Warriors

Monta optimistic at first practice

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Monta optimistic at first practice

OAKLAND The Warriors opened their 2011-12 training camp on Friday, which meant it was the first time that new coach Mark Jackson had a chance to coach Monta Ellis.After the practice, Ellis sat down for an interview with the media.Question: Was the first practice intense?
Monta Ellis: Its kind of crazy right now but the good thing is were back playing basketball. I love the environment, love the changes that have been made. The energy that Mark Jackson brings and all the assistant coaches bring has been great. All the players have great mindsets and its a new beginning.
Question: What has Mark Jacksons message to you been?
Monta Ellis: Just that its going to be a big change and defense is going to be the focus point no matter what. Weve got to find a way to win and play together as a unit.Question: You were involved in trade rumors. Did you hear any of them?
Monta Ellis: I really didnt listen. Every year I go through that. It was another summer of rumors. Im here now just putting all that behind me.Question: What was Jacksons practice like?
Monta Ellis: Thats all it was. We did a couple of offensive things, but more defense than anything. You know, talking and getting to know each other.Question: What has been Andris Biedrins issue the past couple of years and do you think he can get back to the player he once was?
Monta Ellis: I really dont know what it was the past few years, but this year its a new Andris. I think him having a family changed him. He looks like and feels like the old Andris so time will tell. I hope this carries on.Question: With Marks experience as a point guard, how does that help you and Stephen Curry?
Monta Ellis: Its going to be a great season. He brings a lot to both of us as far as trying to lead a team, run a team and be more vocal. Landing a high-profile point guard as a coach is a great thing for us.Question: And what about the fact that he stepped into practice today and did some things with you players during drills?
Monta Ellis: I dont know if that was a good thing or bad. Its going to be fun. Hes showing us that its going to be different around here and thats a positive.Question: Marks been vocal about having you on the team. Has he told you that?
Monta Ellis: He told me. Im a Golden State Warrior until they move me. I dont get into all that. I let them upstairs handle that and I handle the basketball court. I want to be a Golden State Warrior. I love it here and I want to play basketball.Question: Mark wants the team to be more vocal. Does that come naturally to this team?
Monta Ellis: I think we all have it in us. Weve just got to trust one another. Thats what hes bringing, to talk more and be as one. And not everybody on their own little island.Question: How tired are you of hearing about new beginnings?
Monta Ellis: It does get old but its a business. Ive been around for seven years and every year is something new. Youve got to adjust and look at the positives. It is a new beginning.Question: If Mark Jackson stresses defense and you guys buy in, can you still be as effective offensively?
Monta Ellis: Well have to. We have to find a way. Thats the thing he said. No matter what we have to leave it out on the court and were going to have to find a way to win. No matter what it takes. If it takes playing offense on one end and defense on the other, then that just means you have to work harder.Question: You guys did lead the league in steals last year.
Monta Ellis: You cant have two people out there and the other three just lagging around. Thats the biggest thing. Hes trying to get everyone on the same page and work together as a unit. Dont leave anyone on an island. Once we get that concept down, well be all right.Question: Do you think youll run the same offense?
Monta Ellis: No. We havent talked about offense yet. Mostly defense, but I dont think its going to be the same.Question: What was this Mark Jackson practice like?
Monta Ellis: Weve been in tougher practices than this. When Don Nelson first got here it was rougher than this. But its a great sign that were heading in the right direction.Question: Seemed like there was a lot of rah-rah.
Monta Ellis: No. Go back. Like I said weve had practices like this. Weve just got to be consistent with it.Question: Do you consider the Warriors your team?
Monta Ellis: Its Joe Lacobs team. Im just a player thats out here trying to do whatever it takes to get over the hump. Were not going to get into whose team it is. Its all of our team.Question: What about if Jackson asks you to take fewer shots?
Monta Ellis: It doesnt matter to me. At this point in my career I want to win.

Kevin Durant: 'Whoever did this should be fired and thrown in jail'

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AP

Kevin Durant: 'Whoever did this should be fired and thrown in jail'

There are some people out there who are still extremely bitter about Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder for the Warriors.

An eighth grade Spanish teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma issued a handout on the first day of school.

Part of it read:

DON'T BE A ... Kevin Durant
KD left the OKC Thunder last summer after falling to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Following the end of the season, he decided it was in his best interest to join the very same team that had just knocked him out of the playoffs. Don't be like KD. Don't take the easy way out. Things like cheating, plagiarizing, and copying your friends homework may not seem like a big deal now but they are building habits that can significantly hinder you later in life. Additionally, always strive to finish what you've started. Half-finished homework is unfinished homework. Don't try to turn in an assignment if you have not done what is necessary and expected.

DO BE A ... Michael Jordan
MJ! The GOAT! 6 championships, 4 MVPs. Yadda yadda. The greatest thing this man ever did? Saving the Looney Tunes from a lifetime of servitude to an alien race. Did MJ take the easy way out? Did he ever back down from a challenge? NO! Be like Mike. Learning a new language is a challenging thing and parts of this year are going to be...

And then the words get cut off.

Well, Kevin Durant got wind of this and responded on Twitter:

If anything happens to this teacher, we will let you know...

Andre Iguodala falls short in 'Best off the Bench' award

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USATI

Andre Iguodala falls short in 'Best off the Bench' award

According to NBA players, Andre Iguodala is not the best sixth man in the league.

On Friday morning, Lou Williams was recognized as the "Best off the Bench" player.

At the inaugural NBA Awards Show in late June, Iguodala finished runner-up in the Sixth Man of the Year race to Rockets guard Eric Gordon.

Iguodala received 43 first-place votes, 34 second-place votes and nine third-place votes.

Gordon registered 46 first-place votes, 40 second-place votes and eight third-place votes.

Williams was a very distant third with five third-place votes, 10 second-place votes and 15 third-place votes.

He averaged 18.6 points and 3.2 assists over 58 games with the Lakers last season, while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from deep.

In 23 regular season games with the Rockets, Williams averaged 14.9 points and 2.4 assists on 38.6 percent shooting overall and just below 32 percent from 3-point territory.

Against the Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals, Williams struggled to the tune of 7.3 points per game. He shot 35 percent from the floor and below 18 percent from distance.

Iguodala played arguably his best game of the season in Game 5 of the NBA Finals -- 20 points (9 for 14 FG), four rebounds and three assists.

For the series, his +60 mark led the Warriors by a comfortable margin (Draymond Green +30, Kevin Durant +33, Steph Curry +30, Klay Thompson +22).

Iguodala was rewarded with a 3-year, $48 million contract this summer.

I doubt he cares whatsoever about falling short for this award...

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