Warriors players to host their own training camp


Warriors players to host their own training camp

Sept. 9, 2011


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Matt Steinmetz

Hardcore fans will turn their attention next week to the Impact Basketball Competitive Training Series in Las Vegas, where dozens of the league's players will convene for organized workouts and regular pick-up games. Word has gotten out that Warriors guard Stephen Curry and forwards Dorell Wright and David Lee will show up to play in what's being referred to as the "Lockout League."More important to Warriors fans, though, is what's happening after the first week of play at Impact. That's when a number of Warriors' players -- "basically everyone under contract," according to Wright -- will begin working out together, lockout or not.It's kind of like the Warriors' version of the 49ers' "Camp Alex."
"We're trying to get something going," Wright said. "Now's the time to try to put something together, get some chemistry, see each other and work out."The players have organized the long weekend among themselves. Because of the NBA lockout, the Warriors' coaching staff and front office can't have any contact with players. Lee said he's handling hotel logistics, and Curry is handling gathering up the players.Wright and Lee said they expect Curry, Monta Ellis, Lou Amundson, Ekpe Udoh, Jeremy Lin, Klay Thompson, Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins to participate. The idea came about during Curry's wedding in late July, with Lee and Ellis in attendance.The entire group is expected to be in Las Vegas by Thursday, and they'll spend the long weekend together. Lee said wives, girlfriends and families are also expected to accompany the players."More than anything it's just us all getting together," Lee said. "We're just trying to stay on the same page. Normally, at this time we're getting ready back in Oakland, and so we're just doing that somewhere else. It's about getting to know the new guys and getting everyone excited about the season -- whenever the season is. It will be good workouts and good competition."Of course, this whole thing was borne out of the NBA lockout, which very much looks like it could delay -- or cancel -- the beginning of training camps in October as well as the exhibition season. If that happens - and training camps are shortened -- Wright figures his team could benefit from getting together early."We want to show we're serious," Wright said. "We've got potential. We know we've got to improve and that's what we want to do. We want to be good. I came from a winning environment (in Miami) and we want that here. We want to win."Andris Biedrins and Reggie Williams are not expected to be in Vegas. Biedrins has begun his personalized training program in Latvia and is expected in the U.S. in October, according to Bill Duffy, his agent. Lee said he's been in touch with Biedrins all summer and that Biedrins said he was going to try to make it but it didn't look promising.Williams, a restricted free agent, is in Spain, where he has signed a contrat to play for Caja Laboral Vitoria of the Spanish ACB League.Curry will be testing out his right ankle in competition for the first time since he had offseason surgery in late May. Curry missed eight games last season because of the ankle and had surgery to strengthen it after the season. He's been rehabbing up to this point.

Kerr, Warriors in preliminary stages of planning for Durant's return

Kerr, Warriors in preliminary stages of planning for Durant's return

OAKLAND -- Though Kevin Durant is eager to get back to the court, Warriors coach Steve Kerr and his assistants are in preliminary stages of planning his return.

One thing is certain: There will be restriction on the number of minutes Durant is plays in the first few games after he receives medical clearance.

“It’s something we’ll consult the training staff on,” Kerr said Saturday after practice. “I imagine we’ll ease him back by playing him shorter minutes to start, so he can build up his rhythm and his conditioning.”

Durant has been out since Feb. 28, when he sustained a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) and bone bruise to his left knee. After several days of strict immobilization, he has over the past week progressed to the point where he is engaging in vigorous workouts and shooting sessions.

Yet Durant will not be re-evaluated until next Thursday, which means he likely will not be cleared before the week of April 3. Not until then will the coaching staff devise a plan to reintegrate Durant.

“That obviously has a domino effect on the entire rotation,” Kerr said. “When we get to that point, we’ll figure that out. But it’s not something I’m giving a lot of thought to right now because he’s still at least a couple weeks away.”

The Warriors lost five of seven in the immediate aftermath of Durant’s injury but have recovered to win the last six in a row.


Feeling more comfortable, West cleaning up Warriors' messes down stretch

Feeling more comfortable, West cleaning up Warriors' messes down stretch

OAKLAND -- David West is as much a cleanup man as he is a basketball player.

The veteran power forward, masquerading as a center for the Warriors, cleans up behind teammates, cleans the clocks of opponents and probably cleans his plate after every meal. And he’d hit fourth in any baseball manager’s batting order.

The Warriors during their renaissance haven’t had such a personality. They’ve been a fun bunch, enjoying life, each other and their pillaging of the NBA.

West, 36, brings a more laconic dynamic, and it’s on full display as the Warriors lean into the final weeks of this regular season. He’s a leader who is producing and, more and more, winning over a fan base that was somewhat skeptical early this season.

“David West has been playing brilliantly,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Friday night, after West came off the bench for a highly efficient 14-minute stint in a 114-100 win over the Kings.

Showcasing sharp passing, splendid shooting, solid rim protection and his usual old-jerky toughness, West totaled 8 points, four assists, three rebounds, three blocks and one steal. The Warriors were plus-8 when he was on the floor.

Such production, it seems, is a bit of a bonus.

“He’s been very good for us as a veteran leader,” Draymond Green said. “He’s been playing well, but just his presence also has meant a lot to this team.

“D-West is just kind of a no-bull---- type of a guy. He doesn’t say much. But when he does, you know it means a lot. And everybody hears him.”

Said West: “It’s just about adjusting and learning personalities. Obviously, this group has been very successful. I just try to add my 2 cents where I feel like it fits. Try not to over-talk people. I speak to guys directly and just make sure that we’re all on the same page.”

West is in his 14th season. Drafted by the New Orleans Hornets in 2003, he also has played for the Pacers and, last season, the Spurs, before joining the Warriors in July.

The question at the time was whether he still had a lot to give. West is a two-time All-Star and one of the most widely respected players in the league. But did he still have the legs to compete at a high level?

The answer is visible, particularly over the past month, since he returned from fractured left thumb on Feb. 23. West is shooting 53.0 percent from the field, he’s rebounding consistently and he has proven to be a spectacularly good passer -- easily one of the best in the league among big men.

Earlier this week, to quell any lingering concerns about how much athleticism he still has, West rose up and dunked over a crowd of three Dallas Mavericks. It was clock-cleaning at its finest.

“I’m just getting more comfortable,” West said, referring to his game and his locker-room influence. “We’ve developed good chemistry, communicating, harping on our defense more than anything else at this moment, because we feel that’s going to give us a chance if shots aren’t falling.”

West is on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, $1.55 million. He sacrificed bigger dollars for a chance at his first championship. He’s doing his part. And he neither takes nor leaves any mess.