Warriors notebook: Tyler acquisition a stunner

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Warriors notebook: Tyler acquisition a stunner

June 23, 2011

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Matt Steinmetz
CSNBayArea.com

OAKLAND -- Well, the selection of Klay Thompson by the Warriors wasn't much of a surprise. But acquiring the rights to center Jeremy Tyler was.The Warriors, with the help of owner Joe Lacob's wallet, acquired Tyler from the Charlotte Bobcats, who had selected him at No. 39. The Warriors paid 2 million for those rights."This is the kind of aggressive move we're pleased to be able to make," Warriors executive vice president Larry Riley said. "That's a credit to ownership. We're trying to improve this team in any way we can. It will be a developmental process. I don't know how quickly he'll be able to perform in the NBA. But he's an NBA talent. There will be an onus on him to go to work."Tyler's story is among the most fascinating of any of the draftees. He averaged 28.7 points and 12 rebounds as junior at San Diego High in California, and committed to the University of Louisville. But he elected to skip his senior season and instead play professionally in Israel.
He played just 10 games in the Israeli League and then left the team for personal reasons. The last team he played for was the Tokyo Apache in the Basketball Japan League for the 2010-11 season."He is a person of size both height and bulk," Riley said. "He's played a limited amount of basketball in terms of the professional game but he's young."Monta talk: Warriors executive vice president Larry Riley was at the podium for about two minutes after the team picked Klay Thompson before the inevitable question was asked.NEWS: Warriors take Klay Thompson with No. 11 pick
Did the selection of Thompson, a big shooting guard, mean that Monta Ellis was more likely to be traded?Said Riley: "This in no way affects the motivation to trade any player."Well, that settles that -- for about the next few hours anyway or until the next Monta Ellis trade rumor surfaces.Jenkins at No. 44: The Warriors selected Hofstra shooting guard Charles Jenkins with the No. 44 pick -- no doubt in large part because one of the Warriors scouts, Speedy Claxton, also played at Hofstra and was quite familiar with him.Claxton played for the Warriors during the 2003-04 season and part of the 2004-05 season before he was traded to the New Orleans Hornets. He has been a scout for the Warriors for the past two seasons, working primarily on the East Coast.Jenkins broke Claxton's scoring records at Hofstra. Jenkins is a combo guard who can score from the perimeter and get to the rim. He shot 42 percent from 3-point range last season as a senior.

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

OAKLAND -- Though much has been said about the agonies and challenges facing Steve Kerr, including speculation about when, or if, he’ll return as head coach of the Warriors, little has been put into words that capture the significance of his absence.

This is perhaps because it can be difficult to explain how one man is able to influence a roster of supremely talented athletes, at the wealthiest point of life, with wildly divergent personalities, at different career stages.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, a man who knows perspective as well as anyone in the NBA, took a moment Saturday to cut through the palaver and pity to offer a clear and vivid illustration of Kerr’s value as a man and as a coach.

“It’s just his presence, his personality,” Livingston began. “His character, the way he fits in with us. He’s kind of the battery pack, in the sense that he makes everybody go. He keeps us all (in harmony), everybody from staff, training staff, coaching staff to the players.

“He bridges the gaps, in the sense of communication, and he makes it light.”

In short, Kerr’s value to the franchise is far greater than his duties as a coach. He has an easy, breezy charisma insofar as he’s so comfortable submerging his own ego while being remarkably good at making everyone matter.

Moreover, Kerr is decidedly inclusive, explicitly emphatically open to ideas. He’s an outreach specialist whose sensibilities are contagious.

All of which helps create a sprightly and genial workplace, something the Warriors sought when they hired Kerr to replace the swaggering and dogmatic Mark Jackson in May 2014.

“Every day it’s something new, in a sense, and that’s hard to do,” Livingston said. “We’re here for six to nine months for the past couple years, seeing the same faces. So it is kind of like a job. But (Kerr) makes it more like a game and tries to make sure we’re enjoying ourselves out there.”

Kerr wants to live his life and coach basketball around four basic tenets: joy, mindfulness, compassion and competition. Maintaining a balance of the four can be difficult, especially when Kerr is dealing with the searing pain that has him on the sideline for an indefinite period.

But Kerr never strays far. His players seem to see and, more important, feel that.

Draymond Green and Kerr, each volatile in his own way, don’t always see eye-to-eye. Yet Green on several occasions has noted that Kerr “always seems to find the right thing to say, at the right time.”

Veteran David West points out that anyone who spends any time around Kerr can sense his basic humanity. Veteran Andre Iguodala, one of the team’s co-captains, speaks of Kerr’s curiosity and desire to broaden his horizons.

Stephen Curry, the other co-captain, kept the ball from the Warriors’ Game 4 win over Portland last Monday night, punctuating a series sweep, and gave it to Kerr, who missed Games 3 and 4 while coping with this prolonged post-surgery pain.

Lead assistant Mike Brown, the acting head coach in Kerr’s absence, concedes he has benefited from being around Kerr and this team.

“The tone he sets is the best I’ve been around,” said Brown, who has been involved in the NBA since 1992. “This is a special, special situation, and he’s big reason why.”

So it’s not just Livingston who throwing rose petals at the boss. He just happened to convey in a few words the effect Kerr has on the team and within the building.

“He’s our leader,” Livingston said. “He’s somebody that we count on.”

Warriors update health status of Livingston, Barnes

Warriors update health status of Livingston, Barnes

OAKLAND -- One day after every member of the Warriors participated in a full scrimmage, the official health updates were released.

Veteran forward Matt Barnes, out since April 8, is listed as probable for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals that begin Tuesday at Oracle Arena.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, out since sustaining a finger/hand injury in Game 1 of the first-round series against Portland on April 16, is listed as questionable -- but with an asterisk.

“Hopefully, we’ll be ready for Tuesday,” Livingston said after a light workout Saturday.

Livingston informed NBCSportsBayArea.com earlier this week that he would have been available, hypothetically, if the Warriors were facing a Game 7.

As for Kevin Durant, who missed five weeks with a knee injury before returning April 8, only to sustain a calf strain in Game 1 against the Trail Blazers, he’s fully available.