Warriors

Ike Diogu's next stop: London

813412.jpg

Ike Diogu's next stop: London

Ike Diogu, the former Warriors first-round pick in the 2005 NBA Draft is headed for London after his 25 point, 10 rebound performance in Caracas, Venezuela helped lead Nigeria over the Dominican Republic Sunday night to clinch the final men's basketball berth in the Olympics.

Diogu told the Associated Press, "I'm very happy. We did what had to be done. We knew we were going to face teams that are heavyweights, and we did what we needed to do win."

With six minutes left and the game game tied, Diogu hit a pair of threes and Nigeria never looked back, winning 88-73. The Nigeria team is led by Dioguand current New Orleans Hornet Al-Farouq Aminu.

Nigeria will have a tough road in London, though -- it grabbed the final spot in Group A with the United States, France, Argentina, Tunisia, Lithuania and Argentina. Group B includes Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, Russia and Spain. Games begin on July 29 at the Basketball Arena in Stratford, London.

Diogu, 28, was born in Buffalo, NY. His parents are native Nigerians who moved to the U.S. in 1980. Diogu went to high school in Garland, Texas and attended college at Arizona State University.

Well traveled
The 6-foot-9-inch power forward was the ninth-overall pick in 2005 for Golden State (the Knicks took Channing Frye before him, the Lakers took Andrew Bynum after him), but as it turned out, his basketball odyssey was just beginning.

Diogu was traded (see below) to the Indiana Pacers during his second season with the Warriors in 2007. From there the NBA took him to Portland, Sacramento, New Orleans (though he never played a game there), the L.A. Clippers, and the San Antonio Spurs. Since then, Ike has taken his talents overseas.

After a two-game stint with the Spurs, he was on the roster of the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in The People's Republic of China (according to their website, Ike weights 114 kilograms), and at last check we had him playing for Capitanes de Arecibo in Puerto Rico.

Over his NBA career, he averaged 6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. While at Arizona State, Diogu was named to the 2004-2005 AP All American second team when he averaged 21.4 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest.

Pro Basketball Reference

June 28, 2005: Drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the 1st round (9th pick) of the 2005 NBA Draft.

January 16, 2007: Traded by the Golden State Warriors with Mike Dunleavy, Keith McLeod and Troy Murphy to the Indiana Pacers for Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Josh Powell.

July 9, 2008: Traded by the Indiana Pacers with Jerryd Bayless to the Portland Trail Blazers for Jarrett Jack, Josh McRoberts and Brandon Rush.

February 18, 2009: Traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Sacramento Kings for Michael Ruffin.

July 29, 2009: Signed as a free agent with the New Orleans Hornets.

December 22, 2010: Signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Clippers.January 4, 2012: Signed as a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs.
January 11, 2012: Waived by the San Antonio Spurs.

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

durant-kevin-trump-donald.jpg
AP

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.

Kevin Durant doesn't respect Donald Trump: 'Until we get him out of here...'

durant-kevin-throwing-football.jpg
AP

Kevin Durant doesn't respect Donald Trump: 'Until we get him out of here...'

If the Warriors get invited to the White House and accept, will Kevin Durant attend?

"Nah, I won't do that," the 2017 NBA Finals MVP told ESPN's Chris Haynes on Thursday. "I don't respect who's in office right now.

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

The Warriors are scheduled to play the Wizards in Washington D.C. on Feb. 28 (which happens to be the same date of last season's game in D.C. when Durant injured his knee).

On Monday, Steve Kerr provided an update.

"We have talked as an organization about a potential White House invitation and what that would mean," he told Damon Bruce of 95.7 The Game. "A couple weeks ago we decided let's get the players together and talk about it later this summer when we can -- just before Media Day probably.

"And we'll do that, and I'll just leave it at that."

Durant -- who is from Maryland -- was in his hometown of Seat Pleasant on Thursday to celebrate "Kevin Durant Day."

He didn't hold back when discussing Donald Trump.

"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."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller