Warriors general manager Bob Myers met with reporters onThursday in advance of the season. Myers addressed a variety of subjects including the teamshealth, the status of Andris Biedrins and how he thinks Stephen Curry willadjust to being a point guard without Monta Ellis.Here is some of what Myers said:On what kind of offseason he thought he and theWarriors front office had:Myers: "I keep getting asked that. I finallysettled on a response and the response is: Ask me at the end of the season andIll tell you what kind of offseason we had.On where Andrew Bogut is health-wise:Myers: "Hes making good strides. Hes onschedule. The schedule is for him to progress each day. Whether its lateralmoves one day, jumping another day. He hasnt begun five-on-five contact, butthats something we expect to happen in October. The reason I cant tell youanything with 100 percent certainly is that its based on how hes feeling."If he decides to play one-on-one and experiencesdiscomfort, well pull him back. But thus far he has not experienced anysetbacks. Were being cautious with the things hes doing on the court. But weare encouraged, as is he, that things are progressing well. We expect if itcontinues that way hell be playing five-on-five, and were hoping to get himsome preseason games."On Andris Biedrins being the only player who didntshow up for voluntary workouts:Myers: "Ill say that Im happy the players thatwere here were here and commend them for their effort. Because its a result-driven business, Andris will be allowed to compete for his position. Hes aprofessional and Ill leave it to the coach to decide what his role will be."Im going to try to be neutral on whether he came or didntcome. Im going to be positive on the guys who did come. But hes shown he canbe an effective player in the NBA. Im going to let it play out with Andris andIm hoping that, like any player we have, hes ready to go."Im not going to judge him until weve seen him in thepreseason and see what he can do. But Im very happy the other 14 were here.For our organization, thats important."On the organization downplaying expectations asopposed to a year ago: Myers: "Because, unfortunately, we have not had aculture of winning and until we actually go do that, it doesnt matter what Isay, what coach says or what anybody says. It matters what we do, what our teamdoes."What Im trying to say is, I think if we employ the rightprocess in how we go about what were doing, working hard, doing things theright way, then the results will come. Theres a quote: 'You cannot ensuresuccess, but you can deserve it.'"I just want this team to deserve to be successful. Whateverresult that means. I think if we put in the time and employ the right process,well be happy with the result. But to turn it on its head and say this is whatthe result is going to be, I dont know that thats productive."Unless we actually go do it, and the results are there,which is winning Were not an organization that has a history of winning eachyear, so its almost that Id rather go do it and let the results speak forthemselves as opposed to saying its going to happen."On Stephen Curry being the focal point as a pointguard and his role without Monta Ellis:Myers: "In the offseason, I talked to Stephen and I said: I dontknow and I dont want to know, but whatever you did think (in the past) or whateverencumbrances you think might have existed, its your team. So go be the pointguard of this team. Thats coming from our coach, too. But hes our pointguard. If that was an excuse (playing alongside Ellis) or was in the past,whether it was right or wrong, it doesnt exist anymore.Hes playing alongside a very traditional point guard, whoisnt a player who has the ball in his hands that often. So lets find out.Were confident he can do the job."
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.
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