Warriors' Riley talks D-League purchase


Warriors' Riley talks D-League purchase

JUNE 28, 2011


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Matt Steinmetz

Warriors executive vice president of basketball operations Larry Riley held a conference call with the media on Tuesday afternoon to address the purchase of the Dakota Wizards of the D-League. Riley talked about what the advantages of that purchase were for the Warriors as well as offer some details on how he believes the operations will work.Here's a transcript of the call:Larry Riley: "We had a press conference this morning in Bismarck and announced to the local people that the Warriors had purchased a D-League team. It's another example of what Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are trying to do as far as giving us every opportunity to put together a good basketball team and have a strong Warriors' organization. That concept of getting into the D-League was discussed last winter when Joe and Peter took over. And we spent quite a bit of time talking about it.
"But most of the work was actually done by Kirk Lacob. He did a great job of researching everything and trying to determine how we might go. He was deeply involved in the purchase as well and the analyzing of different situations. And we were able to bring it to a conclusion this week and finalize it today."Our purpose is we want to have a true developmental league team and this is going to be an opportunity where we can have our own coaches. They will work closely with Mark Jackson, and the system that is in place by our head coaches where the Warriors are concerned will also be in place with the Dakota Wizards franchise. And we'll have quite a bit of carryover from one to the other."In addition we will have people going back and forth that will be involved in the operation of the Dakota Wizards and we also envision that we'll have a coach who will basically be a developmental coach, and it will be his job to work back and forth between both franchise and to give any player we might send to the Dakota Wizards the best guidance we can in terms of playing in the NBA . There is also an obligation on our part to put a good product on the floor and we plan to do that."Question: Where are you on moving the team to the Bay Area?Larry Riley: "What we did was put a comment in the press release with regard to that. That's an option that's certainly on the table. We addressed that this morning at the press conference as well. And it's something we're looking into with a great deal of interest. There's no doubt that that's being evaluated. We're basically in the first step but there's no question there are evaluations going on along those lines."Question: Will there be a disadvantage at first because the affiliation is now in Bismarck, N.D., instead of Reno?Larry Riley: "Distance is always somewhat of an issue, but when you want to get a job done and you want to do it badly enough you can overcome that. I don't see it as a huge problem. And their league, like our league, half the games are played on the road anyway and so we can overcome that kind of a thing and have a good working relationship here in the coming season."Question: Is that a reason why it wouldn't be good to stay in Bismarck?Larry Riley: "The logistics could play into it. There are several things that will go into that decision. As you look at some of these who own D-league teams, many of them have gotten into locations that are at least close to where the NBA team operates, so it's a consideration without question."Question: What are the advantages to this affiliation as opposed to Reno and Bakersfield?Larry Riley: "It's more of a hands-on experience where we get to hire our own coaches, put our own system in and if a player is sent from the Warriors to the Wizards you have carryover and it isn't that you have to come in and learn a new system. You get the learning curve out of the way."There's also the opportunity for young coaches to develop as far as that goes. You have the elopement of players and also the development of young coaches. Who knows what's going to happen in the future or what the rules will be when the D-League grows."Question: What's going to happen with the GM and coach of the Dakota Wizards?Larry Riley: "We're evaluating all of this and would be premature to make a lot of statements. But obviously Travis Schlenk and Kirk Lacob are going to have a great deal to do with how the operation is run. I don't see them here on a day-to-day basis. But right now Mike Riley as our pro scout right now. He's got a wealth of D-League experience and he's been a former head coach in the old CBA. He's closer logistically than anybody else and will be on site a good bit."They'll pretty much run things from the point -- nobody is going to be named general manager immediately. But that team of three will take care of those duties. Should we decide we need a general manager, then we can go in that direction."We're evaluating the coaching situation and we'll get back to you on that. We're not going to dilly-dally with it. In a timely fashion we'll take care of that so we're set for the fall."Question: Was part of the reason you were able to draft a Jeremy Tyler is because you knew you'd have a D-League team to develop him?Larry Riley: It wasn't the reason we drafted Jeremy Tyler. The whole philosophy was that if we could acquire a second-round pick we'd have a place to send him should that become necessary. I'm not sure where Jeremy is going to be as we go through training camp and so forth."We'll have to determine what develops there. We're a little more philosophically in line that the 14th or15th guys on your squad -- or people who aren't playing much -- only get better by playing and practicing and I think Jeremy Lin prove that last year."Every time we sent him down last year he got better and that was even more encouragement for us to get into a hands-on situation where we had our own system in place and maybe even take the development a little bit farther."Question: Why not simply buy the Reno franchise?Larry Riley: I would have to let you talk to Kirk on that. I can tell you there were reasons for that, for not doing it, but he was a lot deeper into it and I would rather let him comment on that."Question: Do you lose anything with Travis and Kirk dealing now with this D-League team?Larry Riley: "Bob Myers took some of the weight off Travis. It will give Travis more time. I would envision that what Kirk and Travis will be doing u2026 there will be a lot of telephone work and so forth. I see them coming into Bismarck from time to time, but I don't see it eating up a lot of their time on a daily basis."I do think that when we send a player here we'll come and check on that player his progress and we did that with Jeremy Lin. I don't see a great time commitment that creates any difficulties. It's one of the reasons we have a bigger front office staff right now."Question: While you're in Bismarck, is there pressure to keep them there?Larry Riley: I don't know that it's pressure. We're in a position where it's early enough, we just got involved and we're going to take our time to evaluate the situation. You've seen Joe evaluate things, sometimes not as fast as other people would like. But no question he gets the evaluation done and he moves on it. That's where we'll be with this thing."Question: Any update on Lou Amundson?Larry Riley: "It's his call. He has an option so it's up to him. We've had discussions with them and i'm not certain what they're going to do yet. obviously we're going to have to be informed pretty quick. That date is at the end of this month. I do think they'll take it down to the last day and then we'll know something.""As far as we're concerned we don't have any problems at all with him coming back. He's been an energy guy and been exactly what we thought. Only issue with Lou last year was he had injuries.Question: Is Amundson the last piece of the roster puzzle you expect before the end of the month?Larry Riley: "Before the end of the month? Yes."Question: Have you decided whether you'll sign your picks or not under this current CBA?Larry Riley: We're working on that right now. I'll be back in the office tomorrow and we've had discussions on it. stand by. We'll finish that tomorrow as far as knowing how that will come about."

