Warriors

Steinmetz: VanDerveer, Mullin have pre-Hall history

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Steinmetz: VanDerveer, Mullin have pre-Hall history

Aug. 11, 2011

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Matt Steinmetz
CSNBayArea.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Chris Mullin and Tara VanDerveer -- two basketball and Bay Area legends -- will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame on Friday. On the surface, the two of them wouldn't seem to have a whole lot in common.

RELATED: Wide praise for Mullin as H.O.F. comes calling
Mullin was an NBA player, and VanDerveer is a women's college basketball coach at Stanford. That's about as different as basketball gets, some might say.Yet Mullin and VanDerveer share the same view of the game. Hard as it might be to believe, they both might have helped each other get to where they are now -- on the brink of the game of basketball's highest honor.

Turns out, a long time ago, in the late 1980s, Mullin used to go to Stanford and work out with VanDerveer's Cardinal women's team. That's right. Mullin, who was a member of the Warriors at the time, used to go to Stanford -- along with long-time Golden State director of athletic development Mark Grabow -- and scrimmage against the women."I was actually more comfortable at Stanford than I was with the Warriors (early on)," Mullin said recently. "I felt like I fit in there better. Women's team or not."STEINMETZ: Chris Mullin's all-time list
The reason: Because they played the right way at Stanford, and at the time Mullin didn't really feel like the Warriors were doing that. So, VanDerveer gave something to Mullin, which was a reprieve from the downer that was the Warriors at the time. And Mullin gave something to VanDerveer: an up-close look at his work ethic and a technical side of the game in terms of preparation and approach."He played with players on our team," VanDerveer recalled on Thursday, at media availability. "The way it happened was that I called Mark Grabow -- one of the all-time best trainers -- and said: 'I'm interested in learning some new drills.' Mark said: 'I'll be over tomorrow with Chris Mullin.'""He would drop everything. He'd come over, and Chris would do the drills for me and then play with the team. He was awesome. I remember players were very excited he was in the gym playing with them. They were like 'Wow, we're playing with Chris Mullin.'"
And Mullin was more than happy to be at Stanford. It was after Mullin had gotten back from alcohol rehab in late 1987 and early 1988, and he came back to a Warriors team that wasn't winning and wasn't having any fun. Mullin just didn't feel like many of his teammates on that team loved the game as much as he did."It was like digging ditches with that team," Mullin said. "I was like 'Really? It's that bad?'"It was just the opposite at Stanford, and it's a time in his life where Mullin acknowledges he re-found his love of the game.
"I was getting back into shape and I was doubling up on sessions," Mullin said. "Actually, I just ran into (former Stanford star and current USF women's coach) Jennifer (Azzi) and she asked me if I remembered that and I said 'Yeah.' I didn't know this but she said I wouldn't shoot at all. I'd just pass all the time. I said that I didn't remember that part. I guess I was working on my ballhandling and passing, but that (not shooting) I can't remember."They were good to me. All of them. Tara, obviously. It's cool going in with her."

New Clippers advisor Jerry West: 'I did not want to leave' Warriors

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USATSI

New Clippers advisor Jerry West: 'I did not want to leave' Warriors

After six years as an Executive Board member for the Warriors, Jerry West unexpectedly departed in June. He took an advisory role with the division rival Clippers.

It was a curious move for the 79-year-old. Leave the defending champs for a team in turmoil?

On Monday, the former Lakers legend and Hall of Famer talked about his move south an interview with The Athletic's Tim Kawakami.

"Frankly it was very sad, OK? It really was. A place where I thought that if I was going to work another year or if somebody wanted me to work another year, I thought I could contribute; I did not want to leave. I did not want to leave. I was very happy there.

But those things happen sometimes. Obviously to be around a bunch of players that were as together as any I’ve seen and I think more importantly the talent that was on that team and to see the joy. There’s a lot of joy there. I think those are the kind of environments where people really prosper."

West then explains why he's not with the Warriors anymore.

"It was time for me to leave. I’m in Los Angeles again. For me, I’ll have a chance to go in the office a little bit and watch some of the people that have been hired, to watch our coaches coach. I’ve often said I’ve done some crazy things in my life because of the timing and maybe the timing was right."

West won one NBA title as a player and has eight as an executive, including two with the Warriors.

The Clippers, along with West, get their first look at the defending champion Warriors on Monday, Oct. 30 in Los Angeles.

Steve Kerr: 'The most impressive thing with our guys...'

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AP

Steve Kerr: 'The most impressive thing with our guys...'

It's been a pretty good run for the Warriors over the last three seasons:

- 2014-15 = 67-15, NBA champions
- 2015-16 = 73-9, NBA runner-up
- 2016-17 = 67-15, NBA champions

And Steve Kerr is on record saying that his team will be even better in 2017-18.

The Warriors' head coach recently sat down with Scott Ostler of The San Francisco Chronicle and explained why he isn't concerned about the upcoming campaign.

“Ultimately, we’re in a great spot. Our guys are happy, they’re doing their thing. There’s no need for much drama. The most impressive thing with our guys is, people talk about Pat Riley’s book and what he calls ‘the disease of me,’ where you win a championship and all of a sudden, everyone wants a bigger role, more money, whatever.

“I think that is sort of human nature, to want more. But our guys I think, have a genuine awareness that they’re getting all that through winning. More is coming their way individually as a result of the team’s success.

"It takes a really mature perspective to feel that way.”

Nothing exemplifies Kerr's thoughts more than Kevin Durant's financial sacrifice.

[REWIND: Myers: 'Unequivocally' there is no Iguodala or Livingston without Durant]

He could have earned about $34.7 million yet agreed to a $25 million salary for next season to help the Warriors retain Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

Golden State replaced Ian Clark, James Michael McAdoo and Matt Barnes with Nick Young, Omri Casspi and Jordan Bell.

Otherwise, everybody else is back.

"We have a lot of momentum, and our guys have a comfort level, and obviously, we’re loaded with talent," Kerr told The Chronicle. "It’s fun to think about the season, think about where we can get better, players we can add. That’s what I spend a lot of my time down here doing, just thinking about what’s next for us.

“But I don’t worry at all about us being successful; I don’t worry about anybody’s ego getting in the way.”

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