Warriors

Does Warriors opener forecast doom?

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Does Warriors opener forecast doom?

Give the Warriors this much they waste no time in making folks wonder how much doom is in the room.

Maintaining their long-held core belief that the teams motto should be, Its One Damned Thing Or Another, the Warriors displayed their limitations and frustrations in a 104-94 loss to Memphis.

And no, before you start sniveling about "negative" this and "dont give them a chance" that, were not talking about long-term anything. Were talking about the home opener, and how quickly the vibe turned gray.
STEINMETZ: Warriors defeated by Grizzlies in home opener, 104-94

There was, most significantly, Brandon Rushs first quarter knee injury eight minutes into the game, after an inadvertent shove by Memphis Zach Randolph. There has been speculation from the orthopedic wing of Twitter about a dislocated left kneecap, and while none of that is confirmed, the faces on his teammates and employers suggested strongly that it will be a long time before he is seen in work clothes again.

But there was, of course, more. Andrew Bogut confessing that he is already frustrated, though acquiescent, at the 20-minute limit being put on him by the coaching and training staff. This isnt likely to become a thing, but unhappy is unhappy, and as Bogut said after the game, When youre playing, and youre not 100 percent, nobody cares.

And then there was what looks like an exciting subplot when Carl Landry starts to get end-of-game minutes based on the benefits he provides, and from whom those minutes will be taken.

Landry played 23 minutes, scored 20 points and rebounded six, went to the line 12 times and was the only plus player the Warriors had. And while plus-minus is a stat that brings with it enraged dismissals, it has its uses, one of which will be to provide mathematical cover for what ones eyes already see that Landry is a closer.

But for whom, inquisitive buttinskys want to know. For Bogut, who played the final eight minutes in a game that largely annoyed him for all the things he is not yet physically ready to do on 1.75 legs? Or for David Lee, whose box score lines often seem like empty calories?

Right now, head coach Mark Jackson isnt saying, though the way he initially answered the question of Landrys finishing games seemed to suggest that Bogut would be the one to cede those minutes. Yet when asked if he could foresee situations where Landry might replace Lee, Jackson scrambled to offer scenarios where Landry was so good and Lee so not quite, that such a possibility existed.

The problem, you see, is that the Warriors have their best bench in years, and the clamor to play them in starters situations will only grow as people see the full wingspan and plumage of players like Landry and Jarrett Jack. Rush would have been the third of those, but his accordioned knee seems to have removed him from consideration.

And though small sample size is the handy caveat here, Landry gives every indication of being the one best positioned to close. This is a gift the Warriors havent possessed for two decades, give or take a few minutes with Baron Davis back in the oughts.

In sum, the Warriors spent their home opener showing the fans the following items:

1. That Bogut has some rows left to hoe before hes fully ready to go.

2. That Landry is going to create arguments among the population, with Jackson as the focal point.

3. That Lee still frustrates as much as he invigorates.

4. That they still can get someone hurt at the drop of a shoe.

5. That they are in the very early stages of a transition from bad team to not-so-bad, to so-so, to pretty-decent, to hey-now. And that transition is going to be as long and and agonizing as all of the other transitions they have begun over the years.

But if this helps, they still shoot T-shirts into the stands and perform the new international crime Gangnam Style. So theres that.

Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Bravo For Durant: No White House visit proves he has a set of principles

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AP

Bravo For Durant: No White House visit proves he has a set of principles

Though the Warriors have yet to receive an invitation to visit the White House in the wake of their championship season, one of their superstars already has decided he would not participate.

Kevin Durant, the NBA Finals MVP who grew up practically in the shadow of the White House, said he would not visit.

"Nah, I won't do that," Durant told ESPN on Thursday. "I don't respect who's in office right now."

Bravo for Durant. For speaking up when so many others are silent and, by acknowledging that this is an individual decision, proving he is willing to stand on a personal set of principles.

Visiting his hometown of Seat Pleasant, Md. for “Kevin Durant Day,” the forward didn’t mention President Donald Trump by name but made clear his disdain for the man who currently occupies the White House.

"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that," Durant said. "That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."

Durant is not the first Warrior to publicly express such sentiments. Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston have specifically said they would not be willing to make the visit that has become customary for American championship teams. Coach Steve Kerr and veteran forward David West have been vocal in denouncing Trump’s discriminatory rhetoric and boorish behavior.

Uncertain whether an invitation is forthcoming, the Warriors issued a statement in June saying any collective decision regarding a White House visit would be made “when and if necessary.”

Their championship season ended two months ago. Training camp for next season begins next month. There has been no invitation.

Durant’s comments Thursday represent his first that directly address the possibility of visiting the White House. The Warriors, after their 2105 championship, made the visit when Barack Obama was president.

"I just wanted to sit back and analyze everything and gather my thoughts," he told ESPN. "I wanted to say something immediately, but I definitely want to be the voice of where I come from and people who have come from my neighborhood and deal with oppression.”

Addressing the division that has infected the national landscape, Durant pointed directly at Trump.

"He's definitely driving it," Durant said. "I feel ever since he's got into office, or since he ran for the presidency, our country has been so divided and it's not a coincidence. When Obama was in office, things were looking up. We had so much hope in our communities where I come from because we had a black president, and that was a first.

"So, to see that, and to be where we are now, it just felt like we took a turn for the worse, man. It all comes from who is in the administration. It comes from the top -- leadership trickles down to the rest of us. So, you know, if we have someone in office that doesn't care about all people, then we won't go anywhere as a country. In my opinion, until we get him out of here, we won't see any progress."

Though not all Warriors have publicly commented on the subject, Durant’s hunch is accurate. This team has a collective conscience. There are causes in which every member believes, and two such causes are equality and inclusiveness.

Those alone are enough to ensure they would not splinter on this issue.

Kevin Durant doesn't respect Donald Trump: 'Until we get him out of here...'

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AP

Kevin Durant doesn't respect Donald Trump: 'Until we get him out of here...'

If the Warriors get invited to the White House and accept, will Kevin Durant attend?

"Nah, I won't do that," the 2017 NBA Finals MVP told ESPN's Chris Haynes on Thursday. "I don't respect who's in office right now.

"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that. That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."

The Warriors are scheduled to play the Wizards in Washington D.C. on Feb. 28 (which happens to be the same date of last season's game in D.C. when Durant injured his knee).

On Monday, Steve Kerr provided an update.

"We have talked as an organization about a potential White House invitation and what that would mean," he told Damon Bruce of 95.7 The Game. "A couple weeks ago we decided let's get the players together and talk about it later this summer when we can -- just before Media Day probably.

"And we'll do that, and I'll just leave it at that."

Durant -- who is from Maryland -- was in his hometown of Seat Pleasant on Thursday to celebrate "Kevin Durant Day."

He didn't hold back when discussing Donald Trump.

"I feel ever since he's got into office, or since he ran for the presidency, our country has been so divided and it's not a coincidence. When Obama was in office, things were looking up. We had so much hope in our communities where I come from because we had a black President, and that was a first.

"So, to see that, and to be where we are now, it just felt like we took a turn for the worse, man. It all comes from who is in the administration. It comes from the top -- leadership trickles down to the rest of us.

"So, you know, if we have someone in office that doesn't care about all people, then we won't go anywhere as a country. In my opinion, until we get him out of here, we won't see any progress."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller