Steinmetz: Riley Eyes Euro Talent for Warriors


Steinmetz: Riley Eyes Euro Talent for Warriors

June 2, 2010
Its business as usual for Warriors general manager Larry Riley and his staff these days. Despite the uncertainty about the upcoming sale of the team, there is still work to be done.

Youve got the NBA draft coming at the end of June, and then free agency in early July.

I do my job like I always do, Riley said recently. I havent gotten into the sales end of it. Thats not something for me to deal with. Im going about the business of basketball and just taking it from there. I would judge there are probably people who know more about it than me -- I would hope so.

Riley and his staff have begun scheduling individual workouts for players, although none are expected to happen before next week. The reason? A key member of the Warriors front office will be in Treviso, Italy, for the adidas Eurocamp 2010, which starts on Friday.

Warriors director of player personnel Travis Schlenk will be getting a firsthand look at the best talent in Europe. The Eurocamp is not unlike the old Chicago predraft camp, back when prospective draftees used to play -- and not just get measured and weighed.

Schlenk spent a good portion of 2009-10 season scouting the D-League and was largely responsible for selecting the call-ups during the season.

Whats interesting is that Riley doesnt expect the Warriors to draft a player from Europe. But thats not stopping Riley from thinking long-term and sending Schlenk overseas.

Its mostly younger guys, Riley said. More for the future. There might be some value in it for this draft, but youre building your portfolio, so to speak, with these guys. Kind of building your database.

What's your take? Email Matt and let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

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.