Will Azubuike Stay a Warrior?

Will Azubuike Stay a Warrior?


OAKLAND, Calif. -- Had a chance to talk to Warriors forward Kelenna Azubuike a couple of days ago, and asked him about next year's player option worth 3.3 million.

Azubuike is finishing the second year of a three-year contract worth approximately 9 million, and can forgo the final year at 3.3 million if he wants. Back in 2008, Azubuike signed an offer sheet with the L.A. Clippers, but the Warriors matched.

No surprise, and I figured as much, but Azubuike indicated hes virtually certain to exercise the option and return to the Warriors in 2010-11 rather than become an unrestricted free agent.

Thats the logical thing to do, said Azubuike, who entered 2009-10 with a career scoring average or 10.4 points per game in three seasons. Im leaning toward a certain way coming back.

Azbuike also acknowledged that the season-ending injury he sustained back in mid-November (torn patellar tendon, left knee) definitely affected things, as far as becoming a free agent.

Under ideal circumstances, Azubuike could have had solid season for the Warriors, then become a free agent and commanded more than 3.3 per year. Azubuike played in just nine games this season for the Warriors, averaging 13.9 points per game.

Note: Its only right to acknowledge the site where I go for much of my NBA salary information: ShamSports.com

Dusty chooses son's graduation over Nationals game against Padres


Dusty chooses son's graduation over Nationals game against Padres

WASHINGTON — Dusty Baker will miss the Washington Nationals weekend series against the San Diego Padres to attend his son Darren’s graduation.

Baker said he will rejoin Washington when it begins a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday, near Baker’s offseason home. Bench coach Chris Speier will assume managerial duties against the Padres.

Baker’s son Darren is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California. He’s committed to play college baseball at Cal.

As a 3-year-old bat boy, Darren was rescued from a potential home plate collision by J.T. Snow in Game 5 of the 2002 World Series between Baker’s Giants and the Angels.

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr is no closer to resuming full-time duties than he was a week ago, or even a month ago.

Out since April 23, when he announced he was taking a leave of absence to address chronic pain in the wake of multiple back surgeries nearly two years ago, Kerr has been a constant presence the past two weeks but not on the bench during games.

“He’s doing everything but coaching, but at this point, he’s not able to coach,” general manager Bob Myers said Thursday after practice. “I wish could say that he was. I’m sure he wishes he could as well. But that’s where we are.

“If something changes and he feels better, I’ll sit here or, better -- he would sit here -- and tell you. But right now, I can’t say that he’s going to be coaching.”

Though Kerr did not address media Thursday, he indicated earlier this week that he would be comfortable going into the NBA Finals, which begin June 1, with acting head coach Mike Brown at the helm.

“We’re 12-0,” Kerr told NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I feel great about where the team is. I know we can play better. I think the challenge we’re about to face, one way or the other, is going to take us to another level.”

The Warriors under Kerr finished the regular season with a league-best 67-15 mark, earning the No. 1 overall seed for the playoffs. Kerr coached Games 1 and 2 of the first round against Portland before surrendering head coaching duties to Brown.

The Warriors are 10-0 since Brown took over, 27-1 over their last 28 games since March 11.

Still, they would like Kerr to regain health and join them in their quest for a second championship in three years.

“It’s hard for me; I’m kind of in this basketball mode,” Myers said. “But he’s a person and he’s not feeling well. And that’s what makes it hard. More than how it reflects on our team is how he’s feeling that makes it very difficult to have to sit here and say that the man that’s hugely responsible for us being in The Finals for three years in a row, in a moment that he should be treasuring, can’t do it.

“It’s painful. And I know it’s painful for him, more than anybody. And I wish and he wishes and I’m sure you guys do, too, that there was something that could get him there. But right now, we’re not at that point.”