Players Voice Awards: Draymond not the 'Best Defender'


Players Voice Awards: Draymond not the 'Best Defender'

The players have spoken.

The 2017 Players Voice Awards pick for "Best Defender" goes to...

Kawhi Leonard.

On June 26, Draymond Green took home the Defensive Player of the Year award at the first annual NBA Awards Show.

He received 73 first-place votes, 22 second-place votes and three third-place votes. (Yes, he was left off of two ballots entirely)

Rudy Gobert was the runner-up with 16 first-place votes, 53 second-place votes and 30 third-place votes.

Kawhi finished in third with 11 first-place votes, 23 second-place votes and 58 third-place votes.

While the media recognized Draymond as the best defensive player in the NBA last season, his peers don't agree.

In 2015, Draymond finished runner-up and was left off 42 ballots.

In 2016, he finished runner-up and was left off nine ballots.

Bravo For Durant: No White House visit proves he has a set of principles


Bravo For Durant: No White House visit proves he has a set of principles

Though the Warriors have yet to receive an invitation to visit the White House in the wake of their championship season, one of their superstars already has decided he would not participate.

Kevin Durant, the NBA Finals MVP who grew up practically in the shadow of the White House, said he would not visit.

"Nah, I won't do that," Durant told ESPN on Thursday. "I don't respect who's in office right now."

Bravo for Durant. For speaking up when so many others are silent and, by acknowledging that this is an individual decision, proving he is willing to stand on a personal set of principles.

Visiting his hometown of Seat Pleasant, Md. for “Kevin Durant Day,” the forward didn’t mention President Donald Trump by name but made clear his disdain for the man who currently occupies the White House.

"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that," Durant said. "That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."

Durant is not the first Warrior to publicly express such sentiments. Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston have specifically said they would not be willing to make the visit that has become customary for American championship teams. Coach Steve Kerr and veteran forward David West have been vocal in denouncing Trump’s discriminatory rhetoric and boorish behavior.

Uncertain whether an invitation is forthcoming, the Warriors issued a statement in June saying any collective decision regarding a White House visit would be made “when and if necessary.”

Their championship season ended two months ago. Training camp for next season begins next month. There has been no invitation.

Durant’s comments Thursday represent his first that directly address the possibility of visiting the White House. The Warriors, after their 2105 championship, made the visit when Barack Obama was president.

"I just wanted to sit back and analyze everything and gather my thoughts," he told ESPN. "I wanted to say something immediately, but I definitely want to be the voice of where I come from and people who have come from my neighborhood and deal with oppression.”

Addressing the division that has infected the national landscape, Durant pointed directly at Trump.

"He's definitely driving it," Durant said. "I feel ever since he's got into office, or since he ran for the presidency, our country has been so divided and it's not a coincidence. When Obama was in office, things were looking up. We had so much hope in our communities where I come from because we had a black president, and that was a first.

"So, to see that, and to be where we are now, it just felt like we took a turn for the worse, man. It all comes from who is in the administration. It comes from the top -- leadership trickles down to the rest of us. So, you know, if we have someone in office that doesn't care about all people, then we won't go anywhere as a country. In my opinion, until we get him out of here, we won't see any progress."

Though not all Warriors have publicly commented on the subject, Durant’s hunch is accurate. This team has a collective conscience. There are causes in which every member believes, and two such causes are equality and inclusiveness.

Those alone are enough to ensure they would not splinter on this issue.