McKines is undersized, but he averaged 10.7 rebounds per game last season for New Mexico State.Warriors partial roster in Las Vegas: Charles Jenkins, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Jeremy Tyler, Festus Ezeli, Justin Burrell, Rakim Sanders and Wendell McKines.
While players like Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Bogut offered support for Steve Kerr on Saturday, one NBA coach wants to pump the breaks on the conversation surrounding marijuana use.
Suns coach Earl Watson preached caution during an interview with ESPN after the Warriors beat Phoenix 138-109 on Saturday night.
"I think our rhetoric on it has to be very careful because you have a lot of kids where I'm from that's reading this, and they think [marijuana use is] cool. It's not cool. Where I'm from, you don't get six fouls to foul out. You get three strikes. One strike leads to another. I'm just being honest with you, so you have to be very careful with your rhetoric," Watson told Chris Haynes.
Watson doesn't appear to be a fan of Kerr advocating for the use of marijuana.
"I think it would have to come from a physician -- not a coach. And for me, I've lived in that other life [of crime and drugs]. I'm from that area, so I've seen a lot of guys go through that experience of using it and doing other things with that were both illegal. And a lot of those times, those guys never make it to the NBA, they never make it to college, and somehow it leads to something else, and they never make it past 18," Watson told Haynes.
Watson highlighted a potential problem of leagues legalizing the use of marijuana.
"So when we really talk about it and we open up that, I call it that slippery slope. We have to be very careful on the rhetoric and how we speak on it and how we express it and explain it to the youth," Watson said.
Watson finished the interview with a message for the kids who might have been emboldened by Kerr's comments.
"I've never been a fan of the use, but I'm also not a medical doctor. So for the kids who are reading this and they might take the headlines and run with it, don't run anywhere with it. Understand that if you're from an environment or social area where a lot of luck and a lot of blessings is your only way out, you cannot risk that opportunity ever. Ever. It's just the way it is. It's not the same everywhere. I don't know as far as the pain [and how marijuana could help], but I think we have to be careful how we present that to the public," Watson said.
OAKLAND – Stephen Curry paused, scanning his memory, and came up empty.
Draymond Green sank into deep thought, taking even more time before conceding he was “stumped.”
Neither could remember the last time the Warriors lost consecutive regular-season games, perhaps because it was 19 months ago.
The Warriors are specialists at self-correction, and that was the case again Saturday night when, following a tough loss two nights earlier, they stepped onto the floor at Oracle Arena and played one of their more effective games this season.
Their 138-109 smacking of the Phoenix Suns was a rather comprehensive effort, with some players performing superbly and others merely well. The scoring load was shared among Curry (31 points), Klay Thompson (26) and Kevin Durant (20), while everyone brought something useful to the proceedings.
“It didn’t turn out to be a great night on the stat sheet,” coach Steve Kerr said, noting the Warriors committed 17 turnovers, off which the Suns scored 25 points. “But maybe around the nine-minute mark in the first quarter until about two minutes of the second quarter, we were fantastic.”
The Warriors (17-3) trailed by as much as six in the first before going on a 25-4 run, taking an 18-point lead, and taking command early in the second quarter. Though they stumbled enough for Phoenix to get as close as eight in the second half, there never was a sense the Warriors were facing real trouble.
With Curry and Thompson leading the scoring charge, forwards Draymond Green and Durant excelled in playmaking roles, combining for 21 assists, the most in a game by two Warriors starting forwards since 1970, when Elias Sports Bureau began tracking starters.
“It’s a little unorthodox, but our guards are great shooters, so playing them off the ball and getting the ball to KD and Draymond seems to work well,” Kerr said. “And those guys seem to enjoy playing that way.”
The victory extended to 106 their NBA-record number of regular-season games without consecutive losses. The Warriors last lost back-to-back regular-season games in April 2015, dropping games at San Antonio and then New Orleans.
So long ago that neither Curry nor Green could remember.
“Um . . . let’s see . . . I think it was my second year in the league,” Green finally guessed, wrongly.
It was his third season, and the first under Kerr.
“There’s a resiliency to our team that, obviously in this league, anything can happen,” Curry said. “So for us to be able to correct mistakes and find ways to bounce back quickly and not have multiple games in a row where we don’t show up to play says a lot about the character we have on this team.”
Though Green cited the team’s heightened focus after a loss, there is one thread that runs through Curry and Thompson and Green. All three have been dismissed at some point and, therefore, carry a burning desire to validate their status.
Perhaps no one on the team carries that edge more than Curry.
“I’d be interested the see the numbers of Steph, after we lost,” Green said. “He has incredible games after we lost. It’s just a focus level, guys really lock in and come out and do what it takes to win the next game.
“I think guys do get a little pissed off as well, which definitely helps. That is probably the biggest thing. Guys get mad about it, and it carries over.”
Perhaps feeling Phoenix was poised for a run in the third quarter, Curry rang up 20 points in that 12-minute stretch, hiking the lead beyond the reach of the Suns. It was the 16th time he has scored at least 20 points in a quarter.
There would be no ending of this underappreciated streak. Not on this night, and not with Curry and his friends on watch.