Dakota Wizards now Santa Cruz Warriors

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Dakota Wizards now Santa Cruz Warriors

OAKLAND -- The Dakota Wizards, the Warriors NBA D-League affiliate, will relocate to Santa Cruz beginning with the 2012-13 season and be known as the Santa Cruz Warriors, the Golden State Warriors, the NBA Development League and the City of Santa Cruz announced today.

Were excited to bring the NBA D-League brand of basketball to Santa Cruz and Northern California, said NBA D-League President Dan Reed. The relocation of the team from Bismarck to Santa Cruz further demonstrates the Golden State Warriors commitment to developing top young NBA prospects in the NBA D-League. We thank the fans in Bismarck for their support of the team over the last six NBA D-League seasons.

Santa Cruz will play the 2012-13 NBA D-League season at the to-be-constructed Kaiser Permanente Arena, a temporary basketball facility located in downtown Santa Cruz, the construction of which is a three-pronged effort between the Golden State Warriors, the City of Santa Cruz and the Seaside Company.

We are thrilled to bring the Warriors to Santa Cruz, said Santa Cruz Warriors President Jim Weyermann. This city has a passionate basketball fan base and we are eager to construct an arena that will showcase the team and give the citys fans something to cheer about. We are excited about all of the additional events this building will be able to host and the vitality it will bring to the region. Creating the largest spectator venue on Californias central coast will help us attract events currently bypassing the area and contribute to the economic development of the region.

Of the 11 NBA D-League teams with single affiliations, the Santa Cruz Warriors will be one of five teams that are fully owned and operated by their NBA parent club, joining the Austin Toros (San Antonio Spurs), Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers), Los Angeles D-Fenders (Los Angeles Lakers) and Tulsa 66ers (Oklahoma City Thunder).

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.