Sept. 9, 2011
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Hardcore fans will turn their attention next week to the Impact Basketball Competitive Training Series in Las Vegas, where dozens of the league's players will convene for organized workouts and regular pick-up games. Word has gotten out that Warriors guard Stephen Curry and forwards Dorell Wright and David Lee will show up to play in what's being referred to as the "Lockout League."More important to Warriors fans, though, is what's happening after the first week of play at Impact. That's when a number of Warriors' players -- "basically everyone under contract," according to Wright -- will begin working out together, lockout or not.It's kind of like the Warriors' version of the 49ers' "Camp Alex."
"We're trying to get something going," Wright said. "Now's the time to try to put something together, get some chemistry, see each other and work out."The players have organized the long weekend among themselves. Because of the NBA lockout, the Warriors' coaching staff and front office can't have any contact with players. Lee said he's handling hotel logistics, and Curry is handling gathering up the players.Wright and Lee said they expect Curry, Monta Ellis, Lou Amundson, Ekpe Udoh, Jeremy Lin, Klay Thompson, Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins to participate. The idea came about during Curry's wedding in late July, with Lee and Ellis in attendance.The entire group is expected to be in Las Vegas by Thursday, and they'll spend the long weekend together. Lee said wives, girlfriends and families are also expected to accompany the players."More than anything it's just us all getting together," Lee said. "We're just trying to stay on the same page. Normally, at this time we're getting ready back in Oakland, and so we're just doing that somewhere else. It's about getting to know the new guys and getting everyone excited about the season -- whenever the season is. It will be good workouts and good competition."Of course, this whole thing was borne out of the NBA lockout, which very much looks like it could delay -- or cancel -- the beginning of training camps in October as well as the exhibition season. If that happens - and training camps are shortened -- Wright figures his team could benefit from getting together early."We want to show we're serious," Wright said. "We've got potential. We know we've got to improve and that's what we want to do. We want to be good. I came from a winning environment (in Miami) and we want that here. We want to win."Andris Biedrins and Reggie Williams are not expected to be in Vegas. Biedrins has begun his personalized training program in Latvia and is expected in the U.S. in October, according to Bill Duffy, his agent. Lee said he's been in touch with Biedrins all summer and that Biedrins said he was going to try to make it but it didn't look promising.Williams, a restricted free agent, is in Spain, where he has signed a contrat to play for Caja Laboral Vitoria of the Spanish ACB League.Curry will be testing out his right ankle in competition for the first time since he had offseason surgery in late May. Curry missed eight games last season because of the ankle and had surgery to strengthen it after the season. He's been rehabbing up to this point.