Ike Diogu's next stop: London

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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.

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.