Warriors' Riley talks D-League purchase

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Warriors' Riley talks D-League purchase

JUNE 28, 2011

STEINMETZ ARCHIVE
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Matt Steinmetz
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Warriors executive vice president of basketball operations Larry Riley held a conference call with the media on Tuesday afternoon to address the purchase of the Dakota Wizards of the D-League. Riley talked about what the advantages of that purchase were for the Warriors as well as offer some details on how he believes the operations will work.Here's a transcript of the call:Larry Riley: "We had a press conference this morning in Bismarck and announced to the local people that the Warriors had purchased a D-League team. It's another example of what Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are trying to do as far as giving us every opportunity to put together a good basketball team and have a strong Warriors' organization. That concept of getting into the D-League was discussed last winter when Joe and Peter took over. And we spent quite a bit of time talking about it.
"But most of the work was actually done by Kirk Lacob. He did a great job of researching everything and trying to determine how we might go. He was deeply involved in the purchase as well and the analyzing of different situations. And we were able to bring it to a conclusion this week and finalize it today."Our purpose is we want to have a true developmental league team and this is going to be an opportunity where we can have our own coaches. They will work closely with Mark Jackson, and the system that is in place by our head coaches where the Warriors are concerned will also be in place with the Dakota Wizards franchise. And we'll have quite a bit of carryover from one to the other."In addition we will have people going back and forth that will be involved in the operation of the Dakota Wizards and we also envision that we'll have a coach who will basically be a developmental coach, and it will be his job to work back and forth between both franchise and to give any player we might send to the Dakota Wizards the best guidance we can in terms of playing in the NBA . There is also an obligation on our part to put a good product on the floor and we plan to do that."Question: Where are you on moving the team to the Bay Area?Larry Riley: "What we did was put a comment in the press release with regard to that. That's an option that's certainly on the table. We addressed that this morning at the press conference as well. And it's something we're looking into with a great deal of interest. There's no doubt that that's being evaluated. We're basically in the first step but there's no question there are evaluations going on along those lines."Question: Will there be a disadvantage at first because the affiliation is now in Bismarck, N.D., instead of Reno?Larry Riley: "Distance is always somewhat of an issue, but when you want to get a job done and you want to do it badly enough you can overcome that. I don't see it as a huge problem. And their league, like our league, half the games are played on the road anyway and so we can overcome that kind of a thing and have a good working relationship here in the coming season."Question: Is that a reason why it wouldn't be good to stay in Bismarck?Larry Riley: "The logistics could play into it. There are several things that will go into that decision. As you look at some of these who own D-league teams, many of them have gotten into locations that are at least close to where the NBA team operates, so it's a consideration without question."Question: What are the advantages to this affiliation as opposed to Reno and Bakersfield?Larry Riley: "It's more of a hands-on experience where we get to hire our own coaches, put our own system in and if a player is sent from the Warriors to the Wizards you have carryover and it isn't that you have to come in and learn a new system. You get the learning curve out of the way."There's also the opportunity for young coaches to develop as far as that goes. You have the elopement of players and also the development of young coaches. Who knows what's going to happen in the future or what the rules will be when the D-League grows."Question: What's going to happen with the GM and coach of the Dakota Wizards?Larry Riley: "We're evaluating all of this and would be premature to make a lot of statements. But obviously Travis Schlenk and Kirk Lacob are going to have a great deal to do with how the operation is run. I don't see them here on a day-to-day basis. But right now Mike Riley as our pro scout right now. He's got a wealth of D-League experience and he's been a former head coach in the old CBA. He's closer logistically than anybody else and will be on site a good bit."They'll pretty much run things from the point -- nobody is going to be named general manager immediately. But that team of three will take care of those duties. Should we decide we need a general manager, then we can go in that direction."We're evaluating the coaching situation and we'll get back to you on that. We're not going to dilly-dally with it. In a timely fashion we'll take care of that so we're set for the fall."Question: Was part of the reason you were able to draft a Jeremy Tyler is because you knew you'd have a D-League team to develop him?Larry Riley: It wasn't the reason we drafted Jeremy Tyler. The whole philosophy was that if we could acquire a second-round pick we'd have a place to send him should that become necessary. I'm not sure where Jeremy is going to be as we go through training camp and so forth."We'll have to determine what develops there. We're a little more philosophically in line that the 14th or15th guys on your squad -- or people who aren't playing much -- only get better by playing and practicing and I think Jeremy Lin prove that last year."Every time we sent him down last year he got better and that was even more encouragement for us to get into a hands-on situation where we had our own system in place and maybe even take the development a little bit farther."Question: Why not simply buy the Reno franchise?Larry Riley: I would have to let you talk to Kirk on that. I can tell you there were reasons for that, for not doing it, but he was a lot deeper into it and I would rather let him comment on that."Question: Do you lose anything with Travis and Kirk dealing now with this D-League team?Larry Riley: "Bob Myers took some of the weight off Travis. It will give Travis more time. I would envision that what Kirk and Travis will be doing u2026 there will be a lot of telephone work and so forth. I see them coming into Bismarck from time to time, but I don't see it eating up a lot of their time on a daily basis."I do think that when we send a player here we'll come and check on that player his progress and we did that with Jeremy Lin. I don't see a great time commitment that creates any difficulties. It's one of the reasons we have a bigger front office staff right now."Question: While you're in Bismarck, is there pressure to keep them there?Larry Riley: I don't know that it's pressure. We're in a position where it's early enough, we just got involved and we're going to take our time to evaluate the situation. You've seen Joe evaluate things, sometimes not as fast as other people would like. But no question he gets the evaluation done and he moves on it. That's where we'll be with this thing."Question: Any update on Lou Amundson?Larry Riley: "It's his call. He has an option so it's up to him. We've had discussions with them and i'm not certain what they're going to do yet. obviously we're going to have to be informed pretty quick. That date is at the end of this month. I do think they'll take it down to the last day and then we'll know something.""As far as we're concerned we don't have any problems at all with him coming back. He's been an energy guy and been exactly what we thought. Only issue with Lou last year was he had injuries.Question: Is Amundson the last piece of the roster puzzle you expect before the end of the month?Larry Riley: "Before the end of the month? Yes."Question: Have you decided whether you'll sign your picks or not under this current CBA?Larry Riley: We're working on that right now. I'll be back in the office tomorrow and we've had discussions on it. stand by. We'll finish that tomorrow as far as knowing how that will come about."

Rise of Stephen Curry assisted in making Chase Center a reality

Rise of Stephen Curry assisted in making Chase Center a reality

SAN FRANCISCO -- On a cool Tuesday by the bay, the Warriors celebrated The House Being Built On The Sweat And Adoration Of Stephen Curry. And it was quite the spectacle, from the church choir warming festivities to the heavy-equipment cranes performing a synchronized dance routine.

After nearly five years of visualizing and planning and plotting and adjusting -- and, above all, turning around a once-hapless NBA franchise -- the Warriors successfully navigated the maze of litigation, coming out reaching for hard hats and shovels.

Construction on what officially will be known as Chase Center, built at a cost upward of $1 billion, can commence because there are no further legal hurdles to clear. The Warriors moved from Philadelphia to San Francisco in 1962, and then to Oakland in 1971, and now they’re packing up and crossing the bridge back to San Francisco.

How did Warriors CEO Joe Lacob and co-owner Peter Guber, who completed the purchase of the team in November 2010, accomplish such an enormous feat?

They planned early. They hired in 2011 a polished dealmaker in president/COO Rick Welts. They were unfailingly optimistic and persistent and adaptable. They listened. They made concessions. They would not and could not, ever, give up.

It’s basically the same strategy that helped them land Kevin Durant, who was the only player at the ceremony.

But there are two more factors that absolutely were critical. One, Lacob and Guber asked for no public money. And, two, they steadily improved their product.

Which brings us back to Curry. The quest for a new building benefitted mightily from the new owners inheriting Curry, who in revolutionizing the sport also revived a dormant franchise. He is the primary reason for the newly robust state of the Warriors, who followed Curry to their first championship in 40 years.

“That gave us tremendous momentum,” Guber acknowledged after the nearly two-hour ceremony in Mission Bay. “It gave us tremendous market awareness. It gave us the strength to know we could hit our numbers. It gave us the strength to know that the San Francisco Bay Area was getting a team that wasn’t a flash in the pan, but one that was built to sustain itself.”

Suddenly, the Warriors were the hottest team in California, no matter the sport. Try walking a block in the Bay Area during working hours without seeing someone rocking Warriors gear. Popularity raises the profile and also has influence.

If the Warriors choose to retain the name “Golden State,” instead of reclaiming the designation “San Francisco” Warriors, as they were known from 1962 to 1971, that also could be traced back to rise of Curry and his ability to lift his teammates and, by extension, the entire region.

Lacob said Tuesday that there’s a good chance the Warriors retain the name “Golden State,” echoing comments made by Welts on the CSN Warriors Insider Podcast of Jan. 5. The reasoning, according to the Warriors, is that the name has become widely recognized and, now, synonymous with success -- much as the former Boston, now New England, Patriots of the NFL.

“We are the Golden State Warriors,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s not up to me, but I don’t want it to change. It’s a unique name; it’s the only one like it in the league. I would like to see that remain. I fully believe we are still the Bay Area’s team, no matter whether we’re playing in Oakland or San Jose or San Francisco.”

There was much joy in the room, particularly on stage, Tuesday afternoon. Along with Lacob, Guber, Welts, Kerr and Durant were San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Chase bank executive Thasunda Duckett. All seven had complimentary things to say, with Durant even facing an artists’ rendering of Chase Center and saying “it’ll be fun playing in there.”

Curry was not attendance Tuesday, though he has appeared a previous gatherings regarding the new building.

Chase Center, covering 11 acres, is scheduled to open in the summer of 2019, two years behind the original projections stated by Lacob and Guber back in 2012, long before they secured naming rights. From multiple lawsuits to a major site change to more lawsuits, the road to Groundbreaking Day was fraught with challenges.

The organization overcame them all, with a crucial assist from the point guard.

Clippers PG Chris Paul to undergo surgery, expected to miss 6-8 weeks

Clippers PG Chris Paul to undergo surgery, expected to miss 6-8 weeks

LOS ANGELES — Chris Paul will undergo surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.

The Clippers said Tuesday that their All-Star guard will continue to undergo treatment and evaluation by the club's medical staff.

Paul was injured on a first-half play involving Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook in Monday night's victory over the Thunder. Paul didn't return in the second half.

The Clippers are 26-9 in 36 games with Paul in the lineup this season. He is averaging 17.5 points, 9.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds, and leads the NBA with 2.25 steals per game.