OAKLAND -- By the time reporters entered Warriors practiceon Thursday, center Andrew Bogut was already icing his left ankle.But that wasnt necessarily a bad sign.According to coach Mark Jackson, Bogut is beginning to pickup the pace of his practicing and playing. Bogut has been cleared to playfive-on-five, though he hasnt yet done that in a full-court setting. He did dofive-on-five in a halfcourt, controlled-type situation.Hes continuing to do a little bit more and were going tomonitor him and were going to see how he feels by doing more and more,Jackson said. And when hes ready to go, hell play but I think the smart wayto do it is continue to introduce more play with him and then play it by ear.Bogut fractured his left ankle in January and hasnt playedin a game since. The goal was for Bogut to play in a couple of preseason gamesand then be ready for the opener on Oct. 31.But Bogut missed the entire preseason and its looking moreand more like he wont be playing on Halloween night against the Suns inPhoenix.He did a little bit of drill action with contact, Jacksonsaid of Thursdays practice. He looked very good. The bottom line is were notgoing to throw him out there. Hes too important to this franchise, tooimportant to this basketball team. We want to be very, very patient with him.Curry watches: Warriors point guardStephen Curry sat out all of Thursdays practice, but Jackson said that was nobig deal.Were just continuing to play it smart, Jackson said ofCurry. We dont need him today. Its making sure hes ready when it mattersmost. But its just precautionary reasons.Curry, who missed 40 games last season because of ankleissues, said he will be ready for the opener.Jackson on Stern: NBA commissioner DavidStern announced on Thursday that he will be stepping down on Feb. 1, 2014, andthat Adam Silver will be his replacement.Said Jackson: Ive been a part of this league since 87 andI came in and he was the commissioner. He did just an incredible job ofbringing this league to where it is today. Every player coach, general manager,fan owes a big thank you to commissioner Stern.In my opinion he was the best to ever do it at running aleague. Obviously we still have some more time till 2014 but it shouldcertainly be as I remember as a young fan -- when it was a world tour of thankyous throughout the league for legends of the game. I say start early becausehes done an incredible job of putting us all in position to be financiallywell-off. Its a different league than before he took it.
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.
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.
Kevin really put a ring instead of a cherry on top of the cupcake 👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/1GVaFNbQet— Julie Phayer (@juliephayer) June 24, 2017
Peep KD's hat.— NBCS Warriors News (@NBCSWarriors) June 24, 2017
Cupcake with a ring on top. 👀 pic.twitter.com/VmXAhRz8k5
So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.