Warriors

Durant: 'Unbelievable teammate; he's the reason why we're so tight'

Durant: 'Unbelievable teammate; he's the reason why we're so tight'

In late July 2016, the Warriors invited JaVale McGee to training camp to compete for the final roster spot.

He signed a non-guaranteed contract for the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million.

It's safe to say that McGee exceeded expectations.

"He's an unbelievable teammate. He brought everybody together. He's the reason why we're so tight," Kevin Durant explained on The Bill Simmons Podcast. "His spirt. His open spirit. He's just always in a good mood. Just his own person. And everybody kind of gravitates to it.

[REWIND: JaVale gifts Draymond-themed blanket to every Warriors teammate]

"He was friends with everybody in a different way. A lot of people don't know that."

Over his first 15 appearances during the regular season, McGee averaged just 3.9 points and 1.9 rebounds over 6.6 minutes per contest.

But across the next two plus months -- 36 games and 10 starts -- he registered 7.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in 10.8 minutes per night.

In the first round of the playoffs against the Blazers, he averaged 9.8 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting over 78 percent from the field.

He scored 12 points in Game 4 at Utah, and 16 points in Game 3 at San Antonio.

"He adds value to your locker room," Durant explained. "That's what underrated when you're playing on a good team, or a team that's thinking about a championship, versus a team that has so many other distractions -- because now, JaVale when he is on a bad team is a distraction -- now with us, it's an asset because he's bringing us all together."

McGee is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in July and it's unclear what the market will be for the 29-year old.

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

Warriors announce roster, schedule for 2017 training camp

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AP

Warriors announce roster, schedule for 2017 training camp

The NBA Champion Golden State Warriors will hold their 2017 Training Camp, fueled by Gatorade, at the Rakuten Performance Center—the team’s newly named Practice Facility in Downtown Oakland—beginning Saturday, September 23, the team announced on Thursday. 

The team also announced the signing of free agent guards Antonius Cleveland, Michael Gbinije (ben-ih-jhay) and Alex Hamilton and free agent forward Georges Niang (George KNEE-yang). 

Cleveland, 22, went undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft after a four-year career at Southeast Missouri State, where he averaged 12.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.31 steals and 28.8 minutes in 121 career games. As a senior in 2016-17, he averaged a career-high 16.6 points while hitting career bests of 54.3 percent from the field and 38.4 percent from three-point range.

Gbinije, 25, appeared in nine games with the Detroit Pistons last season, scoring four points in 32 minutes. Originally selected by the Pistons with the 49th overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft, Gbinije averaged 12.0 points, and 4.3 rebounds in 35.0 minutes over 16 games with the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA G League. Gbinije, who spent his freshman season at Duke before playing three seasons at Syracuse University, helped the Orange to a Final Four appearance as a senior in 2015-16 after averaging career marks of 17.5 points and 4.3 assists in 37.9 minutes over 37 games. 

Hamilton, 23, spent the 2016-17 season with Golden State’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, where he averaged 11.4 points, 4.5 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 23.4 minutes over 43 games. Prior to joining Santa Cruz, Hamilton played collegiately for four seasons at Louisiana Tech, where he averaged 19.9 points, 6.2 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.97 steals in 33 games as a senior in 2015-16, earning Conference USA Player of the Year honors.

Niang, 24, appeared in 23 games for the Indiana Pacers in 2016-17, totaling 21 points and 17 rebounds in 93 minutes of action. Originally selected by the Pacers with the 50th overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, Niang averaged 19.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 33.0 minutes over six games with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA G League last season. Niang played collegiately for four seasons at Iowa State University, where he earned the 2016 Karl Malone Award, given to the nation’s best power forward, after averaging 20.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists as a senior in 2015-16.

Following seven days of practice, the Warriors will open their preseason schedule at Oracle Arena on Saturday, September 30, against the Denver Nuggets before traveling to China for a pair of preseason games against the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of the NBA Global Games.

The roster:

Stephen Curry
Kevin Durant
Draymond Green
Klay Thompson
Andre Iguodala
Shaun Livingston
Zaza Pachulia
JaVale McGee
David West
Nick Young
Omri Casspi
Patrick McCaw
Damian Jones
Kevon Looney
Jordan Bell
Chris Boucher (two-way contract)
Georges Niang
Antonius Cleveland
Alex Hamilton
Michael Gbinije

Golden State Warriors media services

Report: Warriors players, officials perplexed by Durant's offseason

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AP

Report: Warriors players, officials perplexed by Durant's offseason

It's been a great summer in many ways for Kevin Durant.

It's also been a not-so-great summer for Kevin Durant.

And as Yahoo's Chris Mannix recently wrote:

"Many in Golden State, team officials and players alike, have taken note of Durant’s oddball offseason and are perplexed by it. They see a bright future for Durant in Oakland, league and team sources told The Vertical, and are bewildered as to why he is still addressing his past."

First, it was Durant's comments on The Bill Simmons Podcast about Under Armour.

Durant's words were meaningful enough that he and Steph Curry "had a conversation" about the topic.

Then it was his third-person disparaging tweets of the Oklahoma City franchise, Thunder players and head coach Billy Donovan.

"I haven’t slept in two days, two nights. I haven’t ate. It’s crazy, because I feel so (expletive) pissed at myself and I’m mad that I brought someone into it," Durant told USA Today Sports' Sam Amick. "I look like an idiot.

"My peers are going to look at me like an idiot. All the jokes – bring ‘em. I deserve it."

[POOLE: Trapped by social media monster, KD taught a harsh lesson]

Since winning the title and being named NBA Finals MVP, Durant:

- Received a congratulatory text from Barack Obama
- Was praised endlessly for sacrificing millions to help the Warriors retain Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston
- Got a mural of him soaring in for a dunk on a building in Oakland
- Set a Guinness world record while on a trip to India (although he received some backlash for his comments about India and issued an apology)
- Was honored with "Kevin Durant Day" in his hometown of Seat Pleasant, Maryland

He is also apparently a "Made Man" in Silicon Valley (read this awesome feature by Modern Luxury).

But when it comes to Durant's offseason, people are going to remember the negative stories more than the positive ones.

"I will scale back a little bit right now. Just focus on playing basketball," Durant said on Tuesday. "I want to move on."

Fortunately for Durant, the Warriors open training camp in two days...

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